A shiny set of wheels can make the average used car look new again. In just a short time, with the right cleaning techniques, you can take your rims to the next level.

Brake dust is a sticky substance that builds up when friction is applied to the brakes. It is highly corrosive and can cause permanent damage if left on metal rims for too long. That’s why washing your rims routinely is necessary.

It is also better to clean your rims and tires before the rest of your car. Doing so prevents dirt on your wheels getting onto and damaging the paint on the body of your vehicle.

Before cleaning your rims and wheels, you need to make sure you have the right materials.

Must-have Materials

Cleaner

Brake dust can be hard to lift without the proper cleaner. Pick one specially made for the material of your wheels. For example, rims that are made from chrome and roughcast aluminum can tolerate stronger cleaners than ones painted, coated or anodized.

Brush or Sponge

Opt for a natural sea sponge because their flexibility and softness allow you to easily wipe away dirt, as well as get into hard-to-reach spaces. Microfibre and cotton cloths are less effective on brake dust and can even scratch your rims with debris that was not thoroughly rinsed away.

Only use the sponge to clean your wheels and tires. Otherwise, you will risk having brake dust stick to the sponge, damaging your vehicle’s paint.

Steps to cleaning your rims and wheel:

  1. Rinse your rims – First, spray your rims and let the water soak in to loosen up the grime. Spray them with soap and water to further loosen the debris after a few minutes.
  2. Apply the cleaner – Soak one rim at a time so that the cleaner does not dry on the wheel. Follow the directions on the product for how long to leave it on for. Opt for a non-acidic wheel cleaner to limit any corrosion.
  3. Carefully scrub the rims – Fully scrub each rim with a wheel brush and don’t forget to wipe down each spoke. You can use the same sponge you used on your rims on your tire but, as previously mentioned, don’t use it on the painted part of your vehicle.
  4. Clean the wheel thoroughly – Dirt and grime get trapped in the wheel well, so don’t forget to give that part a thorough scrubbing. Try using a firmer brush than you used with the wheels and rims because the buildup in the well tends to be much denser.
  5. Spray down the rims and wheel wells – Scrubbing might dislodge some of the loose dirt on your wheel, so don’t forget to do another round of rinsing. Spray each wheel to remove any excess dirt and repeat if required.

Doing routine essential maintenance not only makes your car look nicer, but it can also make it safer to drive as well. If your wheels and rims are nearing the end of their lifespan, contact 416 Wheels and Tires. We have a wide selection for you to choose from for any vehicle.