Wheels are a focal point of any automobile, so keeping them sharp and shiny is key. You never get a second chance to make a first impression! The task can be especially challenging because wheels get dirtier (and do so faster) than any other part of your car. There are two main culprits; brake dust and road grime.
Brake dust is tough stuff and can etch your wheel’s finish if left unchecked. Road grime is more of an aesthetic issue, but nevertheless an annoyance. Grime and dust together make quite the tag team. But fear not, we’ve got you covered withe these 10 wheel cleaning tips and tricks!
1: Choose The Right Cleaner
Wheel Cleaner is made from the highest quality, eco-friendly, biodegradable ingredients. It is safe for all wheels, the environment, and is manufacturer-approved by BBS, Dayton Wire Wheels, and Tire Rack. Griot’s Car Care Wheel Cleaner is your go-to, all-purpose cleaning solution.
Heavy-Duty Wheel Cleaner is still pH-balanced, non-acidic, and non-caustic, but it has a little more bite for tackling extra tough brake dust and dirty wheels. It is a thick formula that clings, and changes to a purple color, indicating it’s winning the battle. Heck, it even smells good.
Chrome Wheel Cleaner uses a natural, citrus oil-based formula with an acidic balance strong enough to thoroughly clean the wheel, while accounting for how chrome repels liquids. Chrome Wheel Cleaner is not designed for use on polished aluminum or magnesium.
2: Hot Topics
Never spray water or cleaner on hot wheels. This can compromise your wheel’s finish and may also damage your brake rotors. Let wheels and brakes cool after driving and, when possible, avoid washing in direct sunlight.
3: One By One
Clean your wheels one at a time to avoid having the product dry on the surface. If you are using Heavy-Duty Wheel Cleaner, be patient and watch for the color changing effect. If the product does dry, you can always spray it again to reinvigorate the cleaning action.
4: The Rinse Cycle
Before spraying your cleaner product, thoroughly rinse the wheel with water. This allows cleaner to be carried to remote areas and tight spots of the wheel. Hose pressure also blasts out some of the dirt and sediment straight-away, which means the cleaner can work on the toughest stuff.
5: The Agitation Cycle
Brake dust can really have staying power, especially in the deep corners of your wheels. Griot’s Garage has a wide array of purpose-built tools to ease the cleaning of even the most challenging wheels, whether super-fine mesh or intricate, multi-spoke designs.
6: Bucket List
If you use a bucket and wash mitt as part of your car cleaning regime, set aside a separate bucket and mitt just for wheels. Otherwise, you might pick up and transfer dirt or, worse, metallic brake dust that will wreak havoc on your paint.
7: Final Rinse & Dry
Always give your wheels a good final rinse, followed by a full wipe down with a drying towel. This helps keep water spots from forming. The Dirty Spots Towel is perfect for wheel drying!
8: Loose Cannon
Most people clean wheels after washing the rest of the car. If this is your process, keep a bottle of Speed Shine® handy to wipe up any Wheel Cleaner over-spray on your paint.
9: Lug Nut Blues
Lug nuts can be a challenge to clean (we’ve got a tool for that), and a source of frustration after the cleaning process. Water likes to pool in lug nut holes, and the moment you move your vehicle, water dribbles all over your previously pristine wheels. Avoid the lug nut blues and dry the holes thoroughly as part of your regime.
10: The Extra Mile
As with any aspect of car care, the details make all the difference with your wheels. Go the extra mile, and you’ll be rewarded! Try Wheel Cleaning Clay to remove embedded contaminants that washing alone doesn’t tackle. And every once in awhile, consider removing your wheels to clean the back sides. Your neighbors might think you’re crazy, but they won’t be able to deny the results.
Okay, you’ve read out Top 10 Wheel Cleaning Tips. Let us know yours in the comments!
Have fun in your garage!