Heal My Wheel


I let my ex‑girlfriend borrow my mint ’97 Neon R/T for a few days. Big mistake. She crunched the front fascia, which I’ve replaced. But, and this is maybe more annoying, she pretty well soaked the leather steering wheel and shift knob with her hand lotion, making it a slimy, greasy, slippery mess. I’ve tried cleaning it with several products with no success. Any ideas?

Sure. Go to the drugstore and buy a bottle of 91% isopropyl alcohol. Wipe ’er down with the alky and; the OEM satin finish, which you probably haven’t seen since the car was new, will be back, at least to some extent (the normal burnishing action of years of use, even with spotless hands, will shine the leather to some extent). Alcohol is a great solvent when you want near‑zero residue after evaporation, making it also the cleaner of choice for things like flywheels and brake drums. But no matter how tempting, don’t even think about drinking it.
The drug store has at least one other item useful to us gearheads: those cheap, disposable, latex surgical gloves are super handy for skin protection when working with solvents, grease, etc.

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