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Old 01-28-2006, 01:59 PM   #1
hwy61
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See the black stuff on the flat areas of my STI wheel, the stuff below the STI logo. This is some sort of "baked on brake dust" from track days I guess. I tried forty different items to remove this stuff, brake fluid, all the wheel cleaners, cleaner waxes, wd-40, toluene, drill and dremel with buffing compound, a 3,500 psi pressure washer, etc., etc........None will even begin to remove it.

Until today. Trial cleaner number about 50 was some Prosoco 600 detergent. This is available at brick and tile supply places and possibly Lowes/Home Depot. It is a very common masonry cleaner used everyday by brick and tile setters for a final cleaning of their work. Note: It comes in a plastic jug and will not harm clearcoated wheels at all. Test a small spot to be safe if you don't know the finish of your rims. Much to my surprise was the ease with which this cleaner removed the black stuff and the fact that my clearcoat had not been damaged by this black stuff sticking so firmly to it.

Wear gloves, wash outside, dampen a cloth and gently apply, keep plenty of solution on the cloth, wear eye protection. Wear heavy rubber dish washing gloves. The kind your mother uses. Not those thin latex doctor type things. Results below.

http://i.imgur.com/xBNDCVM.jpg


The area shown above has been previously scrubbed "hard" with a brush and strong wheel cleaning soap for this illustration. What remains will not scrub off.
A pressure washer will not remove it nor any wheel cleaning products and I've tried about all of em. Following is a picture of what this same area, in fact the entire wheel, looks like after about 1 minute effort with the Prosoco 600 cleaner applied with a rag. Notice, this product is designed to dissolve concrete and the fumes from that are annoying and will burn your nose and eyes. Use this with good ventilation. Wet the concrete area you are cleaning on first. Keep a hose handy. When the black stuff has dissolved simply spray off the wheel with clean water. Brick masons use this product everyday with no harm to themselves. BTW I have Hawks on the front and new OEM pads on the rear. They both mess up my wheels and the Hawks aren't any cleaner than OEM in my opinion. Hwy61

http://i.imgur.com/bjKbqLd.jpg
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Last edited by hwy61; 07-25-2017 at 10:05 PM. Reason: Replace photos previously lost to the PBucket fiasco.
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Old 01-28-2006, 03:15 PM   #2
f4phantomii
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Interesting. I've had my STi for nearly 2 years. I too had several spots where the brake dust simply wouldn't come off, no matter how much I scrubbed.

Back in December, I tried one of the off-the-shelf wheel cleaner solutions. Some kind of orange stuff. I remember it specifically says it contains acid.

I found that just spraying it on per the instructions would get a lot of the baked on stuff off, or at least loosen it.

The real trick was when I gave my wheel a quick once over with my lowly 1300psi electric pressure washer. I'd never seen my wheels so clean! In fact, they hadn't been that clean since the day I picked it up. So now I do that about every other time I wash it. I'm always impressed with how sparkling clean they are afterwards.

-Michael
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Old 01-28-2006, 03:28 PM   #3
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Yep, this stuff works similarly. Most of the work is done by just applying multiple coats of the stuff as you work your way around the wheel. About 5% actually requires a little finger/cloth scrubbing. I'd about given up on ever getting mine clean again.

I looked at the brake dust threads/posts, etc. and no one had either of these remedies. Acid, yeah, good stuff. It cleans up the lug nut spaces too. Now if I can just find some of that "blinker fluid" the guys said I needed. Hwy61
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Old 01-28-2006, 03:47 PM   #4
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hwy61 - thanks man! I'd all but given up getting that last little bit of dust off the wheels, next time I wash I'll be sure to try this stuff. Unfortunately, brake dust is now the least of my concerns.
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Old 01-28-2006, 09:47 PM   #5
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I just don't see how something as highly acidic as HCl won't hurt the clearcoat...

Still looks good any way you slice it though.
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Old 01-29-2006, 12:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daishi00
I just don't see how something as highly acidic as HCl won't hurt the clearcoat...

Still looks good any way you slice it though.
The material comes in a plastic jug. Your battery is full of it as is your stomach. Has no effect on plastic. I'm talking about taking off the really hard stuff. That is not fresh "dust" in the picture. It remove it with much less effort than polishing waxes/cleaners which wouldn't touch it at all. Hwy61
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Old 01-29-2006, 12:51 AM   #7
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Go purchase Turtle Wax's rim cleaner at an auto store. I too tried several different ways to remove the break dust. All I did was spray the entire rim, let set for 5 minutes and took a soft bristeld brush and it came right off. The whole process from start to finish only took 30 minutes and if you want to do it the short way just spray the stuff on wait a few minutes and hose off. Works perfectly everytime.
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Old 01-29-2006, 05:19 AM   #8
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P21S.

Really.
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Old 01-29-2006, 07:54 AM   #9
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Are there any types of wax that can be used on a wheel to help prevent buildup?
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Old 01-29-2006, 01:25 PM   #10
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In reading a number of other threads regarding this it seems the protective waxes do work but only for a short while. It seems to me really regular cleanings are the trick. I will be applying strips of tape to the flat areas for my next track day as there is a lot of brake dust debris created when braking repeatedly at 120 mph and that hot stuff sticks, it is not exactly "dust".

Rockcas, did the turtle wax cleaner remove the kind of burned in, baked on material pictured in the first photo. I have tried many cleaners including Turtle wax cleaner. None I tried will even begin to touch what is pictured above. What specifically did you use? Cleaning brake dust is easy, cleaning the stuff pictured above is tough. Did it mention any type of acid? Thanks. Hwy61
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Old 02-21-2006, 01:36 PM   #11
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When I removed my rims and replaced them with aftermarket ones i used only the turtle wax rim cleaner. I was able to really get inside the rim because they were off the car which could be why it worked so well. I did use a soft bristled brush in order to work the break dust off and everything came out perfectly and the rims actually looked better than when i bought the car.
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Old 02-21-2006, 02:14 PM   #12
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Brake cleaning testimonials vary widely. As hwy61 said, that's not normal brake dust, that's what's left over AFTER the P21S/Griot's/Eagle One/Simple Green/etc has done it's best.

The STI wheels are about the worst wheels I've ever owned for retaining cooked-on, hardened brake dust solids. I'll definitely try the Prosoco 600.
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Old 02-21-2006, 05:29 PM   #13
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Anyone tried a claybar on baked on brake dust? After seeing how much junk it picked up off my '95 Impreza's paint, I'm wondering if it'll pick up 3 month old brake dust particles.
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Old 02-21-2006, 08:17 PM   #14
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Subscribing for the day I own STI wheels!
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Old 02-27-2006, 11:20 PM   #15
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I may look for some of that Prosoco stuff. I just (finally) got my STI and was just giving the wheels a quick once over. I have a few spots that didn't want to come off, but nothing like the OP (granted, I've only had it a couple of days, and none of those on the track).

I was actually just searching for a couple of different things to try to get that crap off. Will try the Turtle Wax, as well.

RE: a wax, I recall reading in various other threads that Rejex is supposed to help quite a bit in keeping it from building up too badly. Going to go find myself a bottle of that as well.
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Old 02-27-2006, 11:34 PM   #16
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the solution ur sayin wont hurt the rims will it?????? hwy61
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Old 02-27-2006, 11:59 PM   #17
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hydrochloric acid, that is definately no environmental safe, and i bet it removes the clear coat on the rims, if you use it long enough
- Danny
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Old 02-28-2006, 03:11 AM   #18
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Plastics (and your clear coat) are generally more prone to being dissolved by petroleum distillates (mineral spirits, naptha, paint thinner, etc.) than acids.

Environmentally safe? Please.
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Old 02-28-2006, 03:16 AM   #19
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Wow Prosoco 600 detergent... Who would've thought that brick/tile cleaner would work on BBS wheels! I'm almost afraid to try it but it looks like it will take care of the baked on stuff that came with my wheels when I bought them. Good work hwy61!

-Jason
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Old 02-28-2006, 08:33 AM   #20
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Nice tip!... I was about to the point of trying something like Varsol next. Talk about some nasty stuff!... I remember using it once and I didn't have 'good' rubber gloves, just some crappy dishwashing gloves. It melted the gloves right off my hands... I hadn't thought of the whole petroleum-distillates angle harming the wheels... glad I didn't try the Varsol, it's no-doubt chock-full of all manner of wacky substances.

My wheels aren't that bad yet (just a few 'stubborn' spots that won't come clean normally), but I am exceedingly lazy and would love an easy, no-working, way to clean the darned STi BBSes
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Old 02-28-2006, 09:13 AM   #21
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i used this and it worked pretty well.

are you sure this solution wont damage the clearcoat/paint?
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Old 02-28-2006, 01:55 PM   #22
hwy61
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Sorry, been wobbling around all over the place. Didn't know there were questions. Acid will probably hurt wheels that aren't protected by a clear coat. Test a spot on the rear. With the clear coat this stuff won't hurt the rims at all. It doesn't react with plastic. In fact it comes in a plastic bottle. Picture of bottle below, it is $12 per gallon. Enough to clean a house and 40 sets of wheels.

The stuff I'm talking about as someone else pointed out is not the normal brake dust, it is something else and none of those cleaners would touch it. Even a dremel or drill with buffing compound had a hard time. I actually ate a couple of holes through the clear coat and paint before figuring this out.

This stuff works by the acid dissolving whatever that material pictured above is. Ever sharpen are chisel or grind some metal with a grinding wheel. That red hot stuff that builds up below the grinding wheel is similar to the stuff I was trying to remove. I couldn't believe it when it came off with no damage to the clear coat. I think it is totally safe to use on clear coated wheels. Wear gloves, plenty of water handy, eye protection if you slop about. I just used one of those red mechanics rags by tipping the jug over and wetting it as needed. It turned the rag deep purple immediately. But it got the rims clean in short order with little effort.


Last edited by hwy61; 02-28-2006 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 04-27-2006, 05:59 PM   #23
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Is there any way to purchase this stuff online? I can't find it anywhere
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Old 04-28-2006, 08:57 AM   #24
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Try this: http://www.prosoco.com/finder.asp

Not on-line, but they have half a dozen distributors within a few miles of me. Apparently it's pretty common stuff sold at concrete, paving, industrial supply kind of places.
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Old 04-28-2006, 11:01 AM   #25
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Guys... First, I want to say that brake dust can be cleaned easily, even with water and some soft brush. However, if don't wash your wheels for say 1 month after heavy braking everyday, the brake dust really stick on the wheels and no amount of those off the shelf wheel cleaner will actually remove it and even scrubbing with those brush.

So if you are recommending whatever type of solution for wheels and works, that probably means you are cleaning it often. If your wheel is like hwy61, then you might need other industrial strength solution although I am not sure about long term damage to the wheel. Even waxing will not help much. Yes you may experience less dust or dust come off easily BUT after 1-2 wash, the wax is gone and you are back with the problem.

Of course changing brake pads are a good solution and I have yet to try it.

- Charles

Last edited by chaddeus; 04-28-2006 at 11:06 AM.
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