How to Keep Your Car Wheels Clean and Shiny

How to Keep Your Car Wheels Clean and Shiny

Keeping your car clean is a never-ending battle. However, there are some battles you can win. Keeping your wheels clean and shiny is one of them. When you drive, the mud and dirt from the road stick to your wheels and stay there until you stop driving again. 

Dirt and grime buildup on your wheels not only makes them look bad but also poses a safety risk by making it harder for you to see objects in your path while driving. You might think that since the wheel covers or hubcaps on cars hide the wheels from view, keeping them clean would be easy. 

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Even if you don’t see them very often, your car’s wheels are directly exposed to dirt and grime as soon as you start driving — especially because they get wet much more frequently than most other car parts. However, with some tips and techniques, keeping your car wheels clean is possible at home with minimal effort. Keep reading to learn more:

Always wash your car before shining the wheels

You may think that washing your car’s wheels once a year is enough to keep them clean, but it’s not. Even if the wheels aren’t visibly dirty, they’re constantly covered in a layer of dirt, grime, and oil. 

If you only clean the wheels once a year, they’re likely to be coated in a layer of that grime that just doesn’t want to come off. Therefore, always wash and clean your car’s wheels as soon as you can before you start shining and polishing them. 

There are a few techniques that are particularly useful for cleaning wheels. Try using a wheel sponge, and for the rims, a wheel brush. Also, if you have a pressure washer at home, that can be extremely helpful as well.

Use wheel cleaner and a brush

If your wheels are really dirty, start by spraying them thoroughly with a wheel cleaner. If you don’t have any on hand, you can make a homemade version by mixing a tablespoon or two of dishwashing liquid with a gallon of hot water in a spray bottle. 

After letting the cleaner sit on the wheels for a few minutes, use a wheel brush to scrub away the grime and dirt buildup. Continue cleaning until the wheels are as clean as you can get them.

Dry the wheels thoroughly

Once you’ve washed and cleaned the wheels thoroughly, you should let them dry thoroughly. Don’t just put the wheels back on your car and drive away — you’re likely to just transfer the dirt from your wheels to the rest of your car. Instead, use a clean cloth, preferably one made of microfiber, and dry the wheels thoroughly.

Don’t forget the wheel wells

Unless you drive a sports car with wheels so small that they don’t even have wheel wells, you’ll notice that the dirt and grime buildup is greatest in those areas. However, because they’re hard to reach, they’re often forgotten when cleaning the wheels. 

However, wheel wells are no less important than the rest of the wheel. Your wheel wells house your car’s brake and suspension system, making them extremely important in terms of safety.

Dab on some wheel sealant

Once you’ve finished cleaning your wheels, make sure you’re protecting them as well. Use a spray wheel sealant to coat the wheel rims and protect them from future dirt buildup. If you want to go the extra mile, you can also use a wheel wax.


Once you’ve followed these tips, you’ll be amazed at just how clean your wheels can look. 

Additionally, cleaning your wheels regularly will help you avoid having to pay for expensive repairs due to wheel corrosion. Keeping your wheels clean is a simple task you can easily do at home.


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