How to Clean Alcoa Wheels

Alcoa is one of North America's largest manufacturers of wheel products, specialising in larger vehicles such as SUVs and motor homes. All Alcoa wheel products are made from aluminium. Over time, these wheels can be covered in dirt and road grime, and are subject to aluminium oxidation as well. Learn how to clean and polish Alcoa wheels to restore their original sheen and lustre.

Use Alcoa's Aluminum Care System. The system includes a spray gel cleaner, a heavy-duty polish and a sealant. It is designed to work with the aluminium that Alcoa uses in all its wheel products, and is available directly from Alcoa by calling them toll-free at (800) 434-7202. Wet the wheel with water and spray the gel on to dissolve dirt, rust and grime. Wipe with a soft-bristled and rinse with fresh water. Allow to dry, then apply the polish. Buff with a dry cloth using a circular motion to restore the wheel's shine. Finish with the spray-on sealant, which bonds with the metal to prevent rust and oxidation. Spray using a slow back-and-forth motion. Let the sealant sit on the wheel's surface for three minutes, then rinse with water.

Clean with Alcoa's PDQ Polish, a pricier alternative to the aforementioned cleaning system. PDQ is best for rushed drivers who don't have time to apply each product in the Alcoa Aluminum Care System. The product cleans, polishes and seals the wheel in a single step. Dab a tablespoon on a soft cloth and rub onto the wheels before wiping away with a clean dry cloth.

Wash the wheels with plain dish soap or car wash detergent and water if you use Alcoa's Dura-Bright Wheels. These speciality wheels are coated and should not be cleaned with either Alcoa's Aluminum Care System or PDQ Polish. Spray with water and wipe down with a sponge or rag moistened with a soap and water solution. Pay special attention to the grooves and corners of the wheel where dirt and road grime tend to accumulate. Rinse with plain water and allow to air dry. Alcoa boasts that its Dura-Bright wheels maintain their original shine after hundreds of ordinary washings.

Use a third-party aluminium wheel cleaner. This option is best for budget-conscious drivers who don't want to spend the premium price for Alcoa's speciality cleaning supplies. Example product include Mothers' FX Wheel Cleaner and Meguiar's Hot Rims All-Wheel Cleaner, available from most car shops and general retailers. Wet the Alcoa wheels with water and spray the wheel cleaner solution, soaking all exposed surfaces. Brush immediately, or let it sit for two to three minutes for dirtier surfaces. Rinse after brushing.

Things You'll Need

  • Alcoa Aluminum Care System
  • Alcoa PDQ Polish
  • Standard car wash solution
  • Commercial wheel cleaner solution
  • Brush
  • Rag
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About the Author

Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.