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DIY How to Clean a Shiny Steering Wheel

impee's DIY How to Clean a Shiny Steering Wheel for BMW 318i e46
How to Remove the Shine from a Steering Wheel yourself!

Difficulty Level: Easy

Approximate Time For This Project: 10 mins

Prices: Professional labour costs for Cleaning a Shiny Steering Wheel - No idea...but I am sure no mechanic will be knowledgeable enough to do it.

Aqua Pur / Magic Eraser Any brand will do. They sell with different names, but they all are the same. Lidl, Robert Dyas, Tesco 1 £5
Bowl     1  
Water     1 litre  
Wiping Cloth To wipe excess water away   1  
Optional: Steering Cover Leather Steering Wheel Cover - See Step #7. They also sell it on eBay. TNT Auto Tuning 1 £19

*prices correct at time of publication

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1) Assemble Your Kit + Notes 

Below is the total kit I used. As you can see, there aren't many tools required for this job at all. This cleaner is called AquaPur, however there are many, many different brands available in the shops. In USA the most common one is called Magic Eraser.

Ensure it looks like this, i.e. the bottom is white and the top part of the sponge is a different colour and also different material.

The steering wheel usually becomes shiny due to grease, oil and dirt from your hands after years of use. This cleaner works as a very light abrasive and removes the oily / greasy coating off the steering wheel.

As the sponge is a very light abrasive, some believe this process damages the leather finishing, but this can only happen if you clean it very often.

Method 2

If you are after a more long lasting solution, skip to step #7.
I say long lasting, as after cleaning your steering wheel (depending on the amount of driving you do), it may need cleaning very soon again.

Sponge Cleaner & Kit


2) How to Use the Cleaner 

Dip the sponge in a bowl of cold water and wring out all the water.

Softly rub the steering wheel a few times back and forth with the white (soft) side of the sponge. You will normally find the instructions on the box, which will tell you which side to use.

Next dry the water on the steering with the cloth and check if you have cleaned it enough.

Note: Do no over do it whilst rubbing / rub too hard, as you may ruin / destroy the finish of the leather.

Below you can see the difference it makes after cleaning it.

Clean Steering Wheel


Clean Steering Wheel


3) Half Cleaned Steering Wheel 

Half of the Steering Wheel cleaned. I am sure you can guess the old shiny side?

When the sponge gets / looks dirty, clean it in the bowl of water.

Half Cleaned Steering Wheel


4) Dirty Water 

As you can see, the water is filthy. All that came of my shiny Steering Wheel.

Dirty Water


5) Fully Cleaned Steering Wheel

This is the end result of cleaning the Steering Wheel.

Fully Cleaned Steering Wheel


6) Extra Tasks 

Once your done and confident with the steering wheel finish, proceed with the leather on the doors and the dash board. Remember to rub lighter on these 2 than you did on the Steering Wheel as they are not that dirty / greasy.

Also, remember the Gear and Handbrake and the leather cloth attached to both of them, also the middle Arm Rest.

It is not advisable to use this on plastics or any other part of the car, e.g. leather seats.


7) Leather Steering Wheel Cover - Optional 

If your steering wheel gets really worn out, then the other only alternative I can suggest is using a Leather Steering Wheel Cover.

I wasn't too keen on the thought of having one, but after I bought one (details of where you can buy one are at the top of this page in the table), I realised that it makes car handling alot easier and the steering wheel is now definitely alot more responsive. This is due to the thickness and the extra grip of it, as opposed to the thin and hard steering wheel that would normally slip through your hands.

I would definately recommend one of these. As you can see in the below photo, it doesn't look to bad either.

BMW Leather Steering Wheel Cover

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DIY BMW e46 Shiny Steering Wheel Clean by - impee

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