There’s hardly a more serene feeling than having a freshly washed car that shines like a diamond in the morning sun.
And there’s hardly a more disturbing sight than spotting four dirty, muddy, dusty rims that spoil the idyll.
It seems you haven’t paid proper attention. We told you to start washing the car body only when you’re done with the wheels. Not vice versa.
And that’s our first common mistake.
1) Washing the body first
Although it may seem obvious, it’s worth noting: the rubber legs of your car are its dirtiest part. It’s not just the mud that ruins the fancy looks of the wheels. It’s also brake dust, which sticks to the rims’ clear coat. If not cleaned properly, it may cause corrosion. That is why you will want to start your car bathe a bit counterintuitively – the parts that touch the soil must be washed first.
There’s a practical side to it too. You don’t want all that dirt to splash over the shiny, polished paintwork. So, wash the wheels first.
2) Cleaning all the wheels simultaneously
The process of cleaning your wheels is pretty long. On top of that, there’s the fact that your car has four wheels.
But running around the car in circles won’t make it any faster.
First, you will feel dizzy after a while.
Second, you don’t want the water, soap, and chemicals to get dry every time before you pass to the next phase. Just stay still and work on one wheel at a time.
Unfortunately, running around the car in circles to wash the body won’t work. You must work on one body part at a time, just like cleaning the wheels.
Oops, did you park the car under a tree again? Is your car red in colour? According to research, red cars attract the most bird poop, with blue cars in second place. Can you just drive for weeks and weeks with poop blotches all over your vehicle?
Best not; they are very acidic and bad for the paint job. If it is very dry, put a rag soaked in soapy water over the marks and get a cup of coffee. When you get back, everything should be soft, and you can rinse it gently from the car body.
3) Using acidic cleaners (or common dish soap)
There are tons of cleaners on the market these days. That’s why there’s no excuse for not paying attention to the labels. Acid will scrub off the brake dust; we’ll give you that. But a clear coat will go away along with the dust. And we don’t want that to happen. The clear coat protects the rim and makes it look nice. So, when choosing an adequate cleaner, pick one that is PH-neutral.
When talking about dish soap, well… One cannot repeat this too often: dish soap was made for dishes. Many people use it for washing the car body. True, it is cheap. True, it can degrease any surface. But we are not after degreasing here. There are much tougher (and more dangerous) things piled up on the wheels. While sitting there, they’ll just scoff at the approaching sponge drenched with dish soap.
4) Soaking the wheels with clean water and rubbing.
If you make this mistake, all you can hope for are some mean scratches on the coat. The same goes for washing any part of your car. Rinsing with a hose (hands off) is legit. But rubbing with clear water is not. At least in this stage, when there are many sharp particles still stuck on the surface.
You will need some lubricant to make the sponge run smoothly. Soapy water works perfectly. Don’t spare it. The more slippery the surface is, the better.
Is washing the wheels of trucks done the same way as car wheels? We learned you must do something extra. Did you know that the bead area also needs cleaning on truck tires? These are not the beads drivers hang over their rearview mirrors for luck. Beads clamp firmly against a tire’s rim to guarantee an airtight fit and keep the tire properly seated on the rim.
On truck tires, the bead area needs cleaning and maintenance to ensure a good seal and minimize air leaks, as damage to the bead area can cause early tire wear and failure. We don’t want trucks to crash due to dirty beads.
5) Using a toothbrush for the cavities
Is great when you don’t need more tools than you already have. But this one will do you a disservice. It’s stiff and unadaptable, and the bristles are too short. Plus, the surface of the rim is too big (and uneven) for the tiny little toothbrush. To scrub the rims, you need a gentle brush with long, non-abrasive bristles that can reach the tight parts. Wheel brushes typically cost around $6-7, and you can get a more advanced version with a longer stem for around $25. While brushing, pay special attention to the lug nuts, which tend to keep the brake dust stubbornly.
Also, ensure not to use a tire brush on the rims and vice versa.
After rubbing off the filth and removing all the grit, you’ll get the best results if you employ a piece of detailing clay. It’s devised for the finest particles that would otherwise be stuck in the finish.
Needless to say, once you’re done with it, rinse off.
Washing rims the right way is important, but also proper rim maintenance. Did you recently hit a pothole, and now the air leaks from your tires overnight? The rims might be damaged. A good rim is not only a solid base on which to mount tires, they also help reduce friction and gas mileage. Bring your vehicle to us at our tire shop in Hamilton. We will check them out and tell you if they need to be changed.
6) Using chamois or paper towels or bath towels for drying
Chamois is a great material when it comes to… wiping up your glasses or something like that.
When your pet’s rims are shiny again after the treatments above, they will need to dry up before the final touch. Don’t leave them to dry on their own if you don’t want watermarks to ruin your hard work.
So, which material to use?
When it comes to car detailing, use a microfiber cloth. Or four. It is the only material capable of gently absorbing the water without scratching the coat or leaving any marks on it. Chamois has too smooth a surface, so it will smear the water around and rub the dirt into the clear coat.
So, when you’re done with the pedantries, it’s time for the final moment – waxing. Apply wax, leave it for 10-15 minutes and buff it off.
Admire the brand-new-looking rims you’ve got there, and give us a high five for the hard work done.
Is It Time To Rotate And Balance The Car Wheels?
Now that you learned the best way to clean rims and how to clean wheels, it is time to rotate and balance the car wheels. When was the last time you had it done? At CRS Automotive Hamilton, we tell our customers to rotate the tires regularly because it spreads the wear down, and they last longer. You will also be safer.
But it must be done by professionals, so bring your car to us at CRS Automotive. We will balance the tires to prevent vibrations and make sure you don’t have suspension damage in the future. We also have other tire services like flat tire repairs.
Want to let others take care of the details? Come to our repair shops in Hamilton today!