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  1. #1
    Senior Member T0RCH3D's Avatar
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    What kind of clay to clean wheels?




    What kind of clay should I buy to clean these wheels up? Was recommended to buy detailing clay to clean wheels. What OTC clay can I get cheap to use on wheels as it most likely will be ruined afterward? Also do I apply with wheel cleaner or lubricant/quick detailer? Thanks in advance, trying to clean these 10th Anniversary rims up!

  2. #2
    Senior Member rider9195's Avatar
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    Re: What kind of clay to clean wheels?

    You should clean the wheel with a dedicated wheel cleaner first. Then move to clay if needed.
    Ryan 2006 Volvo S60 R

  3. #3
    Senior Member T0RCH3D's Avatar
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    Re: What kind of clay to clean wheels?

    Yes, have tried wheel cleaners. It removed most but left the stubborn brake dust in the pics above.

  4. #4
    Senior Member rider9195's Avatar
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    Re: What kind of clay to clean wheels?

    I would pick up some Iron X Paste. I have came across some wheels that have those brake dust dots. Apply some IX Paste let sit for 5 mins agitate and rinse. Any clay bar with a QD will work well too.
    Ryan 2006 Volvo S60 R

  5. #5
    Senior Member T0RCH3D's Avatar
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    Re: What kind of clay to clean wheels?

    What about CarPro Trix Tar & Iron Remover? And are there any OTC clay bars I can pick up as I would just use the bar for wheels only after initial use so they can be cheap.

  6. #6
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    Re: What kind of clay to clean wheels?

    The buy list just keeps getting longer...

    Sonax Extreme Wheel Cleaner and a couple of Daytona brushes should be all you need.

    Once you have got your wheels right I'd then Opti-Coat them, which makes future cleaning usually just soap and water. To really do them properly the first time, they should be off the car so that you can really get into the barrels. Just another use for your 4" orange pads and M105 after first getting all the crud out of those barrels with the Sonax.

  7. #7
    Senior Member T0RCH3D's Avatar
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    Re: What kind of clay to clean wheels?

    Quote Originally Posted by gmck View Post
    The buy list just keeps getting longer...

    Sonax Extreme Wheel Cleaner and a couple of Daytona brushes should be all you need.

    Once you have got your wheels right I'd then Opti-Coat them, which makes future cleaning usually just soap and water. To really do them properly the first time, they should be off the car so that you can really get into the barrels. Just another use for your 4" orange pads and M105 after first getting all the crud out of those barrels with the Sonax.
    The list does keep working its way up! I have heard mixed reviews about Sonax, main complaint was the price. So it probably works great just hurts the wallet. How do you feel about the detailing clay as mentioned earlier? As of right now it seems I am going to have to wait until I make my order and Iron X arrives or I find the loose change to pick up Sonax.

  8. #8
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    Re: What kind of clay to clean wheels?

    I have heard mixed reviews about Sonax
    I can't say I've read many wheel cleaner reviews lately. However if a review is stating that Sonax doesn't work, then I'd suggest the reviewer hasn't got a clue about what he is trying to do.

    I'm pretty sure that Iron X and Sonax are about the same price from AG. I get my Sonax products locally so they are even cheaper than AG.

    I can't say that I clay wheels too often, but when I do I just use normal clay, usually clay that has already been used on paint and has been demoted to wheels. Just make sure your wheels have been cleaned first with Sonax before you bother claying.

    You got to be realistic with really bad wheels - they are not going to come out spotless with just one application. Your barrels for instance will need lots of agitation before all that baked on stuff will let go, which is why I suggested removing them.

  9. #9
    Senior Member T0RCH3D's Avatar
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    Re: What kind of clay to clean wheels?

    Taking off the tires/wheels will be no problem and most likely will be what I will be doing for a major cleaning. Now Opti-Coat is this something an inexperienced detailer should use with caution as it is more permanent compared to say any other sealant, LSP, wax? I read up on it and it seems that it asks as a clear in an essense

  10. #10
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    Re: What kind of clay to clean wheels?

    Now Opti-Coat is this something an inexperienced detailer should use with caution as it is more permanent compared to say any other sealant, LSP, wax? I read up on it and it seems that it asks as a clear in an essence
    In my opinion there has been way too much garbage written about Opti-Coat. This forum is just full of threads (some of them over 40 pages long) that virtually insinuate that you need a degree in applied science just to apply it, let alone remove it. These types of threads, by the people here, make out the application to be so much harder than what it actually is. Why is it that most guys here have to “over think” every little thing they attempt to do when they are detailing?

    Yes Opti-Coat is way more permanent than any conventional sealant or wax. In other words it will not wash off via normal washing methods; whereas every other sealant, wax etc will eventually just wash away. Some sealants etc are more durable than others, but most claims of 3-6 months etc are highly exaggerated. If it doesn’t wash off then obviously it provides a more permanent type of protection. One of the advantages of Opti-Coat is that other substances tend not to bond to it. Therefore an Opti-Coated surface is an easier surface to clean. Squashed bugs etc dirt and brake dust tend to readily just wash away with a high pressure washer which means that when you then wash with a wash mitt you are less likely to mar the paint because there is no reason to aggressively wash the panels.

    Opti-Coat is not magic – it will not protect from bird dropping or water spots so you still need to be diligent and remove that type of contamination as quickly as possible just as you would if using any other sealant.

    There is really only one proviso for applying Opti-Coat – the surface must be perfectly clean for Opti-Coat to successfully bond to the surface. Of course that proviso applies to every sealant or wax, so in that respect it is no different to any other sealant or wax. The definition of clean that Optimum Technologies use is that the surface must be completely flat – in other words no beading. That means free of any sealant, wax etc and the polishing oils that are contained in just about all compounds and polishes. For instance if you finish your correction with say M205 or 85RD and then run water over the surface you will normally see plenty of beading because of the polishing oils contained in those polishes. That finished surface is not yet clean enough. The surface has to be washed down as many times as it takes to ensure that the water just lies flat on the surface, in other words no beading. Any strong detergent will achieve that, but normal car wash detergents will not.

    The other alleged problem with Opti-Coat is the actual application because it is very easy for a first time user to end up with a high spot. The easiest way to avoid that problem is to let it happen, so that one you are aware of the fact and how it came about and two more importantly how to avoid it. To do that first practice on some painted surface that has been prepared just the same way as your vehicle. When you are confident that you have the process right, move on to your vehicle and then apply to either a small panel or even one of your wheels. Do not proceed any further until you have checked for high spots by carefully examining the surface under different light conditions. The first time, I’d even suggest waiting at least 12 hours so that the coating has cured to the stage where it is safe to hose it down. If the surface now shows intense beading then you know you have done it right.

    A high spot doesn’t affect the protection properties of Opti-Coat it only affects the appearance of the painted surface (very ugly), therefore if you do end up with a small high spot on the inside of a barrel I doubt that you would be too concerned because other than you, no one is ever going to know it is there.

    I would suggest that even first time users after a little practice should be able to successfully apply Opti-Coat. A little practice and some common sense and there should be no problems. If you want to take it a step further before committing to Opti-Coat, I’d suggest trying their sealant Opti-Seal. The application of Opti-Seal is very similar to Opti-Coat in that they both flash in a very short time. The difference with Opti-Seal is that what appears to be a high spot readily wipes away with a MF, where as with Opti-Coat the high spot is permanent if allowed to partially cure.

    Permanence

    As you stated Opti-Coat can be likened to another layer of clear coat, although it is exceptionally thin. A normal application of Opti-Coat is only a couple of microns thick. So yes it is permanent in one sense, but it also can be readily removed by polishing. If you stuff up big time with high spots, then it is fixed by removing the Opti-Coat with your polisher and then reapplying.

    I have applied and removed Opti-Guard/Opti-Coat in an attempt to simulate what is required down the track to so many panels that I’ve now lost count. I’ve been through this process ranging from cure times of 12 hours, 24 hours, 30, 60 and 90 days and can quite categorically state that Opti-Coat is extremely easy to remove even when fully cured after 90 days, based on the premise that the surface no longer beads.

    My conclusion is that if an Opti-Coated’d panel requires polishing to remove a defect then that panel should be re polished and the Opti-Coat reapplied.

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