Everything you should know about rim cleaner
Nov 02, 2021
What is a rim cleaner and what do I need it for?
The rims get dirty particularly quickly, since salt, road dirt and brake dust collect here. The eye-catching rims quickly become unsightly and devalue even the highest quality car. Apart from the looks, dirt on the rims can lead to far worse problems. The enemy of every rim: brake dust. Brake dust settles on the rim as black dust and can burn into the protective paint on the rim and damage your rims. In the worst case, the load capacity of the wheel is even reduced. Regular rim cleaning and care is therefore particularly important.
Acid-free or acidic rim cleaner?
In general, rim cleaner can be divided into two categories: säurefrei or -containing. Rim cleaners with acid are only rarely used, e.g. for very heavily soiled and acid-resistant rims. With chromed and polished rims you should better keep your hands off it. Acid-free rim cleaners on the other hand, promise gentle cleaning and are environmentally friendly. A rim cleaner is acid-free if its pH value is between five and nine. If the pH value is higher or lower, it can damage painted rims, for example.
|property of the solution||PH value||suitable for|
very heavy soiling (check the acid resistance of the material, not suitable for chrome rims)
"Normal" dirt on polished, painted, powder-coated and chrome rims
insensitive materials with morate dirt
Which rim cleaner for which rims?
For the cleaning of aluminum rims recommends the use of special aluminum cleaners. Aluminum rims are more susceptible to damage from dirt or grit and do not tolerate every rim cleaner. The ingredients of special cleaners for aluminum are chosen so that they clean alloy wheels gently but as thoroughly as possible. The pH is usually neutral.
So-called Intensivreiniger with a pH value in the acidic or alkaline range are suitable for very heavily soiled and stressed rims that have not been cleaned for a long time. Frequent drivers who often drive on field or forest roads should use an intensive cleaner.
For polished, powder-coated or chromed rims we recommend to special cleaners to grab whose composition is tailored to these materials. Chrome-plated rims or rims with complex paintwork require gentle care in order to avoid damaging the surface. Such special cleaners do not contain any aggressive substances.
Rim cleaners also differ in their consistency. They come in foam, gel, spray or liquid form. It is important for efficient cleaning that the cleaner adheres well to the rim surface during the exposure time. Make sure that the rim cleaner is not too thin.
How do I use rim cleaner?
After you have the rim with a Felgenreiniger of your choice, let the cleaner take effect (depending on the manufacturer and the degree of soiling, 2-7 minutes). After that you can use a special rim brush and one soft brush (for small gaps, such as the screw holes) rework.
Then rinse the rims thoroughly with a sharp jet and plenty of water to completely remove any cleaner residue. This is how you avoid late damage. Finally the rims with a soft one microfiber cloth dry. When cleaning rims, always make sure to protect your skin with gloves. You should never use rim cleaner on hot rims. So let the car cool down before you start cleaning.
To prolong the effect, you can use a rim sealing Instruct.
Why do rim cleaners with an active indicator turn purple and stink?
How often can you use rim cleaner?
Acidic rim cleaners should only be used on extremely dirty and seldom cleaned aluminum rims. They are therefore not suitable for regular rim washing. On the other hand, you can use acid-free rim cleaners in everyday life. We recommend cleaning the rims after driving approx. 150 kilometers. You should also clean the rims particularly thoroughly if you change and store the tires. Once the tires have been removed, you can easily reach hard-to-reach places, such as the back of the rims. Thorough cleaning is also required in winter, as road salt mixes with the road dirt and sticks to the wheel rims.
Are you looking for a set for your tires and rims? Then we recommend our 9-piece tire & rim set!