How to safely clean your wheels

How To Safely Clean Your Wheels

One area that often gets overlooked but deserves attention is the wheels. Wheels can accumulate a lot of dirt, brake dust, and grime, and neglecting them can result in corrosion and caked in brake dust thats a nightmare to remove. In this blog post, we’ll walk you how to safely clean your wheels.

  1. Gather your supplies. Before starting, you’ll need a few things:
    • A high-quality wheel cleaner
    • A number of wheel brushes, including a barrel brush.
    • A hose or pressure washer
    • A microfiber towel
    • An iron remover (optional)
    • A clay bar (optional)
    • Wheel shampoo (optional)
    • A wheel sealant or wax (optional)
    • A bucket
  2. Fill your bucket with water and add your wheel shampoo. I like to add a wheel shampoo for extra lubraction when working with painted wheels. My favourite is Autobrite Directs Just Wheels shampoo..
  3. Pre wash. Depending on the amount of dirt on the wheels, you can either apply an all purpose cleaner to the wheels beforehand or simply power hose the wheels to remove most of the dirt and brake dust. This will make it easier to remove the stubborn grime later.
  4. Apply wheel cleaner. Spray the wheel cleaner generously on the wheels and arches making sure to cover all areas, including the tire sidewall. Let the cleaner sit for a few minutes to break down the dirt and brake dust.
  5. Arches. Using a long barrel wheel brush, thourouly scrub the wheel arhces.
  6. Barrels: Start cleaning the barrels of the wheels using a wheel barrel brush. For me, there are two methods of keeping track to where you started cleaning the wheels:
    • You can think of the wheel face like a clock and start at 12 (the top of the wheel) and work your way round the clock until your back at 12. or…
    • The other option, is to start at the valve and clean the barrels until you reach it again.
  7. Use your detail brush. Using a detail brush, scrub the wheel face, paying special attention to the crevices and corners where dirt can accumulate. Be gentle but thorough, and use a back-and-forth motion to loosen the dirt.
  8. Sidewalls. Using a stiff bristled brush, scrub the tyre sidewalls to draw out the dirt from the tyre. You will see the foam turn brown meaning the wheel cleaner is doing its job. Repeat the process until the foam remains white.
  9. Rinse off the cleaner. Once you’ve scrubbed the wheels, rinse them off thoroughly with a hose or pressure washer. Make sure to remove all the cleaner residue and dirt.
  10. Apply an iron remover and/or clay bar (optional). If your wheels still have embedded dirt and brake dust, you can use an iron remover or a clay bar. An iron remover will dissolve iron particles, while a clay bar will remove stubborn contaminants. Follow the product instructions carefully and rinse off the residue after use.
  11. Rinse the wheel again.
  12. Dry the wheels. Use a clean microfiber towel to dry the wheels thoroughly. Don’t let them air dry, as this can leave water spots and streaks.
  13. Apply wheel sealant or wax. To protect your wheels and make them easier to clean, apply a wheel sealant or wax. A sealant will provide long-lasting protection and a hydrophobic layer.

By following these steps, you can keep your car wheels looking clean and shiny. Make sure to clean your wheels regularly, to ensure no build up of brake dust forms.

You can check out our other blog post on How to Safely Wash Your Car.

All our external packages use these steps outlined above to ensure your wheel is as clean as possible. You can find more in depth information at

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