Instructables


Here's a handy little tip to get those rims shining like new!, PLEASE FOLLOW DIRECTIONS EXACTLY THEY ARE VERY IMPORTANT OR DAMAGE MAY OCCUR
 
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Step 1: Preparation

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You will need to gather the following.

1.) Rubber Gloves
2.) The Works toilet bowl cleaner
3.) Baking Soda
4.) Teaspoon
5.) Spray bottle
6.) Toothbrush (or other small brush)
7.) Small glass or ceramic bowl

Step 2: Make your Neutralizer

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Take the sprayer and fill it about half way with water, and then add about 5-6 teaspoons of baking soda, shake it up well.

Step 3: Acid Setup

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Make sure that the toilet bowl cleaner that you have is "The Works" toilet bowl cleaner on the back it should say: Active ingredient: Hydrochloric Acid

Squirt a small amount into a glass or ceramic bowl, DO NOT USE METAL

Step 4: Procedure

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Now you are going to repeat the following steps on small sections of the rim until you are complete

1.) Rinse
2.) Dip the brush in the works and scrub a small area (DO NOT CLEAN FOR MORE THAN 15 SECONDS AT A TIME!)
3.) Spray the Neutralizing mix all over the rim (the acid has probably dripped down so areas you didn't clean yet might have acid on them)
4.) Rinse Again and restart

Step 5: Finish!

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Once you are satisfied with the shine, rinse thoroughly and then neutralize until the spray no longer foams when it hits the rim, and yep rinse again.

If the acid is allowed to sit on the rim for more than 15 seconds while you are cleaning it has a greater chance to eat away at the aluminum, it can cause pitting (little divits) or make the rim brittle overtime

(Truckers use acid on their rims all the time to clean them, The solution they use is MUCH more concentrated and it usually is just left on the rim (causes for most rim failures on semi's)

WASH NEUTRALIZE RINSE!!!!!!!
Hello, are these safe to use on alloy wheels? I drive a 2009 Ford Focus SES Coupe.
steelnix5 years ago
Never-Dull works much better... Can be purchased at auto supply stores...2 part process; Take a piece out of the can (it is a cotton "wadding" with a cleaner in it) a nice 4" by 4" piece will do 2 rims. Rub it on the rim...use some "elbow grease" (rubber gloves prevent your hands and fingers from turning black) let it sit then rub with a clean cloth. The residue will shine and brighten any rim up..also fills in pits in chrome. Make sure you wash the wheel first to remove road grime and any brake dust residue. I have used this same product to brighten and clean chrome table and chair legs...anything chrome or aluminum..
yzzid5 years ago
If your wheels ARE painted, what does one do to remove the paint first? Stripsol? a good ole sandpaper and a lotta elbowgrease? TIA
mwwdesign6 years ago
A word of warning - make sure your rims aren't actually just painted a metallic silver over the top of the metal... it will make a difference!
Linksep7 years ago
As a former auto detailer I can confirm that acid is the best wheel cleaner. According to the MSDS for "Works" it is 15%-20% hydrochloric acid, too strong for this application. I would highly recommend that you dilute it at least 8:1 Water:Works, then spray it on with a plastic spray bottle. If you have a pressure washer or are doing this at a DIY car-wash wait 10-30 seconds and pressure wash it off, otherwise spray it on and scrub immediately with a wheel spoke brush, available in the car-wash section of your favorite superstore or auto parts store). Rinse the wheel with water, repeat if needed. If it makes you feel better neutralize after (probably not a bad idea).

If your solution is too weak (unlikely, unless you have a European car that has not had the wheels cleaned in the last 5 years) you can increase the concentration, but I believe that if you need to go higher than 4:1 Water:Works and scrub with a wheel brush and your wheels still don't come clean, nothing will clean them without damaging them (yes, I have burned painted wheels with acid, it's not pretty). If you have cheap polished aluminum wheels (American Racing for example) DO NOT DO THIS! Acid on unpainted aluminum wheels = really ugly wheels and a big headache. If you have REAL CHROME PLATED STEEL wheels you can be far less careful with this procedure.

This works so well because as Ohm said, acid dissolves oxidation and most wheel gunk is oxidized brake-dust.

If you do somehow manage to screw this up and you damage your wheels, look up "Alloy Wheel Repair" in the phone book. You can usually get wheels repainted for a pretty reasonable price (compared to buying new wheels).
forarmtrick7 years ago
I made a login just so i could comment on how GREAT this works!!! thank you very much. i used all sorts of "rim/tire" cleaners and this is by far the cheapest and best working. i have a 95 honda del sol with years and years of oxidation and all sorts of crap i couldnt get out they look amazing now. THANKS!
Ohm7 years ago
Essentially you are just devolving the oxidation, I would also try vinegar as it is less likely to damage the rim. I might have to try this though as my rims are pretty nasty looking, with oxidation.
hivoltage7 years ago
i have had some great success cleaning the old rims on my little nissan harbody truck lately by putting baking soda into my hanheld abrasive blaster i picked up at harbor freight. the baking soda is just abrasive enough to take off grime and dirt, but not enough to damage painted rims or aluminum.