Remove Winter Grime for Beautiful Wheels

There’s a practical reason for keeping your wheels clean, especially if you live or drive in areas with severe winters. Constant exposure to harsh weather and abrasive road salts will eventually devour a wheel’s finish.

“Keeping your wheels clean is about making sure rust and corrosion don’t set in,” said Adam Bateman, the sales and marketing director for Wizards Products, a polish and wax company. “The bonus is when nice weather sets in you don’t have to work as hard to get the shine back.”

Just like a paint job, a layer of wheel protectant or traditional wax provides a shield of sorts for wheels. Such protection takes on added significance in the winter.

“Environmental contaminants eat the clear coat and oxidize aluminum. If the chemicals are left on too long, the wheel’s finishes are destroyed and can’t be restored without hours of polishing and work.”

As with any other aspect of maintenance, routine cleaning prevents the task from becoming too intense, Bateman said.

Bateman offers the following tips and reasons for keeping wheels clean in the winter:

  • Chemicals used to remove ice and snow from roadways are extremely caustic and will damage a wheel’s finish.
  • A layer of polish or traditional auto wax provides protection against filthy winter roads.
  • Clean your wheels every other week, especially if you live in areas with snow. At a minimum, clean wheels every time you wash the vehicle's exterior.
  • Chose a cleaner that is acid-free. A general rule: If it is safe to use on vehicle paint, it is safe to use on wheels.
  • Cleaning your wheels during the winter is less about making your car look great and more about preventing corrosion and rust from taking hold. Better yet, great looking wheels enhance the appeal and value of your vehicle.