Restoring old VW Wood steering wheel

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Forum topic by Tom posted 04-27-2017 02:35 AM 1184 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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182 posts in 1663 days

04-27-2017 02:35 AM

One of my son’s friends has an old VW Bug. He picked up a new to him steering wheel that he’d like sanded down and re-finished. I don’t have a problem doing this…but I’m not sure the best way to clean some of it. The part that faces the driver is smooth and I can sand that out easy. The back side with all the finger grips…well they’re black. I’m pretty sure it’s 60 years of…well I don’t really want to know. What would be the best way to clean it off before sanding? I don’t want to risk damaging it, even on the side you don’t really see. I’m thinking maybe Murphy oil soap and a rag/sponge; not sure if a stronger chemical would be good to use.

4 replies so far

View BlasterStumps's profile


1494 posts in 1043 days

#1 posted 04-27-2017 03:46 AM

if it is just grime on there, I would try 409. Maybe do a test on a small spot first. Unless they have changed their formula, 409 would clean it. Another suggestion is to try a citrus type cleaner like GOJO natural. Again, do a test spot

-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." - Mike, western Colorado

View Kelly's profile


2626 posts in 3547 days

#2 posted 04-27-2017 06:18 AM

Ditto 409. You could test drive mineral spirits too. Of course, let the 409 dry VERY well before moving on.

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13007 posts in 2983 days

#3 posted 04-27-2017 06:35 AM

Yeah, I’d go with Murphys Oil Soap. Good stuff.

-- Rick M,

View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 2900 days

#4 posted 04-27-2017 11:20 AM

A few times in my life I was asked to refinish wooden bannisters that were grungy when it’s really just the oil and dirt from people’s hands that needs cleaning off. Mineral spirits on a cloth or 0000 steel wool will take care of it.

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