Cleaning 'sensitive' interior buttons

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New Member
Nov 21, 2023
West Yorkshire
C220 CDI 2011
Hi all,

Have had a look online and generally in the forum, but had no joy on this particular question so thought I'd turn to some pros -

I've just bought a 2011 C220 which is generally very clean but has a few niggly bits in small areas in the cabin. I've ordered some vacuum cleaner micro parts and some little valet brushes for the cracks, but there's some stubborn grime in parts around the switchgear, especially on the steering wheel.

I don't want to ruin the new car I like so much by shorting out delicate electronics, has anyone got any tips for keeping them safe and sound when cleaning?

I'll give you an idea of how I thought I'd start - use a bit of kitchen degreaser spray dabbed onto stubborn spots (not in excess), wait a bit then wipe off, then wipe again with a clean, moist cloth. On any non electronic parts, scrub with the brushes and hot soapy water, then dab dry-ish with another clean cloth. I've obviously cleaned my cars insides before but this is my first car with steering wheel controls and the first to have such an array of smart features!

Let me know if I'm going wrong!!
I find baby wipes are superb for cleaning all sorts of things so worth a go.

I would not be spraying anything directly on the buttons but you can bet when cars are being cleaned bu used car dealers they would be far more aggressive than owners.

For around window buttons etc baby wipes wrapped around lollipop stick is good
Another vote for baby wipes. For extra power, avoid the sensitive ones.

Once the offending area is cleaned, they will leave a bit of a residue, so be ready with a microfibre and a surface appropriate cleaner to finish off.

E.g. non-sensitive baby wipes on the leather steering wheer, centre console and doors handles/cards, marvel in horror at the filth that comes off, and finish off with a microfiber cloth with Dr Leather or some other interior 'leather' cleaning product.
If cleaning interior plastics, finish off with choice of plastic cleaner. Although very diluted all purpose cleaner works fine for this in my view.
Baby wipes immediately followed by a cotton bud usually gets into that difficult corner
1701250607759.png This kind of stuff , silly putty type gummi , never knew it existed until I did some contract work in the car manufacturing industry. Even Lidl had it in the 'middle' a few months back .

Oh no ! I have just realised I have posted on 'Detailing' ...again :eek:
With mercedes buttons on the steering wheel and some of the switches and buttons on the dash do not like harsh cleaners one of the things that happen is the buttons go sticky becasue the surface layer on the buttons is attacked by the cleaner,the only way I have found to remove the sticky but keep the signs of what that button does is to use Goo Gone with coton buds and little and often will remove the sticky mess but leave the signs intact.
Get yourself some Chemical Guys Nonsense APC or Inner Clean, both really good for interiors, some cotton buds and a couple of microfibres. Unless you go crazy spraying onto switches you'll be hard pushed to do any harm.

Inner Clean actually has some UV protection built in so it's good for dashboards etc.

You'll see people on Youtube go to town with APC and brushes on interiors, far more so than I'd do but seems fairly common so I don't think you'll do much harm OP. :)
Thanks for the tips guys, I ended up using some very lightly diluted fairy liquid in warm water, and very gentle abrasion from some detailing brushes. Then microfibre to remove residue, dipped back in plain warm water. Looks a lot better!

Next to tackle the faint stain on the driver's seat! Certainly won't be using the useless Astonish fabric cleaner I bought a while ago
I use these with a interior spray cleaner (odk cabin) then wipe off residue with a microfibre cloth.
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