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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have experience with cleaning polished or chrome rims? I have the displeasure of cleaning brake dust off painted aluminum rims at the moment, and it is quite a chore. I have found the paint does not stand up well to brake dust. Ease of cleaning will strongly influence the type of wheel I get on my next car.

I assume the chrome would stand up to the dust the best because it is the hardest.


-J
 

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Actually, chrome can pit easy if not taken care of.
 

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i use warm soapy water.....for wheels...I never use any of the cleaners....a little hand work does wonders..and is easier on paint, polish and chrome..and always flush them with lots of water...
 

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I find it best to wax the painted wheel surface (whether it is silver or clear coat). Then wash with regular car wash detergent, or even just water if it is not bad.

One key is to keep up with them. Don't let the brake dust accumulate for too long of a period of time. If brake dust is allowed to stay on the wheels for too long of a time, I have found it can become nearly impossible to get it all off.
 

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Fformula88 said:
I find it best to wax the painted wheel surface (whether it is silver or clear coat). Then wash with regular car wash detergent, or even just water if it is not bad.

One key is to keep up with them. Don't let the brake dust accumulate for too long of a period of time. If brake dust is allowed to stay on the wheels for too long of a time, I have found it can become nearly impossible to get it all off.
Great tip... I've never waxed Chrome wheels (never had them), but this works wonders. Even just a quick spray of water with the hose will keep them clean if done routinely. Otherwise when you wash the car, wash the wheels.. just use a different cloth, mit, whatever you use for the wheels as you don't want to rub that stuff into your cars paint.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I had tried to remove some accumulated brake dust with wheel cleaner and a cotton cloth. The cloth became so contaminated with dust it actually scratched the wheel paint. The wheels now look like crap without a heavy coat of wax to conceal the fine scratches. I was thinking about buying some of this stuff:

http://www.wheelwax.com

I guess wheels are a PITA no matter what they are made of...

-J
 

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JimmyMood said:
Does anyone have experience with cleaning polished or chrome rims? I have the displeasure of cleaning brake dust off painted aluminum rims at the moment, and it is quite a chore. I have found the paint does not stand up well to brake dust. Ease of cleaning will strongly influence the type of wheel I get on my next car.

I assume the chrome would stand up to the dust the best because it is the hardest.


-J
I didn't see any answers here so far that respond directly to your question. Several "helpful tips" but no one said ______ are easiest and why. I have asked the same question elsewhere from people who should know and when I insist on an answer rather than "how I do it" the answer so far has always been that chrome is easiest and painted aluminum is the hardest. Don't know if it's true, but I have asked it many times and based on the consistant answers I have received I am getting Chrome. If it isn't true someone tell me and I'll reconsider but please tell me why. :)
 

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Fformula88 said:
I find it best to wax the painted wheel surface (whether it is silver or clear coat). Then wash with regular car wash detergent, or even just water if it is not bad.
:agree: wholeheartedly. I had never done that before on my painted rims until a few years ago and always had a hell of a time getting them clean. Then, I took my car to a great detail guy once who completely cleaned them up and waxed them when I had my car waxed. After that, it was just a matter of washing them lightly with soap and water like the rest of the car. I was amazed. But I had the car serviced at the dealer once and I think they routinely sprayed the wheels with a harsh acid cleaner and stripped off the wax or something, because they didn't clean up well after that. Anyway, now I try to keep them waxed and avoid using chemical cleaners that would take it off. If you do need to start over and strip them down first, I found that the Armor-All wheel cleaner seems to work well. I've run across a couple wheel-cleaners that just aren't impressive.
 

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JimmyMood said:
I was thinking about buying some of this stuff:

http://www.wheelwax.com
from the site: "WheelWax changes the surface polarity of your wheels to repel brake dust particles."

lol. just what the hell is "surface polarity"? sounds like snake oil to me. sorry. :lol:
 

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scottjl said:
from the site: "WheelWax changes the surface polarity of your wheels to repel brake dust particles."

lol. just what the hell is "surface polarity"? sounds like snake oil to me. sorry. :lol:

a good car wax will do the same thing....have you noticed after you washed your car...the next day you have a fine film of dust on it...that is the electro static charge...the surface of your car develops..that attracts and holds particles to it...the same for the wheel......problem is you have to continually clean the wheel regardless......most car waxes I have found tend to fade or flake off.under the HI temps wheels generate.....dont know much about wheeleax as never tried the product........anyone???
 

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scottjl said:
from the site: "WheelWax changes the surface polarity of your wheels to repel brake dust particles."

lol. just what the hell is "surface polarity"? sounds like snake oil to me. sorry. :lol:
Well, here comes the chemistry teacher again. Everybody duck and cover. :lol:

The term "surface polarity" refers to the general nature of the chemicals on/at the surface of an object. If your surface is metal (polished or chromed aluminum), it will have a surface that attracts (is "polar" to) other metallic particles (such as brake dust, at least with metallic shoes). If your wheels have a coating of wax (an organic, non-polar substance), they should not attract metallic particles as strongly.

My thought is that any good wax should be better than none.

A quick reminder, there will be an exam next Tuesday. ;) (or not)

--Chemist
 

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Chemist said:
A quick reminder, there will be an exam next Tuesday. ;) (or not)

--Chemist
You're kinder to your students than I am to mine. I don't give them that much time to prepare because they tend to waste it!
 

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Editguy said:
You're kinder to your students than I am to mine. I don't give them that much time to prepare because they tend to waste it!
Your not one of those evil spirited teachers that hand out POP QUIZZES! :leaving:

:jester:

I always liked having more time then less. Sure, the time is usually waisted but at least it puts the anxiety off a while. ;) :lol:
 

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Not sure if it is true or not

But I have heard many times on the Speed channel that the NASCAR boys spray "Pam" on their wheels before a race to keep the dust down during pit stops. I have just never figured out if this keeps the dust on the whell or repels it.

Wheels don't look dirty during the pitstops and they do tend to use their brakes a bit.
 

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....have you noticed after you washed your car...the next day you have a fine film of dust on it...that is the electro static charge...the surface of your car develops..that attracts and holds particles to it...the same for the wheel......
Is it possible that that same mysterious electrical change to that tiny portion of the cosmos also attracts rain clouds?? :crazy:
 

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ok.. i take back the snake oil comment.. i figured a layer of wax was better protection than none at all. but changing your "surface polarity" just sounded a bit much to me. so next you'll be telling me those magnets you put on your gas line change the ionic spin of the hydrocarbon molecules???
 

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scottjl said:
so next you'll be telling me those magnets you put on your gas line change the ionic spin of the hydrocarbon molecules???
actualy...



ok well maybe not, that is just snake oil.
 

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DreamerDave said:
Is it possible that that same mysterious electrical change to that tiny portion of the cosmos also attracts rain clouds?? :crazy:
you know, that wouldn't surprise me in the slightest bit. weather i wash my car or i wash my bus, it always seems to rain the next day, or attract water in some fashion.
 

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scottjl said:
ok.. i take back the snake oil comment.. i figured a layer of wax was better protection than none at all. but changing your "surface polarity" just sounded a bit much to me. so next you'll be telling me those magnets you put on your gas line change the ionic spin of the hydrocarbon molecules???
I have NO idea what they think they're doing with magnets on the gas line (unless it's to trap iron particles out of the fuel!). I concur that it is indeed "snake oil".

--Chemist
 

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Coming from the CCW polished wheel world, I can tell you that frequent cleaning is a necessity of high polished wheels - otherwise tarnish and ultimately pitting follows. I have found two products that work exceedingly well for polished (or chromies,) they are;

Meguiars Hot Wheels all wheel cleaner - a spray compound that is spray on, scrub with sponge and rinse off - dry with clean terry cloth - beautious!

Meguiars Gold Classic all metal restorer - much more work - on with clean terry cloth, off with a second clean terry cloth - about 15-25 minutes per wheel depending on how anal you are. But a lovely finish that is semi resistant to the normal weathering effects. :cool:

Nothing looks finer than a well carried for high polished wheel, but it does take time, energy and effort! :yesnod:

Cheers, TJ
 
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