Tips for cleaning and maintaining your car’s rims

The painted aluminum wheels of your rental vehicle are a real eye-catcher if they are well maintained. Road dirt and brake dust eat away at the paint. Seasonal influences also exert a great deal of pressure on the rims - fine dust in the summer and snow and mud in the winter. With proper care and cleaning, painted wheels retain their shine despite all influences. Find out how to clean and protect your rims.

The right cleaning interval for your rims

How often you need to clean your rims depends largely on the use of your leased vehicle. It goes without saying that the typical Sunday driver needs less maintenance than the businessman who is on the road every day. But in principle, even painted rims do not have to be thoroughly cleaned every day or after every trip. If you don't travel much with your car, you should clean the rims carefully twice a month. This interval is sufficient to remove light soiling such as mud and brake dust. Frequent drivers, on the other hand, should use a sponge once a week. Especially after long journeys, a lot of brake dust accumulates on painted rims. Fine dust promotes scratches and must be removed permanently.

Why cleaning is important

Brake dust is the biggest enemy of painted rims. It spreads like a thin film over the paint and attacks it. If you don't regularly remove the brake dust, the paint layer will be damaged. The paint flakes in these areas and expensive repair becomes necessary. External influences also attack the sensitive paint layer. This mainly includes snow removal salt. It is particularly aggressive and must be rinsed off immediately. In summer, fine dust also sits on the rims like a film. It is not as aggressive as snow-clearing salt, but nevertheless damages the paint layer in the long term.

The choice of cleaning products

You will find a large selection of special rim cleaning products in well-assorted specialty stores and in all major supermarkets. Manufacturers not only promise the yolk, they also charge for their products at a high price. But such high expenses can often be avoided. The best cleaning utensils can be found in almost every household and cost only a fraction of their price.

Home Remedies for Care

Painted rims can be easily cleaned with detergent and water. Prepare warm soapy water and use a microfiber sponge. Without too much pressure, you can remove loose dirt with the damp sponge. Rinse the sponge regularly to prevent dust and dirt from sticking to it. You can use microfiber cloths several times. After cleaning, simply wash them in the washing machine or dishwasher. Hard-to-reach areas of the rims can be reached with a special rim brush. The bristles of the brush are particularly soft and do not damage the paint. Make sure that the bristles are clean and undamaged.

Help against stubborn dirt

Dishwashing detergent is a simple and inexpensive household cleaning product and is a good alternative to expensive cleaning products. There is another household remedy, the use of which is advertised in various Internet forums. Stubborn dirt can be removed with an oven cleaner. However, when you buy it, make sure it is a cold cleaner. After all, rims are difficult to heat. After an application time of ten minutes, stubborn brake dust can be removed effectively with a microfibre cloth. Rinse the rims thoroughly afterwards so that no residue remains.

After cleaning

Once you have removed the dirt from the painted rims, you can rinse the rims with clear water. It's quick and easy with a garden hose, a bucket of water will do the trick. To avoid unsightly water stains, you must dry the rims after cleaning. Use a cotton cloth and dry the rims completely. If water stains have already formed, they can be gently removed with a natural-based glass cleaner.

Bad idea: Use products when cleaning the rims

When cleaning the rim, do not use cleaning agents containing acid. They often effortlessly remove even stubborn dirt, but are very aggressive and will attack the paint on your rims. A microfiber cleaning cloth or sponge is the best choice. A potted sponge and other cleaning utensils with a rough surface have no place in cleaning. The rough surface will scratch the paint and permanently damage the protective coating on your rims. As usual, the following applies to all agents: a brief test in a place that is as inconspicuous as possible is always advisable to avoid possible damage.
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