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Old 05-07-2003, 09:37 PM
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Ladies and Gentlemen, those of you with sensitive eyes should not read this message.

I used EasyOff on my wheels and it worked like a charm. Really!

No, I am not a heretic. It didn't do any significant damage (at least not compared to the Campbell soup of chemicals I tried before I got to EasyOff).

Please allow me to explain. I purchased an 11 year old car that was looked at after very well, just not the insides of the multi-holed wheels a 1992 300E came with. So I decided to get them perfectly clean before I put them on the car. It had the winter wheels on it when I bought it.

Dishwashing liquid cleaned a little.
P21S Gold (at $30 CAD a bottle) did a little better. Some spots, very much better.
Castrol Superclean did very well and it was only around $5 a bottle.
P21S Gold, the second bottle still did only a little better.
S.O.S. pad - steel wool with detergent did nothing but scratch the few places I tried it on.
Then I got angry and tried the ceramic counter top cleaner for stoves. BAD IDEA.
Finally, I tried EasyOff. Out of fear, I left it on for only a few seconds. I was amazed. As I inspected the wheel and got braver, I tried another coat and left it on longer and longer.

To keep a long story to medium length, I wish I had just used Easyoff right from the beginning. I would have saved alot of money and my fingerprints.

After a coat of Meguiar's Step 2 and Step 3, the wheels look brand new (except for the spots missing a coat of paint from the ceramic cleaner).

There. I feel much better now having shared this with you all.

Thank you.

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Old 05-07-2003, 11:46 PM
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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When are you available ?
My wife would like her oven cleaned.
2007 C 230 Sport.
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Old 05-09-2003, 10:43 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Houston
Posts: 131
what are Meguiar's Step 2 and step 3, and where do you buy it from?

I don't recall seeing these on the shelves; anyway, there are so many Maguiar products it is hard to remember them

16 GLC300
12 C250
98 E300D
89 300SE
84 300SD sold
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Old 05-09-2003, 07:52 PM
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 198
Since we're in the kitchen, don't forget to spray your cloth with Pam, and wipe it on your wheels, next wash, your brake dust comes off much easier.

enjoy your drive and kitchen, timreid
1992 400E
euro lights
500E sway bars
210 16in wheels
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Old 05-10-2003, 01:30 AM
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Originally posted by timreid
Since we're in the kitchen, don't forget to spray your cloth with Pam, and wipe it on your wheels, next wash, your brake dust comes off much easier.

enjoy your drive and kitchen, timreid
Butter or Olive flavor?

Actually, won't the sprayed oil attract dirt and dust?
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Old 06-01-2003, 11:57 PM
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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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What kind of wheels were they? That is, were they painted alloys, stainless steel, or magnesium?
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Old 06-07-2003, 02:15 AM
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Originally posted by timreid
Since we're in the kitchen, don't forget to spray your cloth with Pam, and wipe it on your wheels, next wash, your brake dust comes off much easier.

enjoy your drive and kitchen, timreid
Roger, thanks for the cheap fix! I'll give it a try on the wheels on my 190. They were probably never cleaned by the previous owner.

There's a wheel wax available that will shine your wheels very well and help prevent brake dust from sticking as badly. I don't remember the name (I really don't feel like going out to the garage to see what it's called ), but there's a thread floating around in the past month where I learned of it.

It comes in a small can and sells for around $15. Well worth it and I figure it lasts longer than Pam.
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Old 06-23-2003, 11:37 AM
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Rockville, MD
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Re: Easy Off

Roger, I thought you were out of your mind with the Easy Off but after overcoming the apprehension of putting oven cleaner anywhere near my car, I'm a believer. It's not the end all to brake dust, but the best results I've seen (tried Eagle One, Meguiars, Mothers). I applied twice and only let it sit for about 30sec-1min each time with no ill effects on the wheels. Thanks for the tip!

N.B. If you are looking for a good engine cleaner/degreaser, I've found Fantastik Orange Action worked wonders under the hood.

Here's to kitchen solutions!


87 420SEL
00 C230K
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Old 06-23-2003, 12:57 PM
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Oven cleaner has a pH of about 13.5, compared to drain cleaner which is 13 -- so it's very basic.

What does it do to the finish? Sound interesting, but I've read that cleaners such as Simple Green are even to harsh for wheels.
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Old 06-23-2003, 08:18 PM
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VIM is also another great cleaner fro baked on brake dust!
99 C43
98 S420
99 C230K
01 C240
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Old 06-23-2003, 08:25 PM
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W126 asked a great question and pointed us to a careful warning.

The semi good news is that chemicals that raise the pH to such a high degree (called bases) applied to most metals quickly remove oxides and organics. Bases love organics like, oh, leather or cloth and wet organic tissue like skin and eyes. The potentially disastrous bad news is that unless you scrupulously clean every molecule of a caustic from the surface, the base will pursue positive ions wherever it can find them. If it finds free ions it will form a salt. It will pursue metallic ions from molecular metals if it can't find a handy oxygen molecule. It will discolor or tarnish or etch or erode most kinds of metals.

A safe (for you and the car) way to neutralize a strong base is with a lot of water. Don't use any acid, you already know what happens when acidic material comes in contact with metal.

Wash with soap. Wash the area to which you applied the base then wash everywhere that water splashed when you rinse it off. Then rinse everything again.

I think its an interesting experiment you've performed. The test will be how well you removed the material. It will probably take several months to be sure your cleaned sufficiently. Please let us all know how it looks in September.

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Old 06-23-2003, 10:48 PM
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Great info Chris!

I knew I'd find someone here with a strong chem background! -- Might give it a shot, but I'm still paranoid.
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Old 06-24-2003, 09:59 AM
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Location: Niceville, FL
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I suppose if wheels have been neglected then 'extreme' measures are required. However, I've found that good old soap and water on the wheels works just fine, particularly on the SL which probably gets a little better care than the other two diesels that I own.
'85 500SL (Euro) - 186,000 w/a complete restoration and engine rebuild at 154,000
'95 C280 - 174,000
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Old 06-24-2003, 08:03 PM
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I was pretty harsh in my previous post, but not without reason.

Now that I've scared you, I think I can offer a bit of comfort. IF your metallic plating is in good condition (intact and completely covering iron or steel) your cleaned parts stand an excellent chance of suffering no ill effects and will probably be brighter, much faster than you've ever seen before. You just gotta be very, very careful that very high pH chemicals don't get under the plating. Just rinse like crazy and you'll probably do no harm.

Oh, and for goodness sake, don't mix-up your own chemical brew unless you made pretty good grades in HS chemistry and remember all about acid-base (redox) reactions. If you choose to mix your own brew, for God's sake, do it outside, wear safety goggles, and do your business away from anybody you love. You can kill yourself and your family, etch glass, burn-down your garage and basically ruin your life with many combinations of common household and industrial cleaners.

If you have stuff like that, you can do yourself a big favor by storing bleach-containing chemicals and other oxidizers in a completely separate area from drain cleaners, polishes, paints, thinners, fuels and lubricants. If you're a shop owner, read the MSDS. If you have questions, call the number.

If you want details, don't ask me.
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Old 07-05-2003, 11:35 PM
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Location: Piedmont, OK
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I tried the oven cleaner trick today. My 300CE wheels seemed to have a full 13 years of brake dust built up in the holes. Honestly, it was so rough that I assumed all the paint had come off, the metal had pitted, and the black gunk was permanent.

So I sprayed a little in one hole, and to my surprise ALL the gunk came out with a little rubbing and there was still silver paint beneath. Amazing!

Now, for the bad news. I did all four wheels this way. It removed all the baked-on crud, but it removed some paint also. I now have a lot of spots that are white. Not sure if it's bare aluminum or primer. Nevertheless, it looks a helluva lot better than the black crud.

I figure I'll get some silver wheel paint and touch them up one of these days. Anyone know if it's possible to match the original color pretty close? Guess I'd be better off repainting the entire wheel, but I'm a little lazy.

1998 S320
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