Know your metals: Chrome and alloy wheel cleaning tips
Cleaning aluminium wheels, or alloys, and cleaning chrome wheels require two slightly different approaches, so it’s important that you check what metal your wheels are made from.
Chrome is actually a very soft metal, which means it is often used to finish or coat other metals. This also means that it responds very well to polishing. When cleaning chrome wheels, putting a little extra effort when polishing at the end can make all the difference so don’t be afraid to get stuck in. This is also true for other chrome features on your car, like the exhaust tips (only wash or polish them when they’re cool) or any chrome trim.
If you want tips for cleaning aluminium wheels then you’ll need to look for specialist cleaners that are suitable for alloys. Alloy wheels are wheels made from an alloy of aluminium, or sometimes magnesium. They are often covered in “clearcoat” to protect them, so you need to look for a “clearcoat safe” wheel cleaner. One of the main alloy wheel cleaning tips is to avoid acidic cleaners as these could damage your alloys. Always check the label of your wheel cleaner before using it, and test it on a small area first to be safe.
So, there you have it. With these tips on cleaning chrome and aluminium car wheels, you’ll never have to ask ‘how to wash a car’ again.