Wheel Cleaning
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Cadillac Detailing and Bodywork - Interior and Exterior including Body and Wheels Discussion, Wheel Cleaning in Item Specific Cadillac Discussion; I'm not sure if this is a vent, asking for advice, or what... My father's (now mine) 2002 DTS has/had ...
  1. #1
    D0ughb0y is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 2002 DTS
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    Mar 2010
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    Wheel Cleaning

    I'm not sure if this is a vent, asking for advice, or what...

    My father's (now mine) 2002 DTS has/had the WORST case of baked on, terrible brake dust I've EVER dealt with. Most of the chrome wheel had a flat black finish. I used soap, I used special cleaners, electric tootbrush looking gadgets, etc.

    I finally broke out the Mother's Chrome polish (from some expierence with this stuff) and after about an hour on each wheel I've gotten them to the point where they are almost acceptable.

    There are some spots in the corners and edges that are still being a real PITA so I went out there again and spent another 45 minutes on the drivers side front. I was able to get it to about 95% clean, but there are still spots that just seem like they will NOT come clean.

    There are some pits in the finish that came clean and shine. The wheels are mirrors for the majority, but those couple little spots really REALLY bug me.

    Is this just going to be more elbow grease to get through it?

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  3. #2
    Flash man's Avatar
    Flash man is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 78 Cadillac Seville
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    Re: Wheel Cleaning

    Brown Royal wheel cleaner will melt brake dust fast. Works great on whitewalls too. It is safe on Chrome, clear coated wheels, painted and alloy wheels.


    Joe Flash

  4. #3
    Jim D. is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): Seville
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    Re: Wheel Cleaning

    If it's true chrome plating (and not clearcoated polished), and it sounds like it is chrome, try a spray-on, hose-off wheel cleaner specifically for chrome.

    Neglected chrome sometimes responds really well to a dedicated chrome wheel cleaner -- they tend to be very acidic, but the chrome actually brightens from the acid, and it also removes the buildup.

    You may need a brush for those corners.

    There are several brands out there, but I've only used the Mothers Wheel Mist Chrome/Wire, and it works really well, as I'm sure the others to too.

    Do one wheel at a time and keep a hose handy -- you want to rinse well.

    Unfortunately, you'd want to re-apply the Mothers Chrome Polish, but that will offer protection and if you maintain them, hopefully that's the last time you'll have to do a full cleaning. I like to add a coat of Mothers spray wax after every washing.

    One tip, I do my wheels and lower body panels separately with their own bucket of suds and a dedicated mitt for the grungy parts of the car. Keeping the wheels from getting buildup helps keep them looking good.

  5. #4
    concorso is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Wheel Cleaning

    What is the MSDS on the Brown Royal? Im very skeptical of any claims that suggest a product is safe, yet it shouldnt be used full strength on certain surfaces. If it can be used diluted on a surface safely, it can be used full strength on a surface safely...


    Acid wheel cleaners are great for chrome, UNLESS there is damage, and the chrome is flaking in areas. At this point, an acidic wheel cleaner could actually make the chrome wheel look worse. Try a strong degreaser combined with an aggressive clay. You might also try dabbing on an acidic wheel cleaner and using the clay along with that.

  6. #5
    D0ughb0y is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 2002 DTS
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    Re: Wheel Cleaning

    They're the stock DTS 17" chrome wheels.

    Yes, this will most certainly be the last time I'm spending multiple hours per wheel getting them clean. I don't think these have ever been cleaned for the entire life of the car.

    When I wash any car, I do the wheels first with one bucket, then I empty and clean the bucket, then go back over the whole car, and go over the wheels one last time. The next step is usually to wax the car and the wheels.

    I just took a few pics of the drivers side front wheel so you can get a good sense of exactly what I'm talking about. Don't get me wrong, the wheels look great from a few feet away, but I literally lose sleep thinking about wanting to get them clean (really clean). Yes, you'll notice some water spots. It rained today.

    Here's a wide shot (please excuse my horrid reflection):


    Here are a few of the 'problem spots' that I'm going to have to hit again to try and get the crap off:



    The biggest PITA spot on them is the nozzle. You can almost see how bad the whole rim was if you look behind the nozzle:

  7. #6
    CBodyFan is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Wheel Cleaning

    Get brake dust shields to keep the wheels from getting cruddy in the future. The wheels, however, will never look new, brake dust is quite corrosive.

  8. #7
    Flash man's Avatar
    Flash man is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 78 Cadillac Seville
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    Re: Wheel Cleaning

    Quote Originally Posted by concorso View Post
    What is the MSDS on the Brown Royal? Im very skeptical of any claims that suggest a product is safe, yet it shouldnt be used full strength on certain surfaces. If it can be used diluted on a surface safely, it can be used full strength on a surface safely...


    Acid wheel cleaners are great for chrome, UNLESS there is damage, and the chrome is flaking in areas. At this point, an acidic wheel cleaner could actually make the chrome wheel look worse. Try a strong degreaser combined with an aggressive clay. You might also try dabbing on an acidic wheel cleaner and using the clay along with that.

    Hi Concorso,

    Brown Royal is a high PH cleaner. It works well on chrome, but works better on clear coated alloy and painted wheels.
    A low ph acid will work a little better on chrome. I manufacture professional detailing products. I dont sell ready to use products like what is in your local auto parts stores. Brown Royal should be diluted for different cleaning applications. You can use it full strength safely. But if you buy a gallon, why waste the product. Our customers are very satisfied because you get the most for your hard earned dollar. Value. That is what makes us different than auto parts cleaners. RTU Ready-to-use product VS a concentrated product. Brown Royal wheel cleaner is as strong as a low ph acid, but on the other side of the ph scale. The strong degreaser you speak about is Brown Royal. The difference is that Brown Royal wont damage the surface.
    I understand your skepticism. Many consumers second guess our products until they try them. It is because we are not a nationally know chemical company and our prices are very reasonable. We dont have high overhead and employees like these companies.

    Why dont you take advantage of our Free Detail sample pack. Its listed in the vendor area under Flash wax. Its just a 5.00 gamble for shipping. You may be impressed with every product in that kit. Thanks for your inquiry.


    Joe Flash man
    Flash Auto Detail Products
    www.flashwax.com
    727 582-9073

  9. #8
    69Chateau is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1969 Deville Convertible
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    Re: Wheel Cleaning

    I used that Eagle One Chrome spray-on/rinse off stuff on some chrome hubcaps for my 69 over the weekend. I can't believe how well it worked and how easy it was. Very little scrubbing with a toothbrush and nylon brush was required. WARNING! Don't wash them on grass! I have 4 nice brown circles in my lawn now from chemical burn or something! It will come back, in a month!

  10. #9
    dan reiser is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): cts sportwagon 2010
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    Re: CTS Brake dust

    I recently purchased a 2010 CTS Sportwagon. What a wonderful vehicle, only ruined by the horrible front wheel brake dust. What a shame. I have had a lot of cars in my 60 years and none, (barring my daughter's Dodge Caravan) have ever produced brake dust like this CTS. Is anyone else annoyed by this issue? Has anyone found the solution to either eliminating, or "easy" cleaning (my finger is wearing out).

  11. #10
    skippydts's Avatar
    skippydts is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 2008 STS AWD - Black inside and out
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    Re: Wheel Cleaning

    Try a different type of brake pads. Semi metalic, or ceramic. If you let a dealer install brakes, specify the good ones, or do it yourself. They will use generic pads.

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