When it comes to car detailing, wheels often get overlooked. However, they're one of the most crucial parts of your vehicle's appearance. Dirty wheels can detract from your car's overall look, even if the rest of it is spotless. Here's a step-by-step guide to ensure your wheels shine as brightly as the rest of your car.
- Gather Your Supplies
Before you start, ensure you have the following:
Wheel & Rubber Cleaners: Regardless of which products you choose, we always recommend to check your owner’s manual and follow the recommended cleaning instructions. Once you’ve done that, make sure to research and choose cleaning formulas that are suited for your specific needs. We like to utilize cleaners that are designed for the job at hand: Iron-Removing Wheel Cleaner for the rims, spokes and barrels, and a quality rubber cleaner for tough areas like tires.
A variety of brushes:
- Cone-style detailing brush: These are great for reaching deep into the wheel barrels.
- Stiff-bristled brush: Useful for scrubbing the tire sidewalls.
- Soft-bristled brush: Perfect for cleaning the wheel face without scratching.
- Microfiber towels: For drying and buffing.
- Bucket: To mix your cleaning solution and soak brushes.
- Pre-Rinse Your Wheels
Before applying any cleaning products, give your wheels a good rinse with water. This will remove any loose dirt and debris, making the cleaning process more effective.
- Apply Wheel Cleaner
Spray your chosen wheel cleaner generously onto the wheel. Allow it to sit for a few minutes, but don't let it dry. The cleaner will break down the dirt, grime, and brake dust, making it easier to scrub off.
If your wheel style allows, start with the cone-style wheel brush and clean the inner parts of the wheel. This brush is designed to reach the back of the wheel, ensuring a thorough clean.
Next, use the soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the face of the wheel. For stubborn spots, you can apply a bit more wheel cleaner.
Lastly, use the stiff-bristled brush to scrub the tires. This will remove any dirt and give them a fresh look.
- Rinse and Repeat
Once you've scrubbed every part of the wheel and tire, rinse them thoroughly with water. Ensure all the cleaning product is washed away to prevent any residue.
- Dry Your Wheels
Water spots can ruin your hard work. Use a microfiber towel to dry your wheels thoroughly. These towels are super absorbent and will ensure a spot-free finish.
- Where Does Wheel Cleaning Fall in the Overall Car Washing Process?
It's best to clean your wheels first before washing the rest of your car. Here's why:
- Prevent cross-contamination: Dirty wheels can have abrasive particles. Cleaning them first ensures you don't transfer this dirt to the body of your car.
- Avoid water spots: If you wash your car first, water will spray back onto the clean surfaces as you move around and wash your wheels.
Clean wheels can make a huge difference in your car's overall appearance. With the right products and techniques, you can ensure they always look their best. Remember, regular maintenance is key. By cleaning your wheels regularly, you'll prevent buildup and make the cleaning process easier each time.