Often, they are the true eye candy on cars: Rims are now available in a great variety of sizes, colours and different designs. However, far too often, the cleaning of rims is put in second place. But only clean rims look gorgeous and make heads turn. If you keep your rims clean, only then you will get a kick out of the alloys in the long run, because, for example, it will prevent brake dust from burning into the rim finish. With a little bit of clean and care, irreversible damages can easily be avoided.
Cleaning & Storage
First off, it’s important to clean rims on a regular basis. Brake dust should be removed year-round. At the end of winter, when salt and road dirt have settled on the wheels, the same principle applies. Because deposits on the rims will harm the surface seal and later the material. The generation of heat on the brakes can result in dirt downright burning in. Consequently, you won’t be able to get rid of the dirt in a simple cleaning process. Even the best and sturdiest of finishes won’t replace one thing – caring for your alloy rims. This is done with specially developed detergents and cleaning cloths. Aggressive chemicals, abrasive cleansers and such must be avoided by all means.
Most household detergents are not suitable for cleaning rims. Many cleansers contain aggressive ingredients that can harm rim surfaces, such as for example oven sprays: These are difficult to remove from rims without leaving a residue, and when coming in contact with the tyres they can accelerate their aging process.
It’s best to avoid acidic detergents altogether, because acidic or alkaline products can affect the surface and lead to corrosion damage. Hence, we suggest to always use special rim detergents which are available at retailers specialized in car accessories..
Never exceed the rim detergent’s application time, and never fight stubborn grime using steel wool or a steel brush. Use a high-pressure water blaster as long as you don’t fall below the safety distance of roughly 30 cm to the rim or point the jet directly towards the tyres.
- Never clean rims with an “abrasive sponge” or sharp objects.
- Never use acidic rim detergents as they may harm the surface.
- It’s best to first soak the front wheels, since they tend to get dirtier, and then start the actual cleaning process from the rear.
General care advice
With the following application tips, which basically apply to the majority of rim cleaning products from well-stocked retailers, your rim wash will come off like a charm.
1. Apply the rim cleaner as specified by the manufacturer.
2. First remove coarse and loose dirt such as mud or soil buildup using a high-pressure water blaster. To avoid damages on tyre or rim, make sure to keep a minimum distance of 30 cm.
3. To reach all nooks and crannies, use a cloth or a special rim brush to loosen all incrustations and absorb all dirt.
4. Finally rinse the wheels thoroughly with clean water, and everything is back to its previous glory. .
5. To avoid water spotting dry the surface in strong sunlight using a soft cloth.
6. Once the wheels are spic and span, a simple cat wash will do for the next one to two times – in other words, a sponge soaked in car shampoo.
ALCAR expert advice:
Applying rim wax on the freshly cleaned surface avoids dirt from setting on the rim surface. Dirt will stick far less and will be easier to remove. Rim wax has another additional benefit: it gives the wheel a fresh shine and protects it from all environmental influences.