Rim brake dust is a pesky nuisance that occurs on everyone’s car. It is caused when the brake pad wears away material as it contacts the rotors during braking. Brake dust then adheres to the surface of the rims. It attaches very well as it is heated at the time of contact and can almost bake onto the rim. The corners and crevices of the rim become the most soiled as this is where water runoff brings more dirt and dust to settle in the crevices which builds up over time. If you are tired of rims that are constantly dirty and want to make them shine as if they are brand new, then follow the steps below to remove brake dust, dirt and grime from your wheels.
Wash your car as you normally would. When you wash the wheels use a car wash sponge that is dedicated to washing the rims only. Do not use this sponge on the body of the car. This will prevent cross contaminating the dirty rim sponge with the body of the vehicle. Put a lot of soap lather on the rims with the sponge and then take care to thoroughly sponge them down. Spend extra time in the crevices and hard to reach places of the rim.
Rinse the rims with water to remove the soap and dirt from step one. Take a wheel cleaner product and spray down each rim. Let each rim soak for a minute or two. Then rinse the rims off per instructions on the rim cleaner bottle. This second step will remove some of the caked on brake dust that washing of the rims did not remove during step one.
Dry the vehicle and the rims. You can either use a cloth for this or drive the vehicle around on a hot sunny day to let it air dry.
Once the rims are dry again, use a chrome polish product as a third cleaning process on the rims. If your wheels are not made of chrome, then use an equivalent rim shining product. Take the polish and dab it on a soft clean cloth such as a cotton cloth. Apply the rim polish to the surfaces of the wheel and rub into them with hard circular motions. Make sure you apply extra polish to any areas in the corners where they are black from dirt and dust that has caked on.
Wait for the product to dry to a haze. Then use a fresh clean cloth to wipe off and remove the chrome polish. Once that is done use a new clean cloth to hand buff the entire rim surface.
Do not try to clean the rims on a cold day. The colder the temperature of the rim the more difficult it will be to remove brake dust and dirt from its surface.