How to Clean Chrome Wheels

Gleaming chrome wheels are the gorgeous finishing touch to your vehicle. However, it’s a tough life, being a wheel. Not only do they have to weather a barrage of dirt from the road, but they’re under constant attack from corrosive brake dust. This makes it essential to clean them regularly.

The following details exactly what you need to do to keep yours gleaming like new. 

How to Clean Chrome Wheels: The do’s and don’ts


… Get everything ready before you start

… Use soft brushes, microfiber cloths, and a soft chamois

… Clean the wheels regularly as brake dust causes damage to the chrome

… Work on one wheel at a time, only moving onto the next when you’ve completed all stages 


… Use abrasive cleaning products or any tools or materials that might scratch the chrome

… Let wheel cleaning products dry on the wheel 

… Use the same brush for the wheel wells and the wheel itself

… Use the same microfiber cloths that you use on the paintwork

How to Clean Chrome Wheels: A step-by-step approach

·      Step 1: Rinse

·      Step 2: Spray with a dedicated chrome wheel cleaner

·      Step 3: Brush the wheel

·      Step 4: Rinse and dry

·      Step 5: Polish, wax, and dress

Step 1: Rinse

Rinse the wheels with a stream of clean water from a hose or power washer (don’t let the nozzle come too close to the surface of the wheel if it’s the latter). Most debris should be removed this way, but any stubborn dirt can be removed using a soft cloth or sponge. 

Step 2: Spray with a dedicated chrome wheel cleaner 

Ensure the cleaner you select is non-acidic. Work on one wheel at a time.

Step 3: Brush the wheel

Use a soft-bristled brush to clean the surface of the wheel. Reach through the spokes to clean the wheel front to back and remove grime and brake dust. Use a separate lug nut brush to clean around and inside the lug nut holes. Keep the wheel wet during this stage as this will help prevent scratching.

At this point, you should also clean the wheel wells (fender wells). For this step use a stronger, all-purpose cleaner and a different brush that’s a little sturdier. This will make it easier to remove the brush and grime that collects here. 

Step 4: Rinse and dry

Rinse thoroughly and dry with a soft, microfiber towel. This will remove the risk of water spots on the chrome. 

Step 5: Polish, wax, and dress

Choose an applicable chrome metal polish (read the label to check that it’s safe to use). Apply the polish to the wheel with a cloth and then buff with a separate cloth or, preferably, a polishing tool specific for the task. You can purchase tools that attach to a regular DIY drill—this makes the job easier and you’ll get a more effective finish. Once polished to a gleam wipe over with a clean microfiber towel.

Apply a good quality wheel protectant to seal the surface. This will help keep the mirror shine for longer and will allow you to simply wash the wheels with water between each waxing process.

Dress the tire, but be careful to choose a water-based product rather than one that contains silicone. The latter attracts dirt and causes the tire to age faster, even causing it to turn brown over time. Apply tire dressing in thin coats, allowing each to dry before the next is added. Make sure the wheels are fully dry before you drive.

Need New Chromes: Contact OEM Wheels for the ultimate selection

Of course, the time may come when you need to purchase new chrome wheels for your car. OEM Wheels Direct is the largest supplier of factory wheels in the country and has options to suit all models and makes. For example, you can purchase the exact wheel you need for Cadillac Escalade for models 2010 through 2014 that also utilizes the original center cap.

Discover this and other incredible quality chrome wheels at

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