Driving becomes less fun when your rims and tires are caught up in dirt and grease. But first, let’s put the external beauty aside. Having clean wheels actually brings you many benefits, one of which is the prevention of damage and corrosion to your vehicle.
Without proper care, these contaminated substances will peel off your wheel finishes, making your tire leaked and your rim porous.
Therefore, cleaning your rims and tires is significantly important. You can do it by driving your car to any auto detailing stores if your budget allows or simply formulating your own homemade rim and tire cleaner from many common household ingredients in your kitchen cabinets.
This article will walk you through the top 8 best recipes for homemade rim and tire cleaner that are affordable and easy to do.
Are Homemade Rim And Tire Cleaner Really Effective?
Many people might say that it is more effective to buy and use commercial wheel cleaners on the market. Thus, they could express concerns over the utilization of homemade rim and tire cleaners.
However, the following list of homemade rim and tire cleaners is proven to be effective for removing road dirt and grime. Not only that, these concoctions can also restore your wheels’ shine.
In addition, cleaning rims and tires will prevent brake dust from splashing and sticking on your vehicle’s paintwork.
Best Recipes For Homemade Rim And Tire Cleaner Of 2021
In this section, I will introduce the eight best recipes for homemade rim and tire cleaner to you. This list is compiled from various credited sources, including car maintenance publications and online database references.
Therefore, you can rest assured about the credibility of the following methods. They require simple household materials and are safe for use on cars’ rim and tire to eradicate grime.
Plus, you can apply these recipes to a wide array of wheel materials, including aluminum, alloy, and steel.
Without further ado, let’s try them out to remove road tar from your vehicle’s rims and tires.
Recipe #1: Use Baking Soda And Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is regarded as an ideal solution for removing stains from cars. Many car enthusiasts and professionals confirm the material’s effectiveness.
On its own, lemon juice is often utilized to restore the cleanliness of cars’ windows. However, when you add in baking soda, the final concoction can be used to get rid of all annoying dirt and greases from your wheels.
To mix this solution, you will need the following ingredients:
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 1/2 cup of baking soda
- 1 cup of warm water
- Some microfiber towels
- A spray bottle
Your initial step is to fill the spray bottle with lemon juice and water. Shake the mixture up nicely. After that, spray the solution on the innermost area of your wheels. Then, sprinkle the baking soda on your microfiber towers and start rubbing off all the annoying stains that you spot on your rims and tires. That is just how simple you clean your car’s wheels.
One amazing fact is that this solution is very versatile. It can be applied not only on wheels but also on many kitchen surfaces, such as stoves, sinks, and countertops.
The cool thing about this recipe is that you can use baking soda alone to clean your wheels. Watch the following video for more evidence:
Recipe #2: Use Tartar Paste Cream
Some of you may think I am crazy by using such an expensive item like tartar paste cream for cleaning a car’s rims and tires. Well, the product is costly. However, if you have some surplus in your storage and have no plan for them yet, you can use them for this rim and tire cleaning and be amazed at its effectiveness.
For this recipe, you will need to prepare:
- 2 tablespoons of tartar cream
- A wheel brush
Let’s begin by applying tartar cream on your wheel brush and start scrubbing your entire rims and tires gently. Once you finish covering the cream on all the dirty spots, simply rinse your wheels with water from a garden hose. Repeat the process if you still find some of those annoying spots clinging on the wheels.
Recipe #3: Use Baking Soda And Dish Soap
This upcoming recipe features two interesting ingredients: baking soda – an abrasive cleaner for removing grime, and dish soap – a mild degreaser utilized in the kitchen to get rid of oil buildup. This combination is superb in cleaning your rims and tires from contaminants. In addition, the mixture smells really good.
All you need for this recipe include:
- 1 teaspoon of dish soap
- 1/2 cup of baking soda
- 1 gallon of warm water
- A used toothbrush
- A sponge or rag
Let’s start by mixing the concentrated dish soap with warm water. Then, take the sponge and dip it in the mixture. After that, sprinkle the baking soda on your sponge and run the piece around your rims and tires several times.
Finally, pick up your old toothbrush to scrub all the dirt away, especially on hard-to-reach areas. Rinse your wheels thoroughly with water and dry them right away using a clean towel.
If you want to see some wheel cleaning in action, watch this amazing experiment:
Recipe #4: Use Carbonated Soft Drinks
Having trouble with lug nuts and screws on your rims and tires? Don’t worry, as you can fix them with your favorite carbonated soft drinks: Coca Cola. When combined with carbonation, the phosphoric acid contained in Coke is fully capable of getting rid of tarnish from wheels of various materials, including copper, chrome, and other metallic alloys.
To formulate this safe recipe, you have to gather the following items:
- 1 cup of Coca Cola
- 1 cup of vinegar
- 1 cup of dish soap
- 1 water bucket
- A sizable spray bottle
- An old toothbrush (or a tire brush)
To apply this recipe, you have to fill your spray bottle with Coke and spray it on the rim and tire areas. Let the solution stay there for a few minutes so that the acid can perform its cleaning function. After that, utilize the old toothbrush to scrub and clean all those lug nuts.
Once you get the dirt off your rims and tires, use the dish soap – vinegar – water mixture to wash away all the sticky soda.
Recipe #5: Use Toilet Bowl Cleaner And Baking Soda
This next recipe requires careful caution when used, as the solution is quite strong. It can eradicate every stain annoyance on your rims and tires. However, you will need to follow strictly certain guides to protect your wheels. Otherwise, such a concoction will leave stains on them. Don’t worry, such guides are introduced right below.
Before diving into the instructions, here are some materials you need to gather:
- 6 teaspoons of baking soda
- Toilet bowl cleaner containing hydrochloric acid, such as The Works
- A pair of rubber gloves
- A spray bottle filled halfway with water
- An old toothbrush
- A glass or ceramic bowl
First off, start formulating your acid neutralizer. Make sure to equip yourself with a pair of rubber gloves, as you are dealing with strong chemicals here. Take the spray bottle pre-filled with water and add some baking soda in. Shake the bottle up nicely and put it aside for now.
Then, squirt some toilet bowl cleaner into your ceramic or glass bowl. Remember to stay away from metal bowls, as the toilet bowl cleaner can react with them.
After that, pick up your old toothbrush, dip it into the bowl, and start scrubbing your rims and tires. A small tip is to cover small areas at one time for about 15 seconds before you dip the brush into the bowl again for another run.
If you let the acid stay there for over 15 seconds while cleaning, it will gradually eat away your wheels’ material, especially aluminum. Moreover, the acid can make your rim brittle over time.
Then, spray your acid neutralizer from the bottle on the entire rims and tires. Make sure to rinse everything again carefully. Pressure washer is a great selection for this last step. And one last note is that you should keep repeating this scrubbing and rinsing process until all the trouble spots are removed.
Last but not least, dry your rims and tires off with a piece of cloth. You can carry on the shining-up process by utilizing lemon oil. Just apply as much lemon oil as possible on your wheels to prolong their good condition and prevent it from dry rotting. Other alternatives to lemon oil include baby oil. Coconut oil, vegetable oil, castor oil, motor oil, and sugar water.
Recipe #6: Use Vinegar And Water
If you want to avoid the danger of acid-based chemicals like in recipe #5, you can refer to this upcoming formulation. This safe water-based concoction is particularly effective for chrome wheels.
Below are some key substances and tools required for this mixture:
- White vinegar
- A spray bottle
- A sponge
Before talking about how to apply this solution, I want to appreciate the amazing cleaning action offered by vinegar. Recipes involving vinegar (and baking soda also) can be utilized to wipe away contaminants on many kinds of surfaces, including grimes and oils on your rims and tires. Plus, the material is affordable and widely available. Therefore, this solution promises to assist you in your wheel cleaning duty.
Now, let’s dive into the main part. Fill white vinegar and water into your spray bottle with equal amounts. Then, spritz the mixture on the wheels and let it sit there for a couple of minutes. Use your sponge to get rid of all stains on your rims and tires. Finally, wash everything with water and repeat the process if you still spot some dirt after that.
The following video will provide you with more visual of wheel cleaning with white vinegar:
Recipe #7: Use Baby Oil
Your rims and tires will not only get cleaned but also have their shine and fresh look restored. Moreover, applying this next recipe is proven to prolong your wheels’ life.
You will need certain following items to mix this concoction:
- 3 – 4 tablespoons of baby oil
- 25 gallon of water
- 1 drop of dish soap
- A spray bottle
- A piece of old cloth
It is very straightforward to mix this solution. Pour water into the spray bottle before adding dish soap and baby oil. Then, shake everything up well. After that, all you have to do is spray the mixture on a piece of old cloth and use it to remove all dirty areas on your rims and tires.
Another similar way is to spray the mixture directly on those stains and grimes. Then, use the cloth to wipe them down.
Here is a video illustrating the effectiveness of baby oil in cleaning wheels:
Recipe #8: Use Borax Solution
If you are having trouble with tough-to-remove stains on your rims and tires, and the normal mixture of dish soap and hot water is not very effective, it is high time to call for Borax.
This homemade recipe requires some ingredients as follow:
- A brush
- Warm water
Begin by adding half a cup of Borax into one bucket of warm water. Then, apply this solution to tough stains on your wheels by using a brush for scrubbing. This recipe is safe and makes your wheel cleaning experience less of a nightmare.
Complete Tutorial On How To Clean Your Rim And Tire Like A Pro
Depending on the recipe you are applying, the process might be slightly different. However, the overall procedure of this cleaning task follows the same pattern with four steps. In this section, I will explain these four steps sequentially.
Step #1: Giving Your Rim And Tire A Thorough Wash
This first step applies to almost every cleaning process. If you want to clean something, you have to rinse it with water first. It is the same with rim and tire cleaning. Indeed, when you plan to clean your car, always start with cleaning your wheels in the first place. This move helps prevent dirty water or brake dust from sticking to other parts of your vehicle.
Rinse your wheels with clean water and pay attention to reach all possible areas, including screws and lug nuts.
This might sound obvious to you, but I must mention it here. Before you rinse, make sure your vehicle is off, and its wheels are cool down.
Step #2: Employing Your Homemade Cleaner
This second step requires you to employ your homemade cleaner to the rims and wheels. You can do this task by using a spray bottle, a piece of microfiber cloth, or simply an old brush. Stay away from harsh brushes and towels, as they can be detrimental to your wheels.
A useful tip is to clean one wheel at a time. I mean, you conduct the whole cleaning process, from rinsing, applying the cleaner, and washing off to one single wheel, ensuring that it is completely clean before moving on to another one. If you apply the cleaner to four wheels at once, it will dry off and lose its effectiveness by the time you start scrubbing.
Another remark is that you should avoid cleaning your cars and your wheels on a warm day or in a closed site, as high humidity and temperatures will make your cleaner useless. Ensure your site is well-ventilated and the temperature is cool when you plan to clean your rims and tires to achieve optimal results.
Step #3: Scrubbing Off The Contaminants
After applying the homemade cleaner on your rims and tire, let the solution sit there for a few minutes. The solution needs time to do its job.
Then, use a sponge or a rag to scrub all dirt from all the outside edges of your rims and tires. Next, pick up a soft-bristle brush, or even a lug nut brush, to remove the remaining tough stains, which should be loosened up by now. Make sure you clean your entire barrel from the front to the back and reach through all the spokes.
Step #4: Rinsing And Drying
In the final stage, you are required to rinse the whole thing all over again, from top to bottom. Leave no soap or cleaner on your rims and tires, as any residue can cause etching on their materials. After that, dry your wheels with a soft piece of towel.
Frequently Asked Questions On Homemade Rim And Tire Cleaner
As usual, this section will clarify all your questions related to the topic in question.
Important Advice On Homemade Rim And Tire Cleaner
My last piece of recommendation for you is to be patient while cleaning your rim and tire. By patient, I mean you should give the homemade solution to sit on the dirty spots for a while so that it can exert its cleaning power. Depending on the strength of the applied chemicals, the time can vary from a few seconds to a couple of minutes.
In short, there are a wide array of recipes and methods that you can follow to formulate your own homemade rim and tire cleaner. Instead of spending time testing out different mixtures, I have saved you a lot of time by introducing some of the best recipes in this article.
I have done my part. Now, I want to listen to your voices. Do you have any unique recipes for rim and tire cleaner? Please feel free to share in the comment section below.