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How clean vinyl steering wheel? #5393417 04/04/20 10:49 AM
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WobblyElvis Offline OP
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I have a 20 year old car and the interior is in excellent condition but I just can't get the steering wheel clean. I've tried strong dish detergent and "vinyl cleaner" but nothing seems to get the grime and dark discoloration off of the vinyl steering wheel. Any suggestions?

Re: How clean vinyl steering wheel? [Re: WobblyElvis] #5393428 04/04/20 11:06 AM
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tom slick Offline
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Have you tried a magic eraser? Use it gently.


You get what you pay for...
So keep in mind how much you paid for this advice.
Re: How clean vinyl steering wheel? [Re: WobblyElvis] #5393430 04/04/20 11:07 AM
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old1 Offline
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I wonder if it is not dirt, but discoloration of the vinyl. on my 98 mustang I found the only way to make the steering wheel look good again was to put a nice cover on it. Many neat designs available at Walmart or any auto parts store.


2017 Nissan Frontier 4.0 5w30
1965 Mustang 200 c/4 10w30 QS defy
1964 Ford Ranchero 302 c/4 FOR SALE
1998 Mustang 3.8 automatic 78K miles
Re: How clean vinyl steering wheel? [Re: WobblyElvis] #5393431 04/04/20 11:07 AM
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PimTac Offline
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A cover. Whoever has driven it may have had lotions, chemicals, or whatever on their hands that have permanently discolored it or affected the finish. Sunscreens are notorious for this as a example.


2017 Mazda CX5
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Roki OEM filter.
Re: How clean vinyl steering wheel? [Re: old1] #5393450 04/04/20 11:29 AM
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csandste Offline
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Originally Posted by old1
I wonder if it is not dirt, but discoloration of the vinyl. on my 98 mustang I found the only way to make the steering wheel look good again was to put a nice cover on it. Many neat designs available at Walmart or any auto parts store.

Had a Kia Rio that had a low end leather cover that deteriorated. I was forced to get a wheel cover. Thought I'd hate it but it worked quite well. Much better than the lace up ones from the seventies and eighties.


2017 Kia Soul+ Valvoline Daily Protection 5w30+ a bit of Harvest King syn 5w30-- 75,000 miles
Re: How clean vinyl steering wheel? [Re: WobblyElvis] #5393490 04/04/20 12:11 PM
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WobblyElvis Offline OP
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I might try the Magic eraser as suggested by Tom. The steering wheel is 21 years old, there may be no hope and I don't want to damage with something to strong. Looking for some magic solution I guess.

Re: How clean vinyl steering wheel? [Re: WobblyElvis] #5393500 04/04/20 12:20 PM
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vavavroom Offline
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What color is this steering wheel?

Re: How clean vinyl steering wheel? [Re: WobblyElvis] #5393582 04/04/20 01:45 PM
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FT92 Offline
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i used dawn dish soap on a beat up tan colored steering wheel...took some of the crap off but like someone said I think some of it was just discolored from the sun ,age .whatever else

Re: How clean vinyl steering wheel? [Re: vavavroom] #5393602 04/04/20 02:22 PM
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WobblyElvis Offline OP
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Originally Posted by vavavroom
What color is this steering wheel?


It's a mid grey-slight blue hue to it.

Re: How clean vinyl steering wheel? [Re: WobblyElvis] #5393650 04/04/20 03:31 PM
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01rangerxl Offline
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What kind of car specifically? It may just be worn through to another part of the material that looks different.


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1994 Ford Ranger STX | 4.0 V6 Manual 4X4 | 203K miles
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Re: How clean vinyl steering wheel? [Re: vavavroom] #5393674 04/04/20 03:59 PM
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vavavroom Offline
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Originally Posted by vavavroom
What color is this steering wheel?


I would try white vinegar on a rag.

Re: How clean vinyl steering wheel? [Re: WobblyElvis] #5393682 04/04/20 04:15 PM
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Colt45ws Offline
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baby wipes


-Colton
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Down for engine swap
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Re: How clean vinyl steering wheel? [Re: WobblyElvis] #5393717 04/04/20 04:49 PM
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WobblyElvis Offline OP
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Well this interesting, I took some paper towels and vinegar out to the car and I was surprised to find it removed about half of the grime but after doing around 1/3 of the wheel I started to wonder this was the best thing to use so I went and got a can of cheap leather/vinyl protectant I use on my furniture. I applied it with a clean rag and found with a little work it removed all but perhaps %10 of the remaining grime. Did the entire wheel with this "protectant" and stopped with the vinegar. Right now the whole wheel is a little sticky but we'll see how that goes. Funny how dish detergent and some vinyl cleaner made by prestone didn't work anywhere near as well.

I noticed the cheap leather/vinyl protectant says "cleans, conditions and protects" in small print. Made by AutoBright. Bought it at some discount store a couple of years ago. I may go back and see if still have some.

Re: How clean vinyl steering wheel? [Re: WobblyElvis] #5393811 04/04/20 06:37 PM
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spk2000 Offline
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Hand sanitizer normally works quite well. Must use a washcloth and grab each end and work back and forth while putting a good amount of thension on the washcloth. It gets really soft a sticky from the hand sanitizer and you probably will need to change the washcloth a time or 2 don't regrind dirt in that has come out.


96 Grand Marquis 203,000 mi
01 Sable LS Wagon 163,000 mi
02 Montero 191,000 mi
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