How do you Clean and Protect your Vehicles Wheels?

You may not realize this, but your wheels take a much worse beating than your paint does on a daily basis so you need the ultimate wheel protection! They go through rapid heat cycles and get coated in corrosive brake dust. They collect rust from wet brake rotors and get rammed through puddles and even more during the winter time. All of these things can eat away at your wheel, which is why it’s important to take extra good care of them. But if you don’t, it doesn’t take long for brake dust and rust to cause some serious damage.

 

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What is the Best Way to Clean Wheels/Rims?

The best approach to cleaning your wheels is to start by using the least aggressive method of cleaning first. Any regular car shampoo may be enough to clean your wheels, depending on the state of them, as long as you don’t let it dry on the wheels. Always clean wheels when they are cool to the touch because if they are warm you could prevent cleaners from drying or cause water spotting!

Use a dedicated wash mitt for wheels. The dirt that collects on your wheels is much more abrasive than the dirt found on the rest of your car. You want to keep the mitts separate because you could cause scratches to your paint. Don’t forget to clean the wheel barrel, this is inside of the wheel. The same goes for the lug nut hole if they are exposed. Use a brush to really get in there.
Be sure to never let wheel cleaners dry on your tires as they can cause permanent discoloration. Always perform a spot test of a new wheel cleaner to make sure that it won’t damage your wheel. Each different type of wheel takes a special approach to cleaning.

Most factory wheels are of the painted variety. Even highly polished factory wheels will at least have a clear coat on them to keep them from oxidizing and tarnishing. As a matter of fact, many factory chrome wheels are now clear coated as well. Painted/coated wheels that are in good to new condition can be cleaned using the same shampoo you use on the rest of your car, just don’t share the wash bucket from your wheels with the rest of your car.

If washing with soap and water doesn’t clean all of the grime off you may need to resort to a wheel cleaner. You’ll want to find one that does not contain an acid and specifically mentions being safe for clear coat and painted wheels. Spray the wheel down with the cleaner, let it sit and sock (times may vary based on cleaner), gently scrub the wheel, and spray off with clean water. If a regular wheel clear doesn’t work, then you may be looking at embedded brake dust. You may need to use a stronger cleaner.

Deep cleaning your wheels should only be a one-time thing. After that, you should be able to easily maintain them with a soap and water routine. The best solution to keeping your wheel consistently is Ceramic Pro. When Ceramic Pro is applied to the wheels and calipers, it creates an extremely hydrophobic effect, it is self-cleaning, scratch resistance, and is oxidation and corrosion-resistant. Deep cleaning your wheels will no longer be necessary after adding Ceramic Pro coating to them.

 

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How do you Clean Dirty Alloy Wheels?

Alloy wheels are the most common type of wheels on the road today. Most vehicles coming off the assembly line have clear coated alloy wheels, but many drivers enhance their vehicles with aftermarket polished alloy wheels. So, while the wheels may be aluminum alloy, the finish on top is what you have to consider when choosing a wheel cleaner. Here is how to clean them:

First, rinse wheels to remove loose dirt and brake dust. Be sure to deliver a strong stream of water.

Second, spray one wheel at a time with an alloy wheel cleaner. Choose a cleaner that is non-acidic in order to protect the wheels’ finish. Whether you have clear coated or polished alloy wheels, that is the best choice.

Third, use a soft bristled wheel brush to agitate the wheel. Use a brush that can fit narrow or wide spaces and has a flexible stem. Soft, synthetic bristles loosen grime and brake dust without scratching the wheel finish. Reach through spokes to clean each wheel front to back.

Fourth, don’t forget the lug nuts. Brake dust hides wherever it can. Use a lug nut brush to clean around the lug nuts and inside the lug nut holes. While you’re working with the brushes, the wheel should remain wet. The water and wheel cleaner help loosen grime, but they also lubricate the wheel surface to prevent scratching. Never let a wheel cleaner dry on the wheel because it will spot the finish.

While you’re down there, clean the wheel wells, a.k.a. fender wells. You might need something a bit stronger than what you used on the wheels. Spray the wheel well generously with an all purpose cleaner. Use a long handled brush with sturdy bristles to agitate the wheel well. Note: Do not use your soft wheel brush on the wheel wells. Likewise, do not use the wheel well brush on the wheel itself. Think soft and gentle for wheels, strong and sturdy for wheel wells. Rinse the wheel and wheel well, including the lug nut holes and between the spokes.

Finally, always dry your wheels. Water spots are unattractive wherever they appear, even on the wheels. To avoid cross-contamination, only use a designated microfiber towel on your wheels and wash it separately from your other microfiber towels. Brake dust is the last thing you want on your paint!

What is the Best Wheel Cleaner for Brake Dust?

There are a lot of products to use for wheel cleaning, it all depends on your type of wheels. For aluminum wheels, Mother’s Polished Aluminum Wheel Cleaner is a great option. It is formulated to safely and easily clean uncoated polished aluminum and anodized wheels. It works great on painted, clear-coated, color coated, steel, modular, chrome, custom or factory coated wheels and hubcaps. It dissolves and suspends all types of brake dust, grease, dirt, and grime, making rinsing a snap. It’s gentle, yet effective.

An option for chrome wheels is Mother’s Chrome Wheel Cleaner. It is specially formulated to quickly and easily clean chrome wire wheels, chrome plated wheels, chrome wire hubcaps and rough cast aluminum wheels. It safely penetrates, dissolves and suspends all types of brake dust, grease, dirt, and grime making rinsing a snap.

There are so many options for cleaning your wheels, but the best option out there is Ceramic Pro. The Ceramic Pro Wheel & Caliper package will coat your wheels and caliper adding a durable protectant and giving it a smooth slick finish so dirt, grime and brake dust slide right off. It will make washing your wheels a breeze. After receiving our Wheel and Caliper package, you can enjoy off-roading knowing your wheels will be easy to clean because they have the best car coating protecting them.

How do you Clean and Protect Aftermarket Wheels?

First things first, if you’ve invested in some beautiful brand new aftermarket wheels, you should be protecting your investment. The best way to do that is with Ceramic Pro. Starting out with a new set of wheels that have probably cost you a pretty penny, you will want to protect them with ceramic coating. Ceramic Pro ceramic coating will create a hydrophobic effect protecting them from water spots. It has self-cleaning properties which will help brake dust slide right off of your brand new wheels. Ceramic Pro makes them scratch resistant and oxidation and corrosion resistant. After the ceramic coating has been applied you brand new aftermarket wheels will be protected from the outside elements. It will also make cleaning them a breeze.

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Geoff D

Author Geoff D

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