Custom Wheels: Your Guide to Care and Maintenance

how to clean rims

Your Guide to Care and Maintenance

Wheels are the foundation of any car. And when your wheels are clean, they do more than just help your car look well. Cleaning and maintaining your wheels will help protect your tires from cracking and corrosion. Plus, it will help protect your rim’s finish from the harsh elements. Also, if you take really good care of your tires and wheels, they could end up lasting you a good 6 to 10 years.

Cars with clean, beautiful rims seem to also add more value, so preventing wheel discoloration and rust just makes sense. Ideally, you would clean your car and wheels every two weeks.

Read on, and we’ll teach you through everything you need to know about how to clean rims and tires.

How to Clean Rims and Tires

Not everyone knows the proper way on how to clean rims and tires.

First off, wash our wheels with water or water mixes with mild soap to remove any dirt on the surface.

Next, make sure that you choose a wheel cleaner that is appropriate for your type of rims. Chrome and aluminum can withstand tougher cleaners than painted, anodized, or coated wheels. The label on the cleaner should state which kind of surfaces it is meant to clean. If you don’t have access to a cleaner, you can just use the mild soap and water solution.

Spray the cleaner over the entire surface of the wheel. When cleaning your wheels, work on one at a time. You do not want the cleaner to dry on the wheel while working on another. Allow the cleaner to sit on the wheel for half a minute. During this time, the cleaner will break up the dirt that has built up on the wheel.

Next, scrub the rim with a wheel brush. Clean around the rim bed and between the spokes. Enjoy the satisfying feeling of watching the dirt run off of the wheel. You may also want to get a tire brush specifically for your tires. These are stiffer brushes and you should really try to scrub with pressure when cleaning your tires with these.

Wash your wheel with clean water. Using a pressure washer or hose is a great way to thoroughly rinse the wheel.

Finally, you want to dry your wheel. Use a wheel detailing towel or one made of terry cloth to clean your wheel. Drying helps to get rid of water spots and remove any remaining pieces of dirt.

Wax Your Wheels

After you have cleaned and dried your wheels, it is time to protect them with wheel wax. This material will help seal the surface of your wheel, similar to car wax. This gives an extra layer of protection to your wheels and to add a glossier effect to your wheels.

Apply the wax with an applicator. Follow with buffing.

Wheel wax will help keep your wheels looking good and also protect them from brake dust adhesion. This is an excellent way to keep your wheels clean for an extended period of time. Just remember to wax them regularly.


  • Some custom wheels have a warranty which states that the only product you can use when cleaning their wheels is water, or in some cases, water with a very mild soap.
  • Some high-end custom wheels use different finishes (liquid transfer, carbon fiber, etc.) that provide specific instructions in cleaning their wheels to prevent the peeling of the wheel’s finish.

Taking Care of Your Wheels

Congratulations on learning how to clean rims and tires! Hopefully, you will use this knowledge to keep your wheels protected, and looking fresh and new.

Cleaning and maintenance takes time and effort. Remember to wash, clean and then polish each wheel and rim to keep it from getting dirty or even rusty. Keep in mind that there are also different kinds of cleaners for different types of finishes, so always be mindful of the contents of your cleaner before using it on your wheels and rims.

Just remember that regular maintenance of your vehicle and its parts is the best way to keep it in top shape.