How to Clean Car Rims and Wheels?

Clean Cars with Rims

The dirtiest parts of a car are the wheels and rims. They collect anything and everything, including dust, dirt, grease, and mud. They can hamper the performance of your vehicle and limit the enjoyment of driving. As a result, you must provide your cars with the care they require and give sufficient time and effort to clean the rims properly.

When you press the brake pedal, the brake calipers compress the brake pads on each side of the rotor, causing friction that eventually causes the vehicle to stop. When the pads make contact with the rotor, a very thin layer of material is lost on both the pad and the rotor. Although brake dust on a wheel is unpleasant, many individuals aren’t bothered by it. However, if you leave those microscopic metallic particles on your wheels for too long, the polish of the rims may be permanently damaged.

Therefore, it is important to know how to clean car rims and wheels. But don’t worry! This article will provide you with all the information you need to know to take the best care of your car’s wheels and rims.

How to Wash and Clean Your Car Wheels and Rims?

You might think throwing some good high-speed water flow to the car rims and wheel will clean it. But actually, it takes a lot more work than that. By following the steps given below, you will be able to clean your wheels and rims to utter perfection.

Step 1: Keep Multiple Buckets and a Substantial Amount of Water Ready

One for the body of the automobile and the other for the wheels. It is best not to use the same water for washing the body of the vehicle and the tires of the automobile at the same time.

Step 2: Clean Each Wheel Rim Separately

If possible, utilize a hose with a high stream. After giving the rims a quick rinse with the hose, use a piece of cloth to clean any brake dust, dirt, or sediment from them.

Step 3: Use The Wheel Cleaner

Spray the whole vehicle, starting from a single wheel. Preserve the finish of your vehicle’s wheels by cleaning them using an automotive wheel cleaner that is water-based and non-acidic. It is essential to wash the wheels and help dissolve the dust to avoid damaging alloy rims. It is best to use cleansers that are not acid-based since using these does not cause harm to the wheels, especially if they are transparent coated.

Step 4: Apply With Soft-Bristled Wheel Brush

A normal sponge cannot tackle the dirt and grime that has gathered on your wheels. Additionally, you run the danger of damaging your rims if you utilize hard-bristled brushes. Use soft-bristled wheel cleaning brushes to clean and remove any remaining slag and brake dust. But be aware not to harm the wheel shine. Using a brush long enough to get into the nooks and crannies, clean the area around each hole and spooks. When looking for automobile wheel cleaning supplies, search for a flexible stem brush that is designed with this function in consideration.

Step 5: Rinse Thoroughly

Using the hose, give each wheel a thorough cleaning, and be sure to reach within the spokes and wheel wells. If necessary, utilize a variety of hoses to ensure that everything is well-rinsed.

Step 6: Allow Drying

Use a gentle microfiber towel in order to dry every wheel and avoid leaving water traces. Make sure the wheels get as much drying as they possibly can.

Step 7: Detailed Clay to The Wheel

Apply detail clay to assist in removing substances that are deeply stacked in the wheel, such as plastic or vinyl components or remains of brake dust. This is not the same as the detailing clay you use to preserve your car’s paint. After washing the wheel, before shining or waxing it, use wheel detailing clay. Also, before rolling the clay over the wheel, re-lubricate it.

Step 8: Polish the Wheels of Your Car

Before waxing wheels, they must be polished. The type of polish to use is determined by how your rim is completed. The major portion of wheels nowadays is built with aluminum alloy. The majority of cars also have alloy wheels with a clear coat. If you or any other car owners have custom-polished wheels, this means that they are coated and require specific care. A moderate, non-abrasive polish which will not leave scratch marks on clear-coated aluminum wheels is required. Clear-coated wheels require less polishing since the additional coat shields the metal from the elements. If you clean and polish your clear-coated wheels regularly, they will stay in near excellent condition.

Step 9: Seal the Deal With Wax

After you’ve cleaned and polished your automobile wheels, it is essential to wax them to get a superb shine and an added layer of security. Wheel wax works as a protective coating that functions in the same way as standard car wax does. If you are planning to coat or paint your wheels, use a chemical that is safe and appropriate for the wheel.

damage brake system components

Does Car Wash Scratch Your Rims?

Using old toothbrushes or hard bristles wheel cleaning brush can cause scratches on the rims. Moreover, using a pressure washer or putting too much pressure, even with soft bristles, might end up with your rims scratched. Also, not using dedicated wheel cleaners or the best wheel cleaner available in the market might also result in unwanted scratches over the rims.


What Products to Use While Cleaning Car Wheels and Rims?

There are different types of tire cleaners or wheel cleaning agents available in the market, but you should be able to identify the best one which suits your car. Two of the known wheel cleaning agents are:

  1. Wheel cleaners with a certain pH balance: Nowadays, consumers typically use specialist wheel cleaners to clean their wheels. Typically, these contain pH-neutral cleaning agents. They break down brake dust and road dirt by vibrating. They are made with foaming agents and cleansers, which lift and remove dirt.
  2. Removers of Iron and Fallout: The final type of spray-on wheel cleaning is iron or fallout removal sprays. This formula typically has a pH of around 7, making it suitable for use on wheels, paint clear coating, and other metallic parts. It cannot be used on plastic or vinyl components because of the harsh nature of several of its ingredients. Although the spray is pH neutral, when it comes into contact with metal elements, it begins to change into an aggressive base. As a result, it should not be applied to warm surfaces, direct sunlight, or trimmed areas.

You can choose from a wide variety of product brands that provide these features, such as Sonax Wheel Cleaner, which has a number of different chemical components to assist you in cleaning the rims and wheels of your vehicle.

Tire Cleaner Product

What Should You Avoid When Cleaning Car Wheels?

It might sound easy to clean the wheels of the car, but we now know that certain steps must be followed to wash the car wheels properly. Next, we will learn about the things to avoid while cleaning car wheels:

  1. Cleaning the car body first without the wheels.
  2. Washing every wheel at the same time.
  3. Using the wrong or tough wheel cleaning spray might affect the condition of the rims, causing their color and shine to fade.
  4. Using the wrong tools to clean car wheels.
  5. Scrubbing too soon before the cleaning agent starts working on the stored dust.
  6. Forgetting to use a microfiber towel to dry the rims and the wheels; otherwise, sun drying will leave unwanted drain spots on the rims.
  7. Not taking the car to professional cleaning services once in a while to get a proper cleanup of the whole car, including the wheels and the rims. Professional cleaning services give a proper top to bottom clean notch cleaning of the vehicle, giving it a fresh new look.

Final Verdict

As you now know, cleaning car tires involves more than just giving them a quick water blast. Several things must be ready, and precautions must be taken. Keep in mind that there are quite a few steps to complete. Start with turning off your car and deciding whether it can be cleaned. Then dry it off and put a protective coating to keep dirt from sticking.

Washing your wheels every time you wash your car is the simplest way to prevent brake dust collection. Be sure to rinse it with a premium car cleaning shampoo after using an Iron Removal or a powerful chemical cleaner. With less chance of chemical harm, this keeps your wheels clean. If you are still unsure, contact Zippy Cash for Cars so that they can guide you in the right direction.

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