Cleaning a car's wheels is one of the easiest ways to give it a makeover. It's also important to do this regularly, otherwise brake dust and other impurities can become embedded in the metal and leave marks. Improper rim cleaning can damage your vehicle, we explain what you need to do to avoid it.

Beware of cultivated chemical products

A good rim cleaner is required. However, be careful to choose a suitable product for your rims, otherwise you risk damaging them. Pay special attention to the pH of the cleaner: if your wheels are aluminum or polished, a product that is too acidic can leave indelible marks. If in doubt, definitely go for a neutral pH (around 7) which is less effective but doesn’t pose a risk to your wheels.

Do not start all wheels at once

You don’t need to save a few minutes by spraying product on all rims at the same time. This will force you to work very quickly on each rim. It is better to go from A to Z on each wheel until the last step. You won’t need more than 10 minutes per wheel anyway.

Use the right amount of product

Do not overlook the amount of product used: the cleaner should cover all parts of the rim, including the hardest-to-reach ones. Don’t forget to check if it’s behind the rim and around the valve.

Do not leave the cleaning product for too long on wheels

In most cases, one to two minutes is all it takes for the product to take effect. If your wheels are very dirty, you can expect a little more, but waiting too long can damage your wheels.

Use the right brush

A special brush is ideal for it to be effective. Many shapes and materials are available: Opt for a thin head to reach the tiniest corners and plastic bristles, which are easier to use when the brush is filled with water. The handle should also not be too flexible, otherwise it will bend under pressure. A sponge can also work, but it will be less effective and more difficult to reach small spaces.

Don’t forget to rinse well

Cleaning with the help of a high-pressure gun is ideal here. It is really necessary to thoroughly rinse each wheel to get rid of brake dust and wheel wash product. Take your time and make sure you don’t miss any corners. The chemicals you use may leave marks on the rim.

Take your time to dry properly.

As with body washing, drying is an important step, especially if your water is rich in limescale. This will ensure that no traces of brake dust and other contamination or traces of water evaporation remain. Use a microfiber cloth and be careful not to drip.

Don’t leave your wheels unprotected

After your wheels are completely cleaned, there is one last step left. By using protective products (spray, cream or ceramic protective layer), you can make your wheels less dirty in an extended period of time . Thus, you protect your wheels against dust and dirt. This will make your job much easier the next time you clean them.


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