Aluminum wheels - Diesel Truck Forum -
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-12-2010, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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Aluminum wheels

So what is the best way to clean light corrosion from aluminum wheels that is not very deep? Thanks in advance for any help.

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-12-2010, 02:17 PM
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My wheels are polished aluminum. I bought them while still living in SC. Moved to Colorado shortly afterwards, and found out that the mag-chloride the state uses on the roads eats the finish off polished aluminum. Not a single off the shelf cleaner or polish could get them looking right.

Another guy showed me some acid wheel cleaner that he uses on his wheels. He sprayed a test area and wiped it clean. It took all the corrosion out of the wheel. All I had to do was slap on some polish, and it looked brand new again.

So that's what I do after every winter season. Acid clean and polish.

The acid cleaner is not available off the shelf. Here is a link to a company that sells the stuff for fairly cheap:

It's the first product on the page, called Brite Aluminum Cleaner. Remember, this stuff is hydrofluoric acid, and you MUST be very careful when using it. Wear thick rubber gloves at all times when handling it. Hydrofluoric acid burns are extremely painful, as it seeps into the skin down to the bones, attacking the calcium in the bones.

The way I use it is to wash the truck and wheels. After it's dry, use a spray bottle and spray some acid all over the wheel. Use a damp rag (while wearing gloves, don't forget) wipe down the wheels using a light scrubbing motion. For heavy buildup or corrosion, repeat the process. You'll start to see the crud coming off, and the aluminum will have a slight whitish tint to it. Make sure you use a sprayer that sprays nice and evenly (in a mist, not a stream), and don't let the acid sit too long. Spray, count to 10, and start wiping. After the wheel is cleaned with acid, wash it again with soap and water to remove the acid. Let dry, then apply wheel polish and it should look good as new.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-13-2010, 04:17 AM
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