You can clean your own alloy wheels… and here is how! (Mobile Car Detailing)

by / Tuesday, 07 August 2012 / Published in Blog


Cleaning Your Alloy Wheels – The Lazy Way

It’s sunny outside and you want to pull the car covers off your Jeep and cruise around town looking good in your stylish ride.  Only, in order to look good in your stylish ride, the Jeep has to be clean.  Even if you baby your Jeep by detailing it yourself every other week, during the summer the wheels get dirty faster because there is no regular rain to wash grease and debris off the road.  There is a way to keep your Jeep wheels clean in between your overall mobile car detailing schedule.  Don’t worry, this method does not involve spending more money at the local car detailer nor does it include spending more cash on speciality cleaning products at your local Jeep parts store. Using simple household items you can keep grease, debris and brake dust build up off your wheels in between detailing.


You will need some “tools”.  

    • A blowdryer and an extension cord so the blowdryer will reach your car.
    • Depending on how hot it gets where you live you may not even need the blowdryer.
  • A baby powder dispenser in which the talcum has been replaced by baking soda.
  • Dishwasher gel type detergent which promises spot free drying.
  • A hose
  • A rag

 Step 1 – Heat Your Wheels
Grease is the biggest obstacle between you and clean wheels.  As you know from cleaning your kitchen or your clothing, grease that has hardened is more difficult to remove than grease that has been made more viscous by increased temperature.  So take your blowdryer around to each wheel and with it on its highest setting, blow hot air on each wheel for two or three minutes.  Again, if you live in a city like Sacramento or Phoenix where the summer temperatures regularly reach over 85 degrees fahrenheit and you can see wavy plumes of heat rising off the asphalt, the blowdryer step may be wholly unnecessary.

Step 2 – Apply An Absorbent
Baking soda absorbs grease and also breaks down grease.  While each individual wheel is warm blow a thick layer of baking soda onto the wheel using the baby powder dispenser.  Let the baking soda sit on the wheel for ten minutes.

Step 3 – Rinse
Wash the baking soda off with a hose and a lot of the grease and debris will come off with it.

Step 4 – Apply Detergent
With the rag apply the dishwasher detergent gel to your wheel.  Let it sit for five minutes.  If the detergent contains bleach do not let it sit for more than five minutes.  If it does not contain bleach you can let the detergent sit until it dries (though in Phoenix or Sacramento during the summer that might take fewer than five minutes).  The same chemical agents that dislodge baked on food from the casserole dish are going to dislodge dirt, brake dust, debris and grease from your wheels.  And the same chemical agents that leave your utensils spot free are going to leave your wheels shiny as well.

Step 5 – Rinse Again
Wash the dishwasher detergent off with your hose.

If during the washing off process you wind up with grease stains on your driveway, cover them with baking powder for an hour.  Then scrub them with a hard bristled brush and rinse them away.  If the stains remain, smear them with the dishwasher detergent and let it sit on them for a few hours then hose off the driveway again.

San Diego Mobile Auto Detailing – SoCal Mobile

Special Thanks to Adreana Langston for this awesome guest post.