Simple DIY Solutions To Clean, Shine, And Restore Your Alloy Rims

From driving to and from work to running errands around town, having a vehicle is an important part of most people's lives. This purchase may be costly, but it is a necessary expense for most people. Thankfully, with proper maintenance and upkeep on the vehicle, you can easily protect your investment. Considering the addition of alloy rims and tires is a great way to increase your vehicle's value. You may be thinking of updating your own set of wheels. Of course, ensuring these new rims are clean and in good condition will enhance your vehicle's appeal, as well. With this DIY guide, you can clean and shine your rims that you've purchased through a place like Extreme Wheels.

Soapy Cleanser

In most cases, you will only need a few drops of liquid dish soap and water to remove dirt, mud, and brake dust from your tires and rims. To get started, fill a gallon-sized bucket with water and add 3 to 4 drops of dish soap. Use your cloth or sponge to stir the solution, ensuring the water becomes soapy.

Use your garden hose to dampen your tires and rims. Then, use the sponge or microfiber cloth to wash each rim with the soapy solution. After scrubbing each rim, rinse with your garden hose to remove any leftover residue and soap.

Involved Cleanser

If you tend to drive through rough or muddy terrain periodically, a heavier amount of dirt and mud may build up on your rims. Removing this stubborn residue will require a more involved cleaner.

In a spray bottle, combine the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups of warm water
  • 2 cups of white vinegar
  • 1 drop of liquid dish soap

Shake the bottle to mix. Use your garden hose to spray your tires and rims. Then, spray a generous amount of the vinegar, soap, and water solution onto the alloy rims. Allow the solution to sit and soak for a few minutes before rinsing off with your hose.

The vinegar offers acidic properties, which are strong enough to eat through dirt and mud while being gentle enough to clean your alloy rims in a safe manner.

After using this involved cleanser, use a clean microfiber cloth to make circular motions across your rims. This will buff away any last-minute fingerprints while enhancing the shine of the alloy.

Scratch/Ding Removal

Your wheels will take a great deal of abuse over time. Not only can road debris bump and bang into your rims, but you may also hit and scrape your wheels on curbs while driving. Scratching, denting, and dinging your alloy rims is common, but you can restore them back to an attractive, valuable state.

If possible, remove the wheels from your vehicle before treating the scratches. If the wheels must remain on your vehicle, cover all areas that will not require sanding and painting with masking tape.

Dip a tack cloth into paint thinner. Use the cloth to buff the affected area of the rim. After buffing with the cloth, sand down the damaged area of your rim using a sheet of 240-grit sandpaper. Spend a few minutes sanding down the damaged area of your alloy rim.

Apply a thin layer of alloy filler putty to the sanded area. Use a putty knife to even and smooth out the putty. Allow the putty to dry for a few hours.

Once dry, use the sandpaper to sand down the surface before applying a thin coat of spot filler to the area. Allow the spot filler to dry before lightly sanding it down with a 400-grit sheet of sandpaper. This will completely fill in and cover the scratched or dinging area of your rim.

Apply a thin, even coat silver lacquer to the filled and sanded area. Be sure the silver lacquer paint is designed specifically for use on rims.  It is readily available at most auto part stores. Allow the paint to dry for 30 minutes before applying a clear coat. After the clear coat dries, it is best to apply a second coat of clear paint for the more protection.

To enhance the shine of your repaired rim, lightly buff the restored area using a 2000-grit sandpaper.

Your alloy rims are a large part of your vehicle's appeal and value, so protecting their look is key. Use this guide to clean and maintain your alloy rims.