Wood Grain Steering Wheel Maintenance Tips

A wood grain steering wheel is a luxurious and timeless addition to your car’s interior. Its elegant aesthetics and comfortable grip enhance the driving experience, making it a sought-after upgrade for car enthusiasts. However, to ensure that your wood grain steering wheel retains its beauty and functionality, it’s important to follow proper maintenance practices.

In this article, we’ll provide you with essential tips to keep your wood grain steering wheel looking and feeling its best.

1. Regular Cleaning

Regular cleaning is the foundation of wood grain steering wheel maintenance. Dust, dirt, and oils from your hands can accumulate on the wood surface over time, leading to a dull appearance and potential damage. Here’s how to clean your steering wheel effectively:

  • Use a soft, damp cloth: Dampen a clean, lint-free cloth with water. Ensure that the cloth is not overly wet; it should be slightly damp to prevent excessive moisture from penetrating the wood.
  • Wipe gently: Wipe down the wood grain steering wheel’s surface, paying particular attention to the areas where your hands make contact. Use gentle, circular motions to lift dirt and grime.
  • Avoid abrasive or harsh cleaning products: Never use abrasive or harsh cleaning products, as they can damage the wood finish. Stick to plain water or a mild, wood-specific cleaner recommended by the steering wheel manufacturer.
  • Clean regularly: Aim to clean your wood grain steering wheel at least once a month to prevent the buildup of dirt and maintain its appearance.

2. Wood Conditioner or Polish

Wood grain steering wheels benefit from the occasional application of a specialized wood conditioner or polish. These products help preserve the wood’s finish, maintain its luster, and protect it from drying out or cracking. Here’s how to use them:

  • Choose the right product: Select a high-quality wood conditioner or polish designed for use on wood surfaces. Avoid products with high levels of solvents or chemicals that can harm the wood.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions: Read and follow the instructions provided by the wood conditioner or polish manufacturer. Some products may recommend specific application intervals.
  • Apply a small amount: Use a clean, soft cloth to apply a small amount of the conditioner or polish to the wood surface. Avoid overusing the product, as excess can lead to a sticky residue.
  • Work in the direction of the grain: When applying the conditioner or polish, follow the direction of the wood grain to ensure an even finish.
  • Buff and wipe clean: After application, use a separate clean cloth to buff the surface gently and remove any excess product. The result should be a beautiful, lustrous finish.

3. Protection from Direct Sunlight

Direct sunlight can be harmful to wood surfaces, causing them to fade over time. To protect your wood grain steering wheel from sun damage, follow these steps:

  • Use a sunshade: When parking your car outdoors, place a sunshade or windshield cover to shield the interior from direct sunlight. This will help preserve the wood finish and prevent it from becoming discolored.
  • Seek shaded parking spots: Whenever possible, park your car in shaded areas or garages to minimize sun exposure.
  • Invest in UV-resistant window tint: Applying UV-resistant window tint to your car’s windows can reduce the amount of sunlight that enters the interior, protecting the wood grain steering wheel.

4. Avoid Excessive Moisture

While wood is a durable material, excessive moisture can be detrimental to its condition. Follow these tips to avoid exposing your wood grain steering wheel to unnecessary moisture:

  • Dry it promptly: If your wood grain steering wheel gets wet, ensure that it dries promptly. Use a clean, dry cloth to wipe away any moisture to prevent water damage.
  • Avoid extended exposure to moisture: Do not leave your steering wheel wet for an extended period, as this can lead to discoloration and warping of the wood.
  • Keep the car’s interior dry: To minimize the risk of moisture exposure, maintain a dry interior environment by using floor mats and weather-appropriate window seals.

5. Be Gentle

Treat your wood grain steering wheel with care to prevent scratches and damage. Here are some precautions to keep in mind:

  • Avoid excessive force: Do not use excessive force when handling or cleaning your wood grain steering wheel. Gentle care will preserve its appearance and finish.
  • Use a gentle cloth: Choose a soft, lint-free cloth for cleaning and buffing your steering wheel. Coarser materials can scratch the wood.
  • Remove objects from your pockets: Before driving, ensure that your pockets are free of sharp objects or items that could potentially scratch the steering wheel.

6. Periodic Inspection

Regularly inspect your wood grain steering wheel for any signs of damage, wear, or fading. Early detection of issues allows for timely repairs and maintenance, preventing more significant problems down the road.

  • Check for scratches or chips in the wood finish.
  • Inspect the grip area for any signs of wear or discoloration.
  • Look for loose or damaged components, such as loose spokes or missing trim.
  • If you notice any issues during your inspection, address them promptly to prevent further damage.

7. Seek Professional Help

If you encounter significant issues with your wood grain steering wheel, such as deep scratches, cracks, or substantial wear, it’s advisable to seek the assistance of a professional. A professional can assess the damage and perform the necessary repairs to restore the steering wheel’s appearance and functionality.


In conclusion, proper maintenance is essential to keep your wood grain steering wheel looking and feeling its best. Regular cleaning, the application of wood conditioner or polish, protection from direct sunlight, and gentle handling are all crucial to preserving its elegance and comfort. By following these maintenance tips, you can ensure that your wood grain steering wheel continues to enhance your car’s interior for years to come, providing you with a touch of luxury and sophistication on every drive.