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How to clean aluminum wheels?

Posted on 2013-06-30
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Last Modified: 2013-07-04
My truck wheels are aluminum and I used something called "black magic" and it said it was a non scrub cleaner. It did get surface dirt but I used a scrubber and there is more on my wheels than dirt. There is unknown material above the surface of the wheel.
I scrubbed extensively with black magic and it is not getting the stuff off.
Sand paper of course would get it off but it would ruin the surface.
I saw a couple webpages on Google and How To, but none even had a scrubber just a solution and a rag. That won't get these wheels clean.
Any ideas?
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Question by:nickg5
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by:tailoreddigital
tailoreddigital earned 400 total points
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by:nickg5
ID: 39288471
My dirt, corrosion, whatever, is going to require scrubbing of some sort.
If Sonax plans to just dissolve the dirt and then wipe it off, it may not work on mine.
Mighty expensive stuff it if won't get mine clean.
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Michael-Best earned 800 total points
ID: 39292613
If the aluminum (Br. aluminium) is badly or deeply corroded, as you have pointed out, then, no cleaner short of an acid wash will remove the corrosion.
You will need to sand the corrosion out.

See:
http://www.ehow.com/how_4473287_clean-corroded-aluminum-rims.html

http://www.genepop.com/2012/03/It-is-Easy-to-Clean-Aluminum-Rims-that-are-Corroded-or-Oxidized-if-You-Know-How/

http://www.rx7club.com/1st-gen-archive-71/wheels-how-clean-your-oxidized-aluminum-wheels-659833/

I prefer using metal polishing / buffer wheels on a purpose built bench mounted buffer and / or in a high speed industrial drill.
You probably do not wish that expense...

Having them sand-blasted and then sprayed with a protective clear lacquer / resin gives a nice finish to badly corroded rims.
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by:nickg5
ID: 39300515
Easy off oven cleaner with zero time and a small metal scrub brush from a golf club cleaning kit.

Left side you see the cleaned area and the dirty area on the right

wh
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by:nickg5
ID: 39300516
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