Best Way: How To Clean Alloy Wheels


What is the best way to clean alloy wheels is a question that many have asked and received all sorts of answers. After doing extensive research on the topic I want to help you get the perfect solution for your vehicle with proven techniques.

Knowing how to clean alloy wheels will prevent corrosion. While soap and water are the ideal cleaning options for your alloy wheel, to make them sparkling clean I recommend you use cleaning methods specifically suited for alloy wheels.

Use the following tips to ensure your alloy wheels look their best for many years to come.

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What you will need to clean your alloy wheel

  • Alloy wheel cleaner.
  • Latex or rubber gloves.
  • Microfiber piece of cloth.
  • Soft bristled brush.
  • A soft sponge.
  • Lug nut brush.
  • Water hose.
  • Water bucket.

Pro tips to follow in the cleaning process

  • Rinse wheels to remove brake dust and loose dirt.
  • Rub the wheels gently with a wet sponge.
  • Put on latex or rubber gloves.
  • Use alloy wheel cleaner to spray one wheel at a time.
  • Leave the solution to soak for 1-2 minutes.
  • Use a soft bristled brush to scrub the wheel.
  • Clean bolts using a lug nut brush.
  • Rinse the wheel wells and wheels.
  • Remove stubborn stains using household items.
  • Dry the wheels using a dry and clean cloth.
  • Apply wheel wax on the alloy wheel for extra protection.

A Step By Step Guide On How To Clean Alloy Wheel Cleaning

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1. Remove brake dust and grit using a hose or pressure cleaner

Rinsing wheels using a pressure washer or a hose that produces a steady stream of water removes any loose dirt and brake dust stuck on the rims and wheel. It is an important first step to take as it allows you to eliminate all loose grime and brake dust.

After rinsing it’s easy to make a visual inspection and identify any stuck dirt. You can then formulate a strategy on the best way to clean alloy wheels.

2. Use a wet sponge to gently rub the wheel

A wet sponge helps you remove most of dirt and brake dust remaining without scratching the wheels even when you scrub. Be gentle when scrubbing as the alloy can be easily damaged if extreme force is applied. The wet sponge is recommended as it softens any solidified grime.

3. Put on a latex or rubber glove to protect your hands

Putting on latex gloves will protect your fingers from fine particles from the brake dust that can easily get ingrained under your nails. The gloves will also protect your hands from some wheel cleaning solutions which may irritate your skin.

4. Spray each wheel using alloy wheel cleaner

Best way to clean alloy wheels is by generously spraying each wheel with the right alloy cleaning agent. Read the instructions on how to mix the solution at recommended ratios as suggested. Having the correct mix ratio will give the best results when cleaning and prevent any damage.

5. Let the solution soak for 1-2 minutes

Using a solution that changes color to show you exactly how much dirt is being removed is what I would recommend. The color change gives you the precise time to begin brushing the wheel. Giving the cleaner time to soak is essential in making sure that the solution performs at optimal function.

6. Use a soft bristled brush to agitate the wheels

Having a brush that fit either wide or narrow spaces and has flexible stem will be effective in removing dirt from spokes and hard to reach places. The soft bristles loosen brake dust and grime without scratching the wheels.

7. Use a lug nut brush to clean bolts

Lug nuts can be challenging to clean, but if you have a lug nut brush, it is possible to clean around a bolt and also the lug nut holes. Keep the wheels wet while working with the brushes.

The wheel cleaner and the water helps to loosen the grime and lubricate the surface which works to preventing scratching. Avoid leaving the cleaner to dry as it will leave spots on your wheels.

8. Rinse the solution from the alloy wheel

Rinse solution from the wheels one by one using a using a hose that the solution does not dry on either of the wheels and causes spots. Don’t forget to rinse the wheel wells, the lug nuts, holes, and spokes.

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9. Use home remedies to remove tough stains

Household solutions that are acidic will destroy the lacquer of the wheel. Therefore, should not be left on the surface for long. To remove rust use a piece of aluminum foil soaked in cola and rub gently on the rust. Apply either apple cider vinegar or white vinegar to remove grease. To make them shine let lemon juice sit on the wheels for ten minutes then rinse off with clean water.

10. Use a piece of microfiber cloth to dry the wheel

Water spots are not attractive on the wheels. Using a piece of microfiber cloth or chamois ensures that all the liquid is absorbed. Additionally it attracts all the fine brake dust and is very gentle on the wheels. Avoid cross-contamination by using the cloth only on wheels and clean it separately as brake dust is the last thing you would want on your car paint.

11. Apply wheel wax on the surface

Use wax especially made for alloy wheels and apply at least once every three months to protect the alloy surface. Wax for alloy wheels offers extra protection from grime and other debris that can cause scratches on the surface.

How to clean alloy wheels will no longer be a question that gives you a headache. I hope you have enjoyed reading this informative piece and you can use the step by step guide to maintain your alloy wheels in good condition.

Took me a while to find the perfect cleaning solution for my alloy wheels, but since I discovered these solutions my car always looks great even after driving it on a rainy weekend. Tell me what you think on the comment section and share if you found the information helpful.

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