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Old 11-20-2005, 12:10 PM
BENZ-LGB's Avatar
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Question Spray on wheel cleaners--safe???

I bought s bottle of spreay wheel cleaner.

The instructions say to spray on wheel and let it sit for NO MORE than 15 seconds.

Are these sprays safe? For wheels? For brake components?

This particular spray is made by Meguiars.

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Old 11-20-2005, 01:28 PM
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if its ment to spray on the wheels your going to get overspray on the componets anyways.. just dont get it on your driveway it will water proof it and powerwashing wont even get it up.. im thinking about getting a couple gallons and pouring it on my driveway so it looks flawless.. stupid spots where i didnt lay a towel down
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Old 11-22-2005, 02:04 AM
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Most of the wheel cleaners use an acid to strip baked on brake dust from the wheel surface. Most say not to leave them on the wheel for too long, or to let them dry. You can check the bottle to see if has acidic ingredients, it should be listed on the front label somewhere. I think there may only be two brands that don't use acid, one is P21S and I think Meguiars makes one, but I'm not sure if that's the one you have.

From what I've read, though, the only "safe" one really is P21S.
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Old 11-23-2005, 12:29 PM
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I think most wheel cleaners today are water-based and should be very safe on all wheels.
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Old 11-23-2005, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Ramp
I think most wheel cleaners today are water-based and should be very safe on all wheels.
Wouldn't count on it.
Remember your wheels are painted. Try using it on your paint body if you think it's OK.

Use P21S. I have used it for years and it's never hurt my wheels. And it works faster then any other wheel cleaner I've ever tried.

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Old 11-23-2005, 04:05 PM
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A few years ago most cleaners were acid-based, but since the advent of painted, clearcoat, on wheels most manufacturers have switched their formulas to less corosive formulations. But I agree that you still should be very careful about what you put on your wheels. Even some of the water-based systems will wreck a wheel's finish if you leave it on long enough.
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Old 03-08-2006, 12:55 AM
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Best wheel cleaner/engine degreaser/all purpose cleaner

There is a cleaner that you can purchase for very little money and it really works. It's called "Awesome" and it can be purchased at "Dollar Tree" stores for a buck or on ebay for much more. They make two formulas so make sure you get the yellow (looks like it has been through someone) type. Spray this on your aluminum wheels and immidiately wipe it off. It will strip every bit of brake dust and leave your wheels very shiny. I would only spray it on cool wheels and I advise against leaving it on for a prolonged period of time. Awesome did a great job on removing the caked on blow by underneath the hood of my F350 diesel, took all the sludge right off. It will definately discolor plastic so be careful. Bottle states that it is non toxic and I have never used gloves, pretty safe I guess.

Good Luck!!
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Old 03-15-2006, 11:52 AM
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I had the same question and the folks at Meguiar's said that the NXT wheel cleaner will damage brake components. They also said most wheel cleaners have this problem.

Don't spray it on the wheel. Spray it on a wheel detail sponge and apply it to the wheel only.
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Old 03-16-2006, 01:10 PM
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Also, be sure to let the wheel cool first. You will mar the finish if you spray onto hot wheels. Ask me how I know...
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Old 03-23-2006, 12:20 AM
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Simple Green

For several years I've used a spray bottle of Simple Green and a wash cloth on my wheels with good results. Simple Green is biodegradable, non-toxic, and smells good, in addition to being an excellent cleaner of dirty wheels and grimy engines.
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Old 03-24-2006, 02:22 AM
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This may seem like a smart-a** comment, but the easiest solution is not to let them get very dirty in the first place. I painted and clearcoated my wheels with aerosol cans, and I know that this paint isn't as durable as a pro job-I won't even try any wheel cleaners on them. I've just gotten accustomed to cleaning my worst case combination of 15-holer/OEM brakepad setup with liquid detergent and water every week, and waxing every month. So far, no baked on anything, and cleaning is fairly easy. The brake dust is noticeable from a single, 40 mile round trip on the fronts!

FWIW, I'm getting a set of 15-holers chromed and the shop told me that on chrome wheels (aside from never letting them even SEE salty roads) they wouldn't use anything but water, detergent, and wax.
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Old 03-24-2006, 06:08 PM
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Brake fluid works wonders for cleaning a wheel when calipers go south!

Seriously I use simple green, light brush, and a rag and they look great. Really doesn't take that long to do by hand.
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Old 03-25-2006, 01:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Strife

FWIW, I'm getting a set of 15-holers chromed and the shop told me that on chrome wheels (aside from never letting them even SEE salty roads) they wouldn't use anything but water, detergent, and wax.
You know, getting MB rims chromed is not recommended by MB. It weakens the rim.
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Old 03-25-2006, 04:34 AM
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Being a detailer, wheel cleaners are perfectly safe if used safely. Spray on, agitate, rinse off. I use Meg's Wheel Brightener, part of their detailer line, only available by the gallon. Diluite it 3:1 or more with water, and it works wonders. Most of the time, simple car wash soap and a lot of elbow grease do a wonderful job.
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Old 03-25-2006, 10:46 AM
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Unless you have baked on layers of dust, good ol fashioned car wash soap will certainly work with a little effort. Simple green diluted can break down any build up on the wheels. Treat your wheels like the paint on your car. wash thoroughly, polish and wax!

On diritier wheels, I'll spray some diluted simple green onto them before washing. Then I'll be sure to use the hose and rinse them completely. Then I follow up and do a more precise cleaning with the car wash soap and a separate wash mit once I have washed the rest of the car. If the wheels still need some more cleaning, I'll spray some more diluted simple green and rinse it off when i rinse the whole car down. Then I follow with meguiars polish, color x, and wax.

Once the wheels are clean, I keep them that way by wiping them down every other day with quick detailer and a microfiber towel. I polish and wax my wheels at least once a month... they endure far more wear than the rest of the car.. high temperatures, brake dust, road dirt etc....

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