Even though the basic approach to cleaning is simple, not all wheels are the same, and therefore require different types of chemicals. For instance, if you’re not sure whether your wheels are uncoated aluminum or not, do a spot test. Rub a small amount in a low-visibility area with Mothers® Mag & Aluminium Polish. If it does not turn black, stop immediately. There’s a coating of some type on that wheel, and you must use a different product. Be sure to check your owner’s manual or with the wheel manufacturer to make sure the cleaner you choose is not going to harm your wheels.
Maintenance of painted, anodized and clear-coated aluminium wheels is not much different than cleaning body paint. First, wash off any deposits with soapy water. If the wheel is heavily soiled with super-sticky brake dust or road grime, some wheel cleaners can help remove them.
Mothers® Foaming Wheel & Tyre Cleaner is formulated for use on painted wheels and other coatings that need a gentle approach. However, when applying them do so with a hose nearby so you can rinse off the cleaner within a couple of minutes.
To remove stains and brake dust, a gentle polish is just the thing you need to help keep brake dust from sticking. Wheels that aren’t clear coated can use an aluminium polish such as Mothers ® Mag & Aluminium Polish.
Polished Aluminium and Magnesium Wheels
When cleaning polished aluminium wheels without a clear-coat, or open metals like magnesium, use a spray cleaner like Mothers® Polished Aluminium Wheel Cleaner or polish with Mothers® Mag & Aluminium Polish, a proven and popular product. Rub a thin layer of polish onto a portion of the wheel until a black residue appears. Add more polish as you go along, and don’t be in a hurry to remove the dark residue, as the polish gets finer as you use it and results in a greater finish. Once the wheel is sufficiently clean, wipe it dry with a clean, dry MLH® Microfibre Towel so that you don’t let the polish dry on the wheel—make sure you turn the towel frequently.
To get the job done in a fraction of the time, use Mothers® revolutionary PowerBall® , PowerBall Mini® or PowerCone® with Mothers® Metal Polish liquid to bring out the maximum shine in your wheels. Simply attach the PowerBall® to any standard drill, pour Mothers® Metal Polish right on the PowerBall® and begin polishing. Start out on the “low” setting, then slowly increase the speed. The Powerball’s ® unique closed-cell foam allows it to compress tightly to get into those hard-to-reach places. After just a few minutes you’ll be able to use a clean terry or microfibre cloth to wipe the polish away revealing an amazing shine that used to require hours of polishing.
Wheels of Chrome and Roughcast Metal
Some wheels need extra cleaning power such as chrome wheels and those made of roughcast metals. In this case, strong cleaners like Mothers® Chrome Wheel Cleaner can be employed. Take extra care to prevent the cleaner from coming into contact with other parts of the car, and don’t let it sit too long before hosing off. Be sure your wheels are chrome or roughcast, because damage can occur to clear-coated and painted wheels. When doing chrome wheels, you can chase the cleaner with a chrome polish to properly finish the job.
Mothers® Mag & Aluminium Polish and Metal Polish liquid are flexible enough to use with brass, aluminium alloys and magnesium, for billet aluminium, aluminium engine parts, accessories and more. You’ll know the aluminium polish is working when you rub it onto the surface and it turns black. For a quick solution, use Mothers® Metal Polish liquid by hand or along with the PowerBall® . You’ll get the same great shine in just minutes. Don’t let any metal polish dry on the metal. Mothers® Billet Metal Polish is a much finer grade of polish and is ideal for high-quality billet, forged and finely cast aluminium, brass, and other metals. The instructions are the same as with Mothers® Mag polish, but you’ll get even better results with Billet Metal Polish. For fast results, spread Billet Metal Polish around with a clean MLH® Microfibre towel or PowerBall® , buff to a shine and then wipe clean with a fresh microfibre towel.
It’s important to know what sort of metal you’re dealing with when polishing. Certain cleaners can maul the surfaces of incongruent varieties of metal. Chrome is quite durable, for example, and some chrome cleaners can be powerful stuff. Be careful what else you expose to a chrome cleaner (like Mothers® Chrome Cleaner), because rubber, paint and aluminium can suffer some damage from this chemical. Strong wheel cleaners are effective on all chrome including bumpers and pipes too.
Mothers® Chrome Polish is popular because of its balance. Strong enough to clean quickly, but gentle enough not to harm the metal or its neighbouring parts. That balance is an important feature of any well-designed metal polish—it’s very easy for the mixture to be either too powerful or too weak. There’s always been a lot of chrome on cars, so a good chrome polish is handy to keep around. You’ll find this gleaming metal on exhaust tips, bumpers, emblems, mirrors, wheels, headlight bezels, under the hood and everywhere else. Another plus to using Mothers® Chrome Polish is the layer of protective agents left behind that resist smudges and fingerprints. Chrome specific polishes are not as fierce as chrome cleaners but can still discolour plastic and rubber if left sitting.