How to Clean and Care for Your Alloy Wheels
May 17, 2022
If you are the kind of driver using and benefiting from Rimblades® to protect your alloys, then we are pretty sure that keeping them clean, shiny and well maintained is also a pretty high priority.
It’s fair to say that over the years the guys at Rimblades® HQ have cleaned a LOT of alloy wheels - on development cars, our own cars, customer cars, for shows, photo shoots, family and friends!
Clean Your Wheels, the Rimblades® way
As you’d expect we have developed a process that works, and is pretty easy to follow whilst giving great results every time. We keep things fairly simple using just the products and tools needed - everything you need; nothing you don’t.
If you want to clean your alloy wheels like a pro, here’s what you’ll need:
- A good quality acid free and PH neutral Alloy Wheel Cleaner
- A bucket - or 2 if you want to opt for the 2 bucket method (although we only use one for wheels). A bucket with a grit guard will minimise any scratches, but it’s not critical
- A decent alloy wheel cleaning brush
- A pressure washer (ideally) or hosepipe
- A smaller detail brush
- Tyre Shine Remover
- Waterless Wheel & Tyre Cleaner
A few tips before you start
- Wheel cleaners shouldn’t be left on your alloys for too long, make sure you have everything to hand and ready to go.
- Not quite so critical as paintwork, you’ll still get a better finish cleaning out of direct sunlight.
- Give yourself enough time to do the job right. Most wheels have lots of different surfaces and nooks and crannies where corroding dirt can lurk.
- If you are cleaning your whole car - start with the wheels. This will help you to avoid kneeling in dirty puddles while wheel cleaning, and also remove some of the more abrasive contaminants found on wheels which could otherwise find their way onto painted areas.
- Make sure that you use Tyre Shine Remover IF you are cleaning your alloys prior to installing a new set of ‘Blades.
- Wear latex gloves - not always critical, but you’ll definitely look more pro!
The Cleaning Process
Often overlooked, but one of the most important parts of the process - even more so if you own a pressure washer. The objective here is to use water to blast off as much loose muck and grime as possible, before bringing anything into direct contact with your wheels. Whilst not always visible, you should be able to get rid of a lot of the larger particles and contaminants - which left behind could scratch your wheels.
Apply your Specialist Alloy Wheel Cleaner
We always use an acid free and PH neutral cleaner. Apply liberally, spraying the cleaner onto every accessible surface, and begin to work in with your wheel cleaning brush. We usually work clockwise from the top down just to be methodical, hitting tyres first.
Work the product into all surfaces
Wheel barrels (inside, past the spokes) are almost always missed, however clean wheel barrels make a massive difference and can make your wheels and your car look like new. This area can be tough to clean first time if dirt and brake dust has been allowed to accumulate over time, however it’s fairly easy to keep on top of once done. We then move to spokes where we sometimes use an old mitt or rag to work in the product. Then it’s back to the main brush for the wheel surface, before switching to a smaller brush (if you have one) for detail areas like the wheel nuts and tyre bead.
Rinse - and repeat (if necessary)
Time to give your wheels a good rinse to carry off all that muck and grime along with the cleaning product, to reveal bright, shiny, squeaky clean rims. If your wheels were particularly dirty, or if there is any stubborn dirt still visible then you can always repeat the process.
Dry your wheels
Not critical, but we always use an old drying towel to dry off the alloys to avoid any unsightly water spots and give a little more sparkle. Remember to separate your wheel towels from any other car cleaning cloths to keep brake dust away from more delicate surfaces.
Add finishing products (optional)
Depending on how much time and money you want to invest - and also depending on the finish you are looking for; you may want to apply a tyre shine and wheel wax. Again, if you are cleaning prior to installing a fresh set of ‘Blades DO NOT apply tyre shine as it will affect bonding - and remember to use Tyre Shine REMOVER if you have used tyre shine before, as some residue may still be present even after washing. Using tyre shine on wheels already fitted with a set of fully bonded Rimblades® is absolutely fine however.
Rimblades® Brand Wheel Cleaning Technology
Rimblades have launched a retail focused range of car care products based around the exact same products we use in-house. This range features two NEW wheel cleaning products, which can be purchased directly from our online shop:
NEW Alloy Wheel Cleaner
An acid free, PH neutral, spray on alloy wheel cleaner that is kind to 3M bonded products and to your valuable wheel rims. Effectively removes brake dust without any surface damage to wheels.
NEW Waterless Wheel & Tyre Cleaner
Rimblades® Waterless Wheel and Tyre cleaner uses new technology to clean wheels, dress tyres and protect - without the need for water, bucket or sponge!
This product works by effectively encapsulating the dirt to lift it away from the surface. It should be noted that waterless is NOT a replacement for traditional (wet) cleaning, rather a smart and time-saving ‘touch-up’ solution to quickly and easily remove dust and light muck and dirt. In addition to actually cleaning, this product leaves a very slick finish and can be layered for increased protection and shine.
Get The Edge
If you want the ultimate, alloy protection upgrade that will not only enhance the way your car looks, but also provide your alloy wheels with much needed protection then Get The Edge today. Rimblades wheel rim protectors simply bond onto your wheel – without the need to modify your car in any way. They do not require professional fitting and can be easily installed (and removed) at home in your driveway or garage.
Additionally you can now keep your alloy wheels (and the rest of your vehicle) in tip-top shape thanks to the NEW Rimblades car care range.