During the COVID-19 pandemic, hand sanitizer has become a popular product that can be found in most vehicles for a convenient way to help protect people from germs. However, hand sanitizer is not as helpful when it comes to leather steering wheels. Carter Craft, the owner of Craft Customs, explains in this video how the alcohol base of hand sanitizer, as well as other everyday items, breaks down the leather’s protective topcoat, making it extremely easy to scratch and damage your steering wheel. These damages may seem like minor issues at first, but over time as the leather’s topcoat begins to bubble and peel, you are left with a worn-out and unappealing steering wheel.
Additionally, Craft Customs would like to share with you exactly what you can do to avoid damaging the leather on your steering wheel without discontinuing the use of hand sanitizer. When you jump into your car and grab your hand sanitizer, be cautious that excess doesn’t drip onto the steering wheel or any of your car’s leather interior for that matter. After applying the hand sanitizer to your hands, be sure to let them dry completely before touching the leather steering wheel. Letting the alcohol evaporate from your hands or wiping them dry with a towel before coming into contact with the leather surface helps to prevent any lasting damage.
Beyond hand sanitizer, there are many alcohol-based and petroleum-based products that could be harming your car’s leather interior during these times of extra germ-awareness. Many cleaning sprays and disinfectant wipes fall into these categories and contain several harsh chemicals, so be sure to check the ingredients and avoid using them on any leather surfaces in your vehicle. Instead, Carter recommends “using a mixture of dish detergent and water to clean your leather steering wheel, as this enables you to keep your vehicle’s leather interior clean and safe during these trying times.”
If you find that your steering wheel has already been damaged by hand sanitizer or other harsh elements, the Craft Customs team is here to help you with professional steering wheel restoration services. In the picture, you can see the before and after of these services on a leather steering wheel from a Toyota Land Cruiser — restoring it back to factory new.
To have your leather steering wheel restored, simply package it up and send it into Craft Customs. Their team of experts will take it from there as they carefully handle your steering wheel while restoring it to factory-new condition. Once complete, Craft Customs will return the steering wheel to your doorstep.
About Craft Customs
With over 30 years of experience in the industry, Craft Customs provides professional customization and restoration services for steering wheels and dash trim from every make and model vehicle. Customization services include wood grain and carbon fiber additions along with leather, suede, and other finishes for both steering wheels and dash trim to enhance your vehicle’s interior. In addition, all of their leather restoration services are completed with premium, automotive-grade leather to ensure lasting function and beauty.