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Caring For Your Wheels

Thorough wheel cleaning is not only a car detailing essential, but also pretty crucial for safety, too. Harsh contaminants like brake dust, if left for long enough, can eat into the surface finishes and eventually into the metal, compromising the structure of the wheel. That, and filthy, corroded wheels just look rubbish!

Alloy wheels tend to be more durable and are longer lasting than other materials. It is very important that you make sure you’re cleaning the alloy wheels to prevent any harmful corrosion and keep them looking their best. To slow down corrosion, be sure to properly clean and polish your wheels.

It's the very first job in any detail, so it makes sense to start right, as you mean to go on. Here's the quickest and easiest way to care for your wheels…


Clean your wheels regularly to prevent iron contamination or accumulation of brake dust. Use a high-quality, relatively heavy-duty, pH-balanced cleaner that will not strip away the wheel’s clear coating. There are plenty of good brand wheel cleaners and iron removers out there to help with this.

Before cleaning the alloy wheel with any type of cleaner you should always hose them down, so you don’t scratch them with anything like small stones or just dirt. This will also mean that the water will wash away any dirt inside the barrel of the alloy.

Spray on some iron fallout remover, which will chemically dissolve ferrous metal particles isn't a process for every maintenance wash, but great for a monthly decon. For regular maintenance washes simply skip this step, but for full decontamination apply Iron Out liberally over the whole surface. This product can normally sit for a little while and normally changes to a purple colour as an indication of it working, ‘reacting’ with the iron lifting it from the wheels surface. Make sure you get into every nook and cranny, and the best way to do this is by using a small soft bristle brush.

Don’t let it soak in too long, though, and always follow the instructions on the bottle. After washing off the product with water, go over the alloy wheel again with the bristled brush, this time using a basic wheel cleaner, ensuring all the wheel has been coated, once left for a couple of minutes simply wash off the product for a final finish.






As you'd expect, some wheel finishes require a little more care and maintenance than others - the specific reason that many enthusiasts prefer to run the most expensive rims during the summer months only, or on garaged show cars rather than daily drivers.

Bare metal alloys, that give off a lovely shine, would glisten whilst using a further coating of metal polish, which would be advised merely if your wheels are slightly dished more so than not.

Protecting wheels is most commonly overlooked, you protect your paintwork, right? So why not protect your wheels? Wheel sealants and coating are some of the most useful detailing products out there, often offering months of durability, stopping the contaminates from adhering to the wheel surface.


Have new wheels and/or want to add a layer of protection without spending hours waxing? There is another alternative in the form of Caramic coating which offers long-lasting ceramic protection for all wheel finishes, from powder coated to diamond cut satin/matte and high polished metals. Not only does ceramic coating protect the wheels from contamination, it is also very long-lasting. Durability can vary across brands and products but on average a ceramic coating should last a couple of years with regular upkeep and maintenance.

Tyre dressing

To finish a wheel clean it’s always nice to add a touch of freshness to the tyres, to make them pop a bit more along with your wheels. Applying a fine layer of your selected tyre dressing to an applicator sponge, rub into the tyre side wall, trying to ensure you don’t catch the alloy.

Once applied, allow it to sink in for a few minutes, then buff it with a soft microfibre cloth. You’ll be left with a satin finish that’s dry to the touch and that won’t streak in the rain. This adds a layer of protection from the elements, helping to prevent grime impregnation, premature browning and UV fading. Also making both the tyre and alloy stand out that bit more too!

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