Cleaning Your Wheels And Rims
Cleaning your wheels and rims can really make your vehicle pop. There is nothing worse than a fresh looking vehicle, with dirty tires. Your wheels do not need to be exhausting, but they sure take on a lot of dirt. They are constantly in contact with the road, and throw in brake dust you have a lot of dirt to deal with. Properly coating your wheels will help the cleaning process.
Here is a video of how to clean your wheels. This is a generic video, but each wheel will need to be treated separately. If you have a lot of brake dust, you might need a stronger cleaner. If the wheels are not as dirty, you can get away with a light cleaner. As always, use the least aggressive route possible, and work up from there.
Video Example With An Audi R8
Cleaning Your Wheels – An Audi R8 Example
Cleaning your wheels is pretty easy, but each wheel needs to be tackled differently. In the video, you will see an Audi R8 getting detailed, showing you how I tackled these beautiful wheels. The video only shows the wheel portion. The process goes as follows (you can tweak as needed):
- Make sure the tires are not hot (never work with hot rims and tires!)
- Rinse first, getting rid of loose dirt and helping to loosen the dirt that might be stuck
- I like to start with the thread, spray with your cleaner and let soak (here, I am using Adams All Purpose Cleaner). Using the foam setting lets the cleaner cling to the tire.
- Agitate with a brush
- Rinse away the dirt
- Repeat as necessary. The tread can get quite dirty and require multiple passes.
- Clean the rim. I like using a wheel woolie, especially for this R8 with wider rims. It makes getting in there extremely easy. I use some APC and shampoo suds from a clean bucket. Your rims need special care, just like your paint. Be sure to rinse often and check your cleaning tool of choice often.
- Make sure you clean the finer details, such as the bolts
- Rinse away the soap
- This part is optional, dry the rim. If you want to apply a dressing, I recommend this step. I am using a Blaster Sidekick. Start far away and work your way inwards, or else water will splash on you and the machine.
- Dress the tires, sit back and enjoy!
- I like to wash the tires first, this makes sure dirt does not splash up from the tire to the paint
- I empty the bucket after washing the tires. The water gets very dirty, you might need fresh water for each tire.
- You can skip the drying step until after the car is cleaned, depending on what you are doing. I like to dry the rim a little, just so you don’t get the ugly flash rust (this goes away with a quick drive).
- Your technique needs to be modified depending on the tire you are working with. For example, maybe you need 1 pass, maybe 3. Maybe you need a full strength APC, or maybe a “green” wheel cleaner.
- Careful when agitating the tire. With low profile tread, it is easy to hit the rim (avoid hitting the rim).