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I did this to my steering wheel a while ago, but it just went back to being glossy within a week or so :(
 

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I did this to my steering wheel a while ago, but it just went back to being glossy within a week or so :(
That's because "The magic eraser is not taking the leather back to its new state but is degrading it.":

http://www.autopia.org/forum/car-de.../108734-magic-eraser-leather.html#post1145206

The glossy appearance of leather after wear is caused by the build up of dirt together with abrassion and can also be the build up of wrong product use which adds to the problem.

Magic Erasers are made from melamine resin that has been ground up and reformed and acts as a very fine sandpaper. They work by removing the top layer of the finish on the leather which will remove the shine but as you can see on the picture it is also removing colour (that is not dirt) which means that once you have cleaned you have removed some if not all of the finish.
This is fine during a restoration process as you will be refinishing over the top but not ok as a cleaning process.
Leaving the leather unfinished will leave the leather itself open to dirt and body oils which will start to deteriorate the leather itself (this is then unfixable - finish can be fixed and repaired but the leather itself can't).
The damage that is done is not always visible to the naked eye but can be seen very clearly with a microscope.
The tests we have done with these sponges have always removed finish and/or pigment.
The magic eraser is not taking the leather back to its new state but is degrading it.

The first time you use a magic eraser may not do too much damage but you have started a process that if continued will only get worse and worse.


As consultants we recommend that these are not used to clean leather (even if they say they can be) as the manufacturers do not have to deal with the problems they cause.
 

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I did this and it work really really well. Just make sure you do it lightly and dun over clean.

I tried this on my m3 wheel and sport wheel. I applied the oem bmw leather conditioner on the sport one and I kinda like how it turned out.
 

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Bump for an awesome thread!

Word of warning, the airbag has the same coating on it as the center console and ashtray. If you run magic eraser over the airbag, it will take the coating off.
Up to each person if they want to do this, the effect will be a more matte finish as is, or more glossy of a finish with Armor-All.
 

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its funny cause i use this stuff around the house, never would've thought to use it on my car
 

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Headed to the garage to clean my wheel now. This is just the tip I needed! Thanks goes out to the OP.
 

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Has anybody used this on their leatherette seats? There are some spots on my seats that I'd like to try it out on but don't want to damage them either..
 

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I went ahead and did this to my steering wheel today. Here are the before and after pics.



 

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I am happy to admit, I used three erasers to clean my entire interior - minus the leather seats and glass. I cleaned the door panels, console, dash, steering wheel and even carpet under the floor mats. I'm pleased.

Be sure to rinse often and wipe right after application, it is abrasive and will leave dye/dirt residues.

The steering wheel and seats will remove a lot of dye. Be careful on the center console area around the cup holders, the paint is sort of like plasti-dip and will rub off easily.

The doors and dash will remove a little dye. You will not notice damage to your interior, but the pad will be colored.

No color will be picked up on the eraser from the carpet/felt trim/thin cloth trim/plastic under the seat or the door jam.


I'll edit tomorrow with pictures of the results of the fourteen year old car
 

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Great DIY! I have owned my car for 3.5 years and have used Lexol on the steering wheel with little to no improvement. Today, I picked up a box of Magic Erasers and spent about 30 minutes on the steering wheel. Don't forget the trim behind the wheel, mine actually looks like leather rather than the plastic I thought that it was made of. I also touched up the lower plastic trim with a Sharpy. Judge for yourself, I will go back and use Lexol again.
 

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Using a magic eraser is like using sand paper. You are removing the top layer of whatever you are cleaning. Whatever protection on the surface is being reduced or completely removed...you'll find out in time which of the two.

Use chemical cleaners not abrasives on surfaces in your car.
 

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UPDATED: See images/text below

I bought a used m3 with 48k miles and the leather on the steering wheel is pretty worn out. It looks like some combination of the use of bad products, lots of sun, and maybe heavy use?

Any recovery possible? Tips or tricks? should/can I re-dye the wheel?

I tried LOTS of Lexol leather conditioner, but it didn't do a whole lot. And when applying it, it made the leather wear out a little more (because it was softer until dry)... but not noticeably different

I was debating getting a new steering wheel, but the M3 SMG wheels cost way more than a regular non-SMG (I actually have a non-SMG wheel from my previous 330).

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. thanks!

All I have to say is WOW!

I had read a previous thread about a product called Mr. Clean Magic Eraser... and I didn't think it would work until stolidog brought it up again in this thread. It is basically a specialized sponge with no chemicals... that you get wet/damp... and just wipe down your steering wheel as if you were trying to remove some dried lotion from leather (hint hint).

Just dunk it in a bucket of water after a handful of wipes and then squeeze it out so it is damp again (the bucket of water was brown after I was done). My only guess is that the previous owner (or his girlfriend) used hand-lotion frequently... along with maybe some bad leather product (maybe armorall). So basically, I took about 15 minutes to obsessively wipe down every bit of the steering wheel including the stitching... and the steer wheel was like FRIGGIN NEW!!!

I actually liked the way it felt and looked after the cleaning (felt like the brand new matte finish of a new wheel)... but decided for longevity and applied some lexol leather conditioner after about 30 minutes of drying. Since the cleaning was done with water and the magic eraser sponge I feared the water might dry out the fresh leather. It still feels and looks AWESOME after the leather conditioner.

Anyways, I am so stoked and blown away by the results. A four pack set me back about $3.00 at target and would recommend you use them on even just a barely dirty steering wheel. I don't know how these things work sooo well.. but Im glad I can share the results.

If I had to compare the steering wheel to a brand new one, I'd say it looks and feels about 90% new. Obviously can't get away from wear that occurs over time, but my steering wheel looked beat... as you all concluded :)




























Thanks for posting this OP! I just used the magic eraser this morning and my M sport wheel looks brand new now and it only took about 10 minutes!
 

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A year later, I have purchased a used M steering wheel in similar condition to my sport wheel. This time, I used Leather Repair Company's restoration kit and I stored both wheels. I'm impressed with the results and look forward to how it ages. The kit was $53. Including shipping and there is enough to repair about four wheels.
 

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