Help with getting wheels clean
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This is a discussion on Help with getting wheels clean within the Detailing Forum forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I have a set of wheels, stock STI BBS wheels for 2007 STi that I used in winter. They have ...

  1. #1
    Registered User ITS-STI's Avatar
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    Help with getting wheels clean

    I have a set of wheels, stock STI BBS wheels for 2007 STi that I used in winter. They have brake dust baked on I guess and I just cant seem to get them clean. I have tried engine carb cleaner and regular wheel cleaner and am not having any luck. Does anyone have any suggestions on any hints or tricks that they know of that could help me get my wheels clean?
    Thanks.

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    MAINEiac 11blackSTi's Avatar
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    I used degreaser on my sti wheels but i didn't care about damage because I was getting them powder coated (and really needed everything off the wheel down to the alloy). Have you tried wheel polish and elbow grease? I have heard that clay bar's can work too but haven't tried it (all my wheels are black)

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    Registered User JUSTINSNUTSWINGER's Avatar
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    Claybar them
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    the best wheel cleaner is flash brown royal imo of course (google some vids), however the above advice on the claybar is good and might do the trick. I would use the blue magic though.
    2012 WRX: TurboXS DP, AEM CAI, TP stage 2 tune

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    you could also give cleaner wax a shot too, never know
    2012 WRX: TurboXS DP, AEM CAI, TP stage 2 tune

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    Registered User ITS-STI's Avatar
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    Thanks for the help, I'll go try claybar since i have one.

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    Pro Manscaper Mikie13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rage-wrx View Post
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    Registered User JimboWRX's Avatar
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    Hopefully, you didn't ever use an acid based cleaner on the wheels and forget to completely remove the cleaner off. It can cause the clear coat to soften, allowing the brake dust to embed permanently. Once that happens, there's no amount of cleaning that will fix it short of stripping the clear coat.

    Try using wheel cleaners that are clear coat safe with some elbow grease...It may take several tries, but it should come out.

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    Do yourself a favor my friend, and pick yourself up a bottle of iron-x from a detailing supply website.

    Degrease the wheels first with soap, then hit them with a few sprays of iron-x. Agitate with a brush and watch the magic happen. Metallic particles will turn purple as this product actually dissolves them away. A word of warning though....this stuff stinks terribly. Use it outside only.

    A few other wheel cleaners to try: Wolfgang Uber wheel cleaner has similar properties to iron-x. Also, try poorboy's spray and rinse wheel cleaner. Both are excellent choices, but iron-x is the best I have personally used.
    Last edited by Jlax2485; 07-17-2013 at 04:20 PM.

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    Registered User mcdbrendan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jlax2485 View Post
    Do yourself a favor my friend, and pick yourself up a bottle of iron-x from a detailing supply website.

    Degrease the wheels first with soap, then hit them with a few sprays of iron-x. Agitate with a brush and watch the magic happen. Metallic particles will turn purple as this product actually dissolves them away. A word of warning though....this stuff stinks terribly. Use it outside only.

    A few other wheel cleaners to try: Wolfgang Uber wheel cleaner has similar properties to iron-x. Also, try poorboy's spray and rinse wheel cleaner. Both are excellent choices, but iron-x is the best I have personally used.
    This guy knows his products. +1 for Aquartz Iron-Cut (or an equivalent like Auto Finesse Iron Out) - the smell is a little over-powering, but it's a great product that's useful on the full exterior. I'm a huge fan of Sonax Full Effect wheel cleaner as well, which has an iron cut added to it's degreasing agent. For really tough detail jobs I usually start with a pressure rinse, apply Sonax FE and let is dwell for 3-5 minutes, agitate with Wheel Woolies, then pressure rinse. Anything left-over is hit with a spot of Iron-X and brushed, leaving a clean finish. Follow it up with a good wheel wax and you're wheels will be a piece of cake to keep perfect.
    Last edited by mcdbrendan; 07-17-2013 at 04:29 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcdbrendan View Post
    This guy knows his products. +1 for Aquartz Iron-Cut (or an equivalent like Auto Finesse Iron Out) - the smell is a little over-powering, but it's a great product that's useful on the full exterior. I'm a huge fan of Sonax Full Effect wheel cleaner as well, which has an iron cut added to it's degreasing agent. For really tough detail jobs I usually start with a pressure rinse, apply Sonax FE and let is dwell for 3-5 minutes, agitate with Wheel Woolies, then pressure rinse. Anything left-over is hit with a spot of Iron-X and brushed, leaving a clean finish. Follow it up with a good wheel wax and you're wheels will be a piece of cake to keep perfect.
    Flash brown royal is pretty much the same product, but a whole lot less per gallon. They are high PH chemicals. Sonax turns pretty colors and is overpriced.... though it does work. Brown royals problem is their shipping cost, though with shipping a gallon is still only about 35-40.00.
    2012 WRX: TurboXS DP, AEM CAI, TP stage 2 tune

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    Registered User Stunna02's Avatar
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    Iron-X says to not allow the product on brake calipers... do you tape it off before applying? How do you make sure it doesn't get on the calipers?

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    Registered User mcdbrendan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stunna02 View Post
    Iron-X says to not allow the product on brake calipers... do you tape it off before applying? How do you make sure it doesn't get on the calipers?
    Just spray carefully or apply it to a sponge or wash-mitt to wipe the wheels clean. I've sprayed mine down a number of times and surely have sprayed some on the calipers - after a thorough rinse to clean them off, I have never had an issue, so I wouldn't be too concerned. As always, if you're using on aftermarket wheels, do so at your own risk.

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