Correct Cleaning of Alloy Wheels: What Should Be Cleaned and How?

Correct Cleaning of Alloy Wheels: What Should Be Cleaned and How?

Nobody likes driving a dirty car. It is even believed that a clean car works better and travels faster. If you want the entire vehicle to shine, including the wheels, you need to ensure that it is regularly maintained. Caring for your alloy rims is essential to extend their life and maintain their proper appearance. So, let’s discuss how to do it properly, and when you need to use a steam cleaner for cars.


Alloy Wheel Types and Gloss Differences

Most cars produced today come with standard alloy rims. They are also called aluminum wheels, which are made from a mixture of aluminum and nickel. They are more attractive to the eye than steel wheels but much lighter while being strong and durable. Less weight means better acceleration and greater fuel economy. 

There are two types of alloy rims available: 

  1. Cast-aluminum rims are made by pouring molten aluminum into a mold;
  2. Billet aluminum rims are made from a single piece of aluminum.

When you clean and polish cast-aluminum rims, keep in mind that they can be polished, but you can never make them shine like chrome, so don’t even try. In contrast, billet-aluminum rims can be polished until they look chrome-plated.


How to Clean Rims Yourself?

If you regularly care for your rims, you can clean them in a few steps:

  1. Spray discs with a thin stream of water from a hose to knock off dirt and dust, or use a professional steam car wash machine by Fortador;
  2. Wipe the surface thoroughly with a sponge to remove residual dust and dirt and prevent scratches during subsequent processing. If you use the car wash steamer, this step can be skipped. No scratches will appear as well;
  3. Use a special rim cleaner: mix it with water according to the instructions, apply to a sponge, use a special brush for hard-to-reach places;
  4. Rinse the chemicals thoroughly from the rims, or use again the steam cleaner;
  5. Dry the rims with a soft microfiber cloth;
  6. Use wax for protection. Special wax for alloy wheels is available on the market. 

As for the detergents used during the treatment, there are acid and acid-free solutions. They have different effects: acidic ones are made based on acid: phosphoric, hydrochloric, etc. They are used in extreme cases when acid-free cleaners cannot cope with the contaminations. Acid-free cleaners are safer. They remove almost all contaminants, including metal deposits. All of them can be used before a steam car wash.  The particular steam car wash price may be reduced to a minimum if you purchase this equipment for home usage.

It is worth repeating such a treatment every 3 months. 


In Conclusion

Now you know how to clean your alloy rims at home. Remember to take good care of your wheels: it is not only important for your car to look clean and new. Regular cleaning of your alloy wheels will protect them from the corrosive brake dust that pollutes them while driving.

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