There’s nothing worse than seeing a wonderfully clean car ruined with wheels and tyres that haven’t been given the attention they deserve. Given that they get the most contact with the road and so are susceptible to grime and dirt, it’s worth learning how to clean your wheels thoroughly so you can finish the job off properly.
It’s always advised that you start the detailing process first, so that the products you use have time to work, and so the rest of your clean car doesn’t get covered in brake dust in the process.
How To Clean Your Wheels
To clean alloy wheels, invest in a decent wheel cleaner. If possible, try to use a non-acidic cleaner to avoid unnecessary damage to your wheels. If your wheels are extremely dirty, you may need something heavier duty – ask a specialist if you’re unsure.
To start, spray the surface with your selected wheel cleaner, ensuring both the inner barrel and face of the wheel are covered. To clean the inside of the wheels, grab a detailing brush – often a selection can help you do the most thorough job. Dip your brush into a mixture of car shampoo and clean water and gently work off the grime, being very careful not to scrub at the wheels; the product should do the hard work for you. Using a mitt, cloth or detailing brush depending on your wheel style, you should clean the backs of the spokes at this stage too.
Once the insides of your wheels are sparkling, focus on the wheel faces using a mitt or specialist wheel brush, making sure you get into every nook and cranny. Use more wheel cleaner as you go if necessary.
Let’s Move onto The Tyres
Your tyres often become clogged with dirt and if not taken care of, can lose their ability to withstand wear, pressure, or damage over time. Using your wheel cleaner again, spray the tyre and use a detailing brush to remove any grime, muck and old layers of tyre dressing.
If your tyres are full of stuck-on tar or other sediments after a good clean, it could be time for a deep clean. A couple of applications of a heavy-duty cleaner should do the trick. Alternatively, a specific tar remover will attack the hard-to-remove bits, leaving your tyres and alloys free to breathe again.
To finish, take a microfiber cloth and dry off the alloy wheel and the tyre walls. Add some wheel wax to keep them fresh and to ease the task of cleaning them in future and to protect the tyres. Simply spread an even layer across the wheel and wait for it to “haze” over. Once this has happened, remove with a microfiber cloth. Then, dress your tyre with tyre dressing to give your tyres a shine – add more until you achieve your desired finish.
Giving your wheels a fresh coat of paint, so to speak, won’t really do an awful lot if your tyres are worn and need replacing. Get your tyres online or from your local dealer, to ensure your tread is the legal limit and to give your car that brand new feel.