Advice and Caution for Those that Want to Clean Chrome Wheels
Cleaning chrome wheels is not like washing a regular set of aluminum wheels.
What you need to be aware of when learning how to clean chrome wheels.
An integral part of suitable car wheel maintenance is to keep them unsoiled and void of abrasive brake dust or road grunge. By paying attention to the following tips and warnings you will be able to restore even the grimiest chrome wheels back to their original newly bought shine.
Before beginning you will need to obtain a cleaner specifically designed for chrome along with gentle liquid car wash, wheel wax and universal wheel polish. All these can be bought at your local automotive retailer. We assume that you already have the basics such as a soft sponge or towel, bucket and water.
One particular point that people tend to overlook is to verify whether or not the wheels are actually chrome. Regular polished aluminum wheels can have the appearance of chrome but they are not chrome. This is important to know before buying any new or used set of wheels. Chrome itself does not tarnish and only pits if rust has begun to settle in.
Once that is clarified you can take your water hose and start spraying and rinsing them. A good multi-purpose nozzle will help increase the pressure and width of the spray to obtain optimal results.
After a thorough rinsing you can now take your sponge or towel and clean the wheels with a good combination of liquid car shampoo and water. Spray the wheels once more with clean water after this step.
If there are any residual stubborn spots of grime, grease or brake dust then squirt a little chrome cleaner onto the wheel and gently scrub and rinse.
Dry out each wheel and then find a nice shaded area so that you can put on the polish after cleaning. Do this thoroughly on each wheel and then hand buff to enhance the shininess of the chrome.
Apply a thin layer of wheel wax with a dry cloth making sure to cover every nook and cranny. This will provide a protective layer to prevent brake dust and road dirt from sticking to the surface of the wheel itself. Since all the grim will end up sticking onto the wax instead it will greatly make all future cleaning attempts that much easier.
Now that you know the basics on how to clean chrome wheels take heed to the following words of advice and caution.
~ Some professional detailers actually use acidic drinks like pop or cola along with steel wool or aluminum sponge to clean their chrome wheels. This is an alternative to buying specialized chrome cleaner but we still recommend you double check with a trustworthy auto body shop before attempting this.
~ When in the middle of cleaning your wheels do not allow any of the cleaners or even the water to sit on the wheel surface for prolonged periods of time and produce water spots. You must wipe the wheels dry quickly with a dry towel or else the water spots can actually create little pits on the surface which will cause physical damage.
~ While shopping for cleaners make sure to explicitly look for brands that are formulated for chrome wheels and that will not deteriorate the chrome itself thereby decreasing the life expectancy of the shine.
~ Requirements in different scenarios may vary greatly for each vehicle’s wheels so substantiate all procedures with a respected auto body mechanic or your vehicle’s owner manual before you apply any new cleaner onto your wheels.
By adhering to these tips and warnings you will be able to clean chrome wheels just like the professionals. The satisfaction of cleaning chrome wheels on your own properly will be a reward in itself. Once you have gained this skill you can show others how to clean chrome wheels without any professional help.