Alloy wheels are more durable and easier to maintain than their pure metal counterparts, but they still require regular cleaning to prevent harmful corrosion. A little bit of knowledge and some easy-to-find materials can help you achieve sparkling, streak-free results. We’ll teach you how to make homemade alloy wheel cleaner that will remove even the most stubborn brake dust and road tar. And with these simple maintenance tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your shiny new wheels for miles to come.
A lot of people are tempted to use vinegar or WD40 when they need to clean their car’s alloy wheels, but these home products won’t work as well as a dedicated wheel cleaner. These specialist cleaners will deep-clean the entire wheel, getting into the tiny gaps and crevices that are prone to dirt build-up. They’ll also help you get rid of greasy, sticky deposits and will rinse off easily without damaging the lacquer or paintwork.
Before you start making your own homemade wheel cleaner, make sure you have a basin of clean water ready to soak your brush or sponge in – this will prevent the product from drying out and causing further staining or scratching. You should also have a set of soft-bristled brushes that are suited to this type of job, as these will help you get the dirt off your wheels without leaving any scratches.
It’s also a good idea to protect yourself and your vehicle from damage by wearing rubber gloves, goggles and a face mask. You should always perform this cleaning process outdoors in a well-ventilated area. For extra protection, we recommend you apply a layer of protective wax to the surface of your aluminium alloy wheels once they’re cleaned.
Baking soda and dish soap are a classic combination for cleaning grime on cars, as they’re both slightly abrasive and degreasers. Mix together a solution of equal parts baking soda and dish soap and dip a soft-bristled brush or sponge into the mixture. Scrub the wheels and rims, then wash away any remaining product with a hose or a basin of hot water.
The phosphoric acid in Coca-Cola is incredibly powerful at removing tarnish from copper, chrome and metal alloys. Soak a cloth or sheet of aluminium foil in the liquid and gently scrub, then rinse.
Oven cleaner is another heavy-duty product that’s a great alloy wheel and rim cleaner, as it can knock out even the most stubborn grease and rust spots. Just be careful to avoid acidic compounds like vinegar and lemon juice on clear coated and polished wheels, as they can discolour the aluminium.
To use oven cleaner as an alloy wheel and rim cleaner, simply pour some into a spray bottle and wipe onto your wheels using a soft, microfiber towel. Leave to sit for a few minutes before rinsing off. This will leave your wheels looking like they’ve just left the showroom! For best results, we recommend you use this method on a regular basis to keep your wheels looking their very best.