Wheels are more than just a means to travel – they can totally transform the way your car looks! You must however look after them properly, otherwise they won’t stay looking great for long and will de-value quickly! We of all people know how many different wheel cleaners are out there in the detailing market – many of which have either featured in our monthly subscription boxes, or are for sale on our website in sample form right now in our wheels collection! Ever wondered which wheel cleaner you should pick? We’ve detailed a few facts to help you decide.
Where do you begin?
- Asses the state of the wheels. Finding out how dirty they are will really help you decide. Ensure that you have your own bucket, mitt, microfibres and/or a wheel brush ready and we certainly recommend a detailing brush set for smaller areas that need reaching.
- Picking the wheel cleaner.
- For light dirt a non-acidic wheel cleaner will work great and you shouldn’t need to scrub too hard! This is also the best decision for chrome or diamond cut alloy’s to ensure there is no damage.
- For dirty wheels an Iron Out/Fallout remover is the best choice. These are stronger so make sure you keep an eye on how long you are leaving them on for!
Depending on your alloy type however, there are certain things that you need to keep in mind.
Chrome Wheels have a nice high-shine finish, however this makes them fairly difficult to look after. To avoid any staining of the metal, you will want to avoid alkaline-based washes and simply use a mild shampoo regularly.
Paint and Lacquered Wheels
Paint and lacquered wheels should be washed regularly as you would your bodywork, however you should avoid a wheel shampoo with a high pH as you don’t want your lacquer to start to peel. Protecting your wheels is just as important as washing them and can be done by using a good wheel wax or a wheel sealant. If the wheel is not smooth to the touch make sure you go over the alloys with a clay bar/mitt to get rid of any contaminates before sealing.
Diamond Cut Wheels
Diamond Cut Wheels need to be taken care of. They should be cleaned with a mild shampoo and no acid or alkaline-based wheel cleaners should be used on them. To seal you can use a wheel wax or a polymer sealant to protect the wheel. Be mindful when you use cloths on your wheels as the edges are sharp and may snag at the threads – an air dryer works well for this.
Anodised wheels are fairly hard wearing and resistant to corrosion but you will still want to wash these with a shampoo. There shouldn’t be any need to wax or seal as above however.
So, there we have it; a few of the most common types of wheels and how to care for them. If you ever have any questions as to which product to use; get in touch and make sure you have a browse of our wheel products here!