Washing your vehicle is a pretty straight forward task. Whether you do it at home or at a traditional drive-thru car wash location, it’s easy to get it back to its shiny like-new appearance. But even the best car washes still seem to leave residue on your wheels, creating a very obvious distraction away from your freshly cleaned car. Below we laid out the easiest way to get your wheels looking new and free from unsightly, potentially damaging brake dust.
1. Make Sure Wheels/Brakes Are Cool To Touch & Out of Direct Sunlight
The only way to effectively clean your wheels are after the vehicle has been sitting and out of direct sunlight. Once your wheels are cool, it’s time to start attacking the affected areas.
2. Rinse Wheels To Remove Heavy Dirt/Contaminants
Before going after your wheels with cleaners and brushes, you want to rinse off the heavy dirt and contaminants on your wheels. This will allow you to more easily scrub and clean away the brake dust lying underneath. Depending on the color of your wheels or rims, brake dust will be a shade of orange, gray or black.
3. Choose The Correct Brake Dust Cleaner
Most cases of brake dust removal aren’t remedied with just soap and water. For best results, you want to tackle the job with the correct brake dust cleaning agent for your wheel type. Wheels and rims aren’t all made from the same material, and certain cleaning agents can cause damage if it’s not the correct type for your car. Most wheels are made from steel, alloy, or aluminum, so you’ll want to find the corresponding brake dust remover for your wheel type (most vehicles come with aluminum alloy wheels). Read the back label on your cleaner to ensure that it won’t damage your wheels, as well as find out how long you need to allow the product to sit on the wheel before rinsing.
4. Spray Your Wheels With Brake Dust Cleaner And Wait
Once you’ve rinsed your wheels and found the correct brake dust cleaner for your needs, make sure that you diligently spray each of your wheels (one at a time) to ensure that all the brake dust can begin loosening from the wheel’s surface. You should begin to see the product working almost immediately, pulling the brake dust loose from the surface. Wait the recommended time after the cleaner has been sprayed on before removing
5. Gently Scrub Wheel With Soft-Bristle Brush
Once the cleaner has been added to the wheel and you’ve waited for the product to begin pulling the dust contaminants from the surface, you’ll want to take a soft-bristle brush and/or micro-fiber wash mitt to gently scrub the brake dust from the wheel.
6. Spray Your Wheel Off With Hose And Water
Now that you’ve put in all the hard work, spray the recently cleaned wheel off with a hose and water, and inspect your work. It’s likely that you’ll see spots that you missed, especially on more intricate wheels with nooks and crannies. If you see any missed spots, you’ll want to repeat the cleaning process again. If you were able to remove all of the brake dust on the first application, it’s time to move onto the drying phase.
7. Dry The Wheel With A Clean Cloth/Rag
Wipe your wheel dry with a clean cloth or microfiber rag.