Cleaning Alloy Wheels With Oven Cleaner

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About: Fixer, Finder, Fabricator.

If you own a vehicle with alloy wheels you know how difficult it is to clean the brake dust off the wheels. No amount of soap, water or scrubbing will get it off not even a pressure washer will make much of a dent in it, but as you can see in the photos good old cheap oven cleaner will take it off, with out much effort at all.
The vehicle is a 1985 Toyota FXGT and as you can imagine nearly 30 years of crud has built up and it looks quite nasty.

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Step 1: Finding Supplies

 You may already have everything you need already, just look under the sink. Or you may have to go to the super market, I found an old nylon brush (don't use a steel brush or scrubber) some rubber gloves and I had to buy some oven cleaner for $3.20
and thats all you really need I have a pressure cleaner but a hose will work just as well.
  • Cheap oven cleaner
  • Nylon brush
  • Rubber gloves
  • hose or pressure cleaner

Step 2: Clean Your Wheels

I took my wheels off just because it makes it a little easier to photograph and these wheel have lots of little slots that are hard to see inside.  But its not necessary to remove the wheels if you don't want to.
Just shake up the can and spray on. Don't get it on your paint or face, leave it for a few minutes to work, give it a quick scrub and hose off. I had enough cleaner in the can to do all 5 wheels ( the spare too)  and a couple of the wheels I gave a second coat as they were quite bad.
These wheel have a clear coat and the oven cleaner took all the brake dust an dirt straight off with out a problem. The wheels have areas where the clear coat has been damaged due to wheel weights,  stone chips and gutter rash and you can see that there are still  marks in those places, and the wheel would have to be sanded back, polished and re-coated to fix those problems, but overall a fanatics result on the cheap

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    2 Discussions

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    Good job

    I use oven cleaner alot. Couple of hints, glasses always and have a cup of vinegar handy. Most oven cleaners are NaOH which is a base. if you get some on your skin or paint having a cup (not something you have to take the lid off) you can throw it on the area and naturalize the base. The strong stuff will bubble up your skin before you get the lid off the vinegar bottle.

    1 reply