Chrome wheels are the most popular aftermarket additions people make to their new or used vehicles. It’s easy to see why. Polished clean chrome wheels have a mirror finish that attracts everyones attention. Keeping chrome wheels looking good, a little regular maintenance is in order.
1st of all, it helps to know what you’re cleaning and polishing. Chrome is a very soft metal. It’s used to coat other metals because of its beautiful finish. But you’ll never see anything made entirely of chromium because it just wouldn’t hold up well. However, because chrome is relatively soft, it responds very well to polishing. Your elbow grease will be rewarded with incredibly shiny, reflective chrome wheels (or exhaust tips, trim, and any other chrome surface).
Brake Dust is any Wheels Worst Enemy
Brake dust is made of an adhesive and carbon fibers that come off the brake pad and tiny metal shavings from the rotor. The intense heat and friction generated by the wheels makes this mixture highly corrosive. Because you probably drive every day, more brake dust is constantly being made. Frequent cleaning is the only way to keep your wheels safe. Again, chrome is soft. Brake dust can penetrate and pit chrome wheels in no time. You have to keep them clean and protected in order to maintain their shine.
1 Rinse the wheels. Hose off your wheels to loosen and remove any stuck on dirt. This could include dust, dirt, mud, or brake dust.
2 Apply wheel cleaner to the wheel. Clean all of your wheels one at a time rather than doing each step for each wheel. Spray a non-acidic wheel cleaner onto the wheel. Use a soft bristled brush, a microfiber cloth, or a sponge to scrub down and clean the wheels. Make sure you poke through the wheel spokes and clean in between the nooks and crannies. Also, don’t forget to clean around the lug nuts of the wheel. Areas around the lug nuts can trap a lot of dirt.
Some good chrome and wheel cleaner brands include Griot’s, Mothers, or Wolfgang. When you are finished wiping down the wheels, thoroughly rinse the wheels with clean water.
3 Clean the wheel wells. The wheel wells are the metal spaces up and surrounding the wheels of the car. They are a part of the actual body of the car. To clean the wheel wells, you can use an all-purpose cleanser and a stiff bristle brush. This is an area of the car where you can be a little bit rougher cleaning.
Once you are finished cleaning the wheel wells, rinse them with clean water.
4 Dry the wheels. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe down the wheels and prevent water stains from forming on the rims.
You can also try drying your chrome wheels with dryer sheets.
Polishing Your Chrome Wheels
1 Apply chrome polish to the wheel. Use a soft rag to apply a small amount of chrome polish to your wheel. Be sure to polish each wheel individually before moving onto the others.
2 Polish the wheel. If you have a polishing ball that can be attached to a power drill, this is the time to use it. Spread the wax all over the wheel with the polishing ball rotating from the power drill.
If you don’t have a polishing ball, just use a soft cloth to work the polish all over the tire.
3 Wipe down the wheel. Once the polish starts to dry out, use a soft, microfiber cloth to wipe the wheel and collect any excess polish. Repeat this process for all four of your wheels.