How to Clean Alloy Wheels Brake Dust Alloy wheels are a beautiful addition to any vehicle and are widely seen on modern cars. Most of these wheels are made of aluminum and magnesium alloys that offer a lighter and more stylish option than steel wheels. However, brake dust and debris can dull the finish of your alloy wheels, and they can be quite tricky to clean. In this article, we’ll outline the steps and products required to clean your alloy wheels and restore their shine. 1. Understanding Alloy Wheels Brake Dust Brake dust is a black, powdery residue that accumulates on your wheels from the high-temperature generated by your car's brakes. The dust is caused by the brake pads' friction against the rotors. The brake dust consists of tiny metal shavings, carbon fibers, and other materials. When it settles on your wheels, it can stick to the surface and become difficult to remove. If you leave the brake dust on your wheels for too long, it can cause damage to the finish and the metal. 2. Gather the Required Tools and Products Cleaning alloy wheels brake dust can be an easy task if you have the right products and tools. Here is what you will need for the job: - A bucket of water - A wheel cleaner - A soft-bristled brush - A microfiber cloth - A wheel sealant - A hose or pressure washer (optional) 3. Preparing the Wheels for Cleaning Before cleaning your alloy wheels, it's important to ensure that they are cool. If they're hot, wait for them to cool down to avoid damaging the brake components. Start by rinsing the wheels with water to remove any loose dirt and debris. If you have a pressure washer, you can use it to blast away any stubborn dirt and brake dust, but be careful not to damage the wheels or brake components. 4. Applying the Wheel Cleaner Once the wheels are rinsed, apply the wheel cleaner liberally on the surface of the wheels. Wheel cleaners are specially formulated to dissolve brake dust and other contaminants without damaging the wheels' finish. It's essential to choose the right cleaner for your wheels' type, as some cleaners may not be suitable for certain finishes. You can apply the cleaner with a spray nozzle or a brush. Let the cleaner sit for a few minutes, so it can penetrate and dissolve the brake dust. 5. Scrubbing the Wheels Using a soft-bristled brush, scrub the wheels gently in a circular motion. Pay extra attention to the areas with heavy brake dust accumulation. Make sure you don't use harsh scrubbing pads, as they can scratch the finish of the wheels. If the brush isn't cutting through the dirt, you can use a detail brush with stiffer bristles to scrub the hard-to-reach areas, such as the lug nuts and spokes. 6. Rinsing and Drying the Wheels After scrubbing the wheels, rinse them with clean water to remove the wheel cleaner and brake dust. Make sure you rinse thoroughly, so there's no leftover soap residue. Once the wheels are rinsed, dry them using a clean microfiber cloth. Ensure that the wheels are completely dry before applying the wheel sealant. 7. Applying the Wheel Sealant A wheel sealant can help protect your wheels from brake dust, road grime, and other contaminants. It also makes future cleaning easier. Apply the sealant in a thin and even layer on the wheels using a microfiber applicator pad. Allow the sealant to dry for 10-15 minutes, or as instructed on the product label. Once it's dry, buff the wheels with a clean microfiber cloth to remove any excess product. Conclusion Cleaning alloy wheels brake dust is crucial to maintain their appearance and longevity. Follow these steps to ensure your wheels stay clean and shiny for longer. Remember to always use the right products and tools, and to take your time when cleaning your wheels. With patience and care, your alloy wheels will look as good as new.