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Wheel Maintenance Guide

Maintaining your wheels is a vital part of keep a car looking its best; follow this simply process to achieve outstanding results and wheels which are easy to keep looking their best all year round.

Equipment Required

STEP 1: Cleaning / Washing your wheels

Cleaning your wheels should be done using a non-acidic wheel cleaner where possible and with a mixture of suitable brushes. In this instance we are using Valet Pro – Billberry Wheel Cleaner through one of our 1litre Bottles with the Foaming Head attached (this gives a similar action to the wheel cleaner as if using snow foam, lifting the dirt from the wheel).

Rinse the wheel thorough, and then liberally spray the wheel cleaner over the entire wheel. Using a selection of brushes gently agitate the wheel cleaner and ensure no parts of the wheel have been missed. Leave the wheel cleaner to work for approx. 5 minutes, and whilst this is working spray the tyres and inner arches with APC or a Citrus Pre-Wash, this will ensure no residue of tyre shine, dirt anything else is left. Thoroughly rinse to complete this step.

STEP 2: Decontamination

Decontamination plays a key role in how your wheels look and their overall finish. Many people talk about iron removal product which are used on the bodywork of the car, but the place it really matters is the wheels. With many of the braking components manufactured using Iron, this is then released into the wheels painted finish upon braking.

The first step in decontaminating your wheels is to give them a rinse off and clean with wheel cleaner. Either a Pressure Washer or Hose Pipe will be suitable, this is to ensure any loose dirt/grime is removed before you begin the decon stage meaning the iron removing chemical can achieve its best results without having to work through mud, dirt and other soiling first.

To decontaminate your wheels using an Iron removal product simply spray the product of your choice into the wheel, leave for approx. 5 minutes (you should see the solution turn purple), and then rinse thoroughly. Repeat this process for all 4 wheels. You can also spray/apply a Tar removing product to remove any suborn spots of tar or glue left over from the balance weights, again apply and rinse accordingly. For a more in depth guide on how to correctly decontaminate your wheels please see our Decontamination Guide.

STEP 3: Drying

Drying your wheels can be done in a similar manor to your paint (remember to use a different drying towel for Bodywork and wheels). If you have taken the wheels off then great, this step is very easy, if not do not worry but in some cases it is hard to fully dry the insides of the wheel.

This process is very similar to drying the bodywork of your vehicle, simply pat the surface to remove the water and repeat until fully dry.

STEP 4: Polish

Now you have successfully decontaminated, cleaned and dried your wheels you’re now ready for a bit of the added bling factor.

Not many people do this step but it’s one that makes a real difference. By simply applying an All In One polish to the wheels you will hide the majority of the swirls / lighter scratches and give an added gloss to the finish.

Simply apply the A.I.O polish of your choice (in this case we used Britemax A.I.O) using a clean foam applicator, allow to haze and then buff with a Microfibre cloth. Repeat for each of the wheels (outside and inside if possible) and you will be left with 4 very clean and glossy wheels.

STEP 5: Protection

The biggest part in this wheel maintenance guide is protecting the wheels so you do not have to repeat all the hard work you have just done. Adding a layer of protection to the wheels will enhance their ability to repel any iron contaminants and they will repel dirt and brake dust (making it easier when it comes to cleaning them in the future).

In this instance we used Poorboys Wheel Sealant, there are numerous wheel sealants on the market but this product doesn’t cost a fortune and gives just as much protection as the more expensive brands.

Wheel sealants are different to bodywork sealants, they are specifically designed to work in an environment which spends most of its time covered in brake dust, roads grime, iron contaminants and gets very hot. For this reason we would not recommend using a product designed for your bodywork.

Apply the product in thin layers and leave to cure for around 20-30 minutes, buffing off after. If you wish to add even more protection then add additional layers of wheel sealant which will enhance its ability to repel all the harmful deposits from the road/brakes even better.

STEP 6: Tyre Dressing

The best way to apply Tyre Shine is through thin even coats. Apply 1 thin coat, leave for 10 minutes and apply a second. This way you will have the deep glossy look, a finish that will last longer than most, and it won’t fling off onto your freshly cleaned bodywork the first time you drive the car.