This guide is designed to give you all the details you need on how to clean your wheels and also how to keep them protected from brake dust, road grime and tar.
When cleaning your car wheels it is important to use products that will not damage your wheels, some acid based wheel cleaner can cause damage over time and we would recommend that these are avoided.
What wheel cleaner should I use to clean my wheels?
The majority of the wheels on cars today are either clear coated or painted, if you use an acid based cleaner on these types of wheels then it will eat away at the paint over time. The best type of product to use is one that is safe for painted and clear coated wheels, we would recommend a PH neutral wheel cleaner that will not damage your wheels.
What tools will I need to clean my wheels?
There are many accessories that can be used to clean your wheels, from a microfiber wash mitt to a range of brushes specifically designed for your wheels. Make sure you only use brushes that are specifically designed for cleaning wheels, these are designed to not be too harsh in your wheels and wont damage them.
How do I clean my wheels?
The best way to clean your wheels is one at a time, I like to finish one wheel before I move onto the next, this ensures that none of the dirt you are removing from the wheel dries on it whilst you have moved onto the next one.
Start by giving the wheels a hose down with a pressure washer or a hose to remove as much dirt, grime and tar as possible, this is not always necessary, although I find this an easier way of cleaning the wheels, once this is done it is time to apply you wheel cleaner, always follow the manufacturers instructions.
Spray your wheel cleaner on the wheel and leave for a few minutes to allow it to dissolve the dirt and grime, then use you wheel cleaning tools like the brush to work the cleaner into all areas of the wheels, once this is done, wash off the wheels with some water and check to see if all of the dirt has been removed.
If there are particularly stubborn tar marks on your wheels you can use a clay bar to remove these, make sure you follow our clay bar guide and use plenty of lubrication the same as when it is used on paint.
Once all the dirt has been removed from your wheels, use a soft microfiber drying towel to dry the wheels, you can then apply a wax coat to the wheels to make sure they are protected, this will make it harder for the brake dust and dirt to stick to them and also make them easier to clean in the future.
There are many specific wheel waxes available in the market, but you can also use the same wax that you have used on your paintwork to give you wheels a wax coat.