Wheels | How to clean them
Do you think that cleaning the wheels is the hardest part of your exterior car cleaning to get right? So do I.
Don’t you hate it when the automatic wash misses parts of your wheels that are covered in black brake dust? I wouldn’t know, I don’t use them but yes, I’d probably be unhappy.
Fear not my friends, here is my handy and FREE 13 step photographic guide to cleaning your wheels effectively. If you don’t have the time or inclination to do it yourself, then call your local car cleaning guru or better still, ME! Happy cleaning.
Spray your cleaner onto the wheels and let it sit for 1 minute without drying, if it is hot and sunny, add a few more sprays.
Top Tip :Stay away from very acidic cleaners, yes they clean well but they are aggressive on your wheels and not great for the environment.
Spray degreaser on to your tyres and let it sit for 1 minute, don’t allow to dry. This will clean off any old tyre dressings and dust.
Step 3 – 6
Agitate the dirt with a brush by really working the product into all spaces.
If your wheels are really covered in the black brake dust you may need a few attempts. Simply rinse with water and reapply your product, wait 1 minute and agitate with your brushes.
If you are really in the mood, give your wheel arches a quick spray of degreaser and using your tyre brush, knock off the dirt and rinse.
Top Tip: The more different shapes and sizes of brushes you have the better.
Only use soft hair brushes (boars hair is best) that will not scratch your wheels
Important note: brushes, cloths and anything else used for cleaning wheels must NOT be used anywhere else on the vehicle.
If perfection is your game or you have some really stubborn spots, using a product such as Tar or an Iron remover will further decontaminate your wheels.
Top Tip: As with all products, read and follow manufacturer’s guidelines. As a rule I always wear gloves and when wheel cleaning, I always wear glasses. Health & Safety people!
In this case, I used AMDetails own AM IRON (check them out at www.amdetails.co.uk) and after a few minutes you can see the reaction between the AM IRON and the tiny iron particles that have bonded to your wheel (aka brake dust) Agitate gently and rinse. Same procedure if you have tar spots, spray the Tar remover, wait, brush and rinse.
Rinse your wheel and tyre down well and check to see if you have not missed any spots, if you have, repeat the necessary step.
Wipe + dry all surfaces, I use a microfiber cloth and remember; only use dedicated wheel cloths. For simplicity, my system is black cloths for wheels, exhausts and engine. Perfection you say? Then pick up your compressed air or blower to ensure you get the water out of all the nooks and crannies.
OK, you’ve come all this way, it would be a shame not to protect and at least try to keep you wheels looking good. This is where you can apply a wax (make sure it is wheel specific due to the potential high temperatures) or sealant. In the picture I applied AM Glaze (check out Alan and the team at www.amdetails.co.uk) to cover up a few small scratches.
Apply your tyre dressing, my choice is Meguiars Hyper Dressing, work in well as todays tyres have a lot of uneven surfaces and any excess will sling onto your paint as you drive off, in this case, less is more. Needless to say, keep your dressing on the sidewalls of the tyres and not on the actual contact surface!!!
Top Tip: Use only water based dressings, they are easier to apply and therefore remove when cleaning your tyres (see Step 2) They also will not build up a heavy layer of grease as other solvent based dressings do.
Finally wipe your wheel with a clean microfiber cloth, step back, relax and enjoy, oh yeah, don’t forget the other 3!
There you have it, 13 steps to clean wheels.
Could you do it in less, yes.
Could you add a few more steps, yes.
This is just how I do the majority of my wheels. I hope it has helped and if you have any questions or you’d like to see another guide, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time,