Wheels are attention-getters: Whether on the road or in a car show lineup, glistening wheels make a lasting impression. But they tend to attract dirt, brake dust and road grime. Follow these cleaning tips and you’ll get great-looking wheels with minimal effort.
The Rinse Cycle: First, be sure your wheels and brake rotors are cool to the touch. The initial rinse allows the wheel cleaner to be carried to remote areas and tight spots of the wheel. Hose pressure also blasts out some of the dirt and sediment, which means the cleaner can concentrate on the tough stuff.
The Wash Cycle: Spray a liberal amount of cleaner on the wheel. Give it time to work, but don’t let it dry. Also, be wary of cleaners promoted as “spray on and hose off,” as they can be caustic and may harm your wheels.
The Agitation Cycle: Brake dust can really have staying power, especially in the deep corners of your wheels. There are a wide array of purpose-built brushes and scrubbers that will aid the cleaning of any wheel, varying from a super-fine mesh, intricate multi-spoke or vintage wire design.
Final Rinse and Dry: Always give your wheels a good final rinse followed up by a full wipe down with a soft drying towel. This helps deter water spots.
Go the Extra Mile: Three or four times a year, step up your cleaning efforts by claying to remove embedded contaminants, and sealing or waxing to better shield your wheels against future grunge accumulation.