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Old 02-16-2012, 04:47 PM   #1
RACER3251
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Question How To Clean DIRTY Wheels????

hey guys, just as the title implies. I picked up a set of BBS wheels that I don't think have ever been cleaned and as a result are filthy and coated with miles upon miles of brake dust, hardened road tar and various other bits of hard stuff.
Before I installed I did a quicky clean job with s100 cleaner and a scrub brush via a power washer. that got 80% of the crap off but there is still quite a bit of hardened blacked crud on my wheels.
Does anyone have any tips, tricks or even any insight on miracle cleaners that will help get s my wheels back to looking like new again??????
I am even tempted to buy some paint and just paint over the crud lol
Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:30 AM   #2
wrxlaunch
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Spray nine works wonders
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Old 02-19-2012, 04:18 AM   #3
Wolfbane23
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ArmorAll Extreme Wheel and Tire Works wonders for rims. All you have to do is spray it on then wipe it off
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Old 02-19-2012, 06:08 AM   #4
EdHilario
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Try a little more concentrated APC, scrub, wash & rinse.
You can also use clay and then some rubbing compound.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:17 AM   #5
The Duke
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Might look into proper use of Acid cleaners. They may be the only thing aggressive enough to do the job without mullions of coats, repeats, etc.
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:40 PM   #6
sizzflair
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I use Flash Brown Royal. Spray them on, wait a few minutes, scrub them with some wheel brush and rinse with water. Gets MOST of the crap off.
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:54 PM   #7
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Gasoline.

Only use in small sections at a time of course. And try it in the inside part of the wheel to test it out.
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Old 02-19-2012, 03:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Duke
Might look into proper use of Acid cleaners. They may be the only thing aggressive enough to do the job without mullions of coats, repeats, etc.
I agree. Its certainly one consideration. I believe these types of chemicals do have a place as long as they are used sparingly, appropriately and properly.
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Old 02-19-2012, 05:08 PM   #9
Scooby_Wrx
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I use a Car Brite acid cleaner at work. I also use them on my BBS wheels when they collect brake dust. Gets everything off. Just have to be very careful, because the smell is bad for your lungs. Also if it gets on you it will dry out your skin or if left on for too long could burn your skin. Respect it and it will respect you.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:50 AM   #10
00nEgAtIvE
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Might not work as well on this level of lack of regularly maintained wheels but Sonax is great. Would definitely try it before using the harsher alternatives.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooby_Wrx
I use a Car Brite acid cleaner at work. I also use them on my BBS wheels when they collect brake dust. Gets everything off. Just have to be very careful, because the smell is bad for your lungs. Also if it gets on you it will dry out your skin or if left on for too long could burn your skin. Respect it and it will respect you.
....and therein lies the problem with the use/abuse of these chemicals IMO/IME. High volume shops, dealership lots, etc will typically resort to using these cleaners on a regular basis rather use safer, alternative methods first. The fact is that they are faster but they can also be quite destructive to the finish they are applied to as well as your health. .....and some of them can do worse than just burn your skin.

Hydrofluoric acid is very nasty stuff that can actually penetrate your soft tissues (think lungs and nasal passages) as well as your skin causing other permanent health issues later in life. You should always wear the appropriate gloves, goggles and respirator when using these types of chemicals. Personally, I have not had the need to use something this strong as of yet but like I said before, I can see these types of cleaners as a good solution if they are used very sparingly, appropriately and properly.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 00nEgAtIvE
Might not work as well on this level of lack of regularly maintained wheels but Sonax is great. Would definitely try it before using the harsher alternatives.
....definitely what I would do (using safer alternatives first).

An OTC cleaner you might want to try is Eagle One A2Z. IMO, wheel acids should be more of a "last resort" solution rather than the "go to" product some shops/people use them as.
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:16 PM   #13
alt14
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Try soaking them in dawn first, I did that with my winter wheels before I painted them, they were really bad too but it got almost everything off the first time
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:32 PM   #14
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Prosoco 300 maybe 600 don't remember its the only thing I have found that works. Look it up on here.
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:04 PM   #15
Scooby_Wrx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kean

....and therein lies the problem with the use/abuse of these chemicals IMO/IME. High volume shops, dealership lots, etc will typically resort to using these cleaners on a regular basis rather use safer, alternative methods first. The fact is that they are faster but they can also be quite destructive to the finish they are applied to as well as your health. .....and some of them can do worse than just burn your skin.

Hydrofluoric acid is very nasty stuff that can actually penetrate your soft tissues (think lungs and nasal passages) as well as your skin causing other permanent health issues later in life. You should always wear the appropriate gloves, goggles and respirator when using these types of chemicals. Personally, I have not had the need to use something this strong as of yet but like I said before, I can see these types of cleaners as a good solution if they are used very sparingly, appropriately and properly.
I don't use or abuse this chemical? I was simply stating an alternative to a chemical that the OP could use in my opinion. We do use this cleaner properly and do not re-use it on every car without trying a degreaser first.
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooby_Wrx

I don't use or abuse this chemical? I was simply stating an alternative to a chemical that the OP could use in my opinion. We do use this cleaner properly and do not re-use it on every car without trying a degreaser first.
Apologies, obviously I do "use" the chemical. What I meant to say was using on all cars without trying different alternatives.
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:31 PM   #17
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Maybe a soft scrubbing pad with a well-trusted wheel cleaner. I would avoid wire brushes and/or steel wool.
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:40 PM   #18
Busurkin
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Mother's mag and aluminum polish always worked well for me.
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Old 02-28-2012, 02:40 PM   #19
zachstork
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don't use engine degreaser like i did, unless u like your brakes not to work haha.
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Old 02-28-2012, 02:58 PM   #20
IAMDABROODWICH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooby_Wrx View Post
I use a Car Brite acid cleaner at work. I also use them on my BBS wheels when they collect brake dust. Gets everything off. Just have to be very careful, because the smell is bad for your lungs. Also if it gets on you it will dry out your skin or if left on for too long could burn your skin. Respect it and it will respect you.


Scooby_Wrx is right. If you're going to use an acid-based cleaner, wear safety glasses, gloves, and a mask, too.(You can buy that stuff at home depot for like 10 bucks. Your health is worth the $). Also, I believe www.DetailersDomain.com has some less harmful stuff than wheel acid.
http://www.detailersdomain.com/Adams...ner_p_239.html

Also, the help of a manly pressure washer will assist you quite a bit. If your dust problem is that bad, you could always talk to a high-end detailing shop and pay them to do it.
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:04 AM   #21
subarowe
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I have used a 3M non-scour pad before on my wife's accord wheels and it got off all of the stuck on crud without scratching
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:15 AM   #22
Doobis
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racer..I see you are in pittsburgh..I am to. i am an avid Detailer and I have alot of High end products..I have a few bottles of Sonax FE wheel cleaner that is very very good on extremely dirty and baked on wheels. I can give you half a bottle of it to clean your wheels.
http://www.autogeek.net/sonax-wheel-cleaner.html
shoot me a PM
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:41 PM   #23
R32R1
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Meguires is my choice
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:13 PM   #24
itstony
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ive seen great results with ironx either in spray or paste form or even meguiars wheel brightener if something simple like APC or sonax isn't cutting it.
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:20 PM   #25
Doobis
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megs wheel brightener is powerful stuff but ts an acid and has to be handled carefully and not safe for all wheels.
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