Best Overall
Chemical Guys Total Interior Cleaner

An all-in-one interior car cleaner that excels at removing light stains and smudges.

Best
Leather Care
Colourlock Leather Shield

A foaming leather care product that cleans, conditions, and protects.

Best Faux Leather Care
TriNova Faux Leather Conditioner & Cleaner

A spray-on cleaner designed to restore and protect faux leather.

WeatherTech TechCare Leather Conditioner

An easy-to-apply leather cleaner and conditioner.

Lexol Leather Conditioner

A two-step leather cleaner and conditioner at a low cost.

When your steering wheel begins to look dirty, faded, or cracked, it’s time to apply a quality steering wheel cleaner. Some faux leather steering wheels may begin to feel sticky over time – another sign that a good cleaning is necessary.

The best steering wheel cleaner for your needs depends on the material of your car’s steering wheel as well as how much time and energy you want to put into the cleaning process. Below, we recommend several options for leather, faux leather, and polyurethane steering wheels. Some are spray-on products that simply wipe on and off, while others require more elbow grease.

#1 Best Overall: Chemical Guys Total Interior Cleaner

Product shot of the Chemical Guys Total Interior Cleaner

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The Chemical Guys Total Interior Cleaner is designed with efficiency and ease of use in mind. This all-purpose cleaner is safe for most interior car materials including leather, glass, vinyl, and cloth.

While dedicated leather conditioners may be a better option for leather steering wheels, Total Interior Cleaner is a good pick for vinyl steering wheels, especially for those who don’t want to use a different cleaner for every surface of their vehicle. This super cleaner will work on leather steering wheels, but it won’t condition as well as a dedicated leather conditioner.

At $0.69 an ounce (oz.), this is among the least expensive steering wheel cleaner sprays available.

Key Features

  • Cost: About $0.69/oz.
  • Safe to use on vinyl, leather, carpet, cloth, glass, wood, and plastic
  • Adds a layer of UV protection
  • Baby powder scent

Our Experience

Chemical Guys Total Interior Cleaner is applied to a Subaru steering wheel

We found this Chemical Guys cleaner to work very well. It sprays on and wipes off easily with a dry cloth. The results are excellent, leaving behind a like-new steering wheel surface. This product cleaned a polyurethane steering wheel as well as any cleaner we tested.

In addition, this cleaner works on virtually all car interior surfaces, including glass, cloth upholstery, and carpet. You can use this product on a synthetic resin steering wheel or a plastic steering wheel without worry. This makes it a handy spray for the DIY interior detailer. That said, we wouldn’t recommend it for use on glass, especially automotive glass, as it will leave behind more streaks than a dedicated glass cleaner.

Overall Rating4.8 out of 5
Cleaning5
Ease Of Use5
Protection4

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.6 out of 5 based on more than 31,000 ratings

Users are impressed with how well Total Interior Cleaner works at removing stains not only on the steering wheel, but on leather seats, carpet, and the dashboard. Several users claim that this cleaner was able to remove stains that other interior cleaners failed to address. This cleaner is formulated to work on any part of the car, making it exceptionally useful for full interior cleaning.

While Chemical Guys advertises that this cleaner as safe for all surfaces including leather, some reviewers claim it does not do the best job of cleaning leather and plastic surfaces.

#2 Best Leather Care: Colourlock Leather Shield

Product shot of the Colourlock Leather Shield and Strong Leather Cleaner bottles

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For those with a leather steering wheel, we recommend Colourlock Leather Shield. This specially-designed foaming steering wheel cleaner restores and protects leather surfaces. While a Colourlock kit is expensive, the foaming cleaner is more efficient than spray cleaners, so only a small amount of product is necessary.

The Colourlock kit includes a cleaner and conditioner as well as an application sponge and drying towel. It may take a bit more time to apply than a simple spray cleaner, but it delivers better results.

Key Features

  • Cost: About $45 (4.2 oz. cleaner, 5.0 oz. conditioner)
  • Protects leather from wear and dye transfer
  • Kit includes leather cleaner, conditioner, application sponge, and towel
  • Foaming cleaner

Our Experience

Close-up of a Honda steering wheel with cleansing Colourlock Leather Shield foam applied

We tested the Colourlock Leather Shield on a leather steering wheel and it produced excellent results. This steering wheel cleaner foams, making it fun and relatively easy to apply. The foaming application leaves behind no residue or stickiness on the wheel. We found it improved the appearance of our test leather.

Overall Rating4.6 out of 5
Cleaning5
Ease Of Use4
Protection5

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.5 out of 5 based on more than 80 ratings

A number of reviewers used Colourlock to restore leather on their steering wheels and car seats. In some cases, surfaces that hadn’t been cleaned in over five years. Many are impressed by the results and claim Colourlock was able to restore leather to a like-new appearance.

“This is the best leather cleaner I’ve found so far. [I’ve] tried [four] different brands including one from our dealership but none worked as well as Colourlock. I’ve owned my car for [eight] years and the leather looks almost new.”

– J via Amazon Reviews

There are very few negative reviews about Colourlock. One person claims that it doesn’t work well on light-colored leather, though another reviewer used it on white seats to excellent results. Another issue that some mention is that the included instructions aren’t very helpful.

#3 Best Faux Leather Care: TriNova Faux Leather Conditioner & Cleaner

Product shot of a spray bottle of TriNova Faux Leather Conditioner & Cleaner

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The best steering wheel cleaner for your vehicle partly depends on the material of your steering wheel. If your car has faux leather interiors, you might consider using the TriNova Faux Leather Conditioner & Cleaner. This two-in-one spray is designed for monthly use to clean and protect your faux leather surfaces.

Key Features

  • Cost: About $0.89/oz.
  • Designed specifically to treat synthetic leather
  • Cleans and conditions

Our Experience

TriNova Faux Leather Conditioner & Cleaner being sprayed on a Subaru steering wheel

This spray cleaner was able to remove the dirt, body oil, and grime buildup from our steering wheel, and the spray application made this easy to use. The TriNova Faux Leather Conditioner left behind no residue and the two-in-one formula improved the appearance of our test wheel.

Overall Rating4.4 out of 5
Cleaning4
Ease Of Use5
Protection4

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.4 out of 5 based on more than 1,600 ratings

Positive reviews for this TriNova cleaner claim that it is able to restore items to a like-new appearance. It not only lifts contaminants like grime and dirt, but restores softness and shine. Some faux leather products can become sticky after a time, and this conditioner is perfect for rejuvenating these surfaces.

According to some reviewers, this product is not so good at removing stains from white faux leather surfaces.

#4 WeatherTech TechCare Leather Conditioner

Product shot of a spray bottle of WeatherTech TechCare Leather Conditioner

RealTruck

Amazon

WeatherTech TechCare Leather Conditioner is a good option for leather steering wheels if you prefer not to deal with multiple bottles. The spray-bottle design makes this steering wheel cleaner easy to use, though it is not quite as effective as Colourlock when it comes to cleaning and protection.

WeatherTech also sells similar spray cleaners for carpet and general interior detailing, which are safe for most non-glass surfaces.

Key Features

  • Cost: About $0.82/oz.
  • Blocks UVA and UVB rays
  • Cleans and conditions leather

Our Experience

WeatherTech TechCare Leather Conditioner being sprayed onto a Honda steering wheel

We found that the WeatherTech Leather Conditioner didn’t provide quite the level of cleaning power or protection as the Colourlock kit. That said, it is easier to use. It wiped off quickly, leaving a clean steering wheel without leaving any residue.

Overall Rating4.5 out of 5
Cleaning4
Ease Of Use5
Protection4.5

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.6 out of 5 based on more than 2,700 ratings

Reviewers describe this leather conditioner as easy to use with excellent results. This spray dries and buffs easily and most are happy with the results. The worst criticisms of this product on Amazon are that it only works “OK.”

#5 Lexol Leather Conditioner

Product shot of a bottle of Lexol All Leather Cleaner and a bottle of Lexol All Leather Conditioner

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Lexol offers a leather conditioner kit similar to Colourlock, though at a lower price. One lotion cleans by lifting away oil and dirt, while the other protects and rejuvenates leather surfaces, which helps prevent cracking and discoloration.

The Lexol Leather Conditioner kit includes Lexol leather deep cleaner, Lexol deep conditioner, and two sponge pads. Lexol products can be used on any genuine leather item, and many use it for shoes and briefcases, though it is also suitable for automotive leather.

Key Features

  • Cost: About $1.00/oz.
  • Suitable for any leather surface
  • Cleans, restores, and protects

Our Experience

Lexol All Leather Cleaner being applied to a sponge pad in front of a steering wheel

The Lexol conditioner worked much the same as the Colourlock Leather Conditioner. However, it did leave behind a slightly sticky residue after use. This went away after a bit, but this was an issue that we didn’t notice when using Colourlock. That said, the Lexol conditioning kit is less expensive than Colourlock.

Overall Rating4.4 out of 5
Cleaning4.5
Ease Of Use4
Protection5

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.5 out of 5 based on more than 8,300 ratings

Amazon reviewers use this product for shoes, handbags, leather seats, and steering wheels. In many cases, people are able to restore older leather products to a like-new appearance and are very pleased with the results.

Most say that Lexol is easy to use, works quickly, and doesn’t leave behind any bad smells or odors. Some people have used this to remove dye stains from leather and, while it works, the results aren’t as robust as some expect.

Steering Wheel Cleaner Buyers Guide

A good steering wheel cleaner is one that works and is easy to use. But the best steering wheel cleaner may depend on your steering wheel material. We rated our recommendations based on the following criteria and significance:

  • Cleaning power: 40% 
  • Ease of use: 40%
  • Protection: 20%

Steering Wheel Material

The most common steering wheel materials are leather, faux leather, and polyurethane. We include recommended products here for each of these types of steering wheel covers. If your vehicle has an aluminum alloy or a natural wood steering wheel, one covered with suede, or an Alcantara steering wheel, you may want to look into different steering wheel cleaners designed specifically for those surfaces.

Using A Steering Wheel Cleaner

Half of proper steering wheel care is choosing the right cleaner, and the other half is applying the cleaner properly. You’ll want to spray your cleaner onto a microfiber cloth or padded sponge to apply it. With leather surfaces, you may want to use a detailing brush as well.

What Can I Use To Clean My Steering Wheel?

You should apply and dry your steering wheel cleaner with a clean microfiber towel, soft cloth, or sponge. 

If your steering wheel is made from polyurethane or faux leather, you can clean it with simple soap and water, though this may not allow for a deep clean and does not condition the surface or protect it from further damage. 

You can get a deeper clean that also applies a layer of protection by using dedicated products like the TriNova Faux Leather Conditioner.

If you have a leather steering wheel, you may want to use a dedicated leather conditioner like ColourLock Leather Shield. These take longer to apply, but also restore and condition the leather.

Steering Wheel Cleaner: Bottom Line

We think that for most, the ideal steering wheel cleaner is an easy-to-use yet effective cleaning solution that’s compatible with multiple car surfaces. The Chemical Guys Total Interior Cleaner fits this bill, as it can be used to clean a dirty steering wheel or a stained car seat. If you want one spray to effectively help detail your entire car interior, this is the one to buy.

Those who take their leather care especially seriously may prefer a dedicated leather cleaner and conditioner. Products like ColourLock Leather Shield and Lexol Leather Conditioner are excellent at cleaning, restoring, and protecting leather steering wheels. We found that ColourLock works a little better than Lexol, but it is more expensive.

How We Tested

The steering wheel cleaners in this article went through two rounds of reviews. We started by searching retailers like Amazon and RealTruck for top products and looking at factors such as application method, surface type, customer ratings, and prices.

Our product testing team then ordered the steering wheel cleaners that best met these standards. A team member tested each product on an appropriate steering wheel, taking note of cleaning, protection, and ease of use. Each steering wheel cleaner was given a rating out of 5 stars based on these criteria.

Why You Can Trust Us

Each year, we review over 1,000 auto products. Our team of product experts thoroughly researches top products and tests items on real vehicles when possible before making our recommendations.

We publish hundreds of product and service reviews to bring car enthusiasts detailed guides on automotive tools, detailing kits, car seats, pet products, and much more. For more information on our testing methodology and how we evaluate every product, check out our methodology page here.

Steering Wheel Cleaner: FAQ

*Data accurate at time of publication.