If cleaning wheels is as easy as cleaning the rest of your car body, then there'd be no such products as wheel brushes and specialized wheel cleaners.
The reason for this is unlike your vehicle body, your wheels are more sensitive to scratches. They aren't any less strong than your car body per se or else they'd be useless with everyday driving.
However, their non-painted surface tends to get more easily scratched due to them lacking a paint finish or being made of magnesium, stainless steel, or aluminum. The value of your car is significantly reduced with scratched wheels, in short.
Finding Gentle Ways to Clean Your Wheels
- KevianClean Wheel Cleaner: Not only is this cleaner safe on your wheels. It's also safe on the environment and can even add a layer of protection over your wheel components and assembly just short of acting as a layer of wax over it. It's quite efficient at grabbing and flushing out residual brake dust without scarring the wheel underneath. It's an effective way of cleaning your wheels without you having to undergo any special techniques or methods to do so.
- Microfiber Towel: An all-purpose wheel microfiber towel is just what you need in order to grab hold of residual brake dust safely. It's gentle on the wheel finish and you can easily see the dust as you collect them when you buy a black towel. The black coloring will also notify you to only use the towel on your wheels and not on the rest of the car for the sake of avoiding cross-contamination. Brake dust can do quite a number on your car paint.
- Wheel Brush: The wheel brush is known for its gentleness because its bristles aren't stiff but instead soft. However, it's not so soft that it can't get rid of brake dust and other contaminants like road salts, rocks, mud, and so forth. It's soft enough to ensure that your wheels won't get scratched but at the same time it's tough enough to agitate brake dust and other corrosive particles you want to remove from your wheel assembly.
Why Brake Dust Is Such a Problem Contaminant
You've probably noticed how brake dust is the common thread that binds all three methods of gentle cleaning for wheels. KevianClean Wheel Cleaner lubricates the brake dust, the microfiber towel catches the dust to prevent them from getting into contact with the wheel surface, and the wheel brush can agitate brake dust without scratching the wheel finish.
This is because wheel dust is part brake pad ceramic but is mostly composed of metal shavings from the rotors and adhesives used on brake pads. They cling to the wheels themselves, resulting in corrosion. Even if you have stainless steel wheels, they could get worn down slowly but surely by brake dust that isn't cleaned out ASAP.