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  1. #1
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    Interior wheel cleaner suggestions

    Any suggestions for a wheel cleaner (and/or cleaning method) to use on the interior area of painted aluminum wheels?

    1. Smooth painted areas
    2. Rougher areas on the inside of the spokes
    3. Area that interfaces with the brake rotor



    The winter just leaves them looking nasty ......... and we even had a mild winter. The area that interfaces with the brake rotor is also oxidized.


    I would like to give the insides a thorough cleaning and then put on a wheel specific ceramic coating - in hopes that a ceramic coating can help keep them cleaner between washes.


    I have done the following previously:

    1. Meguiar's Ultimate All Wheel Cleaner - the stuff that changes color, and agitate with a brush
    2. Griot's wheel clay ...... but I did not clay for more than 10 minutes per wheel


    Has anyone had success removing this kind of grime pictured with Sonax Wheel Cleaner Plus?

    Interior wheel cleaner suggestions-image3-jpg

  2. #2
    Senior Member spazzz's Avatar
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    Re: Interior wheel cleaner suggestions

    I would give polishing a try.
    You can do it by hand, it will just take awhile.
    You could give Meguiars Ultimate Compound a try and see what happens. It would be a safer way than chemicals.

  3. #3
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    Re: Interior wheel cleaner suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by spazzz View Post
    I would give polishing a try.
    You can do it by hand, it will just take awhile.
    You could give Meguiars Ultimate Compound a try and see what happens. It would be a safer way than chemicals.
    Compounding is an option for the smooth wheel parts, but probably not appropriate for the "rough" surfaces on the inside of the spokes, or to remove the oxidation on the brake rotor/wheel interface area. I would think that chemicals would be a faster option for those two areas.


    One thing that I do like about the compounding suggestion ........ is that I have recently been looking at acquiring a Griot's G8 Mini Random Orbital Polisher for other tasks. This sounds like more justification to get one.

  4. #4
    Senior Member spazzz's Avatar
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    Re: Interior wheel cleaner suggestions

    I see your point.
    If I was stuck without another wheel cleaner at the moment I would try a polish to see what would happen.
    I have Sonax, D143, Brake Buster and Megs wheel brightener, maybe even Tar-X as possible. I would try polishing after those if still present, which would really suck if it was.

    Is that semi-mettalic brake pad dust?

    As far as the hub mating surface,you need to use a wire brush and a thin coat of ant-seize if the wheels stay on the car for more than a year.

  5. #5
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    Re: Interior wheel cleaner suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by spazzz View Post
    I see your point.
    If I was stuck without another wheel cleaner at the moment I would try a polish to see what would happen.
    I have Sonax, D143, Brake Buster and Megs wheel brightener, maybe even Tar-X as possible. I would try polishing after those if still present, which would really suck if it was.

    Is that semi-mettalic brake pad dust?

    As far as the hub mating surface,you need to use a wire brush and a thin coat of ant-seize if the wheels stay on the car for more than a year.

    I thought that I installed ceramic front brake pads last time, but I just checked my maintenance records and did not record the brake pad details. Coincidentally, I just installed new front brake pads and rotors today, and used factory parts this time.


    I would call it "general rust belt winter muck".


    The wheels were off today, due to maintenance, and I tried some Chemical Guys Diablo wheel cleaner - the red stuff that smells nice. I forgot that I had it, but stumbled across it this morning. It did not do a darn thing to the staining.


    I decided to try acetone, and bingo, the muck came right off! I did not have time for a full detail, so I just put on a layer of synthetic paint sealant as a temporary barrier.

  6. #6
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Interior wheel cleaner suggestions

    Maybe I didn't see it, but are you removing the wheels or trying to do this type of work with the wheels on?


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  7. #7
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    Re: Interior wheel cleaner suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    Maybe I didn't see it, but are you removing the wheels or trying to do this type of work with the wheels on?

    Yes, the wheels would be removed.


    My original image was with the wheel installed though, just for simplicity to acquire the image.


    Due to time constraints, I will probably have to remove 1 wheel at a time for a full detail to include a ceramic wheel coating. That will obviously take a few days to complete.

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