Any tips for cleaning our cool wire wheels?

Citrus spray and some toothbrush action? Followed by fresh water from a hi-pressure hose?

Toothbrushes, terpene-based degreaser, 1.5 hours, per.

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Shoelaces and turpentine, followed by dishwasher detergents and soap.

Best thing I’ve found is Utteaglym wire wheel cleaner. Brush it on, leave for about 2 mins pressure wash off. No residue left. Not cheap but very effective,

Ultraglym ( damn phone!:joy::joy::joy:

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Do you wear a hair shirt during this procedure :slight_smile: ?

I’m essentially lazy, and I use Armour All wheel cleaner and my beloved Karcher. 1.5 minutes per wheel.

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I am assuming a grubby, greasy wheel: once so cleaned, yes, they can be periodically maintained in a shorter time.

Autoglym? Or Ultra something? Ultraglym not search friendly :thinking:

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That is basically what I do. I take them off the car and use mild dish soap usually and multiple soft bristle paint brushes and the garden hose. Scrub them down, rinse and use compressed air and the good paper shop towels to dry them, running the towel in around the curly hub and the rim edges and anywhere else (depending on ambition that day) and continue blowing until they’re dry. Overall, 45 - 60 minutes (maybe more) and they generally look great. I don’t like cleaning, I’d rather be driving, but, once in awhile! They do get the quickie, on the car spray and rinse occasionally too!

Now that’s genius! I’ve never thrust of that.

On my painted wires: warm water and soap, brush and pressure wash.

Many Thanks all for your wonderful suggestions…the wheels are not particularly dirty but need some shine on them…! I will try each suggestion (less the Utteaglym, as I can’t find it).
Happy Thanksgiving to all - a few days early…!

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If you keep them clean and don’t let the grease and brake dust cake up they are easy to maintain.

I blow the excess dirt off with a pressure washer,widest fan setting and held maybe 18" away. Then spray on Meguiars Chrome wheel cleaner and let it sit for about a minute or so. No, the acid will not damage the chrome. I use a soft long bristle brush to get into all the nooks and crannies. I also use a spoke brush on the center hub area. Rinse with the pressure washer. Blow off all the water with a leaf blower or air compressor.

Once a year I remove the wheels/tires and completely clean the backside and clean out all the old grease in the hub. Use this opportunity to smear a bit of RTV silicone over the ends of the spokes in the hub. This will prevent that unsightly grease migration from inside the hub to the spokes and hub. Let it set up, apply new grease and rotate the tires when I put them back on the car.

SNGBs wheel cleaner also does a great job and not too pricey.

Thanks for the tip!

Maybe not the chrome but when I tried Meguiars wire wheel cleaner years ago it left stains on the rear aluminum hubs. Coincidentally Meguiars aluminum polish cleaned them up no problem…
Plus one on the shoe laces. Been using them for years now : after a good wash I fold and tie the ends of 54” shoe lace, soak it with chrome cleaner , wrap it around each spoke and polish. Once dry I use a clean shoe lace to polish each spoke.
I’m thinking about an hour per wheel.

I do that except I use “tubular bandage” wet with chrome polish and then run it through the spokes like dental floss.

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This is an equivalent.

Elbow grease.


Do not, ever, use any acid cleaner on wire wheels. Citrus? No no. It is acidic.

Whatever cleaner is used will find its way past the nipple ends of the spokes and into the rim. There an acid will do its thing unseen, until you come to change a tyre, then you will find rust. Rust in the rim, sticking to the tube and the rim tape and the bead of the tyre.
For the same reason, do not, ever, use a pressure washer.

There are non acidic wheel cleaners available from any seller of car valeting supplies.

This is my regeme for wheel cleaning. I takes half a day. My tyres are non directional so they can be put on either side, front or rear. Your tyres may vary.

Car up on axle stands.

Front axle first. Both wheels off the car.

Spray the cleaner on one wheel. Work cleaner around the spokes, hub and rim with an old clean paint brush. More cleaner on the tyre sidewalls, work in with the paint brush. Leave while repeating this process to the other wheel.

Spray a little more cleaner on the first wheel, work in again, then rinse off with clean water. Leave to drip while repeating for the other wheel.

Inspect each wheel, repeat if required.

If clean, spray with your favourite water dispersal substance. Let the wheel stand while doing the same to the other wheel.

Wipe the wheel and tyre with a dry cloth and lay the wheel flat, spinner side up to allow the remaining water the drip off. Wipe the curly hub with the dry cloth. Repeat for the other wheel.

Apply rubber dressing to the tyre sidewall, wiping any excess from the metal wheel surfaces.

Another quick spray with WD and wipe off. This will leave a water dispersal layer on the metal surfaces, keeping water off the wheels for a while. It will also, however, attract dust. If you live where dust is more frequently a problem than rain… I live where the rain is.

Repeat for the rear wheels.

After 1000 miles my wheels are usually quite dull and dirty. I have Kevlar brake pads which produce lower amounts of dust than conventional pads, but I still need to clean my wheel two or three times each year, more if I am attending an important show.

Before the wheels are put back on the car I inspect and clean the outer suspension parts, wishbones, bearings, bushes etc. I will also clean any dirt from the wheel arches. At the end of each driving season (IE now) the arches will undergo a deeper clean, back to paint for the front wheel arches, base underseal for the rear wheel arches. Then I reapply clear waxoyl as part of my winter rust proofing routine.