16 Oct Vlog: How to Safely Clean Alloys
In this blog, we will be discussing the best way to keep your alloys clean, and free from contaminants that can harm not only the look of your wheels, but also the performance of your brakes and tyres. We will let you in on some of the tools, products and pro secrets we use on every car we detail.
Types of alloy wheel
Pros – Very durable
Cons – The least aesthetic of alloy finishes
Pros – High gloss, beautiful finish
Cons – Easily scratched and shows contamination easily
Pros – High shine, sharp finish
Cons – Very low resistance to chemical and water damage
Pros – Extremely high durability
Cons – The finish can be dull or uneven
With this in mind, the key to cleaning alloys safely is to understand that no alloy is the same, and a different approach must be adopted for each type.
The type of wheel brush, cleaning chemical and techniques must be selected with care, otherwise, your risk damaging the finish.
Choosing your wheel chemical
In the past, the detailing go-to for alloys was always an acid-based wheel cleaner, and these were fantastic at removing almost all grime and contamination in 1 easy step. However, it soon became apparent that the harsh acids were destroying not only the painted finish but also causing brake callipers to corrode.
Most modern alloy cleaners are slightly Alkaline and are much more user friendly, but we highly recommend using nitrile gloves to protect your hands when using any wheel chemicals.
For regular cleaning, we recommend Angelwax Bilberry wheel cleaner for almost all alloy wheel types at a dilution of approx. 6-1.
It does a great job at removing the organic dirt that builds up from daily driving and has a very pleasant odour.
We always recommend starting with a lighter dilution and seeing how well it does the job, and if you find it isn’t strong enough, you can simply increase the dilution as required.
Once a month we recommend you add a decontamination step to your regular wheel routine and apply a brake dust remover.
Brake dust can be unsightly but also very damaging to your wheels if left for long periods, and why a product like Bilt Hamber Korrosol is our go-to chemical.
It safely and effectively removes the metal dust your brakes deposit on the alloy surface and prevents long term damage from occurring.
DSJ PRO TIPS – Choosing your wheel brush
In addition to using the safest chemical, you need to consider the safety of the brushes you are using to apply them.
If you have piano black or another high shine finish, you need to avoid brushes with a sharp or coarse feel to them.
Wheel Woolies are a fantastic option and come in 3 different sizes so you can get into every area of the alloy drum and can be used on any finish.
If you have tighter brake discs and the space between the wheel is tight, the EZ wheel brush is another fantastic tool for harder to access alloys.
A soft hog-hair brush is another great tool for cleaning the alloy face and brake caliper.
The long, soft bristles allow for every nook and cranny to be reached, especially around the lug nuts where dirt often hides.
DSJ PRO TIPS – Choosing your wheel mitt
Another great tool to add to your wheel cleaning arsenal is a dedicated wheel mitt.
These are a mini version of your wash mitt and can be a great way to clean behind the spokes or any other hard to reach place.
The finishing line
As a final step, we recommend a visit yo your local detailer once a year for a full “Wheels Off Detail”.
By removing the alloys, we can thoroughly clean the drums, wheel faces, brake callipers, tyres and those hard to reach arches the winter conditions are so unkind to.
Take a look at our latest Youtube video where we safely clean the alloys on a stunning Ferrari 488 Spider.
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More Blogs You Might Be Interested In
Check out our previous blog ‘how to professionally clean glass’ here.
Do you want to meet our team and understand what services we offer in further detail if so visit our blog here.
If you would like to know more about how to protect your car’s paint, check out a previous blog here.
Alternatively, book your car in for the signature DSJ detail here.
More information on how to protect your car with ceramic coating can be found here.
‘Blast from the past’ – find out which local celebrity came to drop off their pride and joy here.