How Can I Get Really Tough Road Grime & Salt Off of My Aluminum Wheels?


Road crews deposit salt on highways to melt snow during the winter months. The salt, along with roadway grime, accumulates on aluminum wheels, dulling the polish and shine of the rims. The wheel rims require regular cleaning, as long-term exposure to road salt can damage the aluminum surface. Wash the rims using products that not only clean the grime from the surface, but add shine to the aluminum as well.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Aluminum wheel cleaner
  • Bucket
  • Cheesecloth
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Spray the aluminum wheels with a garden hose. Rinse as much of the salt and grime from the wheels as possible.

  • Spray the aluminum wheels with an aluminum wheel cleaning product. Spray the entire surface of the rim area generously. Allow the cleaner to remain on the surface for 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Fill a bucket with warm water. Rub the aluminum wheel with a damp, lint-free cheesecloth. Rinse the cheesecloth in the bucket as you remove the salt and grime from the aluminum rim. Dump out the dirty water in the bucket and replace it with fresh water as you clean all four rims.

  • Rinse the aluminum wheels with the garden hose. Dry the rims with a clean, lint-free cloth.

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  • Photo Credit sports car rim image by Lario Tus from
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