How to Clean Sticky Buttons in Car? – Most Effective Way

Written by

Bruce Sonnier


Marcus Dutton

how to clean sticky buttons in car

Car owners always wanted their cars to be presentable at all times. However, the mess on their car’s interior has become an inconvenience. The interiors of cars get easily dirty as people eat and drink inside.

Car interiors tend to get sticky from food, drink, make-up, and even sweat. These causes tend to build up over time and will be much harder to remove. So, continue reading to learn how to clean sticky buttons in car more efficiently.

Step-by-Step Guide

What to prepare:

  • Spray bottle
  • Clean microfiber cloths or towels
  • Soft-bristled brush or a soft toothbrush
  • Q-tips/a horsehair brush
  • Cleaner compatible with your button materials

Step 1: Decide on the cleaner


To clean sticky car buttons easily, you need to identify the cause of the dirt first. To know what to use to clean the different kinds of dirt in your car buttons, kindly refer to the suggestions below:

  • Rubber Buttons

Hard-to-remove dirt – use isopropyl alcohol.

Easy to remove dirt – distilled water.

  • Leather Buttons

Hard-to-remove dirt – use an electrical contact cleaner (CRC 05103 QD or WD40).

Easy to remove dirt – use distilled water.

  • Plastic Buttons

Hard-to-remove dirt – use an adhesive remover (Goo Gone or Goof Off).

Easy to remove dirt – distilled water.

Step 2: Remove the dirt on the buttons

First of all, use different microfiber towels for different products, as some products will damage the coating material of your other car buttons.

You must apply the solution on the cloth or towel to fix sticky buttons in car. Ensure you do not spray directly on the button, as some products might be electrical conductors.

Rub the cloth dampened with cleaner onto the button without pressing too hard. This step is the same when you clean sticky rubber buttons or plastic and leather ones.

Step 3: Clean the delicate parts


For small delicate corners of the buttons, it’s best not to press the cloth to clean to avoid damaging its functions.

To clean sticky steering buttons with small corners and clusters, you need to use the recommended solution with Q-tips. Do the same with small sticky climate control buttons; scrub the dirt with not too much pressure.

Step 4: Dry the buttons


  • Use a dry and clean microfiber towel to dry off the remaining residue on the buttons for surfaces cleaned with distilled water and an adhesive remover.
  • However, for the buttons that were cleaned using an electrical contact cleaner and isopropyl alcohol, let them air dry.

Step 5: Recheck your controls and buttons.


After drying, check your car controls and buttons to ensure everything’s clean. You need to check if there are no stuck or sticky buttons left. Then, turn on your car and test the button.

Helpful Tips and FAQs


  • To restore sticky steering wheel, you need to use the solution recommended for the material of your steering wheel.
  • Use an electrical contact cleaner as a finishing cleaner to restore the finishing of the surface of your steering wheel. Electrical contact cleaners are not conductors of electricity and can be used directly on electronics.
  • To clean the leather seats in Range Rover, Ferrari and other cars with leather-coated steering wheels, you need to use an electrical contact cleaner (WD40). Apply or spray directly on the leather seats and scrub using a microfiber cloth.

How to clean the steering wheel and handles

Cleaning sticky rubber handles is rather similar to how you clean sticky remote control buttons, as they are mostly made of the same material.

You can use a rubber-friendly solution like isopropyl alcohol. Just like how you clean other buttons, use a microfiber cloth with the solution recommended to rub the handle’s surface.

To clean sticky steering wheel, if the steering wheel is leather-finished, you need to use an electrical contact cleaner like WD40. If the steering wheel is rubber coated, follow the steps to clean the rubber handles.

How to unstick a radio button

Use a soft brush sprayed with adhesive remover for plastic buttons, and isopropyl alcohol for rubber buttons to clean the surface and edges.

If the button can be removed, remove it to clean the space below the button. However, if it cannot be removed, use a soft toothbrush to reach and clean the edges of the button.

Lastly, make sure that the sticky materials are completely removed from around the buttons and that the buttons are already dry before trying them when the car is turned on.

How to clean console buttons?

You can use soft-bristled brush clean sticky console buttons as most of these buttons are plastic, and the bristles can clean around the button.

However, if the console buttons are rubber or leather coated, use Q-tips or cotton swabs, as the brush will leave scratches on the surface. Rub the recommended tool on the surface of the button to clean it.


Now you know how to clean sticky buttons in car. The most important thing is to find a cleaning tool and a compatible cleaner with the button materials.

For instance, to clean sticky plastic car interior, it’s best to go with Goo Gone while WD40 can work on leather parts or buttons.

As long as you know your car’s materials and follow what solutions to use properly, you will have no problem cleaning sticky buttons.

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