5 FAQs on cleaning car wheels


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This article is going to help you answer 5 frequently asked questions on cleaning car wheels. Read on to discover.

Without the wheels on your car, it cannot go anywhere no matter how powerful or beautiful your car looks. What am I even saying? Without the right size of wheels on your car, it won't function well. Your car will also never look beautiful if the wheels are not in the best condition possible.


Looks like crap, right?

So why do you think it is not important to clean up your wheels as much as you clean your car body and its interior whenever you wash your car?. I am guessing you didn't know that there are special ways to clean your car tyres and rims jointly known as wheels.

That is why I would show you the frequently asked questions and answers on properly cleaning car wheels


Sparkling clean wheels rock!

It is estimated that people spend about 30 minutes washing their cars at least every three days in Nigeria but the wheels are often neglected cause it seems like stress. 

FAQs on cleaning car wheels.

  1. Why are my tyres black?

  2. How to keep my tyres black

  3. How do I take care of my rims?

  4. How often should I do this wheel cleaning process?

  5. What happens when I don't clean my wheels in the right way?  

1. Why are my tyres black?

Ever wondered why every tire you see is always black and not red or green?. Naturally, the black colour is a very good heat conductor. As you drive your car, heat is generated by the moving parts and black tyres manage this heat very well and keep other parts of the wheel safe from the heat.


Yes, there are coloured tires

Also, they are very easy to clean and they don't easily get dirty. Even when they get dirty it doesn't appear dirty like other colours of tyres would.

2. How to clean my tyres and keep it black?

Keeping your tyres black goes way more than just washing it with soap and water. Frequent washing off your tyre with soap makes the natural black colour fade away with time and this is why you need to learn these two methods of making your tyre black like new.

Using Tyre Shine products 

Tyre shine products are chemical solutions that have been engineered to keep your tyre shining and black after applying them in the right way. You can apply tyre shine products following the 5 simple steps below :

  • Make sure the tyre has been washed properly off any form of debris using high pressure of water and soap. 
  • You can wash the tyre up to three times just to make sure it is clean then allow it to dry.
  • Spray the tyre shine on the tyre and let it soak in for 30 seconds minimum.
  • Use a piece of clean foam to spread the tyre shine over every exposed part of your car tyre.
  • Use a brush to lightly scrub every part of the tyre so that the tyre will shine very bright like a star. 


Black tyres make your car look desirable

*Note: apply the tire shine in just small coats and layer to prevent it from splashing on your car body as you drive.

You can buy tyre shine products from malls and auto parts store in Nigeria between ₦2,000 and ₦6,000 only. Depending on the size you want.

Using a sugar solution 

You can prepare a sugar solution to make your tyres black by just soaking granulated sugar in warm water and allowing it to settle in together for about a minute. To apply this sugar solution to your tyre, follow the two simple steps below.

  • Use a piece of foam to soak the sugar solution onto the tyre and make sure it touches every part.
  • Use a hard brush to scrub the tyre all round with this same sugar solution and you will see the black popping out.


Sugar solution would make ants swarm your tires

Make sure the sugar solution doesn't drip onto the rims and make sure to dry the tyre up because ants/bees will settle on your tyres once they realize what is going on.

Granulated sugar in Nigeria can be gotten for as low as ₦200 Naira. This is a very cheap method to keep your tyre black.

3. How do I take care of my rims?

Most cars today have alloy wheels because this is what gives a car more beauty. There are various ways of cleaning your car's alloy wheels. Using the right tools, methods and products leads to the best result and has almost zero potential wheel damage side effects.



The materials you will need to tackle your rims are:

  • Wash bucket
  • Microfiber washcloth
  • Soft bristle wheel brush
  • Dedicated wheel cleaner spray 
  • Degreasing or Wax-Stripping Automotive Shampoo (if you have non-ceramic coated wheels)
  • pH Neutral, Wax-Free Automotive Shampoo (if you HAVE Ceramic Coated Wheels)


These are all the things you need to keep your wheels clean from time to time 

Once you have all these materials, here are the simple five steps to follow in cleaning all types of alloy wheels.

Step 1 - Spray Wheels with water

The best way to spray water on wheels is to use a high-pressure water jet that allows every contaminant to fly off the wheels easily.


Water pressure sprayers take off the sand from your tyres

If you don't have a pressure sprayer you can use a water nozzle that can be attached to the mouth of water hoses. They are very cheap and you can buy them at malls in Nigeria.

Step 2 - Spray Wheel Cleaner on Each Wheel

Follow the instructions written on any wheel sprayer you have bought to clean your rims. Some rim cleaners require that you use a soft brush to scrub the rim after some time while some don't need you to do this.


Soft brush only on the rims, please

Step 3- Wash Wheels with Automotive Soap or Shampoo

You should not let the cleaning liquids to stay on your rims for too long because it will react with your alloy wheel and affect them negatively.


Wash the rims with soft cloths to avoid bruises

Use automotive shampoo to wash the rims off the chemicals you have used in step 2. This will help remove the chemical residues left on the wheels, leaving them as clean as possible.

Step 4 - Rinse Completely and Wash the Vehicle Completely

After you have completed the three steps above, use a jet of water as in step one to wash the rims and then wash the car completely. Use a different soap to wash the car body.

Step 5 - Apply Ceramic Coating on the wheels

After the rims have dried up and are now shining like a star, apply rim ceramic coating to make the rims shine and this also reduces the dirt on the rims.


Ceramic coating even prevents scratches on your wheels

4. How often should I do this wheel cleaning process?

This process of cleaning your wheels and tyres should be repeated based on how much you drive the car and also the type of road which the car is regularly driven.

In Nigeria, because of the large number of dust particles that are found on our roads. You should carry out this cleaning process after every two weeks of driving the car regularly.

Another way to know when it is time to clean your wheels is when the black colour of your tyres start fading. 

>>> Read also: 4 types of rims for cars you can buy nowadays

5. What happens when I don't clean my wheels in the right way?  

When you don't clean your car wheels the right way, the brake dust/fallings settle on the rims and makes your rim lose its colour. Brake dust/fallings are those sandlike materials that settle behind your car's wheel. They are a result of your car's brake pad grinding with the surface of your wheel disc.


Brake dust ruins your rims

Breeze can blow these fallings back onto your car's brake system as you drive and this will damage the wheel disc of your car.

In conclusion 

Cleaning car wheels every time you wash it is very important in reducing the brake dust on your wheels. Make sure you wash off every chemical compound you use in your wheels with water so that the chemicals don't attack your wheels. 

At Naijauto.com we care about your knowledge and safety as a driver in Nigeria. You should see details on how to maintain every car brand in Nigeria from the common Toyota, Honda, Mazda to BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and others.

>>> Get brand new, foreign used, and locally used cars on our car for sale section. Do check them out!




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Crank - the head of content for 234DRIVE is a mechanic/car enthusiast/car vlogger that writes and creates relatable motoring experiences. Whenever he lays his hands on any car, he reviews them in depth. He calls himself the 'Educative Car Guy'.

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