Like tooth decay, brake dust and grime will quickly build up in and around your rims. As any good detailer will tell you, the right tools, techniques and products are key to getting the right results.
How to Decontaminate Your Car’s Rims
The first step to cleaning your wheels is to make sure you have let your car cool down. Working in direct sunlight is something you should consider avoiding too. In both cases you’ll be saving your rims from prematurely drying and allowing the chemicals to set in and do their job.
Once you’re happy with your rims’ temperature, we recommend applying an appropriate brake dust cleaner. The choice of which cleaner to use will depend on the type of rims your car has; always look at the product description before making a purchase in this regard. Another consideration is the amount of brake dust there is, so if you’ve neglected your wheels for a while, it’s better to go for a stronger solution to tackle the problem effectively.
Some products, like ADBL Vampire Liquid + Detailing Brush and GYEON’s IronWheelCleaner are pH neutral, making them essentially safe on all types of rims and finishes, coated or not.
It’s important to thoroughly spray in and around the wheel when applying an iron rim decontaminator, and this includes behind the spokes (as pictured above; note the rim brush). Not doing so will make brake dust seep back out at the rinsing stage or when you eventually move your car. This is where a detailing brush, like ADBL’s Wheel Sword, or a glove-shaped solution like GYEON’s WheelMitt, will come in handy. Reach in behind the spokes using your preferred tool and work the liquid into the lug holes and over the nuts too.
Rinsing and Tire Dressing
It’s key to follow the product instructions and wait the recommended amount of time before hosing the solution down and drying the rims. As you wait, you may want to use a separate product to clean the tire wall like GYEON’s Q2M TireCleaner and a dedicated brush like Q2M TireBrush. At any rate, it’s now time to dry down your rims with a blower and/or drying towel, and to apply a final flourish with some tire dressing (matte or shiny) to round off the factory-look.