cleaning alloys - googolplex
Having recently acquired my first alloy-powered car, are there any tips, do's and don'ts when it comes to caring for alloys. I'm used to applying the magic sponge to car wheels and I'm sort of conscious that the brakes are rather more visible with alloys than with normal wheels. Would car wash soap suds be doing alloys the world of "bad" or good?
Advice gratefully received.

Splodgeface
cleaning alloys - IT
The garage i work at has got a valeting bay.At one point they used acid to clean the alloys, this worked but over time the acid cleaner made the brake calipers and disc's rusty.

If i was u, i would go into halfords and buy a well known brand of cleaner for alloy wheels.

regards
IT
cleaning alloys - Cyd
Stick with car wash solution. Most of these acid based alloy cleaners will ruin the paintwork on your wheels with repeated use. I learnt this lesson the hard way.
cleaning alloys - Blue {P}
I normally just use the car wash water with a separate (filthy) sponge to avoid getting brake dust in the sponge I use for the bodywork.

Every so often I use Wonder Wheels to thoroughly clean anything that has stuck and it does a damn good job. Don\'t use it every day though as it\'s an acid, so it would be like T-cutting your paint on a regular basis. Not good.

On the other hand, I just did my gran\'s Focus alloys and you can tell the last owner never bothered, there are small black pits where brake dust has etched into the surface. Even Wonder Wheels won\'t remove it. It\'s not too bad though \'cos the car is only 18 months old so I think I\'ve just about been able to save them...
Blue
cleaning alloys - Marcos{P}
I agree with Blue Oval, just use soap and water with an old sponge and a toothbrush for those stubborn little bits. Only use the wonder wheels cleaner ( it really is good ) when you really need to and you can't go wrong.

Marcos
cleaning alloys - Flat in Fifth
On the same subject has anyone tried this "wheel wax" stuff or similar? Is it worth the effort? Does it make the sponge and brush cleaning any easier?

Reason I ask is that the old Vectra alloys were an absolute pig to clean from new.
Yet the Mundano, despite being a much more fiddly design (multispoke Ghia X style) come up a treat, not had to use Wonder Wheels once. The brake dust seems to slide off. Wondered if they had a different finish applied.

As George Orwell said, all alloys are equal some are more equal than others.
cleaning alloys - Claude
I mostly use car shampoo and warm water but every so often I use Wonder Wheels which does an excellent job. However, to avoid the 'acid' problems referred to above I take the wheels off when using Wonder Wheels. With a trolley jack its only a few minutes extra work and you can then put the wheel flat on a table or support which makes cleaning much easier and quicker. Also avoids any streaks running down the wheel.
cleaning alloys - guss
i use mr muscle the kitchen cleaner it works very well disolves grease and dirt like its ment to.just make sure you rinse thoroughly.ive used this for the last 5 years with no problems and its very cheap
cleaning alloys - googolplex
Thanks for the advice, folks. Now back to the cleaning...

Splodgeface
cleaning alloys - Wally Zebon
A word of warning.
I once used Autoglym alloy wheel cleaner and it took my fingerprints off! The acid is very powerful.

I now only use soap and water.

cleaning alloys - smokie
Similar post "clean wheel discs". There I have suggested dustless brake pads (like EBC Green Stuff) which I have fitted and I no longer have dust problems. Not expensive...
cleaning alloys - Wales Forester
Halfords own brand wheel cleaner is very good, and it doesn't give off the fumes that some other cleaners seem to.
Some stubborn stains can be removed by a good car polish (Autoglym Super Resin) and once your wheels are clean I'd suggest you give them a once over with the car polish, this helps repell the muck that causes the stains in the first instance. (Just be careful you don't end up with white tyres!)

PP
cleaning alloys - henry k
I agree with using soapy water as the normal cleaner.
Having washed off most of the dirt etc I then move the car enough to rotate the wheels 180 degrees and then discover the bits I missed. When the wheels are dry I then use Polyclens paint brush cleaner on some rag to get off the odd spot of tar. It also seems to get other remaining dirt off with no obvious effect on the finish of my Focus alloys. Once they have been cleaned then a regular soap job is the norm. I do not fancy any of the acid brews but prefer to keep it simple and cheap.
The old fashioned bottle brush helps access to the parts that fingers cannot reach.
cleaning alloys - ubcaps
Cif Bathroom & Shower cleaner is pretty good too. Nice smell.
cleaning alloys - IProc
I\'d agree with all the comments about using Wonder Wheels only when necessary. A friend had all his wheel nuts go rusty. All I would add is after you use Wonder Wheels, use a Brake Dust barrier to help protect the wheels. They also make cleaning a lot easier too. I find with a brake dust barrier I can manage just by using a high pressure hose for a few cleans!
cleaning alloys - Pat L
I mainly use water and shampoo, and a cheap, stiff-bristled washing up brush. Occasionally use Mer alloy cleaner. I keep meaning to apply Mer polish to the clean wheels to see if this makes them easier to clean. Maybe this weekend....

Cleaning alloys can be a pain but steel wheels and plastic hub caps are the alternative!

Pat
cleaning alloys - Mondeo Man 100000.....
Hello
First time I've had alloys - Mondeo Ghia. Waste of time having to clean them.
Use power water jet hose, pointing downwards, for parts of wheel which can be cleaned without 'hitting' brakes. Rotate wheel 180 deg for other half.
Have used Halfords foam cleaner - but did not clean all 'ingrained' dust.
Use Halfords protective coating. Seems to have helped so far - water jetting removes all dust. Is trhis due to protective coating?
Complete answer is for a better design wheel. BMW alloy wheel appears to be easier to clean, using water jet, without affecting brakes.
cleaning alloys - Blue {P}
The alloys on my new Fiesta look like they will be much easier to clean when I get it than my current one which have a few fiddly bits...
Blue
cleaning alloys - J500ANT
My mate at the Subaru garage sells something called Metalmate which is an alloy wheel protector spray, supposed to stop the brake dust getting stuck to the wheels - the theory is that you just need to hose the car down and sponge the dust off. Didnt seem to do much good on my Punto's wheels though.

Someone told me once to dilute WonderWheels down, 1pt WW 3pts water, I did try that and it seemed as effective but not as corrosive.

Everyones comments about polishing rings true as well, but wheels today are so fiddly, its a nightmare to keep them clean. Go back to plastic wheelcaps I say, ones that you can scrub!

Tony
cleaning alloys - OldOiler
Most of these acid etch cleaner's you must not leave on for more than 2 -3 minutes tops, Household detergent is very strong and will remove anondising if left. otherwise all the other users comments apply.
K2

 

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