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Old 07-17-2016, 12:03 PM   #1
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Aluminum wheel cleaner

Can anyone suggest a good cleaner for aluminum wheels?

Thanks!
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Old 07-17-2016, 01:18 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JourneyWinn View Post
Can anyone suggest a good cleaner for aluminum wheels?
Thanks!
I just did mine using White Diamond cleaner and polish, which I found at Advance Auto Parts. I also experimented with Mother's Aluminum polish which worked well, but found the White Diamond seemed to leave a slick coating after wiping off. I used a Mother's mini ball to polish parts, but most of it was just done by hand rubbing and wiping. There was a huge improvement and the wheels look as good as new. Below is a before and after.
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Old 07-17-2016, 04:47 PM   #3
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They look great!
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Old 07-17-2016, 05:55 PM   #4
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I have tried many, pretty much equal results for cleaners, I like Mothers Aluminum polish, power ball c/w drill, sit down, 6pk of beer and polish to the shine you like. Then wipe with microfibre towel. Time and effort yield best results.
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:26 PM   #5
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Zepher. Best. Available at truck stops. No beer needed just apply and let dry. Wipe and all done!
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:30 PM   #6
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Is this the one? Will keep the beer...but if it reduces time and effort I am all for it
https://zephyrpro40.com/
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:32 PM   #7
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When you say Aluminum wheels, are you talking about chrome or Aluminum? It will make a difference. You don't want to use aluminum polish on chrome wheels, it will ruin the finish.
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:32 PM   #8
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https://www.amazon.com/Eagle-One-103...ywords=wadding
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:39 PM   #9
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"Journey Winn".....I was always polishing my rims on my previous coach and could never get them to shine like others that I've seen. Like Tim The Tool Man Taylor, I thought more was better and would use large amounts of polish. This would leave a ton of black residue and require a dozen towels to wipe it off.

I finally figured it out.....a wheel that is in reasonably good shape only requires about a thimble full of polish per wheel. I use Flitz polish and their polishing tool, (similar to the Power Ball, but with strips, instead of foam). Any of the polishes, like Flitz or Mothers works well.

You may have to polish a wheel several times to get it shiny. If you're doing it for the first time, use a small amount of polish and polish, with a power tool, working it until the black residue disappears and the shine starts to come through. You can then start over with another small amount f polish.

Once you get them to shine, it's easy to touch it up. Keep it covered when parked in storage.

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Old 07-17-2016, 08:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JourneyWinn View Post
Can anyone suggest a good cleaner for aluminum wheels?

Thanks!
JournyWinn,
Well, as you can read, polishing aluminum, wheels, motorcycle parts, car parts, home parts, any aluminum, IS PURE LABOR. There is NO MAGIC ELIXER that you simply spray on or, wipe on and, vuuuuuuaaallllll, THEY'RE SHINYThat's NEVER going to happen. As Don says, it all depends on just what kind of condition the wheel(s) are in, primary to starting the process. If they've been reasonably taken care of, then your efforts will be lessened. But, if they've been neglected, you're in for some serious time and labor.

You can use a power system or, do it by hand. I've done it both ways. By far, the power balls, or Flitz balls and or anyone elses factory designed foam or flapper type balls, along with the APPROPRIATE polish/rouge, will start the process. For someone to just say, "Use this" they will be perfect is stretching the truth a bit thin. In the pictures below, you see a minimum of about 3-4 hours in each wheel.

But, contrary to popular belief, if you polish them to the finish you see in the pictures, (like Dons too), then they will last SERIOUSLY longer without touching them, than if they remain neglected. You have to understand just what the process entails, if you start out with neglected wheels. To put it in real simple terms. Neglected, ultra dull and even possibly pitted wheels, the surface, (in magnification) is like mountain tops.

The starting process on wheels like that, is to use some agressive methods, even some mild to fine sandpaper. That gets the surface to something that would be like, rolling hills. Then, an ultra fine sand paper, (around 800-1000 grit) will get the surface to around say, the ROUGH on a golf course.

Then, you start with the rouges, or even some harder grit pastes like Semi-Chrome with a wheel or, even a 3" diameter tightly sewn buffing wheel. That will get the surface close to what may be, light wind on a lake.

Then, out comes the top of the line polishes. Mothers, Zepher and quite a few others with either a Flitz ball or, any other foam or flapper makeup. When that's done, you'll have a surface like a lake, WITH NO WIND, COMPLETELY CALM. in other words, a mirror. It's labor, nothing else, just labor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcatter View Post
When you say Aluminum wheels, are you talking about chrome or Aluminum? It will make a difference. You don't want to use aluminum polish on chrome wheels, it will ruin the finish.
Wildcatter,
May I ask Sir, where in the world did you read, see or, come up with the fact that you'll ruin a chrome wheel, with aluminum polish? What do you think "Chrome Polish" is? It's chemical makeup is ultra close to that of many of the mild aluminum polishes. Chrome is some pretty hard stuff. If you could damage it with a single application of aluminum polish, then all the chrome wheels on the planet would be dull. The reason, many folks get lazy when it comes to maintenance and or, keeping up their cars wheels. They simply dunk a rag into a bucket and, wipe them off.

Talk about "grit"!! You'd be grinding in brake dust, dirt, road dust and debris and more by doing it that way. But, due to the fact that Chrome is as stated, pretty darn hard, you don't get to damage it that easy.

When we purchased our present boat, the trailer wheels, which are chrome, had been neglected and, had some surface rust on them. I used every type of aluminum polish I had/have on them. Some of it actually removed the slight rust and some didn't. I actually headed down to a local auto parts store and purchased some "Chrome Polish" by Dupont, that was actually strong enough to remove it all. So, no, aluminum polish will not harm CHROME WHEELS.

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Old 07-18-2016, 09:32 AM   #11
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Thanks for the advice - I would say my wheels are in pretty good shape - no dings or scratches and no rust
They just need a good polish
I'm not afraid of a little work just want to get them right the first time
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Old 07-18-2016, 01:05 PM   #12
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Thanks for the advice - I would say my wheels are in pretty good shape - no dings or scratches and no rust
They just need a good polish
I'm not afraid of a little work just want to get them right the first time
JourneyWinn,
In reality, there is no getting it wrong. That is unless you use steel wool or, some other ultra harsh medium when trying to bring out the luster. Without seeing some closeup pictures, it's hard to reccommend just what to start with. But, here's an experiment.

We purchased an '03 Jeep Rubicon back last Thanksgiving. The wheels on it are Eagle Alloys. They've never been polished since 2003. So, I had my work cut out for me. I have never, used any "Power ball" or, Flitz flapper ball etc. All my aluminum polishing of wheels has either been done by hand or, with a 3" diameter, tightly sewn buffing wheel, on a drill motor.

So, this time I thought I'd try one of the power balls. I cruised on down to my local AutoZone and picked up a power ball. I already had a few blends of polish. So, to work I went. Within about 1/2 an hour, one of those wheels went from 13 years of neglect, to what you see in the pictures below. But, I will say this, after 5 wheels, that power ball was totalled. COMPLETELY worn out and in shambles. But, it was well worth it. I've whittled my fingers down to the bone in the past by doing so much polishing. This power ball sure made the most laborious part, much, much easier.

Of course, it sure makes a serious difference by having the wheels off, to do the task. But, most Diesel coach owners don't have the capability of doing that. So, you do the best you can.
Scott
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Old 07-18-2016, 01:41 PM   #13
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So how does one minimize the dulling process AFTER all the labor o'shine? A sealant/wax of some sort?
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Old 07-18-2016, 04:14 PM   #14
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Thanks for the advice - I would say my wheels are in pretty good shape - no dings or scratches and no rust
They just need a good polish
I'm not afraid of a little work just want to get them right the first time
This stuff works great also. Busch Enterprises - Aluminum Cleaners And Polishes, Metal Buffing Supplies
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