The Best Steps To Clean Alloy Wheels at Home

Are you looking for tips on how to clean alloy wheels the right way? Do you want to make sure you’re cleaning them in a way that extends their lifespan and aesthetic? If so, then you need to learn about all the tips for how to clean alloy wheels at home.

Doing so can help you save money by having them done professionally. With just a few alloy wheel cleaning hacks, you can ensure that those wheels are shining and ready to take on the elements.

See below for an in-depth guide on how to clean alloy wheels efficiently and keep them looking fresh.

1. Give It a Once Over

First things first, let’s begin by assessing the current condition of your alloy wheels. Is there dirt and grime build-up? Do the wheels look dusty (such as after driving on gravel)? 

Whatever the current condition of the alloy wheels, you’ll want to begin by washing them with water. Grab your hose and gently run water over the tires and wheels for a few seconds each. This can begin the process of breaking down the dirt and dust. 

Grab a nozzle to give the water a bit more pressure, thus clearing a good deal of the dirt. If you want to use a pressure washer, try to find something with a lower PSI.

2. Sponge It Up

Now that you’ve broken down the dirt and grime, it’s time to create friction! Place down the hose and grab your handy sponge (or car washing mitt). Go wheel by wheel, scrubbing each area of the alloy wheels for a count of 5 Mississippis.

While water pressure helps break down a lot of the dirt, you’ll need to put more force on it (by hand) to break up the bigger chunks. 

We recommend that you refrain from using any sort of cleaning solution in this step. Simply use water and a sponge for this step. The focal point of this step is to just help break down any pesky spots on your rims.

3. Spray and Soak

Keep at it with the sponge and water until you don’t see any more visible dirt or dust on the rims. If you need to, try alternating between the two (rinse, then scrub, then rinse again).

Once all of the built-up dirt is gone, it’s time to let a solution break down the germs and bacteria you can’t see. Be sure to invest in a deep cleaner that’s specifically made for alloy wheels. We highly recommend both Armor All and Meguiar’s, both of which are trusted namebrands.

Whatever cleaning spray you end up purchasing, be sure to apply it generously to each wheel. Keep spraying until the wheels are completely covered from head to toe, then let it soak for about 10 minutes.

Far too many people make the mistake of spraying the solution, then wiping or washing it off right away. The solution needs time to break down the particles.

4. Brush It Real Good

Take a break for about 10 minutes or so while you wait for the wheel cleaning solution to work its magic. Once ten minutes have passed, it’s time to get brushing!

Make sure to invest in a soft-bristle brush, run your hand through the bristles to ensure they have plenty of flex. For those of you that have an interest in powder coating wheels, your soft-bristled brush will become your new best friend. It helps them keep their youthful glow!

Use that brush to get those hard-to-reach areas; specifically between the rims, over and under the lug nuts, and the underside of the wheel’s rims. 

It’s especially important to scrub the wheel wells, as they accumulate just as much (if not more) dirt and grime without ever getting cleaned. Most car owners ignore them completely. Use your soft-bristle brush to scrub them down and spray them with your hose to ensure a thorough clean.

5. Rinse the Solution

Now that you’ve sprayed the solution, let it soak, and scrubbed away at the tough-to-reach spots, all that’s left to do is wash away your progress. 

Start by using a pressure washer or a hose with a nozzle attached to it; either one will do. Use the water pressure to wash away all traces of the cleaning solution and until no more bubbles are coming off your wheels. Make sure to get in-between the rims and on the side of the lug nuts.

After you’ve done that a time or two, remove the nozzle and lightly pour some running water over the top of each wheel. This will hopefully clear off any remaining solution or gunk on the outside of the rims.

6. Dry With Care

Most car owners simply let their car air dry after a nice thorough wash. We’re begging you not to let that happen. Letting it air dry can undo all of your progress, as it might leave water spots on the rims.

Instead, purchase a microfiber cloth that you can scrub down the wheels with. You might want to purchase a few, just so you can have a clean cloth for each wheel.

The microfiber cloth will double down on removing any remaining dirt or dust on the rims of your car, giving them that shiny look that car lovers drool over!

Clean Alloy Wheels the Right Way

Now that you have seen the right way to clean alloy wheels, be sure to follow all of these steps diligently when you go to clean your car.

Take the time to browse our website for more articles on how to clean a car, as well as many other topics that you will find helpful.

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