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Maybe everyone knows this already, but for a long time I've struggled to find a good solution to clean the grime off my rims. Saw a tip in a youtube video the other day about WD-40 and Steel Wool... it was like magic. Super effective, and I finally have a clean looking wheel!

54663
 

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yeah, but it’s surely tearing thru any paint and clear coat. Maybe take a step down to something like those green dish pads. I forget what they’re called. I do however use WD40 to clean wheels, but usually just a shop towel does the trick because I keep up with it
 

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Be very careful not to get oil (WD-40) on your brakes if you do this.

I prefer Meguiars wheel cleaner and a soft nylon bristle brush.
 

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I wouldn't use steel wood on painted surfaces.

Even if you get them clean, the next time they will be even more difficult to clean because the finish is dull. OEM paint is typically very thin, and and amount of abrasion will go through it quickly.

Most likely brake cleaner or bug and tar remover will dull the factory wheel paint. A strong degreaser like Purple Power or Industrial Purple will often streak and dull metallic coatings (usually silvers) as well.

Try a "cleaner wax" or some type of polish after using a gentle cleaner to remove the loose dirt.

Best to use the most gentle cleaner that removes the dirt. Once it's clean, wax it to make removing dirt easier.
 

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I use Wd40 ans steel wool on unpainted metal all the time. Painted surface is Wd40 or simple green and a clean rag.
 

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Steel wool also gives off fine particles. Give your brake discs and pads a clean with some Brake cleaner to reduce contamination.

I use GT85 PTFE Chain lube/spray as it's inert and leaves a coating that reduces crud pickup but again clean discs and spray pads after use for safety.

HTH :)
 

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Blue Scotchbrite is about as abrasive as you want to go on painted surfaces such as wheels.
Scotchbrite is for scuffing. I'd only use it if you were prepping for paint.

Anything abrasive is going to dull the finish and eventually go through the paint.
 

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Be very careful not to get oil (WD-40) on your brakes if you do this.

I prefer Meguiars wheel cleaner and a soft nylon bristle brush.
wd 40 isn't oil based and will evaporate.
I would use soap and water to remove dirt and grime. simply green or a light degreaser works.
no scrubies, no steal wool.
 

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wd 40 isn't oil based and will evaporate.
I would use soap and water to remove dirt and grime. simply green or a light degreaser works.
no scrubies, no steal wool.
It's not?!

Formulation
  • 45-50 % low vapor pressure aliphatic hydrocarbon (kerosene)
  • <35% petroleum base oil (non hazardous heavy paraffins)
  • <25% aliphatic hydrocarbons (same CAS number as the first item, but flammable)
  • 2-3% carbon dioxide (propellant)
 

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thanks for the clarification, I won't use it on my brakes.
I still wouldn't use it with steal wool to clean anything on a motorcycle.
I wouldn't use it at all.
 

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One thing WD-40 isn't is a lubricant. WD = Water Dispersion.

Commonly used as a lubricant, but not what it was designed for.
 

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I agree.
WD-40 is a very poor lubricant, since it is intended to "wash out" real lubricants: if you use it for this purpose it won't stay put, but will rather vanish quite soon, especially if applied on moving surfaces.
 
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Scotchbrite is for scuffing. I'd only use it if you were prepping for paint.

Anything abrasive is going to dull the finish and eventually go through the paint.
Scotchbrite is color coded for abrasiveness. Blue is the least abrasive and safe for all interior surfaces like plastic bathtubs and such. It's supposed to not scratch anything, I use it extensively in my property management business with good results, and have used it on my wheels but not my tank. YMMV.
 

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Well, to add to the BS contained in this thread.....if you must use steel wool for something like this try to find stainless steel wool. Standard steel wool leaves embedded particles that break off in use. So does the stainless steel version. But guess which one can rust causing discoloration?
What BS is that?
 

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a quick easy clean for wheels that is harmless and won't scratch paint wheels..... WD 40 cuts grease but if you get it on rotors enjoy a new experience in braking... so the easy way Kaboom Bathroom tub cleaner is a very good degreaser so spray in on the wheels, let it set for 1 hour.. rinse it off and then wipe is down with a soft Terry cloth rag.. if there is any spots that didn't come off , hit it a second time.. I use this method to clean the engine in my hot rod and it makes it look lke new every time.. And in case you are wondering it does not harm the painted surfaces
 

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steel wool will rust. when using it you will embed little pieces of it in the surface that will eventually rust. big problem in a marine environment. not sure how bad the problem is when you're not near the ocean. bronze wool is a better alternative.

WD-40 its best ability may be discouraging rust
 
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