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General Chat Thread, cleaning alloy wheels in General; my latest car is the first one to have alloys. Ive just spent 4 hours cleaning the wheels, with the ...
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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    cleaning alloy wheels

    my latest car is the first one to have alloys.

    Ive just spent 4 hours cleaning the wheels, with the polish stuff and a rag. Took me about an hour a wheel.

    Surely there must be an easier way to do this? Im a lazy mofo and the only thing that kept me going was the fact it was 17 degrees and sunny (not bad for the middle of winter eh) and I found a place selling stella cases cheap.

    Is there a machine / tool or somehting I can get to make this less of a chore?

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    I use some Simonz alloy wheel cleaner - spray on, leave it for 5 minutes, wipe off. Works an absolute treat.
    However as I'd not done them since getting the car the amount of ground in brake dust was shocking so it took a few goes of the above along with a stiff brush to get the cack off

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    RabbieBurns (18th June 2011)

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    does the 'wipe off' require any elbow grease or is it literally just a wipe?

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    Steve21's Avatar
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    Silly question, but "polish" as in standard polish? Or alloy cleaning stuff?

    Generally a nice alloy cleaning kit, and spoke brush. There are a few things in local stores like airbrushs etc for them, but end of day it's still down to some elbow grease!

    (Other option, Is a carwash :P A lot nowadays will do it for a price, but you know what it's like, sometimes good sometimes bad)

    Steve

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    yeh it was proper alloy cleaner stuff. Im all out of elbow grease for the forseeable future.

    I took it to a BP carwash, paid $20 for the top wash and it didnt make any difference for the wheels.

    Ive also tried the $100 place where they do the full internal / external detail but tbh I didnt notice much of a differnece from the petrol station one.

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    Steve21's Avatar
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    Was that just a basic wash of wheels? As I know "some" here you can pick alloy clean etc, but it's not all of them.

    Steve

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    VEHICLE INTERIOR



    Vacuum vehicle interior including all mats, footwells, seats and boot.
    Dust & wipe dashboard & centre console.
    Clean interior glass to remove smears and streaks.

    EXTERIOR WASH SERVICE



    A high-pressure rinse to remove built-up grime and debris.
    An all-over Exterior Wash using quality mitts and shampoos that effectively and safely cleans the entire vehicle.
    A Wheel Wash process that removes grime & brake dust leaving sparkling clean rims.

    PRE-POLISH PAINTWORK PREPARATION



    A thorough Clay Bar treatment to remove surface contaminants such as tar and bugs from paintwork.

    POLISH SERVICE



    The application of an all over duco protective polish to clean and enhance paintwork.

    EXTERIOR FINISH



    Exterior Glass clean which effectively removes bugs and dirt.
    Wipe door & boot jambs.
    Apply Tyre Shine for a long lasting protective finish for your tyres to match your vehicle.
    $95 plus $5 for a cup of tea while u wait.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    The trick is in stages, get one of those big car cleaning spunges and use that to wash off a large proportion of the junk first. You can also get spunges on drill fittings that with the polish (if you are going that far) makes it much easier. Personally I just clean the top level of the rubbish off and leave it at that but my alloys are not chrome (by specific choice) which also makes it much easier.

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    RabbieBurns (18th June 2011)

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    Don't have wheels that look like a medieval church window, with lots of fiddly bits. I had a Senator once and that needed a toothbrush! My car doesn't have alloys. Plastic hubcaps for me, held on with tiewrap. The wife's car has alloys with just 4 big spokes and the jetwasher does a pretty good job on them.

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    @synack a sponge on a drill fitting sounds like what I am looking for. Im not sure these are chrome, they are more matte than that. Satin I think is what someone said but Im not sure. They came with the car when I bought it, so I wasnt exactly gonna take them off an put on hubcaps. These have a load of little rivets or whatever as well which makes it even more difficult.

    Ill take some photos in the mornintg

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    RabbieBurns (18th June 2011)

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    kevbaz's Avatar
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    Ive found the foaming mr muscle oven cleaner works a treat too just wipe it off your tyres if it gets on it

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    I use a similar method to the one described here. Meguiars Wheel Brightener is brilliant at removing brake dust and dirt. Depending upon the type of alloys you have, Valet Pro Bilberry Wheel Cleaner may be a better choice because it's non-acidic.

    Personally I would avoid sponges altogether (unless they are the microfibre or lambs wool variety) because because they trap dirt/grit and therefore cause scratches.






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    RabbieBurns (18th June 2011)

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    Meguiars is the brand Ive been using, but its tub of paste stuff, rather than a spray. It was given to me by a mechanic mate along with some cloths, ive not been using a sponge.

    It works well, its just blooming hard work.

    An hour a wheel isnt really something Id want to do regularly, and inner city driving i do is such stop start stop start that it generates a lot of brake dust.

    @SYNACK, that looks good. Do i just buy that or do i need any of the other accessories that amazon recommends?

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    @RabbieBurns - should be fine with just the polisher unless there is lots of fine detail in the mags in which case the mini polisher could be helpful to. You would want to check the cleaning comound you are using and make sure it is not too abrasive. I'd just use standard car cleaner on it but would give the a quick wipe with a large sponge first to get the thick dirt off. If you really want it to shine then the specialised products may help but for standard cleaning I tend to just use the standard car cleaning stuff on them.

    The above comment about scratching does have merit but if they are not chrome then generally if you get the large grit off first with a hand sponge (couple of min a wheel) before hitting it with the drill extention you are usually alright. Just don't use that same sponge on paint afterwards or it will mess it a bit.

    Personally I don't clean my wheels too often as it is my local councils hobby to rip up the road outside of where I live and there is literally a causeal effect that when I clean my wheels the council removes the road so I have given up for the most part.

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    RabbieBurns (18th June 2011)

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