: Cleaning chrome wheels after a long salty Winter.



medlines
03-09-08, 01:37 PM
Guys, Any ideas how to clean the Ugly spots I have on my chrome wheels.
The thing is, after I swapped the chrome wheels with the winter wheels, salt and mud were on the chrome wheels and I instructed my driver to wash the wheels before storage, but he didn't.
So this week I took the chrome wheels out of the warehouse and I was surprised to see all that salty mud still on .
So I swapped again the wheels and went for a wash, but evidently the wheels are stained and I couldn't get the stains off , even with a chrome polish.
So any suggestions, the wheels are pretty stained.
Thanks.

KillerBlackbird
03-09-08, 06:58 PM
Are the spots rough to touch when you rub your fingers over them? If they are the chrome may be "pitted" and the only way to fix that is probably replating, or if you wanted to get creative have them powdercoated the same color as your Escalade, which would look great in my opinion...especially if your ride is black.

If you have a picture of the stained areas that might be helpful too.

medlines
03-09-08, 07:27 PM
no it is not rough on the touch, but it is some kind of a beij shade color, I will post some pics tomorrow.

medlines
03-10-08, 08:45 AM
YOU CAN SEE FROM THE PICS THAT THE COLOR OF THE SPOTS ARE LIKE HARDENED MUD AND IT IS IN A WAY . BECAUSE IF i SCRATCH IT WITH MY FINGER THE COLORED SPOT IS REDUCED , BUT STILL REMAINS A SMALL SPOT OVER THERE ,AND THAT IS WHAT I NEED TO REMOVE.

hcvone
03-10-08, 09:21 AM
They are probably acid (salt) etched, get a good chrome polish and something like the Mother's Powerball and get to work, depending on how long the salt was on the wheels you may or may not be able to get all the marks out. Chrome wheels need to be kept clean and "waxed" in the winter to help protect them.

CaddieJapan
03-10-08, 12:20 PM
tons of elbow grease and some chrome polish.

medlines
03-10-08, 01:54 PM
I know that they must be cleaned, and that is what I told our company driver when he took the wheels back to the warehouse, but he didn't wash them at all. he just stored them as they were , dirty with mixed mud and salt. for three months.
if Isaw the wheels in the warehouse as they were, then I could have done the cleaning earlier.
I will try to do the work this weekend, I have the Powerball and the Chrome polish.

TSS
03-10-08, 03:28 PM
The thing is, after I swapped the chrome wheels with the winter wheels, salt and mud were on the chrome wheels and I instructed my driver to wash the wheels before storage, but he didn't.


My driver does exactly what I tell him to do. Oh, wait, I am my driver... :o

BTW: My 18s are doing the same thing and I keep them clean and wash them once a week in the winter and have put several coats of wax on them - there is nothing more I could have, or am willing to do. Dealer will be replacing all 4 in the Spring for me. I have had factory chrome wheels before, never with these problems. From day one, the were not as smooth as I expected. They seemed to almost have some grit in the chrome plating in spots. Since it is a lease, I did not care enough about it until they started looking like yours in January. The chrome plating process on some rims must have had a glitch. I have noticed several others with the same issues.

SWRidin
03-10-08, 04:20 PM
thanks for posting

hcvone
03-10-08, 04:38 PM
Several of my customers have the issue with the stock 22's and the stock 18's, the stock plating is average at best, you can scrape the salt off my wheels when we got back from upstate it was so thick, pressure washed them and then washed the truck, they are still looking great and this is the second season with them, but they have many coats of protection on them.

TSS
03-10-08, 04:47 PM
Several of my customers have the issue with the stock 22's and the stock 18's, the stock plating is average at best, you can scrape the salt off my wheels when we got back from upstate it was so thick, pressure washed them and then washed the truck, they are still looking great and this is the second season with them, but they have many coats of protection on them.


I really am convinced there was a bad batch b/c was there is very little more I could have been expected to do. I treated these wheels as well as all my past chromes. Clean them every week, wax them thoroughly before the winter and also once during the winter. No worries, dealer is taking care of me. I chose to wait until the winter was over to get the new set. This way, I can simply stop trying to take care of the chrome until April and not worry about the new set.

medlines
03-10-08, 05:58 PM
I should have taken care of my wheels personaly,but things happen, so I'll try to fix the spots this weekend. who knows maybe I'm lucky.

chris12
10-11-10, 01:36 PM
Our stock 22" wheels are actually chrome plated, right?

I'm thinking about getting one of these powerballs with the chrome polish, but while searching on google I found many horror stories of others ruining their painted/clearcoated rims.

Has anyone used this powerball with chrome polish on their stock 22's?

chirochris
10-12-10, 09:50 AM
i use mother chrome polish and the mothers ball you put on end of a power drill...18v or stronger and mine buff up better than new

chris12
10-13-10, 12:12 AM
I bought an off brand polishing ball off eBay just now for $7 shipped. Once it gets here I'll give it a go and take some pics.

paperchase4life
10-13-10, 01:12 AM
geeze, seems like I'm having the same issues as everyone else on this site.. anyhow, I live in colorado. I have these spots also and not just on the wheels. I think these are salt spots, magnesium chloride spots to be exact. I have tried buffing them out with every cleaner out there. Also used many different type of buffing pads, no luck. I found this, gonna try a few of them this weeked: http://www.ehow.com/how_5031766_remove-magnesium-chloride-stains-chrome.html
I was told they can be professionally buffed out.. wheels only. Trim chrome is probably to thin. I'll let you know how it goes

Crestview
10-15-10, 11:15 AM
This may sound crazy but it really does work. Steel wool. You know the stuff they use to keep mice from coming in holes. Use a polish but use the steel wool to apply the polish. It doesn't scrape the chrome off.

K9Caddy
10-15-10, 12:22 PM
Wonder if some Eagle One NEVR-DULL would do the trick? Fine steel wool should do it with a good polish.

chadbaaronson
10-21-10, 03:19 PM
I agree, 000 or 0000 steel wool will work wonders on 'stained' chrome rims. Don't press to hard, or rub in the same spot too long as you may get fine scratches and that will eventually lead to flaking. I would start with 0000 and if that doesn't work I would try going down to 000 but not anything below that. Make sure not to use it dry, use some type of chrome polish, mothers, No. 7, etc.

Never-dull works great too, but it depends on how bad the stains are.

Also, just a tip for next winter, if you want to go a step further then just washing them before storage. . .since the wheels are being stored in a warehouse you may consider applying a thin coat of polish or wax (not paste wax) and leave it on for the whole winter. As long as its thin, it will come off with no problem, and it will deter any moisture (assuming your warehouse is damp like most are) build up which can ultimately result in rust / pitting / flaking etc.

flexright
10-26-10, 08:46 AM
Just my Opinion! I had an 2002 EXT with factory chrome 18" wheels. I am not one of those guys who changes wheels for the winter. I always sprayed off the salt ,and kept them clean. We have bad winters here in Ohio. I go to self serve washes when they are real nasty. I also keeep wax or a wheel cleaner handy. Right now I am using Dri Wash n Guard for the home on my wheels. They are aftermarket 22" Giovanna's Chrome. They were on the vehicle when I purchased it last month. BEAUTIFUL! I have yet to use acid on my wheels. I probably never will. I plan on using Griot's Wheel Cleaner. There are alot of wheel cleaner out there. Be careful with the acid based cleaners.

chadbaaronson
10-26-10, 12:52 PM
Absolutely. I never change wheels for the winter either. As long as they are kept up with you should never have a problem. People leave brake dust on too long, and don't wash their cars frequently enough which will for sure cause pitting. Flexright hit the nail on the head, preventative maintenance is key, if you start off with a good coating of protection you rims will not only last longer, but they will be easier to clean when brake dust builds up. Keep in mind, this theory of precautions is not only for rims, but your cars finish also.

chirag
08-04-12, 01:27 PM
his is a small bit of a shifty issue, usually you can neat off any light stains by using tyre wash which is a gentle detergent in liquid solution however, if the stains do not come off, you can use a gentle solution of caustic soda, but be well aware, caustic soda ought to be handled with gloves, exposure to anything above ten percent concentration can lead to chemical burns. Know more here (http://indiancarz.com/index.php?tid=273).