All You Need To Know On How To Clean Stained Chrome Rims

Every car enthusiasts want to keep their car neat and clean and their wheels to make a statement. They clean their car interior regularly and even know how to fix water damaged leather car seats. However, what they enjoy most is the attention of others on their chrome wheels as they reflect the asphalt in their mirror finish. However, they require regular upkeep to retain their quality and elongate their lifeline.

close up of clean chrome rim

Before we dive into the process that can help you withhold the shine of the chrome hoop forever, it is essential to understand the material first. Chrome discs are coated with a very soft metal known as Chromium. Its soft nature makes it easier to mould this into any shape, and its shiny texture helps give other metals a final coat of finesse. The smooth and shiny surface of the chrome hoop can be spruced up with a good metal polish.

What makes chrome wheels so dirty?

There are many factors involved in ruining a perfect chrome wheel. Brake pads shred brake dust which is comprised of adhesive and carbon fibres. When you drive a car too much, the heat and friction make a highly corrosive combination that harms chrome discs. To ensure the shine stays forever, you need to clean it regularly because the brake dust can infiltrate the brims and dent the chrome hoops. Remember, chrome is a soft metal, so it requires ongoing care. But do not worry; through this article, you will learn exactly how to clean chrome wheels

Cleaning your chrome rims

When you have invested in the chrome rims, you definitely want to earn your money’s worth and not worry about replacing them often. You can extend their lifeline by following these easy steps.

Step 1: Wash

Before bringing out all the cleaning supplies, grab your garden hose or pressure washer and gently rinse one of the wheels with clean water. It is advised to clean each wheel individually so that the water does not dry off and leave a water spot on the surface. Make sure that dirt and brake dust are removed, and you have clean wheels as you move to the next step.

cleaning chrome rim

Step 2: Spray it

You need to find yourself a wheel cleaner to get all the deeply rooted grime out of the chrome wheel. You will be tempted to use your dish soap and save some money, but you should remember there is a reason why it is called a “dish” soap. 

Wheel cleaners are easily available at any store with cleaning products for automotive. Check if it is a chrome wheel cleaner because applying any other harsh chemical will ruin the chrome exterior. Evenly spray the cleaning solution on the brims and let it sit for a few minutes. 

Step 3: Scrub it

It’s time that you find yourself a soft bristle brush to clean out deep-seated road grime or brake dust that did not come out during the wash. Your brush must have soft bristles as it cleans out the dirt and does not tarnish the chrome hoops with scratches. If you cannot purchase a brush, you can use an old clean toothbrush that has been sitting in your bathroom for far too long. 

To have squeaky clean chrome rims, you will need to lug a nut brush to scrub near and into the lug nut holes. Along with this, use spokes to clean brims for all the sides. Clean out the wheel wells since they contain dust particles that can ruin all the efforts you have put into cleaning. 

Step 4: Rinse it

You need to make sure that there is no cleaning solution left on the brims; for that, you will need to give it a wash again. Do not use warm water as it can ruin the chrome exterior. Rinse it through lug nut holes and in between the spokes with cold water. You can simply use a garden hose, pressure washer, or a bucket of water to do this. 

Step 5: Dry it

Well, now you have your perfectly shiny but wet chrome discs. All you have to do now is wait for it to be dry. If you have enough time on your hand, it is best to let it air dry. If you are running out of time, take a microfibre towel or cloth to gently hand dry it to avoid scratches on the chrome exterior.

cleaning chrome rim

Step 6: Repeat and repeat

With this process, you have only cleaned one chrome wheel so far. You have three more to go. Repeat all the steps in order until they are spotless. It will not be difficult to continue the process multiple times when you have already done it once. 

Polishing your chrome rims

Cleaning the wheels is one part of the process. You will need to take another step to slow down the oxidation on the chrome discs. All you need to do is follow the polishing procedure precisely as mentioned, and your chrome brims will live a long life. 

Step 1: Gather the supplies

In order to polish the rims, you will need the metal polish that is suited for your chrome hoops. They are easily available at any local auto part store selling car cleaning products. Check the labels to see if it is compatible with chrome hoops. 

Car compound is another alternative that you can use, but it has more harsh chemicals that are best to remove scratches( including your car exterior). It might work for a short time, but it will harm the chrome surface in the long run. It’s best to use a chrome polish instead. 

Step 2: Get tools

To begin the polishing process, you will need a foam pad or steel wool. If your chrome brims are clean, then use a foam pad, but if you think there is still a bit of dirt left, then ultra- steel wool is the best tool. 

To see if you have suitable steel wool, check the packaging. If it has 0000 on then, it is ultra-fine steel wool. Using this will prevent your chrome exterior from having any more scratches.

cleaning chrome rim

Step 3: Apply wheel finish

Squirt wheel polish on your chosen tool and apply it in circular motions on your chrome surface. Use the same movement and technique for a clear coat. Repeat this step multiple times until your brims have that chrome finish. Rub the foam pads or steel wool a few times over the chrome exterior till it absorbs some polish. 

Do not forget to apply polish to lug nut holes and spokes. They might be hard to reach, but you can attach the foam pad or the fine steel wool on a stick to access those areas. 

Step 4: Remove the excess

We are almost there, just the last few touches to give your chrome discs a perfect finish. There will be some excess polish left on the chrome discs that you will need to take care of. Take a soft cloth and rub it over the rims till it has a smooth texture. 

Do not apply too much pressure on the chrome exterior, so the metal polish is completely removed. It will leave a thin gloss on the wheels, which is how it is supposed to be like. You can touch the brims and feel the smooth texture against your skin.

Step 5: Final rinse

There definitely will be particles left by the tools and on the surface. In order to clean the residue, grab the garden hose again or a bucket of water and wash it down. Use a soft cloth or microfibre cloth to dry the chrome hoops. You can air dry it too if you have more time on your hand.

It is best to do one wheel at a time as it will allow you to avoid water spots. Repeat the process on all four wheels one by one till you are done. Voila! There you have it! A clean car with shiny and pristine chrome hoops.

a close up of clean chrome rim.

When you use your car every day, it becomes essential that you put some effort into the maintenance of the vehicle. The process may require elbow grease, but all these efforts will pay off in the long run. You should be cleaning the chrome discs every two to three weeks, whereas the polish can last you about three to twelve months. However, this depends on your daily usage and the weather you drive in.

After following our guide of cleaning and polishing the chrome hoops, you will definitely have all the eyes on your car.

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