Okay, so you’ve just dropped $1000, or more, on some wheels that make your car more beautiful.  We don’t mean that it looks a little better—we mean that it has transcended being just a car and is now a work of automotive art.  There is only one problem with having those amazing rims: cars, and their parts, get dirty.  So how do you care for those wheels and keep them looking as amazing as when you first got them?

Firstly, there are two very good reasons to keep your wheels clean.  While dirt building up on them won’t cause any catastrophic accidents or make your car unsafe, it looks downright terrible.  Also, if you ever have to take the wheel off, say if you get a flat on the side of the road, clean wheels will make it a much cleaner job.

As with most things, the answer to the care question is, “it depends.”  The finish of the wheels and the spoke pattern are the main issues when you talk about cleaning them.  Most aftermarket wheels come in a one of three different finishes: chrome, powder coat, and paint.  Each one is a little different and requires different treatment when you’re cleaning them.

Chrome is the toughest to keep looking nice, but when it shines, well, it shines.  Chrome itself is a thin layer of the shiny metal chromium on another metal, so it can pick up scratches very easily.  The trick to cleaning chrome rims like the ones sold here is to wash them like you normally would (with a mild cleaner like Simple Green and a microfiber cloth), and then apply chrome polish, which will make them gleam like Justice.

Powder coat and paint are actually fairly similar in terms of care, but the former is more sensitive—and more expensive to repair—than the latter.  Powder coat is actually a thin layer of colored glass applied to the wheels, while paint is, well, paint.  Both scratch easily, so it is important to wash them like you would the chrome.  Simply rinse dirt off, apply a gentle cleaner, gently scrub with a microfiber cloth, and dry with a clean microfiber or chamois.

Overall, it is fairly easy to keep your new wheels looking nice if you have the right tools.  We like gentle, natural cleaners like Simple Green and microfiber cloths.  They get the best results while still avoiding making more scratches.  But if you can find gentler soap and softer towels, feel free to use them!

Want to get a new set of wheels that you can be proud of?  Come visit us — we might just have THE wheels for you!

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