How to Clean Your Wheels Properly

Dec 24, 2018

Read on to know a step-by-step process of properly cleaning your wheels.

Whether it’s a dashing ride or even just that old four-wheeled vehicle that your dad has passed on to you, you’re going to want to clean the wheels after some time. Some may leave it alone but what they don't know is that this actually damages the under the surface of their vehicles.

Yes, it is definitely tempting not to clean the tires and wheels of your car because honestly who has the time for that? Of course, you could always go for a hose-down at the local car wash shop but do you always end up happy with their service? Maybe there are times when you thought you were good to go and you even handed the guy who cleaned your car a handsome tip, but then you ended up disappointed. The next thought that may enter your head could be “I could’ve done a better job than that guy did with my wheels” and yes! You could’ve and you actually can.

Take a good read at this article from on how you can properly clean the wheels and tires of your car all by yourself. Not only will you be saving on some big bucks and will also get to learn a brand new skill for yourself but you’d also be getting the results that you want.

So grab a bucket, a brush and everything else you think you’ll need to clean your vehicle’s wheels. Just follow the steps we have prepared for you below to get good-looking wheels that are sure to match the rest of your ride.

Step 1: Get the right cleaning solution

The “right cleaning solution” isn’t the same bubbly liquid you use to wash your car’s body and exterior. Some even use dishwashing liquids and liquid laundry detergents, but these could be made with harsh chemicals so best to keep your wheels away from them. The wheels and tires require a different type of cleaner. This gets more complicated if your wheels are made of alloy. Then you’d definitely have to get something specifically made for cleaning that material.

cleaning solution beside a car's wheel

The wheels and tires require a different solution from the bubbly and foamy solution you use on your car's body

There are car wash solutions that can damage the wheels and there are also wheel cleaning solutions that can damage the paint of the car so make sure to not get confused with which one to use.

Step 2: Rinse well with water

Hosing down your wheels with water before applying cleaning solution is similar to what you would do normally to the rest of the car. Doing so washes off any grime and dirt that your wheels are better off without. It also lessens the time and effort that you’ll be exerting with the next steps to follow and gets you wheels wet so it’s easier for the cleaning solution to adhere.

Man rinsing the car's wheel

Rinse your car's wheel with water

Step 3: Apply your chosen cleaning solution

Car wash cleaners are always in a hurry to clean more cars in a lesser amount of time so they could earn more profit. Therefore car wash shops don’t usually apply this method to their customer’s vehicles very often.

Man cleaning the car's wheel

Let the solution sit for some time to break down hard dirt and bothersome particles

Letting the cleaning solution sit for some time lets it break down the stubborn dirt particles that can be bothersome to your view once you’re done. It also gives the ingredients in the solution enough time to work their magic on your wheels.

Step 4: Brush the tires

Dirt, grime, grease and who knows what else is stuck on your wheels? Dirt compounds that have accumulated may be harder to remove especially when mixed with other compounds. Using a stiff brush may remove these stubborn compositions from ruining the look of your ride.

Man brushing the car's tire

Use a stiff brush to remove stubborn compositions

If there seems to be minimal or no progress at all, apply stronger pressure as you brush on your tires. Make sure you go lightly on your wheels though as this may leave some scratches. Whether you’re brushing the wheels or the rubber part of your tires make sure not to use steel brushes as this can be extremely abrasive. Using these will damage even the rubbers and can penetrate it which can lead to a leak in the future.

Step 5: Rinse the solution completely off

Once you are happy with all the meticulous scrubbing, you can now give it a final rinse. It would be easier to use a pressure washer and can even give you more satisfactory results but running water from a hose is fine too. Make sure to read the label if your wheel cleaning solution is environmentally safe and friendly or else you might end up flooding the toxic water into your yard. Also remember that if you do prefer to use a pressure washer, wear protective clothing to prevent hurting yourself.

Step 6: Repeat if deemed necessary

After you exerted all that effort to clean your tires and found out that you are still not happy with the results, you can always retry. You can also make a few tweaks to your cleaning procedure to see which will work better for you; like letting the solution set or a longer amount of time.

You can also check the label of your chosen wheel detergent. Some will suggest that you use their product on a dry surface or so. You can go ahead and follow these and check if the results worked better for you.

Step 7: Dry your wheels

Once you’re happy with your results, it is now time to finally move on with the next step. Get the towel that you specifically bought for drying your wheels and wipe the moisture off. Make sure to have a separate drying towel for the body of the car and a different one for the wheels.

Man wiping the car's wheels

Dry your wheels and wipe the moisture off

This will prevent you from leaving stains and scratches on the body paint. You may have collected grime and small particles of dirt from the wheels and sharing its drying towels with the rest of the car can spread it.

So there you have it, cleaning your wheels properly in as simple as 7 steps. Now you will no longer have to wait in line in car wash shops just to get the gleaming wheels you desire.

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Source: Hanna Miel Sanchez