Regardless of how carefully you drive, it’s almost impossible to prevent alloy wheels from picking up dirt and grime. From brake dust to mud and rain, alloys are exposed to the element so it’s important to regularly clean and protect your alloys to make sure they’re always cared for and look like new.
Before You Start
In an ideal world, we’d clean our alloys after every trip, but this isn’t realistic for most car owners. Compromise with a fortnightly wipe over, and help keep your alloys in good condition.
If you’re washing the entire exterior of the car, you should clean your alloys first. This is because you’ll want to minimise brake dust splashing onto your recently polished paintwork – trust us, it’s must easier to do the wheels first!
You should also avoid cleaning your alloys when they are still warm from driving – allow them to cool first, then clean.
Removing the Wheels
It is far easier to clean an alloy wheel when it has been removed from the car, which will allow you better access to those hard-to-reach areas. If you want to give your wheels the full treatment, follow the steps below to safely remove them:
- Park on a level surface and ensure the handbrake is turned on
- Using a wheel brace, loosen the nuts by a couple of turns
- Jack up the car using the jack supplied with the car or a trolley jack (consult the owner’s manual if you are unsure of your car’s jacking point)
- Place an axle stand beneath the suitable jacking point and carefully lower the car onto the stand
- Remove the loosened wheel nuts and the wheel
After removing the wheel, it is important to make sure that the alloy does not touch the ground as this could scratch or damage the surface. Suspend the wheel on two lengths of wood, placed under the rubber of the tyre.
Make sure the wheel is fully cleaned and secured returned to the car before starting work on the next wheel.
If you want to look after your wheels without the workout involved in removing them, Simoniz have a 3 step wheel plan to make it easy.
Brake dust is the by-product of friction between brake discs and brake pads – made up of carbon filings, metal filings and adhesive residues. You should remove brake dust regularly as it can be corrosive; over time, it can compromise the structural integrity of the wheel and lead to cracks and splits.
The first job when cleaning alloy wheels should always be clearing brake dust and debris. Use a hose or jet washer to remove all dust and debris from the alloy wheels. Clearing brake dust with water will also help reduce the risk of scratching the surface of the wheel during the cleaning process.
Alloys can get scratched and scuffed, and most cleaners contain acids which get into these scratches and cause corrosion. Simoniz Ultracare Alloy Cleaner has no acid, so it doesn’t damage your wheels, and still provides a deep clean for a sparkling finish. A special Wheel Brush can help you reach difficult areas such as in between the spokes.
Applying Simoniz Complete Wheel Protector can help cultivate a protective barrier against brake dust and road grime. The simple spray feature makes application quick and easy.
Completing the Look
For extra protection and an added shine, applying wax or polish to the alloy wheel can have structural benefits and improve the appearance of the alloys. Use Back to Black Tyreshine to restore your tyres to their original shiny finish, making your wheels look as good as new.