Homemade Wheel Cleaner for Polished Aluminum Wheels?
I have three cars that I wash at least once a week and they each have polished aluminum wheels. I have been using commercial brands of aluminum wheel cleaners such as Mothers, Mcguires or Eagle One. They all work fine and all that, but shelling out $6.50 - $7.00 every two weeks for al spray bottle of this stuff can add up rather quickly!
Has anyone ever come up with a surefire "formula of common household products" that can be purchased by the gallon, mixed together and is safe on aluminum wheels...and is as effective as the store-bought brands?
When you use the word "polish" think of it as an abrasive. There is no protection afterwards. That is why after you polish your car paint you lay down a protective layer of wax on top. Eventually the wax wears off and you put another coat.
I dont believe Mothers, Meguiars (nothing on their labels) or the others has any protection qualities therefore you need to do more. You can use a regular car wax over the polished rims but with heat from the area the wax will fade quicker.
Any dish soap or buy the car wash soap from Wallyworld in the gal. for about $4. It's blue in color and used to be called Coral but think they changed names. Wax with a carnuba wax when done and you can just wipe off with a towel after washing and still shiny. I polish once or twice a year with mothers and they shine all year.
Buy wheel acid from the chemical guys, spray it on and power wash it off within 30 seconds. It will be more expensive, but you won't need to clean them as often. It will make them look new immediately.
Here is my home made cleaner. For glass cleaner, fill a spray bottle with water and a tbsp of liquid dish soap and a tsp of ammonia. add blue food color so it looks like windex. That is pretty much all window cleaner is anyway. add more ammonia to make it stronger to clean wheel dust and such. If you don't want to make your own, you can't beat buying cheap cleaning supplies at family dollar or any dollar store. same stuff pretty much. Just stay away from alot of the "(insert-color-here)Power" cleaners. Except for simple green, alot of them have lye and are like dilluted oven cleaner. They WILL eat the top layer of oxidation off of aluminum and dull the finish. Even some of the commercial brand wheel cleaners will do that if you're not careful with the small print (may say etching formula or something lke that).