How to Clean Chrome Wheels

December 7th, 2012 by

Honda MechanicChrome wheels are a great addition to any car; they provide a shine and style that’s tough to beat. That said, when they get dirty, their luster is greatly reduced. Keeping chrome wheels clean is a simple way to keep your car looking great. Follow these basic cleaning steps to get your wheels shining as if they were brand new.

Dirt Removal

Start by parking your car in a shaded area that gives your wheels a chance to cool down. Spray the rims with cool water to remove any dirt and brake dust. Spread wheel cleaner on the chrome and let it soak for about three minutes, then scrub the wheels with a brush to remove the caked-on dirt. Repeat this process as often as necessary to remove the dirt. Don’t scrub with a hard brush, though, as this can scratch your chrome — instead, use a soft brush and rub gently. Rinse the chrome off with warm water to completely remove the cleaner residue. Dry the wheels by hand with a soft cloth.

Applying the Polish

Take your wheel polish and apply it to your wheels. Make sure it’s a chrome polish, though, as not all wheel polishes will be designed for chrome wheels. Bear in mind that you don’t necessarily need to buy rust-removal polish unless your wheels are rusty. Rust-removal polish will be a little too strong if you’re simply adding a shine to your wheels — the “all-chrome” polish will be just fine. Apply it evenly with a soft sponge along the wheel. Get it underneath all the hard-to-reach areas to make sure everything gets polished.

Buffing Away the Polish

Use a small soft towel to gently buff the polish once it has dried to a haze. Don’t scrub too hard, as you may damage the chrome. Instead, softly wipe in even, gentle, circular motions, and keep wiping until the polish is removed. Your wheels should be shining after just one application if you’ve followed the process properly. Add a little sealant or wheel wax to help reduce brake-dust build-up. Apply and buff the same way you applied and buffed the polish — and that’s it!