How to clean car rims?

To remove oil, tar and brake dust from your car rims, it is important to use a good quality product, the appropriate tools and to follow the manufacturer's recommended steps.


  • Don't wait until the rims get really dirty to clean them. Brake oil can become incrusted in the varnish and ruin it for good.
  • Remove the biggest stains with a jet of water.
  • Remove the oil with water and washing-up product, or a few drops of white vinegar.
  • Make sure that the rim product doesn't contain acid or phosphate.
  • Try the product on a small area of the rim. Some rim cleaning products contain corrosive agents that may damage the coating (especially aluminium rims and hubcaps), and it's not always specified on the packaging.
  • For a more effective result, spray the rim cleaner on a cold, dry and clean surface.
  • Leave the product according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Rub with a soft brush to avoid micro-scratches, or wash with a high-pressure water jet (at a car wash centre).
  • Apply a polisher to restore the rim's shine after the cleaning.

How to clean your wheels the good way

Tools and products:

  • Wrenches
  • Brush
  • Gloves
  • Microfibre towel
  • Pad
  • Sponge
  • Wheel wax
  • Clay-bar
  • Wheel gel
  • Tire gloss
  • Water

Key steps:

  1. Take your wheels of the car.
  2. Spray the wheel gel.
  3. Using a brush, spread the gel inside the wheel.
  4. Rinse with clear water.
  5. Repeat if needed.
  6. Clay the wheel.
  7. Rinse.
  8. Spread the wax over the wheel.
  9. Buff off the remaining wax and leave for a couple of hours.
  10. Apply tire gloss with a sponge (on the tire only).
  11. Apply a second coat of wax.

Cleaning Your Car : How to Clean Car Rims

Tools and products:

  • Bucket
  • Microfibre sponge
  • Microfibre towel
  • Car soap
  • Water

Key steps:

  1. Wash the rims with soap.
  2. Rinse the soap with water jet.
  3. Dry the rim with the microfibre towel.

How to clean your car rims and save money, time, and effort

Tools and products:

  • 2 Buckets
  • Natural sea sponge
  • Car wash soap
  • Water

Key steps:

  1. Rub the rims with soapy water.
  2. Rinse with clear water.

This article to learn how to clean car rims was written by Cécile Lessard

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