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Are you a proud owner of a car with an Alcantara steering wheel? It’s a touch of luxury every time you drive. But you might have noticed it needs specific care.
How do you keep that premium, suede-like material clean and fresh? Maybe you’re even a bit afraid of damaging it.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. In this guide, I’ll share simple and effective methods to clean your Alcantara steering wheel. By the end, you’ll know exactly what to do.
Why Is Alcantara Delicate To Clean?
So, why is Alcantara delicate to clean? It’s all about its unique makeup. Alcantara is a synthetic material called microsuede, a carefully crafted imitation of real suede leather. This means it shares some of the delicate properties of suede.
Sure, it’s not as fragile as real suede, but it needs proper care to last. Alcantara can outshine real suede in terms of durability, but only if treated correctly.
Remember, the wrong cleaning methods can easily damage Alcantara. Proper cleaning and maintenance are crucial to keep your Alcantara steering wheel in top shape. We’ll go into detail about that next.
How To Clean Alcantara Steering Wheel In Your Car
Here’s the full guide where you’ll learn all the exact steps when cleaning and, later on, maintaining the Alcantara steering wheel in your vehicle.
What You’ll Need
For cleaning Alcantara steering wheel, you’ll need the following:
Leather cleaning brush. It must be soft enough to avoid damaging the delicate Alcantara fibers. Any reputable leather cleaning brush should do the job. Check my recommendations for the best leather cleaning brushes.
Microfiber cloths. After brushing and cleaning your Alcantara steering wheel, soft microfiber cloths will be perfect for gently wiping it down.
Dedicated Alcantara (microsuede) cleaner. All-purpose or fabric cleaners may be too harsh for Alcantara, so a specialized cleaner is a must. I recommend using Koch-Chemie Pol Star Alcantara & Fabric Cleaner (check price now).
With these tools in hand, you’re ready to start the cleaning process.
Before we begin the cleaning process, remember these two key protective measures:
- Avoid Over-Saturating With Cleaning Products: Too much cleaning product can harm Alcantara’s fibers. When applying the cleaner, less is often more.
- Don’t Use Steamers or Heat: Steamers can be great for some materials, but they’re a no-go for Alcantara (in 99% of cases). The heat from steamers can cause the material to shrink or warp, resulting in permanent wrinkles. Also, you shouldn’t ever use hot water because of the same reason.
Step 1: Mist It With a Dedicated Cleaner
To start, grab your dedicated Alcantara cleaner. Instead of pouring or spraying a large amount directly onto the steering wheel, you’ll want to create a fine mist. A light coating is all you need. This ensures the cleaner won’t oversaturate the Alcantara fibers and cause damage.
Remember, Alcantara can’t handle heavy amounts of liquid. So, misting is the way to go when applying your cleaner.
Step 2: Brush The Steering Wheel
Next up, it’s time to pick up that soft leather brush. This is where its value truly shines. Start gently brushing the Alcantara, working the cleaner into the fibers. The goal here isn’t to scrub but to lightly agitate the surface. This helps lift any dirt or grime without damaging the material.
The motion should be careful and methodical. Think of it as a light massage for your steering wheel.
Step 3: Wipe Off With a Microfiber Cloth
Once you’ve brushed your steering wheel, it’s time for your microfiber cloth to come into play. Use it to wipe down the steering wheel gently. This will pick up any loosened dirt and grime, as well as excess cleaner.
Make sure to be gentle and thorough. The soft microfiber won’t harm the Alcantara, and it’s great at picking up any lingering residues.
After this step, your steering wheel starts to look a lot cleaner. But we’re not done just yet. Let’s move on to the next step.
Step 4: Brush Again
It might seem repetitive, but the next step is to brush your steering wheel once more. This second brushing is extremely important for the final appearance of the Alcantara.
Here’s why: the brushing lifts the fibers of the Alcantara back up, giving it that classic, suede-like texture. So, take your soft brush and lightly go over the surface again.
How To Maintain Alcantara Steering Wheel Between Details
Maintaining your Alcantara steering wheel between details is crucial. As a delicate material, Alcantara needs care and attention even between deep cleanings.
Here’s a handy tip: always keep a leather cleaning brush in your glove box.
Because after every drive, I recommend giving the steering wheel a quick, gentle brush. This simple act helps to remove oils from your hands, dead skin cells, and other everyday dirt and grime.
It’s a small step that takes only a moment, but it can make a world of difference in the longevity of your Alcantara steering wheel. If you want it to look and feel great for years, this is one habit you’ll want to adopt.
How Often To Clean Alcantara Steering Wheel
The frequency of cleaning your Alcantara steering wheel can vary. It often depends on factors like how often you drive and your maintenance habits.
But as a rule of thumb, I recommend cleaning your Alcantara steering wheel about once a week or every ten days at most. Regular cleaning not only maintains the look and feel of the Alcantara but also helps it last longer. Stick to this schedule, and your steering wheel will thank you.
Alcantara is a luxurious and delicate material, and it deserves to be treated as such. With a little time and effort, you can ensure your Alcantara steering wheel continues to enhance your driving experience for years to come.
Remember, the key is regular maintenance. By giving your steering wheel a quick brush after every drive and a more thorough clean every week or so, you can keep it looking and feeling like new.
If you have a leather steering wheel instead, check my guide on cleaning leather steering wheels.