How to Restore a Leather Steering Wheel

Leather Steering Wheel Repair Results
 

Is your leather steering wheel in need of some care and attention? 

Perhaps the colour of the leather has faded or become darker and the leather has started to crack? 

Rather than looking for a replacement, consider a refurb instead.

In this guide, we are going to show you a cost-effective and easy way to do a leather steering wheel restoration with our specialist products. Work through solutions 1 to have a fully refurbished leather steering wheel!

 

Steering Wheel Restoration - Common problems and solutions

Since this guide was originally published, we have released a new product specifically for restoring leather steering wheels, you can view it here- Steering Wheel Repair Kit

SOLUTION 1 - Cleaning your leather steering wheel - Sometimes, your steering wheel may just need a thorough clean

We recommend that you wipe down your steering wheel once a week with our Leather Ultra Clean, avoiding baby wipes and multi-purpose cleaners. Many of these products have chemicals and substances in them that can cause the leather to dry-out and its colour to fade.

After cleaning the leather, always protect it with a Leather Protection Cream. This will add a protective barrier to the surface of the leather which will help repel stains, protect the surface from wear and make your steering wheel easier to clean in the future.

Always keep a small Leather Care Kit in your glove compartment as a reminder. It'll come in handy for any spills or marks too!


Half Restored Leather Steering Wheel

 

SOLUTION 2 - Removing grease build up - Grease and oil contamination is one of the most common issues with leather steering wheels

As you drive, natural oils from the skin, as well as oils from hand lotions will slowly start to attack the leather causing it to darken, crack and sometimes become sticky.

*This damage can also be seen on leather gear sticks, handbrakes and car seats, usually where a person rests their head and hands.

For this, we recommend that you use our Leather Degreaser - This is a thick paste that draws out any oils and grease stains from leather.

How does it work?

1. Clean the steering wheel leather with our Leather Ultra Clean

2. Apply the Leather Degreaser with a paintbrush and allow it to dry. 

*As the product dries and absorbs the grease, it will change in colour and turn into a powder. 

3. Once completely dried, the powder should be vacuumed off and the area should be cleaned for a second time with our leather cleaner.

4. Once the grease has been removed the leather may need re-colouring using our Leather Colourant Kit (see the steps in Problem 3 to fix faded leather)


SOLUTION 3 - Fading colour on the leather steering wheel - Exposure to sunlight and prolonged use can also cause the colour of the leather to fade

To restore or even change the colour completely, you will need to use our Leather Colourant Kit.

How does it work?

1. You will begin by prepping the leather using our Leather Prep, which will remove the manufactured finish and any silicones that are soluble in solvents.

2. You will then need to use our Alcohol Cleaner to remove any other silicones that aren’t soluble in solvents, such as spray-on polish and waxes.

3. Once the leather is dry, it is important, particularly for old or worn leather, to strengthen it with Leather Binder.

4. Smooth over and scratches or cracks with our Flexifil (purchased separately) until the surface of the leather is level.

5. When you are satisfied all cracking is filled, you can then begin to restore or change the colour using our Leather Colourant Kit. 

*If only parts of your steering wheel are leather, it is important to mask off surrounding areas. You may also want to remove the steering wheel completely to avoid getting leather colourant on the rest of your interior.

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