Cleaning your car wheels does more than just improve your vehicle’s physical appearance. It also offers protection for your tires from cracks and other forms of damage while getting rid of corrosion and protecting the wheels’ finish from external elements. Maintaining clean wheels plays a crucial role in your car’s maintenance. It has been recommended that your wheels should be cleaned twice in a month, or every two weeks.
Typically made with an aluminum or magnesium alloy, car wheels serve the main purpose of holding the tire. In certain cars, the wheel itself is attached with a plastic cover, both of which requiring proper cleaning. Once you start your ride, the wheels absorb some of the most pressure on your vehicle and will need much care from you.
Even vehicles that have been recently purchased may have dusty, dirty wheels. Spending some time and resources to maintain your vehicle’s wheels will let you enjoy that new-car appearance.
Reasons to Clean Your Car Wheels
Brake dust can build up on car wheels and begin to stick to the finish, causing stains, discoloration, and cracks. Even if there’s no need to buy replacement wheels, discolored ones will greatly reduce the car’s value when selling or trading. It is best to seek the help of professional detailers when cleaning car wheels as they are highly familiar with wheel types and finishes.
You can expect that detailing expenses can be higher than simple wheel cleaning at home. However, it is recommended to leave your wheel treatment to professionals to avoid unnecessary damages and costs. High-end vehicle owners may choose the services of professional detailers to cover their wheels with the newest wheel coating technologies, making it easier for these parts to clean. While these coatings can come at a high cost, from $300 to $500, this treatment has been made available for all types of wheels.
Fortunately, most drivers can clean their cars’ wheels and rims through DIY cleaning if they make use of the correct products. You don’t have to purchase the cheapest items, though. Experts recommend the use of wheel cleaners that are pH neutral that counteract the effects of the deposits from brake dust that stick to the rims.
How to Clean Your Car Wheels
After choosing your preferred wheel cleaner item, you can take these tips into consideration for cleaning your car’s wheels and rims.
1. You can start off with a soft brush or a large sponge for wheel cleaning. These wheels can be scratched easily, so it’s ideal to use a soft, gentle item.
2. Before using, soak the brush or sponge in plenty of water for a couple of minutes. It is recommended to use one bucket with the first wash and another separate bucket for rinsing the brush or sponge. This way, the dirt doesn’t get transferred from the water to the wheels and back.
3. Don’t work with wheels that are still hot to the touch. When it has been cooled, you can clean the wheels separately, one at a time.
4. Be patient as the cleaner takes time to work. After leaving it on the wheel for at least a minute, the dirt gets removed. Similar to washing windows, it is best to clean from the wheel’s top to its bottom. Doing so will avoid the dirt and water from running down a cleaned area.
5. Each wheel should be properly rinsed and dried as soon as you’re done cleaning them.
6. If you want to prevent external elements from damaging your wheel, you may want to choose a protective coating that can keep brake dust away. Even certain car waxes are being applied on wheels as added protection at a lower price.