How to Clean a Golf Cart Steering Wheel: A Step-by-Step Guide 2023

How to clean a golf cart steering wheel feature image

Golf cart cleaning enhances its performance and lifespan. One essential component that is often underlooked during cleaning is the steering wheel. The steering wheel is the most touched part of any vehicle. Unfortunately, it is also the least maintained. According to a study published by Queen Mary University, there are almost 700 germs per inch square of the steering wheel— which is almost nine times dirtier than a toilet seat. 

That’s why I regularly clean and disinfect my golf cart steering wheel to prevent harmful bacteria buildup, and so should you. In this comprehensive guide, I will walk you through how to clean a golf cart steering wheel properly, including tips for leather maintenance and the best commercial cleaning products.

How to Clean a Golf Cart Steering Wheel | Easy Steps

Cleaning your golf cart’s steering wheel is a simple process that requires attention to detail. The first step is to prepare the cleaning solution. Here are three ways of making a cleaning mixture at home: 

  1. Mix a small amount of mild soap or dishwashing liquid with water to create a safe and effective solution.
  2. Mix a 50/50 solution of distilled water and vinegar.
  3. Mix 3 parts all-purpose cleaner with 1 part water in a spray bottle. 

Steps for Cleaning Golf Cart Steering Wheel

Step 1: Remove Dust and Debris

  • Carefully remove loose dust, debris, and sticky material from the steering wheel’s surface before applying the cleaning solution. 
  • Use a soft-bristled brush or a microfiber cloth to sweep away the particles gently. 
  • Grime and gunk accumulate more around buttons and crevices. Brush them away carefully.

Step 2: Prepare the Cleaning Solution

  • As mentioned earlier, prepare the cleaning solution by mixing a small amount of mild soap or dishwashing liquid with water.

Step 3: Apply the Cleaning Solution

  • Dip a soft cloth or sponge into the cleaning solution, ensuring it is damp but not dripping. 
  • Begin wiping the steering wheel’s surface thoroughly. 
  • Work in small circular motions to lift and dissolve any stubborn stains. 
  • Apply more pressure with the cloth to effectively remove dirt from particularly soiled areas.

Step 4: Pay Attention to High-Touch Areas

  • The frequently touched steering wheel areas, such as the rim and buttons, require extra care during cleaning. Make sure these high-touch regions are germ and dirt free. 
  • For textured surfaces, like rubber or grip-enhanced regions, use a toothbrush or soft-bristled brush to access and clean the tiny crevices.

Step 5: Rinse and Dry

Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned the steering wheel, it’s time to rinse off the cleaning solution. 

  • Take a clean cloth or sponge, dampen it with water, and gently wipe the steering wheel’s surface to remove any soap residue. 
  • Make sure not to soak the steering wheel, as excessive water can cause damage over time.
  • After rinsing, use a dry microfiber towel to wipe down the steering wheel, absorbing any remaining moisture. Ensure that the steering wheel is completely dry before using the golf cart again.

Step 6: Conditioning the Leather (If Applicable)

If your golf cart’s steering wheel is wrapped in leather, it requires additional care. Leather conditioning enhances the steering wheel’s appearance and prolongs its lifespan, ensuring it remains comfortable and durable.

  • After cleaning, you should condition the leather to maintain its suppleness and prevent cracking. 
  • Apply a small amount of leather conditioner to a clean cloth and rub it on the leather surface, following the product’s instructions.

Step 7: Replace the Steering Wheel Cover (If Applicable)

Some golf cart steering wheels come with removable covers for added protection and customization. If your steering wheel has a cover, remove it before cleaning the steering wheel itself. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for washing the cover separately. Once clean, ensure the cover is completely dry before replacing it on the steering wheel.

With a clean and fresh steering wheel, your golf cart will look more inviting and provide a better driving experience. Regular cleaning and maintenance will keep your steering wheel in top condition, preserving its appearance and functionality for years.

how to clean a golf cart steering wheel

Cleaning Frequency for Golf Cart Steering Wheels

The frequency of cleaning your golf cart’s steering wheel can vary depending on usage and the environment it operates in. Here are some general guidelines:

Regular Cleaning: It is recommended to clean the golf cart steering wheel regularly, especially if it is exposed to dirt, dust, or other contaminants. Regular cleaning helps maintain its appearance and prevents the buildup of grime or residue.

High-Touch Areas: In today’s focus on hygiene and cleanliness, paying extra attention to high-touch areas, including the steering wheel, is advisable. If multiple people use the golf cart, these areas should be cleaned more frequently.

Leather Maintenance: If the steering wheel is made of leather, clean and condition it at least once a week to keep it in good condition. Regular cleaning and conditioning can extend the life of the leather and make smaller damages less noticeable.

Properly Disinfecting a Golf Cart Steering Wheel

Only cleaning the steering wheel won’t help you get rid of pathogens and other harmful bacteria. That is why you need to disinfect the golf cart steering wheel properly. 

To ensure effective disinfection of your golf cart’s steering wheel, follow these steps:

Choose an EPA Registered Disinfectant: Select a disinfectant that is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use against viruses and bacteria. Look for disinfectants specifically designed for automotive surfaces.

Prepare the Disinfectant Solution: Follow the instructions on the disinfectant product to prepare the solution. This may involve diluting the disinfectant with water or using it as-is.

Wear Disposable Gloves: Before starting the disinfection process, put on disposable gloves to protect your skin from oils and dirt.

Apply the Disinfectant: Spray or apply the disinfectant solution onto a clean cloth or disinfecting wipe. Saturate the cloth without soaking it, and avoid spraying the disinfectant directly onto the steering wheel to prevent damage to electrical components.

Wipe the Steering Wheel: Thoroughly wipe the entire surface of the steering wheel, including the spokes and any textured areas, with the disinfectant-soaked cloth or wipe. Pay extra attention to high-touch areas, such as the rim and buttons.

Allow for Contact Time: Follow the instructions on the disinfectant product for the recommended contact time. This is the amount of time the disinfectant needs to remain on the surface to effectively kill germs and viruses.

Wipe off Excess Disinfectant: After the recommended contact time has passed, use a clean cloth or wipe to remove any excess disinfectant from the steering wheel. Make sure the steering wheel is dry before using the golf cart.

Types of Cleaners for Disinfecting Golf Cart Steering Wheels

Several types of cleaners can be used to disinfect your golf cart’s steering wheel:

Disinfecting Wipes: Convenient and effective, disinfecting wipes are ideal for cleaning and disinfecting high-touch areas like the steering wheel. Ensure they are EPA-approved for use against viruses and bacteria.

Vinegar Solution: A mixture of distilled water and vinegar in a 50/50 ratio can be used to disinfect the steering wheel. Dampen a cloth with the solution and wipe down the steering wheel.

Isopropyl Alcohol: Isopropyl alcohol with a concentration of 70% or higher can be used to wipe down hard surfaces, including the steering wheel, effectively killing germs and viruses.

Commercial Disinfectant: Choose a commercial disinfectant approved by the EPA for use against viruses and bacteria. Follow the product label instructions for proper usage and safety precautions.

Best Commercial Cleaner and Disinfectants for Cleaning Golf Cart Steering Wheels

When it comes to choosing the best commercial cleaner and disinfectants for your golf cart’s steering wheel, you’ll want products that are effective, safe for the material, and approved for use against viruses and bacteria. Here are some top-rated options to consider:

1. Club Clean Cart Shine

Club Clean Cart Shine is an all-purpose cleaner that works wonders on various surfaces, including golf cart steering wheels. Its powerful formula effortlessly removes dirt, grime, and stains without causing any harm to the material.

2. Adam’s Leather Care Kit

If your golf cart’s steering wheel is made of leather, the Adam’s Leather Care Kit is an excellent choice for cleaning and conditioning. The leather cleaner and conditioner in this kit clean and protect leather surfaces. Cleaning and conditioning leather maintains its softness and prevents cracking or fading while lifting dirt and grime.

3. Sonax 206141

For golf cart steering wheels made of various materials, such as leather, vinyl, or plastic, the Sonax 206141 cleaner and conditioner offers comprehensive care. This product is specially designed to clean and condition multiple surfaces, ensuring your steering wheel stays clean and well-maintained. Its gentle yet effective formula removes dirt and restores the luster of various materials, leaving your steering wheel looking fresh and inviting.

4. Commercial Touch Screen Cleaning Agent

If you find any dirt or smudges remaining on the steering wheel after cleaning, a commercial touch screen cleaning agent can come in handy. Choose a product that is safe for automotive use and is effective in removing fingerprints, smudges, and other marks from the steering wheel’s surface. This cleaning agent is perfect for eliminating the last traces of dirt, ensuring your steering wheel looks spotless and feels comfortable to grip.

5. Disinfecting Wipes

Disinfecting wipes are a quick and convenient solution for cleaning and disinfecting high-touch areas, including the steering wheel. Look for wipes that are approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use against viruses and bacteria. These wipes effectively kill germs and help maintain a hygienic environment in your golf cart.

How To Paint A Golf Cart

To paint a golf cart, begin by thoroughly cleaning the surface and removing any dirt or rust. Next, sand the existing paint to create a smooth canvas. Apply a primer to enhance adhesion, and then choose your desired paint color. Apply thin, even coats, allowing each layer to dry before adding the next. Finish with a clear coat for protection. Make sure to follow safety precautions and use appropriate tools and paint for a professional-looking finish.


A clean golf cart steering wheel enhances your cart’s appearance and contributes to a safer and more enjoyable driving experience. Following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily maintain a clean and germ-free steering wheel, ensuring that your golf cart remains in top-notch condition for years.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use bleach to clean the steering wheel?

No, bleach is too harsh for cleaning the steering wheel and can damage the material. Stick to mild soap, vinegar, and rubbing alcohol for effective cleaning.

How often should I clean my golf cart steering wheel?

It’s recommended to clean the steering wheel at least once a month to prevent dirt buildup and maintain hygiene.

Can I use baby wipes to clean the steering wheel?

While baby wipes may remove some surface dirt, they are not effective for deep cleaning and disinfection. Stick to the recommended cleaning solutions for better results.

Is it necessary to wear gloves while cleaning?

Wearing gloves is advisable to protect your hands and prevent the transfer of oils and germs to the steering wheel.

Can I use car wax to protect the steering wheel?

Car wax is not recommended for the steering wheel, especially if it’s made of leather or has a textured surface. Stick to proper leather cleaners and conditioners for leather-wrapped steering wheels.

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Van Douglas

Van Douglas is a seasoned golf enthusiast and skilled writer, delivering informative and engaging articles on his blog that capture the essence of the sport with expertise and passion.
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