How to Clean American Racing Wheels & Rims

Washing aftermarket wheels rims

Cleaning your aftermarket wheels is essential for their long lifespan. Chrome, painted, PVD, polished or steel, we have the best way to clean rims. American Racing wheels has released a guide on the proper way to clean their wheels but this guide can also be applied to any other brand of wheels as they are all made with the same type of material.

Washing aftermarket wheels rimsOne of the most frequent questions we get asked at our custom aftermarket wheel business is, “how do I clean my wheels”? Most people are looking into chemical type cleaners you would find at your local stores. That is actually NOT the right way to clean your wheels because the chemicals used in the cleaning solutions are actually going to be more harmful than helpful. In fact, if the finish of the wheels start to fade because of the cleaning solutions you used, that will not be covered under warranty.

So how do you clean the type of wheels you have? Here is a quick guide put out by American Racing wheels you can follow to get the longest lifespan out of your new rims.

Chrome-plated aluminum:
For any chrome finish wheels, used mild dish soap and water. After washing, dry with a soft cloth and apply a coat of soft, non-abrasive cream wax or wheel seal to prevent surface corrosion.

Clear Coated:
Clean with mild dish soap and water; dry with a soft cloth.

Painted Finish:
Clean with mild dish soap and water; dry with a soft cloth.

PVD Finish:
Clean with mild dish soap and water; dry with a soft cloth.

Machined Finish:
Clean with mild dish soap and water; dry with a soft cloth.

Polished Aluminum:
For any polished aluminum wheels, used mild dish soap and water. The appearance of polished aluminum without clear coat will lose it’s shine over time unless they get additional care and maintenance. After washing, dry with a soft cloth and apply a coat of soft, non-abrasive cream wax or wheel seal. Surface corrosion can be prevented with proper care and is also not covered under warranty. A special custom wheel polish and wheel seal is what we recommend to return shine to oxidized rims. The finish on polished aluminum wheels is not covered under warranty.

Chrome plated steel:
For any chrome-plated steel wheels, used mild dish soap and water. After washing, dry with a soft cloth and apply a coat of soft, non-abrasive cream wax or wheel seal to prevent surface corrosion. Surface corrosion can be prevented with proper care and is also not covered under warranty.

When you use the methods mentioned above, do NOT use anything abrasive to clean the wheels because this could take the factory finish off of them or leave scuff marks. When you are cleaning your tires with a brush, be careful you aren’t brushing the wheels with the abrasive brush.

Stay away from automatic car washes or use extreme caution! Some of the strong chemicals used there can cause permanent staining or corrosion in the finish of your wheels. Also, never clean the wheels when they are hot and don’t spray them with cold water if they are hot.

Whether you have American Racing wheels or any other name brand wheel, clean your wheels often but only with mild soap and water and a non abrasive wash pad. That should be all you need, avoid automatic car washes and also avoid wheel cleaners you find in the stores.

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