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Cleaning Painted Alloy Wheels #5196328 08/25/19 02:57 PM
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Wrenchturner44 Offline OP
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Hello Everyone,

I have three cars with painted alloy wheels. I always wash them last during the wash process and use a "Gerbil Brush" on them to clean the majority of the road dirt and brake dust, using the same suds left over from the initial car wash. Yes, I clean the bucket and the brush thoroughly afterwards to prevent contamination before the next wash.

After I dry the car, I then go back over each wheel with window cleaner (use the cheapest solution I can find) and then hit them with a spray wax.

My question is, what I am missing? In other words I have never found the need to use any kind of harsh wheel cleaner on any these wheel types to get the brake dust off. It seems that the cheap window cleaner gets rid of any of the left over fine dirt and the spray wax keeps the brake dust and road dirt from accumulating to any noticeable volume between washes.

Does anyone else use this method or is there a better way to do this?

Thanks


2003 Dodge Durango SLT
2013 Dodge Dart SE Rallye
2015 Buick Encore
2015 Chevy Sonic LTZ
Re: Cleaning Painted Alloy Wheels [Re: Wrenchturner44] #5196361 08/25/19 03:51 PM
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MrOctober44 Offline
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It's a Cleaner out there called Awesome, it's good for those wheels getting drake dust off!

Re: Cleaning Painted Alloy Wheels [Re: Wrenchturner44] #5196402 08/25/19 04:52 PM
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bdcardinal Online Content
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I use the same carwash soap that I use for the paint. When I do an oil change and rotate the tires as part of that I will roll the wheels to my front yard and give them a good elbow grease cleaning. I will sometimes use Iron-X or Sonax Heavy Duty Wheel Cleaner if the brake dust doesn't come off easy.


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Re: Cleaning Painted Alloy Wheels [Re: Wrenchturner44] #5196412 08/25/19 05:04 PM
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buck91 Offline
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I've found car wash shampoo to work reasonably well with modern ceramic pads. Just picked up a gallon of Meguiars D143 wheel clearer which works very well on non-neglected wheels.


2011 F150 4x4 5.0L
1996 Mustang GT 5spd/ragtop
Re: Cleaning Painted Alloy Wheels [Re: Wrenchturner44] #5196420 08/25/19 05:19 PM
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Baby oil will get brake dust off - and then soap behind that.

Re: Cleaning Painted Alloy Wheels [Re: Wrenchturner44] #5196454 08/25/19 05:50 PM
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Kira Offline
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bdcardinal: You roll your wheels into the front yard then bombard the poor grass with soaps and brake dust?

It's your lawn and all that but.....doesn't that hurt the grass? I don't like washing my car in the drive as the soapy water hits grass.

Also, I know I'm nuts but I'm thinking about the grass.

Re: Cleaning Painted Alloy Wheels [Re: Wrenchturner44] #5196467 08/25/19 05:58 PM
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I'll either use car wash soap or Meguiars all purpose cleaner (APC) to clean the wheels and tires.


2010 Honda Civic LX
Valvoline SynPower 5w-20 - Napa Gold oil filter
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Re: Cleaning Painted Alloy Wheels [Re: Kira] #5196533 08/25/19 06:58 PM
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ctechbob Offline
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Originally Posted by Kira
bdcardinal: You roll your wheels into the front yard then bombard the poor grass with soaps and brake dust?

It's your lawn and all that but.....doesn't that hurt the grass? I don't like washing my car in the drive as the soapy water hits grass.

Also, I know I'm nuts but I'm thinking about the grass.


My grass grows better where the water runs off, so I'm pretty sure some soap and brake dust doesn't really cause issues with it.


2008 Acura TL Type S-165k
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Re: Cleaning Painted Alloy Wheels [Re: Wrenchturner44] #5196559 08/25/19 07:38 PM
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irv Offline
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I used this product when my son got his new to him rims last year. The previous owner used them as winter rims (???) so they were neglected. I gave this Meguiar's product a try and was pleasantly surprised with it.
In the creases/corners, I used a small hand held scrub brush and all the brake dust came off very easily. A quick dry then a coat of Collinite 845 made them turn out great, imo.
Now with them all clean and with a coat of wax on them, just a regular wash with car soap will easily remove the dust and dirt. In the coming fall, I'll likely repeat this procedure as I like to clean in behind as well.
[video:youtube]https://youtu.be/CspYCVpEh48?t=87[/video]

WP_20180908_08_34_01_Pro (2).jpgrim cleaner 1.png
Last edited by irv; 08/25/19 07:57 PM.

2017 Chevy Impala 3.6 L.
2013 Ram 5.7 L Hemi Bighorn QC 4x4
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Re: Cleaning Painted Alloy Wheels [Re: Kira] #5196676 08/25/19 09:47 PM
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bdcardinal Online Content
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Originally Posted by Kira
bdcardinal: You roll your wheels into the front yard then bombard the poor grass with soaps and brake dust?

It's your lawn and all that but.....doesn't that hurt the grass? I don't like washing my car in the drive as the soapy water hits grass.

Also, I know I'm nuts but I'm thinking about the grass.


It is pretty much all dead anyway, we are not allowed to water the grass here due to drought restrictions.


2014 Ford Mustang GT Track Pack
1995 Ford Mustang GT

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Opinions expressed are my own.
Re: Cleaning Painted Alloy Wheels [Re: bdcardinal] #5196962 08/26/19 08:42 AM
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Wrenchturner44 Offline OP
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Many Thanks for all of the replies. Reading between the lines here, I would say that most of us who regularly clean our wheels means that we don't have to rely on specialty or harsh cleaners for removing built up brake dust and road grime. That is a good thing - A little effort now, saves a lot more effort in the future.


2003 Dodge Durango SLT
2013 Dodge Dart SE Rallye
2015 Buick Encore
2015 Chevy Sonic LTZ
Re: Cleaning Painted Alloy Wheels [Re: Wrenchturner44] #5196972 08/26/19 08:54 AM
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Mr Nice Offline
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Use something very mild.

No need for harsh chemicals.

Re: Cleaning Painted Alloy Wheels [Re: Wrenchturner44] #5197000 08/26/19 09:33 AM
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irv Offline
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Originally Posted by Wrenchturner44
Many Thanks for all of the replies. Reading between the lines here, I would say that most of us who regularly clean our wheels means that we don't have to rely on specialty or harsh cleaners for removing built up brake dust and road grime. That is a good thing - A little effort now, saves a lot more effort in the future.



I don't know with a 100% certainty, but I would bet the window cleaner likely strips the wax off your rims and might possibly eventually wear your painted rims paint off or fade it?
Personally, like I mentioned, give them a good cleaning using what ever product you have too then give them a good coat of wax (Collinite 845 for me) then just use regular car wash soap/mitt and reapply some wax when you notice the wax wearing out or you feel like waxing them again. Collinite's lasts about 6 months so mine get a treatment twice a year but I also change to winter tires in the fall so having them off makes things a lot easier, especially cleaning the backside of the rim.


2017 Chevy Impala 3.6 L.
2013 Ram 5.7 L Hemi Bighorn QC 4x4
2008 Chevy Malibu 2.4 L Ecotec
Pennzoil Platinum and/or Pennzoil Ultra Platinum in all 3.
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