How to clean wheels from brake dust and traffic dirt

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The right wheels can really make a car, so why is it that you always leave cleaning them to last? It’s probably because you think it’s a horrid, hard and dirty job.
Actually the truth is that if you use the right products and a proper technique, you can get your wheels looking like new in just a few minutes.

There are two very important rules:

  1. Don’t clean the wheels when they are hot! Just let them cool down, because hot metal and chemicals don’t mix well. Also keep them out of direct sunlight.
  2. Only ever clean one wheel at a time.

The very first thing before you start is to give them a spray with the hose. It won’t remove much dirt but it will soften it up. Spray the wheels with special spray for alloy wheels that remove the brake dust and agitate with a brush. There are special brushes on the market to do this. It is agitation caused by brushing which breaks down the static that causes the dirt to stick to the wheels in the first place.


Don’t allow the solution to be in contact with your wheels for more than a minute. As soon as you can, thoroughly rinse the wheel with lots of clean water. If you have missed some areas, you can go round again.


To remove any excess moisture one the wheels are clean, use an absorbent synthetic chamois. The problem with shiny clean wheels, though, is that they have an annoying tendency to get dirty again. Unfortunately you can’t prevent that but you can slow the process down.


To save wheels from brake dust you can use a special seal spray to put a layer of protectant on the wheel which discourages the build up of brake dust. Just spray it on and then buff the surface again with polishing cloth.


Your wheels will stay cleaner for longer and when you do get round to doing them again, the job will be that much easier.


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