Charlies guide to wheel cleaners and cleaning wheels.

Discussion in 'Motorhome Detailing' started by Charlie, Dec 3, 2015.

  1. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    This thread is not just about cleaning wheels its in a way a cautionary thread .

    The thread has been prompted by me seeing yet another set of wheels with the finishes destroyed by improper use of the wheel cleaners we can buy off the shelf.

    Used properly they are great. Get it wrong and the finish on your wheels or wheel covers/trims will be ruined.

    But its not only the wheels that suffer. The brake calipers and backing plates and all the mechanical components behind the wheels will corrode faster than believable if either the wrong type of cleaner is used or is used in the wrong way .

    There are two basic types of wheel cleaner. One is the Acidic type, The other is the Non Acidic type.

    Lets deal with the Acidics first.

    Acidic wheel cleaners obviously contain acids. These are powerful ingredients and care must be taken when handling them. Eye protection and gloves must be worn and all skin should be protected.

    There are tow common brands available. Wonder wheels is one. Auto Smart "Smart wheels" is another. These acidic types should only really be used on wheels which are deeply embedded with hard grime which is really stuck/bonded to the surface. Do not use on moderately dirty wheels is just far to strong. If you do use them Never ever let them dry on the surfaces. This can will and often does ruin the finishes on all types of wheel. Use them by all means but rinsing with Huge amounts of water MUST follow. Power washing is best.

    Non acidics are still a volatile product. They may not contain acids but caustic solutions replace the acids. These cleaners are nowhere near as aggressive as acidics but the same precautions mentioned above MUST be employed.

    The big thing to remember is when we are spraying these products on is to make sure of the following.

    Wear protective gear.
    Do not get the stuff on the vehicles paintwork
    Never allow the products to dry. This is an absolute no no.
    Once the solution has been allowed to work or has been agitated with a brush Rinse immediately. Again I stress do not allow to dry.

    All the components behind the wheels get some solution on them so pay huge attention to washing it off when rinsing. If its not rinsed off it can ruin and corrode everything it touches.

    We can deal with treating / sealing wheels later on if folk are interested.

    One wheels are cleaned and sealed there should be no further use of these cleaners as long as they are washed on a regular basis.

    I use Auto Smart Smart wheels for wheels that are really heavily soiled. For less dirty wheels I use Valet Pro Bilbury wheel cleaner.

    HTH....

    Charlie.
     
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  2. CeeJay13

    CeeJay13 Read Only Funster

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    But of course, these tutorials are all very interesting!
     
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  3. FJmike

    FJmike Funster

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    Something to keep in mind when using acidic wheel cleaners, a lot of them are the same stuff as kettle descale. Some car wash places actually use commercial kettle descaler. So if you must use it, as Charlie said , be very careful with it. Personally I will only use acidic wheel clener as a very last resort.
     
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  4. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    Mike if I have to use acidic I take the wheels off the car.... But that is a bit anal :D

    It would be ridiculous to expect people to remove wheels to clean them but it's my mad way if they are that bad acidic cleaner has to be used.

    I fully expect people to employ the services of a professional such as you to valet/detail an expensive motor home. Never in a million years would I expect or advise others to go to one of these now common drive through car washes.
     
  5. Diesel

    Diesel Read Only Funster

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    Also use VP Bilberry and twice a year fallout remover / Bilt Hamber Autowheels :)

    Charlie what are your thoughts on tyre dressing......a guy at a tyre place was adamant that tyre dressing cause premature drying of tyre and promotes tyre wall cracking.....I think he was talking out of his bottom......
     
  6. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    I use Meguires Hyper Dressing on tyres. It's s trade based water based product. It's ace on all interior and exterior plastics and tyres. Use it neat for a very glossy finish. I prefer a duller satin natural finish so dilute it quite a lot. It gives tyres a soft new look. It's not a greasy product nor does it leave a greasy looking finish.
     
  7. FJmike

    FJmike Funster

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    I use Autosmart dressing, mostly because it looks good but also can be applied if it's raining
     
  8. Diesel

    Diesel Read Only Funster

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    And thoughts on dressings creating premature cracking to tyrewalls?
     
  9. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    Sorry missed that point above... No mate it's something I haven't encountered or heard of... That said for over ten years I have only used water based products.
     
  10. Diesel

    Diesel Read Only Funster

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    hhhmmnnn ...im using a solvent based one ATM, never thought about solvent / water based?

    I have since wondered if the guys reasoning for causing tyre wall cracking was because only the outside of the tyres are dressed ....which are the walls off course which are exposed to the elements too :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
     
  11. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    I saw a bloke on a site this year who had covers to go over his caravan wheels/tyres.... And I thought I was fussy !!!
     
  12. FJmike

    FJmike Funster

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    When I worked in a dealership one of the numerous jobs I had was to check over vans that had come in. Checking tyres it surprised me how many tyres showed no cracking on the outside but had cracks on the inside. Remembering this always makes me chuckle when I see vans with covers on the wheels as it says to me there is more than sunlight at work on the tyres. Incidentally if I see cracking on tyre walls when valeting customers motor homes I never apply dressing to the tyres and point out the cracking to the customer.
     
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  13. wizzer59

    wizzer59 Funster

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    lt all seems a bit OTT for plastic wheel trims:p
    [​IMG]
     
  14. mikebeaches

    mikebeaches Funster

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    Interesting information. However, I only use the ordinary vehicle shampoo to clean the wheels and they seem to come up fine.

    Have standard steel Ducato wheels with plastic covers, as in the image above, on the MH. And Alloys on the car.

    Use an old washing up brush from the kitchen to do the final detailing on the wheels.
     
  15. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    Once wheels are to a decent standard there should be no need for propriety cleaners. I mentioned this in the 2nd from last paragraph above. I also mentioned this thread is as much as a cautionary note after seeing irreversible damage inflicted on the wheels of a near new BMW that cost a kings ransom . (y)

    Wizzer whether Alloys or Plastic covers we don't want to destroy them. More importantly we don't want to ruin the finishes on all the components behind the wheels. (n)
     
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  16. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    Interesting that ! One I never knew ! (y)
     
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