How to Clean Wheels and Tires Like a Pro

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There’s nothing like stepping into a freshly washed car, and in the summertime, washing the car yourself is a great way to save money. If you want to make your car look like a professional cleaned it, the best way to start is by paying attention to the wheels.

Making sure to clean your wheels the right way will not only keep your car looking sharp, but it will protect your wheels from brake dust, a corrosive substance composed of materials from brake pads and rotors that becomes attached to your rims. Brake dust will damage your wheels over time, so this extra attention is worth it. If you want to protect your car, here is how to clean wheels and tires like a pro.

Before You Wash

It’s worth noting that, if you are washing your whole car, you should wash your wheels before starting the rest of the car. You will want to focus on one wheel at a time to keep cleaning products from drying onto the rims. Before you get scrubbing, be sure to rinse off your wheels and let the water set. This helps to loosen dirt, grime, and brake dust, making it easier to clean afterward.

Use the Right Products

It can be tempting to simply use a rag and a bucket of soapy water to clean your wheels, but you won’t be doing your car any favors. Because of the way rags absorb brake dust, they can be abrasive to the finish and paint of your car. Instead, consider using a microfiber wash mitt, a natural sponge, or a brush created for this purpose. These will allow you to get into all the crevices of your rims without damaging them.

Dish soap will not cut through the brake dust that will damage your rims. Using products made to clean wheels and tires will not only give your car that professional shine, but it will also preserve your rims. However, different rims need different cleaners, so be sure to do your research before you choose one.

After the Wash

Be sure to rinse the cleaner with a strong jet of water before the cleaner dries on the wheels. After you have thoroughly rinsed your wheels, dry them. Remember, resist the urge to pull out an old rag. Opt for a microfiber towel. Even if you aren’t washing the rest of the car, it is a good idea to check the surrounding area of the car for wheel cleaner or brake dust that might have flown up during the washing processes, and spot clean the car accordingly.

Cleaning your wheels and tires like a pro isn’t super challenging, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. With a little extra elbow grease, you’ll keep your wheels rolling smoothly and shining brightly.

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