August 3, 2022

How to Clean Alloy Wheels

Creating a quality and solid routine when it comes to cleaning your alloy wheels will save you a lot of money and keep your vehicle looking new and tidy! Over time, alloys become weaker and weaker due to being exposed more and more to the elements as their protective coating disappears. 

After cleaning, a protective coat can be added back onto the alloy to allow for an extension to the overall life expectancy of your alloy wheels.

What products should I use to clean alloy wheels?

The main product you’ll need to purchase is a specialised alloy wheel cleaning solution – a great choice for this would be Meguiar’s All Wheel Cleaner. After 5,500 reviews, this product has a 4.6 out of 5 rating! Simply follow the directions on the bottle and your alloys will look brand new.

As well as alloy wheel cleaner, you may need some brushes and cloths in order to apply and spread the alloy cleaner around the wheel. 

A perfect premium 8 piece set from Shiny Car UK will produce professional finishes every time. In this kit, it includes items which help clean the exterior of your car as well as cloths and brushes to help make your alloys shine.

How to clean alloy wheels

Some people do choose to just use vinegar or lemon juice to remove excess dirt, but, it is best to buy a specialised cleaner to do the job right. Once you have purchased your specialised alloy wheel cleaner, you can begin cleaning your alloys to professional standard. 

  1. The first thing you need to do is use a power washer to clear away all excess dirt and grime from the surface of the alloy wheel. Use warm, soapy water and a cloth if you don’t have access to a pressure washer.
  1. After the wheel has been left to dry naturally, the alloy cleaning product can be applied as instructed on the bottle. Make sure to leave the wheel with the alloy cleaner on for the designated amount of time stated on the cleaning product. 
  1. Now the alloy wheel has been left for the correct amount of time, rinse off any remaining dirt and all the cleaning product. This can be done using a pressure washer or using a damp sponge. 
  2. Clean and rinse the wheels again to ensure all dirt and alloy wheel cleaning residual product is removed. 

It is optional, but it is also advised to apply a wheel wax over the alloy to prevent future damage and ensure the alloy isn’t as exposed to the environmental elements.

How to polish alloys

The first thing to do when it comes to polishing your alloys is to wash them, so that all dirt and debris picked up on your travels are removed. Onced thoroughly washed, use a clean cloth, preferably a microfibre cloth, to dry the alloy wheel. 

Before polishing, apply a brightener to illuminate the aluminium and to also remove excess brake dust. 

Your alloys should now be clean, brighter and dry and we can now begin polishing them. 

  1. Grab a clean cloth and begin to work your chosen alloy polish into the alloy. Make sure to avoid rubbing the polish into the alloy in a circle as this can cause a streaky finish.
  2. For those bits that are hard to get to, it is best to use a soft brush or a toothbrush which is covered in a cloth. 
  1. Now for the final step, applying a finishing polish. Apply the product onto a clean cloth and work into the alloy – the longer you polish the alloy for, the more shine the wheel will have. 

What is the best way to clean aluminium alloy wheels?

Using the steps above with a specialised alloy wheel cleaner will have your aluminium alloys glowing and sparkling. If you don’t want to purchase a specialist cleaning product, there is the possibility of using household products. 

One household product which can be used is lemon juice. Once the mixture of half a cup of lemon juice and half a cup of warm water has been created, pour it into a spray bottle and then follow the steps above. 

Another household product to use is vinegar. It is used in the same way as lemon juice. As above, pour the mixture into a spray bottle to use efficiently.

Spotted some alloy wheel damage when cleaning?

It is highly common that people find damage to their alloys when they get to cleaning them. It is very important that once damage has been located on your alloys, that you immediately get them fixed. 

A crack and bend at the edge of the alloy can be extremely dangerous to drive on as the bead attaching the tire to the alloy could break, causing the tire to burst.

Get your vehicle booked in for alloy wheel repair today!

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