Cleaning Alloy Wheels

I am sure this subject has been covered before but I have looked back in this newsgroup and checked several forums with no luck.
I have just purchased a '96 323i (Australia) but in only the couple of weeks
I have owned it, the wheels are already covered in brake dust.
I have looked at some spray on wheel cleaners but they all give strong warnings about being alkaline, and not to be used if your wheels/brakes/pads contain certain metals.
My `spokes' attach to the rim in 20 points so there are lots of nooks and crannies to clean.
Is there an easy way to clean these wheels, something (harmless) that can be sprayed on and hosed off, or use a high pressure hose?
Thanks Don
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I've used a product called "Wonder Wheels" with great results. Your pour the clear liquid into the bottle cap and used the supplied brush to brush on the solution and work it into the brake dust deposits. You need to leave it on for a while for it to act, then work at it with a brush again to remove the last of the more stubbborn deposits and hose off / jet wash off. Sometimes with bad burnt on deposits and tar I've had to use a green kitchen scouring pad (made of plastic!) plus Wonder Wheels. You are looking at 30-45 minutes effort, maybe more with all those spokes, but you do get perfectly clean wheels for your trouble. My current car (2005 320d Touring) has a lot fewer spokes on the wheels it than the last car, could face all that cleaning effort any more!
Cheers Adrian
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AdrianHi says...

There are also products that you apply to the wheels after a thorough clean which I believe are supposed to prevent the dirt from taking such a firm hold - brake dust in particular - so that in principle the need to use chemicals like "Wonder wheels" for washing becomes required far less often. I've never tried these products but have been meaning to have a look around Halfords and just pick one.
--
jeremy
['01 BMW 530i SE Touring]
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Giving the wheels a polish with car wax - preferably one of the older 'solid' ones - helps to stop the dust sticking. Trouble is with high speed heavy braking is that the dust particles are so hot that they sort of melt into the paint.
--
*Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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I used to use wonder wheels every week, now I use it every 2 or 3 months!!
Give the wheels a REALLY good clean as you will be sealing them up with car polish. Get every last spec of dirt of ( and it will take a bit of time). Then I get a cheapish spray on polish ( turtle wax etc in a trigger bottle) and liberally spray alloys with it, allowing it to dry on. When totally dry ( 30 minutes ), I gently buff it up, then spray on another coat all over.. Leave to dry.
For the next 10 washes plus, a warm soapy sponge will get all the brake dust off in seconds..The polish does wear out and you can get to see this when the brake dust becomes difficult to get off using soapy water.. In my case and mainly town driving with bit of motorway that's usually between 8 and 12 weeks and numerous washes. It saves me a heap of time and cost as wonder wheels aint cheap!
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You can avoid the problem entirely (if you can tolerate the prospect of not seeing your brake rotors through the wheels) by using a product called Kleen Wheels. These are wheel liners that go between the wheel and the hub. They are black painted thin metal (Al, I think) with vent slots that keep the brake dust off your wheels.
Use them on our LS400 for 12 years now and had 'em on our '92 Corvette for 10 years. Work great. No dust ever.
Cheap, too.
- GRL

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you are lucky you have not had overheating issues,,,,, they are known for this
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GRL wrote:

These are generally considered a bad idea as they reduce the ventilation to the brake disk. This can result in increased brake heating, brake fade, and sometimes cause premature disk warpage.
A better alternative (IMO) is to replace the OEM brake pads with some that produce less dust the next time the car needs them.
YMMV,
--
-Fred W

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Thanks everyone for your help.
It looks like other than getting `Clean Wheels' a bit of elbow grease will always be required. No pain no gain.
Cheers Don
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I simply wash my wheels with the same Car Wash Soap that I use on the rest of the car. I finish washing the car, then I wash the wheels.

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Same here. Car wash soap, a tub of hot water, a small sponge and a bit of patience will clean all the brake dust right off.
Princess Morgiah
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On Thu, 24 Nov 2005 01:38:11 GMT, "Cheryle & Donal Smith"

Get aftermarket brake pads and prevent the problem in the first place.
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wrote:

I LIKE that idea. I installed Raybestos Professional Grade PLUS pads on my car, and they ran much cleaner thant he pads that came off.
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