Caring For Chrome Wheels

Chrome rims are a favorite finish for people looking for that flash. Due to its reflected nature, the shiny finish of the chrome wheels can surely attract attention. But how do you keep them clean and looking the way they did when you got them?

It always helps to know what you are cleaning first. We are going to start this blog off right. We are going to give you the knowledge of what chrome is and how to care for it. This way, your wheels, and your ride can always look its best. 

Chrome is an incredibly soft metal. Chrome is applied to more durable metals because although it has the looks, it is crap when it comes to durability; chrome is the pretty boy of the metal world. Chromes malleability does have its benefits. This softer metal can be shined to a mirror-like finish, unlike its metal counterparts. All of this achieved with just a little elbow grease and the right knowledge. Here at 4WheelOnline, we will share with you the knowledge, so you too will become a car care pro.

Enemy Number One

That black film that is all over your rims; that is enemy number one. We call this brake dust! Brake dust forms when your brake pads generate high heat and friction. The heat and friction occur when you are braking. The more the car is driven, the more brake dust is going to build up. 

Why is it enemy number one? Brake dust is corrosive, and it is sitting on top of a very soft material. The longer this dust sits on top of your rims. The more likely your wheels are going to become pitted: destroying your nice, eye-catching finish. The best way to combat this is to clean your chrome rims often. Here is how. 

Just Add Soap

The first thing that you need to do to care for chrome is to remove all of the contaminants. We cannot go straight into the polishing stage without doing this very critical step. Resembling clear coat on your car, chrome can scratch easily. We need to remove the particles that can scratch the finish carefully and meticulously. 

It is time to get sudsy. To remove debris from the rims safely, you are going to need a high-quality cleaner. What this cleaner is going to do is help lift the grime and dirt from the chrome wheels. That way, you are not rubbing in the dirt and grime. Thus, causing scratches. These scratches are going to dull your chrome rims and take away that mirror finish.

A side notes. When cleaning the rims, do not forget to include the wheel wells (also called fender wells) while you are down there. If you drive on muddy areas, there is a huge possibility that mud particles have been stuck into the wheel wells as the tires roll. An all-purpose cleaner can be used to get rid of the mud particles. A long-handled brush with sturdy bristles can help you reach the wheel well and remove the dirt. To thoroughly clean the wheel well, you can remove the rims for the meantime.

It is about the quality

We need to think about what we are wiping with. Just like wiping your hiney. We want the softest cloth available. We also want something that is going to grab the particles instead of spreading them around on top of that sensitive surface. For this, we recommend a nice, soft, microfiber cloth. They have the best pickup power. They are also one of the softest cloths on the market. 

But not all microfiber cloths are made equal. I would do your research and try out different types and brands to see what works best for you. We like to use a waffle-weave towel when it comes to drying off our vehicles and rims. Because of the unique pattern, waffle weave towels are a lot more absorbent than traditional microfiber cloths. These towels have a honeycomb pattern to them that draws moisture away, versus pushing the moisture around. Like we mentioned previously. We want to absorb, not push around particles. 

Mirror mirror on my car

Now that we have successfully washed and dried our chrome rims. The fun can begin. There are many types of polishes out on the market. There are specific polishes made for chrome, or you will be happy to learn that since chrome is a metal. You can use the polishes that are used on aluminum or steel too. All of this is up to you on what one you would like to use. 

We recommend that you use a polishing ball attachment for your screw gun to help assist you in polishing your chrome rims. Also, it would be best to get yourself a new microfiber cloth to wipe away the excess polish. Here are the steps of polishing:

  • Start by applying polish to the polishing ball. Start on a slower setting than bit by bit, increase the speed of your screw gun. Make sure you spread the polish all over the wheel. 
  •  Let the polish dry/flash. The polish that you applied to the rims will start to turn into a chalky type consistency. After the polish dries/flashes. It is time to wipe it away to shine. 
  • Repeat the process on other chrome wheels.

Protecting your newly cleaned and shined wheels. 

Now that we have shined your chrome wheels. It is time to make sure they are protected. For this, we are going to use wax. Just like on your paint, the wax will and can help to protect the surface it sits on. Also, the wax is going to add another layer of shine. It is going to put that finishing touch on your chrome rims. 

Keep in mind that not all waxes are made the same. There are hard waxes and there are liquid spray waxes. If you are looking for a quick and easy way to wax your wheels. Then the liquid wax is the way to go. There are drawbacks to this kind of wax. The liquid waxes do not have the longevity of your traditional hard wax. You are going to have to reapply the wax a lot more often.

If you are using hard wax, you are going to do the steps of the polishing stage. Apply the wax to the rim and let it flash. Wipe off excess product. If you have decided to go the liquid root. Then spray the product onto the rim. Buff the product into the rim with a clean microfiber cloth. We like to then take a new clean cloth and wipe off extra product. 

Chrome wheels will last you many years when it is properly maintained. From washing to polishing—these ways keep the rims tolerant to corrosion and rust. Keep these care steps in mind and your vehicle will always look it’s best.

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