Washing the wheels

Washing the wheels

Everyone will likely remember to wash their car every now and then, but sometimes you might have to pay a bit more attention to the wheels. Brake dust and tar stains can get stuck quite tightly on the rims and will not be removed by just normally washing the car. In addition there are very small crevices on alloy wheels that are difficult to access with large, soft-bristled cleaning tools. Here is a tip on how to clean the wheels thoroughly.


To do this, you will need a wash bucket with a grit guard (to prevent sand and dirt getting back to the tools), a wheel brush and a wheel sponge. You will also need car shampoo and preferrably also a solvent intended for alloy wheels.

Solvents are available in ready-to-use spray bottles and as dilutable products. If you use a product that must be diluted with water, you should prepare the solution ready in a container such as a compression sprayer. This way you can spray the solvent to even the smallest crevices.

Fill the bucket with water and pour in some car shampoo. You can also put water in another container, but don’t put in any product. You can use this water for cleaning your equipment or moistening the washing cloths.
Have a wheel brush and wheel sponge on hand to ensure the best results.


Check the solvent’s use instructions to see if the wheel needs to be wet before spraying. Then, spray the solvent all over the wheels. Make sure that the liquid enters all the smallest crevices.

Let the product take effect for 5 minutes or for as long as indicated in the instructions. However, make sure you don’t let the product dry on the surface to avoid discolouring. Then, use a pressure washer or water hose to clean off the solvent.

A wheel brush is the best way to wash the wheels following the solvent treatment. Dip the brush completely in water and wash the wheels thoroughly. Make sure to also brush all crevices and bolt holes. After you are done with brushing, take the wheel sponge.

Dip the sponge in the detergent water and then use it to wash any spots that are not yet clean. The sponge will also allow you to access any crevices that were too small for the brush. Do not rub dry in order to avoid scratching.


Rinse the wheels thoroughly using a pressure washer or water hose.
Rinse all the washing equipment in the clean water bucket. If you want to make the wheels especially shiny and resistant to dirt, dry them thoroughly with a chamois or drying cloth. Then, wax the alloy wheels with car wax and polish them shiny.

You should wash the wheels at least as often as you change tyres, but more frequently is preferrable.