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Thread: How to clean and maintain Polished Aluminum Wheels?

          
  1. #1
    Registered Member Blackford's Avatar
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    How to clean and maintain Polished Aluminum Wheels?

    I just picked a new set of Polished Aluminum wheels for my bronco. Now I know that these wheels need to be polished frequently to keep them shining. But what type of wheel cleaner should I use on them? If I remember correctly it should be something mild correct? In the past I used Mothers mag wheel polish to shine them up, but I am sure Meguiar's has something just as good, what do you suggest? And do you guys put a wax on after polishing to help keep them protected? If so what do you use?

    Thanks

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    Registered Member Malo83's Avatar
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    Re: How to clean and maintain Polished Aluminum Wheels?

    Ditto

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    Administrator Michael Stoops's Avatar
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    Re: How to clean and maintain Polished Aluminum Wheels?

    For routine washing you're safest bet is Meguiar's Hot Rims Aluminum Wheel Wash in the light blue trigger bottle. It is critically important that you wash just one wheel at a time and never allow the cleaner to dry on the wheels. Read the directions thoroughly and carefully. Keep in mind that this is a very gentle cleaner so if you allow brake dust to accumulate on the wheels or, worse yet, embed into the wheels, this cleaner won't just eat it all away. Any cleaner that will do that has a very high probability of staining the bare aluminum. If you do have some stubborn brake dust and the Aluminum Wheel Wash isn't taking care of things, then I wouldn't suggest using anything more aggressive than plain soap and water and some gently agitation. Following with Meguiar's Hot Rims Mag & Aluminum Polish is the best choice for ridding those wheels of stains, dullness and embedded foreign material.

    It is an all too common mistake for people to spend thousands of dollars on very highly polished aluminum wheels that look so much like chrome that the owner tries to clean them with a chrome wheel cleaner. Big, big mistake. The wheels are instantly stained.

    It's good to know that you're aware of the material of your wheels and are asking questions before working on them. Good for you!
    Michael Stoops
    Internet Technical Specialist | Meguiar's Inc.
    (800) 854-8073 xt 3875
    mstoops@meguiars.com

    Remember, this hobby is supposed to be your therapy, not the reason you need therapy.

    Please post technical questions directly to the forum rather than emailing or PM-ing me. You
    will get a faster response on the forum, and your question could help someone else, too!


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    Registered Member TXShine's Avatar
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    Re: How to clean and maintain Polished Aluminum Wheels?




    I just wash/maintain with what's in my wash bucket and a little shot of Last Touch. Use Hot Rims Mag & Aluminum Polish often with combination of polishing balls and my polished aluminum wheels stay mirror bright. I will put a coat of wax after polishing sometime just for fun but, I doubt it last very long.

    I'll add to what Mike said about not letting cleaner dry on the wheel..... and go as far as to say don't let anything dry naturally on a good polished wheel.


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    Registered Member Blackford's Avatar
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    Re: How to clean and maintain Polished Aluminum Wheels?

    Thanks for the advice Mike, very useful info. Would Hyper-wash be ok to wash my wheels with? That is what I typical use to wash my vehicles. I have always used Eagle One's All Wheel and Tire cleaner on facorty aluminum wheels that are clearcoated, does anyone know if that is too harsh for Polished Aluminim wheels?

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    Registered Member Murr1525's Avatar
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    Re: How to clean and maintain Polished Aluminum Wheels?

    HyperWash would certainly be ok, and the Hot Rims Aluminum Wheel Wash would certainly be ok for tougher dirt.

    You can also clay them as well before polishing.
    '08 Subaru Legacy 2.5i SE - Newport Blue Pearl

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    Registered Member Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: How to clean and maintain Polished Aluminum Wheels?

    One more thing to be aware of, anytime you buy aluminum wheels make sure you know if they are anodized or not, if they are then no amount of polishing will restore a shiny or chrome like look.

    Mike Phillips
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    Administrator Michael Stoops's Avatar
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    Re: How to clean and maintain Polished Aluminum Wheels?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackford View Post
    Thanks for the advice Mike, very useful info. Would Hyper-wash be ok to wash my wheels with? That is what I typical use to wash my vehicles. I have always used Eagle One's All Wheel and Tire cleaner on facorty aluminum wheels that are clearcoated, does anyone know if that is too harsh for Polished Aluminim wheels?
    As stated earlier you should be just fine with Hyper-wash. As for the Eagle One All Wheel and Tire Cleaner, I don't think I'd risk it. I know I certainly wouldn't use Meguiar's All Wheel Cleaner on bare, polished aluminum wheels and I can only guess that the Eagle One product is similar in strength - meaning it's likely too aggressive for this surface. Polished aluminum is VERY delicate, which is why you always see OEMs clear coating aluminum; otherwise they'd have far too many "appearance" claims after customers messed them up with little effort.
    Michael Stoops
    Internet Technical Specialist | Meguiar's Inc.
    (800) 854-8073 xt 3875
    mstoops@meguiars.com

    Remember, this hobby is supposed to be your therapy, not the reason you need therapy.

    Please post technical questions directly to the forum rather than emailing or PM-ing me. You
    will get a faster response on the forum, and your question could help someone else, too!


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    Re: How to clean and maintain Polished Aluminum Wheels?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Stoops View Post
    As stated earlier you should be just fine with Hyper-wash. As for the Eagle One All Wheel and Tire Cleaner, I don't think I'd risk it. I know I certainly wouldn't use Meguiar's All Wheel Cleaner on bare, polished aluminum wheels and I can only guess that the Eagle One product is similar in strength - meaning it's likely too aggressive for this surface......
    Having used E1 AWTC, it is a tick less aggressive than Meguiars AWC, and I would not recommend for bare aluminum.

    Meguiars Aluminum Wheel Cleaner is a great product.

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