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Complete Guide To Cleaning Alloy Wheels

Alloy wheels are one of the most expensive parts of a car. They are also one of the components that help to define its overall look. If you take proper care of them, they can last for years with good looks and functionality.

If you are finding ways to clean alloy wheels without damaging them, you are at the correct place. We talked to a few local car washing experts who shared the finest methods to clean alloy wheels.

And without any further delay, let’s come to the topic.

5 Methods to Clean Alloy Wheels

Method 1: Clean With Water and Soap

Wheel cleaners can be used to clean the wheels of a car, but it’s important that you choose the right product. Most of them are strong enough to damage your alloy wheels if not used carefully. So follow these steps to clean wheels with soap.

Steps for Cleaning Alloy Wheels With Soap

Nowadays, you can find plenty of washes that are meant for different types of wheels.

The basic steps to clean alloy wheels with soap follow:

  • Step 1: Rinse your car’s wheels with water to remove excess dirt and debris Placing the hose nozzle at a slight angle will ensure that more water flows around the wheel instead of only on the surface.
  • Step 2: Spray a soft detergent-like dish soap into that soft bristle brush and gently scrub the wheel Remember to use only a minimal amount of liquid at each wash. Just be careful while you handle your alloy wheels, as they’re quite sensitive and can easily get scratched or damaged if handled roughly.
  • Step 3: Take a damp sponge and wipe the wheel clean Make sure that you start from top to bottom as it will let soap spread evenly along the alloy’s surface.
  • Step 4: Dry it with a microfiber cloth to prevent water spots or stains If possible, remove your car for an overnight drying process to ensure the surface doesn’t get hit by rain or other forms of precipitation.

Method 2: Use A Basic Car Detergent

These days, most car cleaning soaps come with a combination of both detergent and wax. But if you are thinking about whether car detergent is safe for use on alloy wheels, then the answer is YES.

It is basic in nature and does not corrode your alloy wheels in any way, so be worry-free while following this method.

An important aspect to consider when practising cleaning alloy wheels is the type of sponge or mitt you use. Using a rough and hard surface for cleaning them is highly not recommended and can result in scratches on your alloy wheels.

  1. Take 3 spoons of car washing detergent, and mix it in a bucket half-filled with water.
  2. Mix well, and make sure the water has turned foamy.
  3. Now dip the sponge or cloth, whichever you find easily accessible, and start rubbing it gently on your wheels.
  4. Do it on all four wheels, and then spray water using a bucket or pipe.
  5. Your wheels will shine like new.

Although every detergent is good when it comes to selecting one, the car wash experts we talked to, suggested to us Chemical Guys Mr. Pink Foaming Car Wash Soap & Meguiar’s Gold Class Car Wash detergents, which are used by thousands of people in the country.

They also recommend getting a car wheel brush by Woollywormit for detailed cleaning, but if you have a sponge and soft cloth, you can skip purchasing this and continue using the sponge.

Method 3: Using Dish Soap

Dish wash soaps and car detergents are made up of the same chemical compound, and using a bar of dish soap to clean alloy wheels is entirely safe. Mike, one of the car experts we talked to, told us he often uses dish wash soap to clean his car wheels, but only when he runs out the car cleaning detergent. 

To wash car alloy wheel using dish soap:

  1. Add 2-3 tablespoons of dishwashing gel/soap in a half-filled water bucket. 
  2. Mix it well, until you start seeing bubbles or foam floating over the top of the bucket. 
  3. Once you start seeing bubbles or foam, it indicates that the dishwashing gel is well mixed.
  4. You can now dip the cloth/sponge and gently rub the alloy wheels to get rid of the dirt.

Method 4:  Using wheel wax 

To clean alloy wheels, you can apply wheel wax. This method is very effective for cleaning alloy wheels if they are not too dirty. First, spray the liquid on your cloth and not directly on the wheel to apply wheel wax.

Next, wipe all surfaces of the wheel to remove oily grime, brake dust, and other deposits. Finally, let the wheel wax dry for a few minutes and then wipe off the excess wax with a microfiber cloth.

In addition to alloy wheels, you can use this method for cleaning your tire rims as well. The only difference is that instead of using liquid wheel wax, you should apply a tire dressing or tire shine on your tires before you wipe off the excess product.

As with other cleaning methods, make sure that you remove all dirt or wax before you apply any protective coating or paint sealant. This is to avoid getting these products dirty.

Method 5: Cleaning with toothpaste 

This method of cleaning alloy wheels is very simple and quick. All you need to do is to apply a little toothpaste on your microfiber cloth and wipe the dirt from all surfaces. Remember not to directly use the toothpaste on the alloy wheels as it may damage them.

In addition to removing dirt, this method can also be used for polishing the rims of your car’s alloys wheels. Its abrasives help in getting rid of minor scratches in the alloy wheels.

When using this method, make sure that you do not use whitening toothpaste or gel. These products may contain bleach that can damage the colour coats on your alloy wheels.


Alloy wheels are quite expensive, and as a car owner, you must maintain the shine of the body as well as the wheels. Car washes usually wash away the dirt on the wheels, but if you are not in a mood to get the entire car washed, or just want to keep your alloy wheels shiny, the above-listed methods will save your day. 

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