How to Make Aluminum Rims Shine

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The aluminum rims on a vehicle will lose their shine after rough weather. Road debris can scruff your rims. After you wash your auto, the aluminum rims may not get the attention they should. Polishing this part of the car at least once a month or after a heavy storm will maintain the shine. Mud, dirt and oils from roadways can cause your rims to suffer. When they're dull, your vehicle doesn't seem as well maintained.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket Aluminum polish De-greaser soap 2 washcloths Towel
  • Buy aluminum polish. Mother's Mag & Aluminum Polish, Met-All Aluminum Cleaner and Aluminum Polish Super Shine are available from department and car detailing stores. You can apply all of these products by hand or the Aluminum Polish Super Shine with a buffer.

  • Use hot water to fill the bucket. Dip the cloth in and squeeze it out. Wipe the aluminum rim to remove the dust or dirt. Start at the top; work your way down. Remove all grime from the rim and in the crevices.

  • Remove the water from the cloth. Add a small amount of the soap onto the same rag. Rub it together. Thoroughly clean the aluminum rim. Remove all of the stuck-on dirt, mud and debris from the wheel. Wring the cloth in a bucket. Wipe the soap off the aluminum rim.

  • Use a towel to dry the aluminum rim. Clean the wheel and dry completely before polishing.

  • Dip or pour a quarter-size amount of polish on your second washcloth. With a circular motion, rub the polish onto the aluminum rim to make it shine.

  • Repeat Step 5 if the aluminum isn't shiny after the first coat. Complete Steps 2 through 5 for the remaining aluminum rims.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check your washcloths and towel for rocks or other debris before using it on the aluminum, so as not to scratch it.

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