Can Cleaning Your Wheels Damage Them?

Can Cleaning Your Wheels Damage Them?

A common question that we get about many of the rims that we put on and the wheels we swap out is how they should be cleaned.  Beautiful and shiny chrome rims take work and it’s easy to spot the signs of abrasive damage on wheels. Rather than facing a major repair bill to recoat or replace your wheels after they have been scratched up,  you should consider avoiding some of the top cleaning mistakes to ensure that your wheels will not be damaged as a result of your preventative maintenance and keeping them clean:

Car Washes

Most of the carwashes in a drive-thru design optimize the process and get you in and out very quickly. Whether you using a touchless, timed, or full-service wash, it’s likely that there are products and items in the car wash which are designed to get the job done fast rather than done with precision. 

It’s likely that you’ve heard horror stories about rollers on bumpers at full-service carwashes as well as damage done to rims from the car wash as well.  There are too many hazards to worry about and there’s also the chance that damage can continue to occur throughout the process of your wheel cleaning too.  Before going to a new car wash you should ask what type of cleaner is present in the wash before you go through with your new rims. If you find out that the cleaner is acid-based there is a chance that it could strip off some of the coating on your wheels and damage them. 

Taking a DIY Approach

When many customers become the victim of a car wash or a professional service that strips off the quality of their wheels,  they start to handle the process of cleaning their rims in the driveway. Any acid-based cleaner needs to be rinsed thoroughly within a few minutes and the easiest way to tell if you have an acid-base cleaner is to determine if the instructions inform you to rinse the item within minutes of applying it. Acid is often used as a means to remove brake dust off of the wheels but it can lead to corrosion in the metal and a chance that the clear coat on your rims can be removed. Choosing a slower cleaner that can stay on the surface for a longer period of time is often the best way that you can clean your rims without any type of damage. 

Plain Old Soap And Water

If you are in doubt regarding the easiest way that you can clean off some of your friends or you’re looking for the best products to clean your rims off quickly,  one of the easiest methods that you can use is with plain old soap and water. This is a very simple solution that can make sure you can clean any debris out of your wheels and rinse away brake dust.  It also won’t compromise the wheel especially if you are using a gentle soap. Applying another coat of clear wax over the top of the dry and clean rims can be an excellent means of protection afterwards.

If you would like to learn more about cleaning your rims and keeping your wheels safe from damage, be sure to follow safe cleaning instructions from the manufacturer and to always use gentle soap and water for most types of surface cleaning on rims and wheels. Contact us to learn more!


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Toll free: 813-863-9449
Email: sales@wheelidentity.com

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11626 N FLORIDA AVE TAMPA FL 33612