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Caring for your wheels and alloys

Whether you look forward to the weekend so you can start gleaming your car up again, or you put off washing your car until the last possible moment, taking care of your car wheels and alloys should always be part of your cleaning routine.

Once your alloys and tyres have had a bit of a spruce up, it seems to automatically make the car look brand new, regardless of the age.

You should concentrate on cleaning your alloys after you have washed and cleaned the rest of the bodywork as the dirt and grime will wash down onto the wheels and alloys during the wash and you don’t want to let it set there.

Your brake dust will also settle on your alloys making them look dirty and worn, so you might need to give your alloys attention more regularly. You can usually tell whether it’s brake dust or just general silt from the road as it forms a film across the alloy wheels which can be wiped off with your finger.

Brake dust can eventually start to erode your alloy wheels so as soon as you start to see a build up of brake dust, you should give them a clean.

How to clean alloy wheels

What you will need:

  • Alloy wheel brush

  • Soft bristled detail brush

  • Wheel mitt

  • Wheel cleaner

  • All-purpose cleaner

  • Pressure washer or bucket of water

  1. If you have access to a pressure washer, you should firstly clean any debris from the rims and underside. Otherwise, just give your alloys a wash down with water.
  2.  
  • You should then apply some all-purpose cleaner to the wheels and alloys and work in with your alloy wheel brush (keep a bucket of water next to you).
  • Then spray your wheel with the wheel cleaner – some solutions will turn a different colour to signify that the dust is breaking down. You should leave the solution on for at least 3 minutes to allow it to get to work on all the dust.
  • Select your soft bristled brush and work the solution into the alloy wheels.
  • Use your wheel mitt to work the solution into the gaps and behind the alloy.
  • You can then use your power washer or handwash the remaining solution off.
  • If you can still see remanence of dust, you can repeat these steps again.

Alloy wheel cleaner

When the time comes to choosing an alloy wheel cleaner, there are lots on the market and it can become quite confusing if this is your first time purchasing wheel cleaner.

You should invest in a good cleaner such as Meguiars Hot Rims Wheel and Tyre Cleaner or Wonder Wheels Alloy Wheel Cleaner so that you don’t have to repeat the process as many times. The stronger the solution, the more brake dust is broken down for a much cleaner finish.

Alloy wheel cleaning brush

For working the solution into the alloy wheels, a soft bristled brush is sufficient and won’t scratch the alloys.

You can also use a larger brush or Microfibre Mitt for getting into the nooks and cranny’s which will save you a bit of time and allow you to get to all the dirt.

Alloy wheel protectors

In between cleaning, you can use something such as Diamondbrite Alloy Shield Protector that puts a layer of protection over your alloy, stopping the brake dust from attaching to the alloy in the first place. This makes the cleaning process much easier when the time comes and keeps your alloys looking fresh in between washes.

Alloy wheel refurbishment and repair

If you have some scuffs or scrapes on your alloy wheels, you can take your car to a specialist repairer such as Perrys, who offer SMART repairs and will come to your place of work or your home address to complete the repairs.

This will bring your alloys back to their original state, which will hold you in good stead when the time comes to sell your vehicle.

The service should take around 90 minutes and removes the need to send the alloy wheel to a specialist centre.

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