Proper Wheel Care
By Michael Mankarious
© 2006 einszett® North America
einszett ColorTec Wheel Cleaner
Wheel + Detail Brush
Microfiber Wash Mitt
Waffle Weave Microfiber Towel
einszett Glanz Wax
Clean wheels are like a clean pair of shoes. The way polished shoes finish off an outfit, clean wheels finish off a clean, detailed car. Lets take a look at wheels and how to properly clean them so the shoes of your car make your car and you look your best!
Like your cars paint finish, allowing road grime and brake dust to build up on your wheel finish will cause the wheels to lose their luster in no time. Brake dust remains harmless until it begins to absorb moisture from the air and then it becomes acidic. This happens almost immediately. Leaving brake dust to build on your wheels gives it a chance to etch away at the surface hence the loss in shine and luster. Brake dust comes from the brake pads of your car but also the brakes of other cars. Brake dust is the number one pollutant on today's roads and highways.
With that in mind, wash your car on a regular basis. If washed regularly, good ole car shampoo such as einszett Exclusiv Gloss Shampoo or Perls Shampoo are more than sufficient in cleaning both your car and wheels.
Where wheel cleaner such as ColorTec is useful is when you have a heavier build up of road grime and brake dust which is more difficult to clean. ColorTec will make it a breeze without using harsh chemicals or having to use coarse brushes which can also dull out the finish of your wheels.
Wheel manufacturers discourage the use of aggressive wheel cleaners that can be either too acidic or too alkaline (very strong soap detergents). They might easily strip stubborn brake dust but they will also dull out the sensitive clear coat finish on the wheels.
ColorTec is both effective and safe at removing brake dust and road grime without harming the finish. It's safe for use on all wheel types including alloy, aluminum, chrome, and plastic wheel covers. ColorTec also contains a de-ironizing agent (noted by the less than appealing odor coming from the product) which deep cleans the wheel surface by pulling out the iron metal contaminants from the surface. This gives ColorTec the ability to practically make the brake dust fall off without any scrubbing.
The Cleaning Process
As with application of any cleaning product, it's important to clean wheels under the correct condition. Before cleaning your wheels, be sure to follow product directions carefully. Be sure wheels are cool to the touch and out of direct sunlight before spraying. Hot wheels or direct sunlight can affect the safe to use formula by making it more aggressive (this applies to all chemicals).
If using a wash mitt to clean your wheels, always use a dedicated wash mitt separate from the wash mitt you'll use to wash your car. Do not use the same wash mitt you use for your cars paint finish because the road grime found on the wheels that are grabbed by the wash mitt can scratch your cars paint finish. Also use a separate washing solution for best results.
Another useful tool to have on hand is our Wheel + Detail Brush to clean within the crevices including difficult to wash areas such as the lug nuts. It's especially handy if you need to clean multi-piece wheels with rivets. It's also made with gentle all-natural boar's hair so it won't scratch the finish.
Spray ColorTec on to your wheels and allow the cleaner to take effect. You'll see the cleaning effect in action as the color changes to a dark purple color indicating that it's removing iron deposits from the surface. If necessary, use Wheel + Detail Brush to get into small crevices.
After a few minutes of allowing the product to clean the wheels, rinse the wheels with a strong jet of water. Make sure to rinse all areas completely. Allowing any type of cleaner, no matter how gentle, to remain for a period of time longer than recommended by the product directions risks causing harm to the surface. So always stay within the guidelines of the product directions.
After rinsing wheels with sufficient water, dry with the Waffle Weave Microfiber Towel for a scratch-free and spot-free finish. Repeat the process with each wheel.
Polishing and Waxing Wheels
If your wheels have a clear coat finish on them, they can be polished and waxed like your cars paint finish. This will maintain their luster and protect them from the harsh elements on the road.
Apply at least twice a year an application of einszett PolishWax to clean, condition and add depth to the wheel finish. Apply with a foam applicator pad. The same instructions that are used to apply PolishWax to your cars paint finish apply to application on your wheel. After polishing, apply a coat of einszett Glanz Wax for maximum protection. Glanz Wax is a synthetic based car wax with the addition of carnauba wax. This provides exceptional protection compared to traditional carnauba waxes to withstand the harsh effects of brake dust, road grime, road salt and multiple washes.
Wheel Cleaning is not difficult if you use the right tools and cleaning technique. A little effort goes a long way in making your wheels stand out.