How to Improve Aluminum Hub Caps by Cleaning or Polishing


Many automobiles have simple aluminum hub caps, an ornamental disk covering the wheel or the center portion of the wheel. Some hubcaps are made of steel but the benefits of aluminum over steel is the lower cost and ease of care. On the other hand they are not as bright as their steel counterparts. Because hubcaps are subjected daily to all the dirt and grime of the road they will often need a good cleaning and polishing to achieve maximum brilliance. You can do this in a short amount of time at minimal expense.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Vinegar
  • Non-scratch cleaning pad
  • Clean rags
  • Glass cleaner
  • Use standard garden hose at its highest pressure, or a house hold pressure washer, and thoroughly rinse out the hub caps and wheels. Dirt from in the wheel well needs to be removed as well or the hub caps will become dulled by wheel dust.

  • Gently scrub the hub caps with a non-scratch cleaning pad to remove the larger particle of grit from the hub caps. A non-scratch dish cleaning sponge works best.

  • Mix a cleaning solution of ½ cup of vinegar to 1-quart warm water. With a clean rag wash aluminum hub caps with this solution. Rinse and repeat this process two to three times for best results.

  • Polish the hub caps with a household glass cleaner and a clean rag, using small circular motions. Repeat this process twice to achieve maximum brilliance.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wash the automobile before working on cleaning and polishing the hub caps. Otherwise dirt and grime from the car will quickly soil the polished wheel covers.

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