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How to clean the rims: the guide to do it correctly How to clean the rims: the guide to do it correctly

Here are the most useful tips and products to use to properly clean car rims, mistakes to avoid and why decontamination is important

18 April 2023 – 10:49

There cleaning alloy rims and tires it is a fundamental and often underestimated operation, not only when washing the car, but also during maintenance and tire replacement operations. In this mini guide we will explain how to clean rims step by step and what are the most recommended and quality products to do it correctly.


For most motorists rim cleaning it is only one of the phases of car washing, but if it is not done frequently and correctly, the risk of scratching the bodywork increases significantly. When driving and using the brakes, a black patina tends to form on the rims, which is unsightly and also harmful to the car. Brake dust on the rims is formed due to the wear of the pads which release metal powders mixed with binders. Thanks also to the high temperature of the brakes, these particles stick to the rims and tires of the cars. The dirtier and blacker the rim, the greater the risk of scratching the bodywork when washing the car, if you do not do this deep cleaning of rims and tires by following the steps that we explain in this guide: routine cleaning and if necessary the decontaminationas we explain below.


The most common mistake when cleaning car rims is to use the same detergent (and even worse the same bucket) used to wash the whole car. In reality, as we anticipated, car washing requires specific products and used correctly to obtain a good result. Clean rims and tiresIf done regularly, it avoids the accumulation of dirt that is otherwise more difficult to remove, especially if the right products and tools are not used. Here are the steps to follow in the ordinary cleaning of car rims and tires:

  • cool the circle especially in areas very close to the brake caliper, just using water and removing coarser dirt. It is important to do this even if the car has only been used for a few miles or has been parked in the sun;
  • if the circle is cold, spray a specific product as the MAFRA wheel and tire cleaner and leave the active foam to act for at least 1 minute, in order to dissolve the engrained dirt;
  • rinse the wheel, eliminating the dirt incorporated by the foam;
  • spray the rim and tire cleaner again and use specific brushes such as i 24-30-35 mm red MAFRA brushesspecially designed to reach the tightest spots where dirt collects between the spokes and inside the bolt holes;
  • rinse again and if the foam is white, it is proof that the cleaning was successful.
  • check if there are any black spots or stains on the rim, in this case the rims must be decontaminated, otherwise go to the last phase of drying and protection.


There decontamination of rims for a good cleaning it is necessary to dissolve the metal particles which also stick together because of the glues present in the lining of the pads. To perfectly clean rims and tires of this sticky, abrasive dust, follow these steps:

  • nebulizes rapid car decontaminant Fallout Iron Remover MAFRA;
  • When the color turns purpleyou will be certain that the product has chemically dissolved the ferrous residues on the rim;
  • uses soft brushes reach all the hidden points of the circle;
  • rinse.

There rim cleaning with decontamination it is recommended at least every 3000 km or 2-3 months.


After an ordinary or extraordinary cleaning of the rims with decontamination, it is always advisable dry thoroughly and protect area like this:

  • dry the rim and the tire using quality microfiber cloths such as MAFRA heavy duty rags. For a perfect result, it is best to use one cloth for the rims and one for the tyres;
  • only when rims and tires are dry, apply to tire surface Extreme Black, the black eraser in spray finishing and protection, using the Foam pads for a medium shine intensity or directly on the rubber for a more accentuated shine effect.

Source : Sicur Auto


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