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What is best way to clean crud off the inner barrels on aluminum wheels?

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Old 04-21-2008, 08:18 PM   #1
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Default What is best way to clean crud off the inner barrels on aluminum wheels?

I thought I would clean up the inside surface of my Iforged wheels before putting them back on for the summer. I tried pressure washing them, but that didn't work. I will need to scrub them with something but I am not sure what to use...I don't want to risk chemically attacking the raw aluminum on the wheel face. Anyone encounter this problem before? The crud is some sort of baked on tenacious crap from years of service. Aluminum wheel cleaner does not remove it at all.
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Old 04-21-2008, 08:38 PM   #2
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the blue non scratch scotch brite pads work great
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Old 04-21-2008, 08:57 PM   #3
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I had some success using rubbing compound and a mother's powerball to clean the stuff off some wheels for my Audi (not sure if the surface is the same as your wheels). Still took a lot of time and elbow grease in the detail areas.
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Old 04-21-2008, 09:02 PM   #4
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I clean mine while on the car . I use a product called All Sol made by Car-Brite, it will take off almost anything that shouldn't be there. Then re-wash wheels again , dry then apply a good dose of Metal polish or even plain old Sparkle(glass cleaner), then hit with a wax so cleaning next time will be easier. Just what I do, but it seems very effective
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Old 04-21-2008, 09:02 PM   #5
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I used simple green and a nylon scrub brush to get the top layers of crud off my old c4 wheels, then followed up with bug and tar remover.
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Old 04-22-2008, 12:34 PM   #6
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thanks guys, now you know I am talking about the INSIDE surfaces....what you can see through the spoke openings. Not sure how anyone could clean that area while the wheels are still on the car, but I suppose anything is possible with the right tools.
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Old 04-22-2008, 12:38 PM   #7
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Have your wife do it....

Honey, you're not reading this are you?

I guess you were.
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Old 04-22-2008, 12:39 PM   #8
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0000 steel wool. if they are real cruddy use 00 first.

0000 = super fine. works great on raw aluminum, not polished or coated. gonna require a little effort. Lowes should have it in the paint dept
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Old 04-23-2008, 09:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10U 99 View Post
0000 steel wool. if they are real cruddy use 00 first.

0000 = super fine. works great on raw aluminum, not polished or coated. gonna require a little effort. Lowes should have it in the paint dept
Had not thought of that...good suggestion. BTW, cool avatar
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Old 04-23-2008, 09:30 PM   #10
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elbow grease.
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Old 04-23-2008, 09:36 PM   #11
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Is this black crud oxidation or road tar?
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Old 04-23-2008, 09:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by $$$frumnuttin' View Post
thanks guys, now you know I am talking about the INSIDE surfaces....what you can see through the spoke openings. Not sure how anyone could clean that area while the wheels are still on the car, but I suppose anything is possible with the right tools.
For an everyday wash I use a toilet brush to get at the barrel between the spokes. But once a year you have to take off the wheels, clean them real good, polish as good as they will get, and put on a couple coats of wax or sealer. If tar gets in there and cooks on, it will eventually go through the clear coat and corrode the alluminum in spots.
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Old 04-23-2008, 10:08 PM   #13
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[QUOTE=VettRick;1565157529]For an everyday wash I use a toilet brush to get at the barrel between the spokes.QUOTE]


Now that is a great idea, i'm heading out to kmart tomorrow for a toliet brush

It's such a PITA to clean the inside of the wheels, i can't count how many times i finished with bloody knuckles.

Patrick
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Old 04-23-2008, 10:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by $$$frumnuttin' View Post
Had not thought of that...good suggestion. BTW, cool avatar

steel wool comes in handy.

I'll pass along your compliment
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Old 04-24-2008, 12:03 AM   #15
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Being a long-time British car enthusiast, I use my natural bristle wire wheel brush after spraying on some "Fantastic" household cleaner -- then hose off. It gets to every thing, comes out perfect, no scratches, preserves the factory clear coat, and it's cost-effective. (Abrasives, steel wool, and sand paper not recommended.)
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Old 04-24-2008, 12:31 AM   #16
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I clean mine twice a year with WD 40. Let it soak on most heavy stuff. Will not hurt the wheel and only a small amount of extra elbow grease is needed.
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Old 04-24-2008, 01:48 AM   #17
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Anything you hit with something as abrasive as steele wool, will never "stay" clean.
Not sure if your wheels are cleared, or if you already are through the clear coat and the stuff has eaten into the aluminum.
If thats the case, you probably should polish em to as near perfection as you can and then have the barrels recleared at a body shop.

If you are not through the clear on them, try not to use an abrasive. Once you get them clean, wax em (treat clear coated finishes as you would any other painted surface on the car) and they should stay pretty good.
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:10 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jistari View Post
Anything you hit with something as abrasive as steele wool, will never "stay" clean.
Not sure if your wheels are cleared, or if you already are through the clear coat and the stuff has eaten into the aluminum.
If thats the case, you probably should polish em to as near perfection as you can and then have the barrels recleared at a body shop.

If you are not through the clear on them, try not to use an abrasive. Once you get them clean, wax em (treat clear coated finishes as you would any other painted surface on the car) and they should stay pretty good.

0000 wool is so fine it will polish aluminum. we're not talking brillo pad here.
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Old 04-24-2008, 09:22 AM   #19
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I paint the inner barrels flat black from day 1 and never worry about it at all, lol. The inside of the wheel isn't really a thing of beauty anyways.
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Old 04-24-2008, 11:03 AM   #20
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Go to your local auto store and get a rust/paint stripper for your drill. It's a black composite mesh and will have them clean in about 5 minutes per wheel. I've used it on HRE's and it worked great...
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