How to Safely Clean All Wheels

Cleaning the wheels and tyres can improve the appearance of any car, and cleaning off brake dust deposits can reduce corrosion. How should you go about this?

Different Wheel Types

These days wheels are often made of an aluminium alloy. These require significant work to maintain that showroom gleam, so throughout this post, I will mention products which will help to produce the desired results.

Where to Start

When you clean your wheels, a spray of brake dust and other grime is likely to coat the nearby bodywork. It is, therefore, best to clean the wheels before you start on the bodywork.


What You Will Need

A pressure washer is very helpful for an initial clean. A washing mitt, and some form of soap or shampoo, plus a bucket, are all useful. To produce the best finish for alloy wheels, you may wish to buy specialist accessories such as detailing brushes which will enable you to access those difficult-to-reach places, especially on the inside of the wheels. A spray-on wheel cleaner can make the job a lot easier, and wheel sealant and tyre dressing are also worth having. You will require applicators for wheel sealant and tyre dressing and a microfibre cloth.


Choosing a Wheel Cleaner

The best wheel cleaners will do a lot of the work for you, as they make it much easier to remove dust and grime. Check reviews carefully, however, as some of the cheaper products have little effect, and others can be so acidic that you may risk damaging your wheels. There are also specialist products for removing things like tar which you may want to consider.


The Process

– Begin by cleaning the wheels with water from a pressure washer.

– (If you have steel wheels, clean with shampoo and water, rinse and dry. Use a wheel cleaner if you wish, but only a mild one. Ignore other sections except those relating to tyres).

– Spray on your chosen wheel cleaner to loosen any remaining dirt. Make sure the wheels are thoroughly covered.

– Use a brush to apply shampoo and water to difficult to access areas. Clean the insides and backs of the spokes, using a mitt and/or a brush.

– Clean the outer face of the wheel by spraying with wheel cleaner again, and rubbing with a wash mitt and/or brush.

– Remove dirt and old tyre dressing from the tyres by spraying with wheel cleaner and working in with a brush.

– Apply tar remover if required.

– Rinse, then dry the wheels with a microfibre cloth.

– Apply wheel sealant to the face of the wheels, using an applicator. Wipe off when it is dry.

– Apply tyre dressing with an applicator. Use several coats if desired.

– Step back and admire your work!