jmthunderbirdturbo HalfDork
12/14/18 4:40 a.m.

Quick question: I have a truck with chrome wheels. I personally hate them, but im not changing them due to cost. Problem is, they get pretty filthy with brake dust and the like, and are incredibly hard to clean. When I take it to the dealer for a service of some kind (rare, warranty stuff only), they spray something that appears to be magic on the wheels, let it sit, and rinse off everything. No brush, no scrubbing. The damn wheels look new. I want some. I want to be able to clean the chrome with the same stuff as easily as I watched the dude at the dealer do it. 


but what do they use? 



TJL Reader
12/14/18 5:32 a.m.

Wheel acid is commonly used. I detailed “professionally” for probably 6 years at different dealerships way back. We had varying degrees of wheel cleaners. The wheel acid was only for chromed steel wheels. You could use it on painted aluminum but i still didnt like to use it regularly on mine. If there was some billet or raw aluminum wheels that were fairly trashed and covered in years of brake dust, we would use the wheel acid on them as they were already wrecked, it would clean them great but leave the metal kinda burnt. 

Also was good to use on calipers and tailpipes to make them clean up. 

I think there is a few consumer grade products that were similar and probably work as well. Something that is specifically for chrome should be good. I always liked to chase it with soap and water though. 

02Pilot SuperDork
12/14/18 6:22 a.m.

Eagle One used to market a wheel acid, but the last bottle I had dried up a long time ago. I haven't had much luck finding any since, but then I haven't looked that hard. I've been using Sonax lately, which is not acid but works quite well (provided you follow the directions to the letter). It is not cheap, so it gets used occasionally; most times I'll just used the soapy water when I'm done washing the painted surfaces.

jimbbski Dork
12/14/18 9:26 a.m.

IF the wheel is crome plated steel you could also just use oven cleaner. It won't affect the finish but it will loosen the crud.

TJL Reader
12/14/18 10:41 a.m.

On chrome that didnt clean easy, i would usually use glass cleaner and steel wool. 

stanger_missle SuperDork
12/14/18 11:10 a.m.

Are they actual chrome wheels or chrome "clad" wheels (chrome ABS covers)? My Ram had the chrome clad wheels and I was leery of using the acid type cleaners on them.

dinger Reader
12/14/18 11:29 a.m.

It's just diluted muriatic acid.

You can get it at any hardware store, just dilute it down before you use it.

DON'T get it on your skin, in your eyes, or breathe the mist.  It's nasty stuff, but it works.  A little google-fu will help you figure out the how-to.

jmthunderbirdturbo HalfDork
12/16/18 10:00 p.m.

In reply to dinger :

whats the dilution rate?

thanks for the tip!



jmthunderbirdturbo HalfDork
12/16/18 10:02 p.m.

In reply to jimbbski :

i will try that too, i have lots of that stuff. 



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