Cleaning Suede Wheel & Shiftknob
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2009-2014 Cadillac CTS-V General Discussion Discussion, Cleaning Suede Wheel & Shiftknob in Cadillac CTS-V Series Forum - 2009-2014; My suede wheel and shift knob have gotten pretty darn dirty and matted over the last 17k miles. I tried ...
  1. #1
    Razorecko is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Cleaning Suede Wheel & Shiftknob

    My suede wheel and shift knob have gotten pretty darn dirty and matted over the last 17k miles. I tried a couple ways to clean it and found out the best way to do it was to use regular "Dawn" brand dish soap and microfiber towels. Just lather up the microfiber up with water and soap and than brush into where you are cleaning. ALOT of dirt will lift up to the point that you'll think youre lifting the color off. But you're not. Lather it up really good than use another plain wet microfiber towel and just take the soap off. Than every few minutes just rub it down a little with a dry towel to "fluff" up the fiber. Here are the results...




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    SleepTight's Avatar
    SleepTight is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Thumbs up Re: Cleaning Suede Wheel & Shiftknob

    Awesome advice and result! Now, what can you do about that oil leak in the Gulf?

    Sticky please!

  4. #3
    Razorecko is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Cleaning Suede Wheel & Shiftknob

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepTight View Post
    Awesome advice and result! Now, what can you do about that oil leak in the Gulf?

    Sticky please!
    lol, thanks. This suede material is alot more durable than people think and its great to know it can clean up so well.

  5. #4
    concorso is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Cleaning Suede Wheel & Shiftknob

    Personally I wouldnt use Dawn dish soap. Without getting into a big discussion about the PH of Dawn dish soap, Ill just say that I think its just too harsh for the microsuede. Itll clean great as its a detergent, but I fear itll break the the fibre structure, enabling it to 'wear' faster...detergents are very harsh for soft fabrics

    Id use a dedicated Alcantara/suede cleaner that foams. Both of these are good products....


    http://www.autowerkesexclusive.com/p...ner/index.html


    http://www.detailersdomain.com/leath...alcantara.aspx

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    Razorecko is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Cleaning Suede Wheel & Shiftknob

    Quote Originally Posted by concorso View Post
    Personally I wouldnt use Dawn dish soap. Without getting into a big discussion about the PH of Dawn dish soap, Ill just say that I think its just too harsh for the microsuede. Itll clean great as its a detergent, but I fear itll break the the fibre structure, enabling it to 'wear' faster...detergents are very harsh for soft fabrics

    Id use a dedicated Alcantara/suede cleaner that foams. Both of these are good products....


    http://www.autowerkesexclusive.com/p...ner/index.html


    http://www.detailersdomain.com/leath...alcantara.aspx
    I think the stuff in the caddy is alot hardier than people give it credit for. I cleaned mine at 17k miles, I saw 0 fibers coming off onto the hot pink microfiber towel

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    nynd is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Cleaning Suede Wheel & Shiftknob

    Good to know at least there is a good method to cleaning the knob and the wheel. -> You can always dilute the dawn further so hopefully it won't be as strong.

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    Razorecko is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Cleaning Suede Wheel & Shiftknob

    Yea it takes a full day usually to dry but today it has that nice brand new look to it where you can just rub the suede and have it "shadow" again

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    concorso is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Cleaning Suede Wheel & Shiftknob

    Quote Originally Posted by nynd View Post
    Good to know at least there is a good method to cleaning the knob and the wheel. -> You can always dilute the dawn further so hopefully it won't be as strong.
    Just keep in mind that you should try not to get sueded materials too wet. Thats why a foam cleaner works so well. It can lift grime without wetting.
    Also, dawn is a detergent/soap, and its designed to be flushed with water. This means that if you dont rinse your suede numerous times, you might be leaving residue on the suede, which will attract dirt easier.

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    Razorecko is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Cleaning Suede Wheel & Shiftknob

    Quote Originally Posted by concorso View Post
    Just keep in mind that you should try not to get sueded materials too wet. Thats why a foam cleaner works so well. It can lift grime without wetting.
    Also, dawn is a detergent/soap, and its designed to be flushed with water. This means that if you dont rinse your suede numerous times, you might be leaving residue on the suede, which will attract dirt easier.
    I think you might be comparing this to bmw style suede. I actually directly rinsed off my shift knob under the sink and it came out perfectly fine After trying the micro rags on the steering wheel

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    concorso is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Cleaning Suede Wheel & Shiftknob

    Quote Originally Posted by Razorecko View Post
    I think the stuff in the caddy is alot hardier than people give it credit for. I cleaned mine at 17k miles, I saw 0 fibers coming off onto the hot pink microfiber towel
    I was speaking more to long term results. You could be weakening the structure, yet the fabric might maintain its proper function and look right up until it falls apart, like a rusted brake line that functions ok, but falls apart the instant you touch it.

    Heres the way I look at it. You wouldnt use a diesel oil in the engine. I wouldnt use a rinsing cleaner on a surface that cant or shouldnt be rinsed.
    Ill make it clear this is just my opinion based on a little research and experience. I am not an expert.

    Just my opinion. Id look for a biodegradable APC that doesnt need to be flushed, if youre looking for a local simple effective solution.

    Im still skeptical about the long term safety, too...but again, Im no expert.

  12. #11
    concorso is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Cleaning Suede Wheel & Shiftknob

    Quote Originally Posted by Razorecko View Post
    I think you might be comparing this to bmw style suede. I actually directly rinsed off my shift knob under the sink and it came out perfectly fine After trying the micro rags on the steering wheel
    Sounds like it worked out well for you! I dont know how the actual fiber differs, but Id assume they are fairly similar as they are both microfiber synthetic suedes. They are made by different companies tho...the V's suede is made in the US, while the BMW's Alcantara is made in either the UK or Japan.

    You dont mention it, so Im assuming you never saw any dye transfer?

  13. #12
    Razorecko is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Cleaning Suede Wheel & Shiftknob

    Just to update this thread. I have cleaned my suede on my wheel and shifter again recently ( around 40k miles ) still no dye transfer and it looks great again.

  14. #13
    TriTexan is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Cleaning Suede Wheel & Shiftknob

    I'm assuming all of this discussion will apply to the auto stick with suede as well? I think the brush is sound - that's always been the way to clean sueded shoes, right? So it seems just some personal prefs around choice of cleaners. The foam stuff seems safest, right? But I've found there's never a great substitute for a full rinsing...either way, the pics tell the story. Thanks for posting - I was wondering myself how to keep that stuff clean. The steering wheel feels great, but I figured it would need a lot more TLC than the rugged cowhide on my old car.

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    dcc8203 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Cleaning Suede Wheel & Shiftknob

    Somebody should send this thread over to Car and Driver, who complained about the appearance of the shift knob and wheel after their 40K mile test ride!

  16. #15
    concorso is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Cleaning Suede Wheel & Shiftknob

    Quote Originally Posted by Razorecko View Post
    Just to update this thread. I have cleaned my suede on my wheel and shifter again recently ( around 40k miles ) still no dye transfer and it looks great again.
    Do you use any type of brush to fluff up the suede, or does cleaning leave it as pictured?

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