How to Quickly and Easily Clean Aluminum Wheels with Homemade Cleaner

If you own a vehicle, homemade aluminum wheel cleaner could be the missing link between shining rims that has seen a good deal of abuse in the course of driving. The debris, brake dust, and dirt have a tendency of getting caked on the rims. The longer you take before cleaning, the more difficult it will be to remove them.

No amount of water, soap, and scrubbing will get rid of the dirt. Even the pressure washer will not put a considerable dent on the dust. However, we have come up with the best homemade remedy to clean your rims.

Although there are many types of tire rims today, the most popular one are the aluminum ones. They are versatile hence most car owners prefer them. Additionally, they are lighter compared to steel, better performing, and esthetically pleasing. Being a soft metal they respond extremely well to polishing hence they have the potential to shine like the chrome counterparts.

Cleaning aluminium wheels

Cleaning aluminium wheels

Before you start washing you will require a few supplies:

  • Rubber Gloves
  • White vinegar
  • Teaspoon
  • Spray bottle
  • Toothbrush
  • Small glass
  • Soft brush
  • Cream of tartar

How to Concoct a Quick Aluminum Cleaner

  1. In a sauce pan add water and place over a heating stove.
  2. Add a cream of tartar and vinegar in the ratio of ½ cup white vinegar to 2 tablespoons of tartar. You can also add lemon juice if you don’t have enough vinegar.
  3. Boil the mixture on high for 10 minutes
  4. Pour the mixture into a plastic bottle and allow it to cool down. Make sure it does not cool off completely.
  5. Pour the warm concoction in the spray bottle and your homemade aluminum cleaner is ready.

How to Polish your Aluminium Rims

I always advise that before you start polishing your rims, gently wash them with soap or detergent and rinse well with plenty water.  For better results I can recomend you to read this article and to choose one of the special aluminum wheel cleaners. This ensures that the gritty residue is completely eliminated not to scratch the finish.
Next, spray the warm mixture of vinegar and cream of tartar on the rims. Rub evenly all over the rims and allow it to sit for 2 minutes. The reason for the two minutes is to allow the paste to chemically remove the spots and leave that natural look of the rims

In small circular motions, rub the cream gently and evenly on the rims. For the hard to reach parts, use the toothbrush to scrub. Continue buffing until most of the residue disappears and you can notice the difference in shining. Buff the rims for a minute and you will be amazed by the spinning rims.

We recently received a question from one of our regulars asking whether it’s safe o use ammonia-based cleaners for polishing aluminum rims. Our answer was a no. here is the reason why alkaline solutions may spot aluminum surfaces or even discolor your rims. Likewise, you may want to reconsider your position on using products intended for other metals like copper, brass, and, silver. Reason being they are likely to scratch your aluminum surfaces.

Merits of using Homemade Remedies to Clean your Rims

Cleaner from household products - ingredients

Cleaner from household products – ingredients

If you are living on the fast lane seeking to dollar pinch, home remedies will be a good way on reigning on your spending. They don’t have a steep price tag and are readily available in local stores.
Not only can home remedies like vinegar be used to clean the rims, they can rid of unwanted stickers without leaving a nasty sticky look on your car.

Be sure, that vinegar might not be acceptable for cleaning black rims. To find  cleaner for such cases read our short review of 3 best cleaners that will be suitable for black wheels.

Home remedies are equally competitive contenders in giving that polished look to your rims like commercial cleaning products. You can restore your vehicles former glory by simply spraying on the rims and wheels, and wipe with a cleaning sponge to remove the grease, dirt and road grime in snappy manner leaving them shiny than you could ever imagine.


Vinegar is a cleaning product that has a strong smell. Hence, if you are allergic to strong stench smells you may want to choose some other products to clean your pitted chrome or aluminum rims.
If you have a tendency of washing your rims on a live grass backyard it’s not advisable to use vinegar for cleaning. It has a low PH level that can harm live plants which may render your beautiful lively backyard. In such cases better to use professional water-based and environment-friendly products.
Vinegar can also affect human health. Always use gloves when cleaning your rims as it can decrease resistance to bruises on your hands. If it is carelessly left around the kids and they happen to swallow it, it can burn the stomach and esophagus.

In conclusion

Aluminium wheel cleaner

Aluminium wheel cleaner

The more expensive your car is, the more expensive the rims. The rims are an inexpensive investment that are worth their salt and should be taken care of. However, on many occasions, they always prove to be a slimy issue to handle and clean.
You can choose to come up with a homemade “recipe” or go for the already manufactured no-sling tire dressing products.
As much as the home remedies get the work done, it’s always advisable to go for the special rims cleaners that are certified. This way you will indemnify your rims against corrosion and wear out. Additionally, you won’t have to spend countless hours concocting the home made wheel cleaners. Some of the good examples of certified cleaners included;

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.