polished alum wheel cleaner
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Thread: polished alum wheel cleaner

  1. #1
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    polished alum wheel cleaner

    I have a 2003 Corvette with Polished Aluminum Wheels, what wheel cleaner can I use for the clear coated wheels?

  2. #2
    aka: 23jam J. A. Michaels's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
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    Re: polished alum wheel cleaner

    Clear coated rims, I treat the same as paint. Clay them. Never use the clay for paint again.
    Wax them. Understand the wax will not last as long as the wax on your paint does.
    Maintain them with a qd product of choice, or use quik wheel detailer

    That's it.
    quality creates its own demand

  3. #3
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    Suffern, NY
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    Re: polished alum wheel cleaner

    Use All Wheel Cleaner for clear coated wheels then follow the maintenace that JA said. Also, I usually only use a cleaner wax on my wheels as, well, they could always use a little cleaning power, it gives a great shine, some decent protection and its cheap. I wax my wheels about once every 2 weeks because with all the break dust I get on my CooperS I don't really think the wax lasts that long on wheels.

  4. #4
    aka andrewc_11890 Andrew C.'s Avatar
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    San Clemente, California
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    Re: polished alum wheel cleaner

    Just a side note, make sure to use a synthetic wax like NXT or M21 rather than carnauba as it tends to hold up to the heat wheels are exposed to.

    I once put swirls in my paint just to see what it looked like.

    I don't always detail cars, but when I do, I prefer Meguiar's.
    Remove swirls my friends.

  5. #5
    Calais Auto Detailing Calais's Avatar
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    Brooklyn, New York
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    Re: polished alum wheel cleaner

    The best product I have used to seal wheels is Collinite 476s. People have started asking me if I had my wheels repainted.
    James - 1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais
    Calais Auto Detailing
    www.calaisdetailing.com (under construction)

  6. #6
    Sr. Global Product & Training Spec Michael Stoops's Avatar
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    Oct 2004
    Irvine, CA
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    Re: polished alum wheel cleaner

    The important thing to remember when selecting a wheel cleaner is that you're cleaning the surface, not the underlying material. A bare, high polished aluminum wheel can shine almost like chrome, and unfortunately many people who buy this type of aftermarket wheel don't know what they're getting. They assume the wheels are chrome so they choose a chrome wheel cleaner, which is a huge mistake on anything except real chrome. When used on bare, high polished aluminum it will stain the surface white almost instantly.

    Highly polished, bare aluminum requires either something like our Hot Rims Aluminum Wheel Wash or just plain soap and water. This is a very delicate surface and must be treated as such.

    Your wheels are clear coated aluminum, so what you're working on is the clear coat of paint and not the aluminum itself. Factory aluminum wheels are generally clear coated for ease of maintenance, and our Hot Rims All Wheel Cleaner is a good choice for cleaning them. It is important to always follow the directions on the bottle, though, and only work on one wheel at a time. You might want to watch our short Quik Tips Video on this subject: Meguiar's Quik Tips Video Series - Using the Right Wheel Cleaner
    Michael Stoops
    Senior Global Product & Training Specialist | Meguiar's Inc.

    Remember, this hobby is supposed to be your therapy, not the reason you need therapy.

  7. #7
    SLV Auto Detailing cnfowler's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    Del Norte, Colorado
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    Re: polished alum wheel cleaner

    Thank you, Mike, for answering the OP's question. Somehow, everyone got hooked on clearcoated wheels and sealing them instead of helping the OP with 'cleaning' his polished aluminum wheels.

    Polished and clearcoated are two completely different things.

    A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

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