Cleaning chrome rims: tips & tricks

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Cleaning chrome rims: tips & tricks

Chrome aluminum rims are very popular not only in the tuning scene, but also with drivers of almost every age group and class. The reason lies in the high-gloss finish, which makes every tire an eye-catcher. The chromium-plated surface of the rims means that they require special cleaning: conventional detergents can damage the chromium-plating and thus spoil its appearance.

Worth knowing about chrome aluminum rims
Chrome aluminum rims belong to the so-called light metal rims , as do aluminum and magnesium rims. However, they differ from these in one important respect: their surface is not painted or polished, but covered with a thin layer of chrome . Strictly speaking, these are aluminum rims that were subsequently chrome-plated. The advantage of this method is that it makes the high-gloss rims resistant to damage, for example from the weather or chemical influences. On the other hand, chrome aluminum rims are very sensitive to impact and can quickly become damaged on curbs, for example.

Cleaning chrome rims: regular cleaning agents are taboo
Cleaning chrome rims requires special measures because they must not be cleaned with a regular rim cleaner. These can damage the surface and, in the worst case, ruin the entire rim. This is especially the case if the cleaner is highly acidic, as chrome rims are not acid-resistant. The acid can get inside through the smallest cracks and “burst open” the material – then a new set of rims is necessary.

Clean chrome rims without aggressive ingredients
If you want to clean your chrome rims and remove brake dust or rust film, you should use gentle care products . This can be as simple as warm water and soap to wash away dirt. Brake dust in particular can be removed quickly. Alternatively, special rim cleaners for chrome rims are also commercially available. These are precisely tailored to the nature of the surface and enable efficient cleaning without damaging the rims themselves. By the way: You can drive into the car wash with chrome rims without hesitation – just be careful not to hit the guide rails.

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Polishing chrome: This is how the high-gloss look is achieved
Over time, it can happen that the chrome rims no longer shine as desired, but become dull . Then it’s time to polish them and make sure they shine again. You can use home remedies like vinegar or baking soda for this purpose . First they are applied to the surface, have a short effect and can then be carefully rubbed in with a damp cloth .

Last resort for dull rims
If the chrome rims still look a bit dull afterwards, it is advisable to treat the surface with a drying cloth to polish the chrome. If you would like to store your chrome rims over the winter, there is a useful tip for this: Rub the rims with a little Vaseline beforehand , they get a protective layer and survive the winter months unscathed and in the usual good condition.

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