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Thread: How do you clean your wheels?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    How do you clean your wheels?

    hey all!

    i just got some wheel and tire care package from Costco. well i was reading the back of the wheel cleaner can and it says to try it in an inconspicuous area first... does that mean the product can mess up the wheel finish? my M68s are not that hard to clean and i can get them clean just by wiping the dust off, they feel Teflon-like to the touch. is it a good idea to use products like that or should i just stick to auto-shampoo?

    how do you keep your rims clean?

  2. #2
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    also, has anybody had any bad experiences with a touchless car wash?

  3. #3
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    nevermind the finish, just scratched the sh|t out of one of my brand new rims at the "touchless" car wash............

    i'm an idiot, shouldn't have been there in the first place. from now on, i'll wash it by hand ONLY...

  4. #4
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    Only you should touch your finish.

    Sorry to hear about your unfortunate accident.

    All wheel cleaners are either Acids, or an Alkaline/base product either way if you have aluminum uncoated wheels you can get them screwed up, or they do not have a clear coat they can get screwed up. Picking a wheel cleaner is a very tricky thing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
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    05
    Yeah, Hype's right.

    I wash my wheels with car wash soap and water, same stuff I use on the body of the car. I dry them thoroughly, then I put a nice thick coat of pure carnuba wax on them. Make sure it's 100% pure carnuba wax with NO CLEANERS ( like Meguiar's #26 Paste wax).

    Remove the wax like you would any wax, should protect the finish for a while. And each time after that when you clean your wheels, just use soap and water, they'll clean right up and be protected.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    San Francisco, CA
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    '95 Cosmos M3
    Silver is right. The paint on your wheels is similar to your car's paint. A good coat of wax will allow you to clean them with soap and water. A couple of tips...
    - Keep a different cloth or rag for washing wheels only. You don't want residual brake dust dragging across your hood.
    - Don't forget to dry your wheels.
    - Be sure to clean the inside of the wheel too. I've seen too many that were ruined because the brake dust ate thru the wheel in the back and stained them black forever.
    Nick
    Current: '07 VW Fahrenheit GTI; 2010 BMW s1000rr
    Past: 2003 M3, 6M, Steel Grey, Koni Yellows
    2012 Triumph Thruxton
    1995 M3, Cosmos on Black Vaders
    1993 325i Sport and Cold weather (limited slip!) packs, 5M

  7. #7
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    Carnauba is so nineteen-hundreds.....

    I use an acrylic application which I also use for wax on my car. It works pretty good.

  8. #8
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    uma E36 325 vermelho
    Even though the wheels are clearcoated like your paint, they get much hotter than the body and wax melts away. So its not as effective. I use a teflon "wax" like Eagle one for the wheels.

    By the way, a great wheel cleaner (although pricey at $15/bottle) is P21!!!!
    What would Crockett and Tubbs do?

    1994 E36 Hellrot/Black 325is
    2007 E92 Jet Black/Saddle Brown 335i

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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    1998 M3
    NEVER use car wash! scratches the hell out of the paint!! Grab some good wheel cleaner, for my aluminums i grab a nice set of metal polish to finish it off!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    Alabama
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    1997 BMW M3 Sedan
    I first soak my wheels with diluted purple power that gets all the brake dust going then rinse and after im done washing the car I clean the weeks with a different sponge and then I use spray ultimate quick wax. I know its not recommended but I had great results. it also helps that I have a low dust brake pads.
    Current
    -1997 BMW M3 4Door Artic Silver w/ Black Interior 120k Daily
    -1981 VW Rabbit Pickup (Caddy)

    Past
    -2001 BMW 325i
    -1999 BMW M3 Vert White

    "I don't care if the door gaps are straight. When the driver steps on the gas, I want him to shit his pants." - Enzo Ferrari

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    2002 BMW M3 Coupe
    First I spray down my wheels and tires with water as I'm spraying down the rest of the car, then I spray a good amount of Simple Green on them and wipe them down, then I make sure the sidewall is clean before applying my Sonax tire shine. They always look immaculate afterward.
    Last edited by bran.stum; 01-30-2017 at 11:46 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    Alabama
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    1997 BMW M3 Sedan
    Quote Originally Posted by bran.stum View Post
    First I spray down my wheels and tires with water as I'm spraying down the rest of the car, then I spray a good amount of Simple Green on them and wipe them down, then I make sure the sidewall is clean before applying my Sonax tire shine. They always look immaculate afterward.
    Wouldn't spraying the wheels first dilute the simple green?
    Current
    -1997 BMW M3 4Door Artic Silver w/ Black Interior 120k Daily
    -1981 VW Rabbit Pickup (Caddy)

    Past
    -2001 BMW 325i
    -1999 BMW M3 Vert White

    "I don't care if the door gaps are straight. When the driver steps on the gas, I want him to shit his pants." - Enzo Ferrari

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    2002 BMW M3 Coupe
    Quote Originally Posted by Lukitas View Post
    Wouldn't spraying the wheels first dilute the simple green?
    I'm sure it would, it still effortlessly cleans them though.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    154
    My Cars
    1998 BMW 323is
    I use Mother's Ultimate Detailer with a microfiber almost exclusively on my painted 17" Borbet's. It always works great but I never let them get that dirty.

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