Brake dust is composed of the ceramic particles from your brake pad and metal particles from your brake disc and caliper produced by the action of putting on the brakes on your vehicle.
This is a highly corrosive substance that's pernicious when it comes to wheel maintenance because it's also quite sticky. It's because of this dust that you should always use separate wash buckets, towels, and brushes for your wheels and your car body.
The stickiness of the dust also necessitates immediate regular cleanup or, if the dust has already bonded with the wheel well and hub, the use of a clay bar.
Avoiding Unsightly Permanent Damage
- Keep Wheels Safe with Constant Cleaning: Friction and heat from using the brakes make the mixture of metal and ceramic particles that compose brake dust highly corrosive on your wheel components, whether they're made of aluminum or steel. Because most cars drive everyday in high-traffic areas with constant stop-and-go traffic, brake dust is being made daily. Only frequent cleaning can keep your wheels safe from deterioration and expensive replacement.
- Prevention Is Better Than the Cure: Sure, you can't stop brake dust from happening since the friction between the disc and pad will always rub out the pad until you need to replace it. This is why wheel cleaners like KevianClean Wheel Cleaner is equal parts detergent and lubricant. It cleans your wheel components gently, from the rims to the hubs and back, while at the same time catching brake dust contaminants for later hosing down.
- A Compound Cleaner to Remove Scratches: There are also compounds available that allow you to remove shallow etching and scratches on painted wheel rims. These products can be applied by hand with an applicator pad. You can also purchase a dual-action polisher if it's called for and if you can afford it. Just remember that this compound should be wiped away as soon as it's applied for the best results. If the scratches are too deep, only a paint touchup can repair them.