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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not sure how others have dealt with this, but my steering wheel had lost its appeal and had become smooth and almost shiny in areas from years of use. I was very nervous about doing a deep clean for fear of losing the factory color and finish, but I spent a long time researching methods and then tried a small test section on the back of my steering wheel. Well, it worked! I then cleaned the rest of the wheel and it looks like new. It also feels much better. Here's what I did:

Using a nylon bristled suede brush (a tooth brush is not stiff enough), I dry brushed the surface. It took a while to break up the surface, but then a lot of the dirt was coming off as dust. This was the scary part because I didn't want to damage the fabric. It took me about 10 minutes to complete this step. The reason I did this was to remove the bulk of the dirt so that it wouldn't get soaked into the wheel padding.

I then used a clean dense detainers sponge with some mild hand soap and hot water to wet, but not soak the surface.

Again, using the brush and in small circles, I scrubbed the wheel while keeping it damp.

I then sponged off the fabric, picking up the dirt rather than letting it soak in, washing the sponge repeatedly. This took another 10-15 minutes.

Finally, I used a clean white towel to squeeze out the moisture. Where the towel picked up dirt, I went back and re-cleaned that area.

After air drying and another light brush, I was done :). All in all, less than an hour, and knowing that the sponge bath method is safe I'll be able to keep it clean without the intensive scrub. I then went on and cleaned the door handles in the same manner. Even the white fabric came clean!

I hope this helps someone who is considering the same thing.
 

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Hi, I guess you own an eco chic...

I was wondering, how the wheels look like after years or even month... any pictures about previous and final look?

Thanks for sharing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, I should have included that in the title. This really only applies to the Eco-Chics.

I don't have any before photos, but suffice it so say that the surface was shiny and dark. I'll send you a couple of finished photos and one showing the brush, high density foam sponge and foaming hand soap I used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just figured out how to post photos (sorry, forum rookie here). I still need to sort out the rotation thing. Anyway, here are the photos of after:


 

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Would like to see the before cause some of them get REAL bad. I get calls every other week from people wanting to buy an ecochic steering wheel. They are not available and never will be. I'm pretty sure I heard dozens of them got tossed at some point awhile back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow, that's a shame they got tossed. It wouldn't be impossible to recover these, but it would be expensive and I don't suppose the color would ever match. I'm sorry I didn't take any before photos. I really wasn't expecting it to come out this well. The best way I could describe the before is to say it looked like a worn gardening glove. No grease, just dirt. The original color was hidden by a very dark brown hard and slightly shiny coating. Sounds horrible huh? Accurate though. The rest of the car was clean. I'm not sure if this would work if it had grease in it. If it did I would have rubbed some of my Snap-on hand cleaner on it. That stuff works marvels, not just for hands, but on clothing too. My wife puts it on oil and grease stains before they go in the wash. Much better than the stuff you can buy at the store.
 

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Wow, that's a shame they got tossed. It wouldn't be impossible to recover these, but it would be expensive and I don't suppose the color would ever match. I'm sorry I didn't take any before photos. I really wasn't expecting it to come out this well. The best way I could describe the before is to say it looked like a worn gardening glove. No grease, just dirt. The original color was hidden by a very dark brown hard and slightly shiny coating. Sounds horrible huh? Accurate though. The rest of the car was clean. I'm not sure if this would work if it had grease in it. If it did I would have rubbed some of my Snap-on hand cleaner on it. That stuff works marvels, not just for hands, but on clothing too. My wife puts it on oil and grease stains before they go in the wash. Much better than the stuff you can buy at the store.
It would make you sick if you knew how many parts got tossed into the garbage and what they are considering throwing away .
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ha, I think I'd rather not know. But if you do tell me What they're throwing away, you'd better also tell me Where they're throwing them! I'll bring the truck :) i bet there's all kinds of discontinued upholstery and other interior panels in NOS that won't go in the new vehicle. Maybe even OBCs, batteries and solar roofs. Argh, gotta stop thinking about it.
 

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I asked them, but they don't undertake it from alcantra because of technological reason.
 
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