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How To Clean Your Wheels (Video)


Source: YouTube

Water-based tire dressings get absorbed into your rubber and can actually nourish your rubber, keeping them soft and flexible. In this short video, James Melfi goes through the process of how to properly dress your tires.

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Video Transcription

Hey, James with Detailed Image. What’s typically the dirtiest part of the car? The wheels, right? I want to show you a step by step process on how to properly clean your wheels. So the first step is to basically blast those wheels down with a high-pressure rinse. You want to try and get off as much brake dust and dirt and grime in a touchless manner as you possibly can. You want to grab your wheel cleaner and spray it liberally all over the wheel. You want to let it sit for about 2-3 minutes, let it chew up all that brake dust and kind of have that brake dust be released from the wheel. So now you want to grab your all-purpose cleaner and you want to hit the tires, you want to hit the fender wells, you want to hit all those nasty areas. You want to let that cleaner dwell, pull the dirt out, so that when you go in with your brushes, it’s going to be super, super easy to clean. The first brush is the barrel brush. A brush designed to get deep inside that wheel and clean out that barrel. And for the wheel faces and calipers, we want to grab the wheel face brush. We want to agitate lightly and build up a nice lather. And now the most important wheel tool, the wash mitt. So simple, but extremely effective in getting behind the spokes and in places nothing else can. Lastly, grab a foam swab and get tight inside those little lug nut areas to really step up your wheel cleaning game. After that, we can do our final rinse, blast everything off and then we can move on to our wash process.

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6 comments on How To Clean Your Wheels (Video)

  1. Pedro Gonzalez says:

    Hi, Looks easy but why you don’t make a video cleaning chrome wheels you’re going to scratch all over the wheels with that brush make a video how to clean chrome wheels properly

    • Reece @ DI says:

      Pedro – With the various wheel types and makes on the market there is always going to be more sensitive wheel types, like chrome wheels. This was a general video that will help when cleaning the majority of wheels, however, we do hope to put together a more extensive wheel cleaning video, touching on different types of wheels, cleaners, brushes, etc. in the future.

  2. Jason says:

    Is the soap you use for the bucket where you dip the barrel brush/wheel face brush the same soap as the one you use to wash your car? In other words, would you use car pro reset?

    • james melfi says:


      We used Chemical Guys citrus wash in the wheel bucket but any paint cleansing shampoo would work fine. The reason we choose Chemical Guys citrus wash was because it added some extra cleaning power to the wheel tools and doesn’t have any added gloss or wax particles. CarPro Reset would absolutely be fine. Hope this helps and let me know how you make out.

      • Jason says:

        Thanks James! I tried out your method of cleaning wheels last week. I noticed that the process of cleaning the wheels took at least twice as much time as cleaning the entire car with with a mitt. Does this sound about right to you? I assume you are cleaning one wheel at a time? Thanks!

        • james melfi says:

          Dear Jason,

          If you paint is relatively clean and the wheels have a decent amount of brake dust, sure wheel cleaning can in some cases take longer than the paintwork. Keep in mind that this method is a guideline and can we interchanged based on how dirty the wheels are. If the wheels only need a light agitation with a wash mitt after the wheel cleaner then use that method. My point is, break the rules and try different techniques that fit your style wheels and there dirtiness level. I constantly switch my cleaning procedure based on what type of wheel I’m working on and how dirty the wheels, tires and wheel wells are. I hope this helps and ask away if you want to get into your specific wheel cleaning procedure in more depth.

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