Expert Tips on How to Clean Alloy Wheels

clean alloy wheels on car

One of the most satisfying parts of owning a new car is that clean, glossy look. While the paintwork will look fantastic for a while, you should pay close attention to your alloy wheels. 

Unfortunately, your rims are in the prime position to accumulate dirt. Whether it’s dirt from the road’s surface or streaks of brake dust, you’ll need to learn how to clean alloy wheels if you want your vehicle in mint condition. 

Customise Your Wheels is here to bring your car up to scratch. We’ll tell you our seven expert tips for maintaining your rims and tell you how to remove stubborn dirt, mud, stains and dust affordably. 

  • Choose the right cleaning product.

Using a specialist, high-quality cleaning solution to brighten your alloy wheels is the best place to start. While you may already own a cleaner that you use to wash the rest of your car, this could leave lingering traces of dust and dirt on your rims. 

Some may feel tempted to make an at-home solution from vinegar, baking soda, or WD40. Using a regular car shampoo may remove surface marks, but you need a heavy-duty cleaner to eliminate stubborn stains for good. We recommend purchasing a grime-busting formula to get those rims sparkling.

  • Wear latex or rubber gloves.

Wear cheap disposable rubber or latex gloves to protect your hands. You’ll likely be working with skin-irritating chemicals, so your hands feel coated in the product. Plus, fine particles of dirt, mud or brake–dust could get stuck in your fingernails. Save time and effort by picking up a pair of gloves. 

  • Use a jet wash to remove dirt.

Before applying your cleaning product, use a high-pressure jet wash to blast loose dirt from your wheels. You can reduce the time it takes to scrub your rims free of debris by removing surface dust. 

  • Apply your cleaner as directed.

Follow the cleaning instructions of your chosen formula. Make sure to apply an ample amount to the alloys, focusing on narrow gaps and crevices where dirt may have accumulated. With a thorough deep clean, you’ll penetrate through mud and remove statins in no time. 

You can also use a soft-bristled brush to carefully pick up debris without leaving scratches. Keep a bucket of clean water nearby to keep your equipment clean in-between scrubs. 

  • Leave for the recommended time.

Leave the product to develop for its recommended time, and don’t worry if a little of the formula gets onto the paint or lacquer of your vehicle: most alloy wheel cleaners will not damage it. However, you may need to check the manufacturer’s specific recommendations. Allowing your alloy wheel cleaner to penetrate the dirt will lift it from your wheels and make washing the product off easier. 

  • Rinse the cleaner off and dry.

Using your jet wash, clean the product off your rims until they look brand new! If you don’t have a pressure washer, you can use a wet sponge to remove any remaining dirt or residue. 

Use a microfibre cloth to dry your wheels and prevent the formation of water spots. You don’t want to use any material that may scratch your wheels! Lastly, keep your gloves on to ensure protection from chemicals. 

  • Apply a wheel wax (for optional shine!)

Our final tip is optional, but it could make a world of difference! Apply a specialist wheel wax to give your rims that extra layer of protection from dirt and grime. Wheel wax will prevent a build-up of dirt from accumulating in the future. 

Our expert tips on how to clean alloy wheels will leave your car looking brand new. Alternatively, you can contact Customise Your Wheels, and our specialists will complete a premium alloy refurbishment on your behalf. Email us at or call 07966795444 for more information!