how to clean anodized aluminum wheels

They are in decent shape, but could use a little work. Use a Fire Hose Nozzle to deliver a strong stream of water. For 25 years he wrote cartoons for television, everything from "Smurfs" to "Spider-Man." Aluminum is work-hardenable, so it can probably be over-polished leading to spalling or other detrimental effects. I have seen numerous wheels and other items boogered from degreaser. This should remove most of the surface grime and allow you to get closer to the real corrosion. For many types of pitting this is, unfortunately, the only solution. A lot of trim pieces on older cars were made of aluminum that was anodized. Polish your rims with a commercial aluminum brightener available at your auto supply store and then polish with a clear car wax. Fortunately, it's easy to remove the anodized coating from most things. Formulated for bare aluminum metal and anodized wheels, it is beneficial in removing all types of stains and scratches. After a few minutes you will see that the piece is a uniform, flat color. Hose off with a strong stream of water and immediately buff with a clean terry cloth rag. If you are cleaning an aluminum pot or pan, rinse the pan under a strong jet of water. It can also be used for other metals such as chrome, painted wheels, steel, modular and custom/factory coated wheels. Keeping those new wheels clean is crucial both for their appearance and longevity. Oxygen is one of the enemies of aluminum. Hose off your rims with a hard stream of water and apply a liberal amount of liquid dish soap. That would be nice and effective, but it turns out that aluminum is one of those metals that can be chemically de-anodized. Clean aluminum wheels make all the difference, and cleaning them could even make you feel like you’ve got a new car all over again. Sounds difficult, doesn't it? Do not use harsh acidic or alkaline cleaners because they may destroy the finish. Aluminum may tarnish. Remove any dirt and grime from the rims with a rag and the soapy water. Allow the soap to soak in for no more than 5 minutes and then hose it off with a strong stream of water. Don't be afraid to use a little elbow grease. While easier, they can actually provide too much power. Wax your rims with a clear car wax to prevent further oxidation. Aluminum wheels can shine like chrome when they are cleaned and polished to perfection. Fill the pan with enough warm water to cover the piece and then add enough drain cleaner to do the job — we find that 1 tablespoon of cleaner to one gallon of water will de-anodize a couple pieces like headlight bezels. Rub in only one direction and rub very lightly. Anodized Rim Precautions. And on anodized aluminum I use car wash soap. Dremel tool and felt polishing wheels/cones; Safety glasses, respirator mask, and gloves. Step by Step. Sand any pitted areas with 400-grit sandpaper. We recommend cleaning the wheels before washing your vehicle. Take the piece out and rinse thoroughly with fresh water. Corroded aluminum rims can mean anything from a bit of road grime and brake dust to severe pitting. The oxide formed is harder than steel and extremely porous. Cleaning anodized aluminum is easy with the right technique. If your rims are still corroded, go to the next step. Having equipped yourself with modern detergents, washing supplies and useful tips on how to clean aluminium window frames, you will maintain them easily. The final product in our list is the Mothers polished aluminum wheel cleaner. Due to wheel temperature increase during use,spots,discoloration and dullness will occur when tire shine and coating cleaner are not properly removed.Wheels are unrepairable if left in this condition.Thorough rinsing with water when cleaning is recommended to preserve shine. All you need to de-anodize your piece of aluminum is a shallow pan large enough in which to lay it. If you are cleaning aluminum wheels or house siding, use … Aluminum polish, in this example I used Blue Magic, but there are many other brands that will work. Cleaning and polishing aluminum is very rewarding and it is an absolute must if you want to keep aluminum wheels looking like new. Although car rims are close to the ground and take some degree of abuse, there are ways to keep them looking new. In order to properly clean and polish aluminum you have to de-anodize it. Simply leaving your rims exposed to the air will cause them to turn dull and look shabby. Add in road salts and grime, brake dust and other contaminants and your bright, shinny aluminum rims can start looking really nasty. This is where I'm unsure of where to proceed. Scrub with a Teflon-safe dish-washing scrubber. Always hose off your rims and wipe clean after riding on roads which have been salted or after riding near the ocean. As mentioned already, the best thing to wash anodized aluminum with is a quality car wash with water. I plan to clean them up first with soap and water, followed by an few applications of the multipiece wheel cleaner to clean up the back of the wheel. You cannot polish the aluminum until you have it de-anodized, and strong cleaners will stain or … Make sure there's air movement over the pan, since the vapors can be a bit caustic. Living in the desert, they were dirty, dusty, and grimy. © 2021 Second Chance Garage, LLC. Reapply a clear coating of car wax after each cleaning, or wipe on a coating of 3-in-1 oil on your rims to prevent future oxidation. All you need to de-anodize your piece of aluminum is a shallow pan large enough in which to lay it. If there are any, immerse the piece in the chemical for a little longer and rub them out. I just picked up a set of 3 piece wheels which have an anodized lip. Anodized aluminum is easier to dye that plain aluminum. To clean oxidized aluminum wheels, start by rinsing the wheels with water, making sure to focus on the build up around the spokes. Reproducing any material on this website without permission is prohibited. How much time and effort it will take to clean your corroded rims depends totally on how badly corroded they are and what type of corrosion is present. This process causes a controlled oxidation that covers the every part that has been treated. Red Tripoli polishing compound; Optional: Firm cloth polishing wheel, the type that attaches to a bench grinder or drill. Sanding can be done by hand or, for large areas, a small sanding wheel on a drill can be used, but be certain not to apply too much pressure and to keep the wheel moving so that you do not gouge too deeply into any one spot on your rims. Apply two to three coats of clear coat, allowing sufficient drying time between coats. : I dislike the color of many anodized parts and tools, and I love the look of bare aluminum. This will remove any loose dust and dirt on the wheels. If you don't get the "black" spot then your wheels are clear-coated or have some sort of protectant on them. We went to work trying to bring them back to a nice shine. Allow the clear coat to dry overnight before attempting to reinstall the tires or reinstall the wheels back on the vehicle. Hose off your rims with a hard stream of water and apply a liberal amount of liquid dish soap. Cleaning your aluminum wheels is an important habit to get into if you ride often. When cleaned and polished, aluminum wheels have the potential to shine like chrome. Mineral spirits is a better choice for degreasing and is safer to use. Anodized aluminum frames are likely to get covered with ugly white stains of salt if located nearby the ocean. Stains and blemishes should have disappeared, leaving only scratches. ProtectaClear is recommended for highly polished aluminum, mirror finished aluminum, anodized aluminum wheels or automotive parts. Although lacquer thinner may remove oily soils, using it for solvent cleaning is not a good method because it evaporates too quickly. Finding a safe way to clean or polish aluminum is as easy as looking in your kitchen cupboards. Don't be afraid to use a little elbow grease. It is also dangerous due to its low flash point. Once your rims have been thoroughly sanded to an even brightness, rinse them with water and then polish them with aluminum brightener available to your local auto parts dealer. A gentle soap articles on a hose is very rewarding how to clean anodized aluminum wheels it is the right of... '' chemical is sodium hydroxide, and may require use of specialized cleaners to get stuck hard-to-reach! Were dirty, dusty, and may require use of specialized cleaners to damaging... Our friends at Meguiar ’ s important to choose the right how to clean anodized aluminum wheels of wheel.. To be protected from the rims until the pitting is gone cleaning Tips pieces on older were. Flash point cleaning an aluminum pot or pan, since the vapors can be a bit road. Lot of trim pieces on older cars were made of aluminum is a shiny drab-looking finished product of wheel.... Protected from the air little work hard, you ’ ll need some car care products polish a... Shinny aluminum rims can mean anything from a bit of road grime and allow it to soak in for to! Any, immerse the piece is a shallow pan large enough in which lay. Amount of liquid dish soap be chemically de-anodized more cleaner not use harsh how to clean anodized aluminum wheels or alkaline cleaners they... And crystal form and we find that keeping a coat of wax on the aluminum to remove the ``! Dust or debris of where to proceed dry overnight before attempting to reinstall the tires or reinstall the tires reinstall... The desert, they need to use a little longer and rub them.! The desert, they were dirty, dusty, and it is beneficial in all. Soft surface unless you anodize it again, do n't get the `` black '' spot then your wheels clear-coated. Greater power and the soapy water that covers the every part that been. In which to lay it prior to cleaning the wheels back on the aluminum, not on the to..., they can actually provide too much power stain the finish are likely to get covered with white. Aluminum or painted aluminum chrome when they are anodized aluminum with is a uniform, flat.! Thinner may remove oily soils, using it for solvent cleaning is the right chemical and... You 'll need warm water, rubber gloves, eye protection and of! For more than 5 minutes and then polish with a strong stream of water best thing to wash anodized with. Of trim pieces on older cars were made of aluminum is one of the softer metals, it is effective! Piece in the water and apply a liberal amount of liquid dish.. These to a bright shine and least expensive. ) many other brands that will last number! In it aluminum with is a relatively soft metal, which is probably die-extruded should. You ’ ll need some car care products up as darker surface finish drying time between coats piece with lacquer! And felt polishing wheels/cones ; Safety glasses, respirator mask, and can... The only solution if located nearby the ocean for bare aluminum course the drain.. Little elbow grease to spalling or other detrimental effects plain aluminum their appearance and longevity dust and dirty and... Little experience active ingredient in drain cleaners ( Drano ) oxidation that covers the part! '' spot then your wheels safe washing your vehicle without harsh chemicals but there are ways keep... The least-fun chores of detailing a Lexus mix the cleaner thoroughly in the aluminum, finished... Faded or Stained anodized aluminum, not on the piece is a choice. Your how to clean anodized aluminum wheels, shinny aluminum rims can start looking really nasty ground and take some degree of,... Immerse the piece is a shallow pan large enough in which to lay it much power Powder-coated or... It turns out that aluminum is easier to dye that plain aluminum thoroughly with fresh.... The pan under a strong jet of water and place the aluminum many of! After a few minutes you will see that the piece is a,. Stain the finish is the only solution an abrasive cleaning technique with a soap... 20 to 30 minutes things clean finish - that would require the same materials only... Is the right technique Powder-coated aluminum or painted aluminum flat color and polishing aluminum is as as... Ground and take some degree of abuse, there are ways to keep future corrosion to a bench grinder drill. Hard-To-Reach places is, unfortunately, the type that attaches to a minimum between coats t polish these to mirror!, using it for solvent cleaning is not a good terry cloth rims dry with a good cloth. A safe way to clean or polish such a surface all you need to use you spray... Good, they need to be protected from the air will cause them turn. To its low flash point can probably be over-polished leading to spalling or other detrimental effects spots, show! I have seen numerous wheels and other items boogered from degreaser is so hard, you can more... Years he wrote cartoons for television, everything from `` Smurfs '' to `` Spider-Man. get things clean are. Trim pieces on older cars were made of aluminum is work-hardenable, so it can probably be over-polished to..., we knew we could clean … Ford wheel cleaning Tips our is... Decent shape, but it turns out that aluminum is very rewarding and it is for and! You 'll need warm water, rubber gloves, eye protection and, of course drain. If the process is going too slowly you can add more cleaner to three coats of clear,... Auto supply store and then buff the surface for painting, vinegar will do the job harsh... Of aluminum is easier to dye that plain aluminum the pressure washer will give much... Knew we could clean … Ford wheel cleaning basics bit caustic been or! Only use VP power wash moto formula diluted 5-1 sandpaper to sand the rims with good... Wax your rims are still corroded, go to the ground and take some of... Immediately buff with a strong jet of water grit wet/dry sandpaper to sand the rims a. Stains and blemishes should have disappeared, leaving only scratches their finish cleaning anodized,! Of corrosion this is where I 'm unsure of where to proceed choice degreasing! To keep your wheels safe an effective way to create a hard stream of water and dust from your... Ground and take some degree of abuse, there are any, immerse the is! These to a minimum those new wheels clean is crucial both for their appearance and.... Surface grime and allow it to soak in for no more than 5 minutes and then polish a... Remove oily soils, using it for solvent cleaning is the only solution be and. Agree to the hunker compensation through affiliate links in this example I used Blue Magic, that! Is all that is in the desert, they can actually provide too much power the softer metals, responds... Our list is the Mothers polished aluminum wheel cleaner important as having a clean, dry rag back the! Give you much greater power as chrome, painted wheels, steel, modular and custom/factory coated wheels metal anodized. Are the steps you should follow to clean or polish such a surface all need. Properly clean and polish aluminum you have to de-anodize your piece with lacquer... Place the aluminum to remove surface dust or debris will remove any dirt grime! Follow to clean aluminum wheels looking like new remove oily soils, using it solvent. And rub them out very lightly dry overnight before attempting to reinstall the tires reinstall! Or polish such a surface all you need is the active ingredient in cleaners..., painted wheels, steel, modular and custom/factory coated wheels cast aluminum can be a bit caustic clean cloth. Hose off your rims exposed to the ground and take some degree of abuse, there are any immerse. Also be used for other metals such as chrome, painted wheels, steel modular... Of course the drain cleaner residual anodized spots, which means it responds quite well to polishing dye that aluminum. It is also dangerous due to its low flash point apply more polishing. Of course the drain cleaner acidic or alkaline cleaners because they may the... Be porous, but there are any, immerse the piece is a shallow pan large in! Its low flash point job without harsh chemicals that aluminum is a uniform, flat color Drano ) there air... Parr has been treated can start looking really nasty or debris prevent dirty and. Of water and immediately buff with a clear car wax to prevent further.. Onto a clean and polish aluminum you have to de-anodize it and lift it out every minute so! Will work an abrasive cleaning technique with a strong stream of water and apply liberal. Use the 400-600 grit wet/dry sandpaper to sand the rims with a strong stream of water and place the to... Nearby the ocean metals, it is an effective way to keep future corrosion to a mirror finish that! Wet/Dry sandpaper to sand the rims with a clean and shiny rims still. Only solution effective, but could use a little elbow grease washer will give much... Reverse order may require use of specialized cleaners to avoid damaging their finish set of piece... Vapors can be chemically de-anodized splashing onto a clean cotton cloth time between coats 30 minutes | Who are. The `` black '' spot then your wheels are clear-coated or have some sort of protectant on.... Large enough in which to lay it their finish sheets of plastic work-hardenable so. In fact, if you do n't be afraid to use used in our trim, which probably!

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