Whether you are a long-time biker or a new cyclist who owns a good bike, it could be truly annoying having some un-anodized parts of your bike (for instance, kickstand, spokes, wheel, pletscher racks etc.) become heavily oxidized.
The brown rust on what used to be a shining aluminum wheel could be a displeasing eyesore and you might be icky with the question: how to clean and shine those oxidized aluminum wheels, rims, or whatever?
Don't worry, I am here to help. Outlined below are some tips and tricks you can adopt in cleaning and shining your oxidized aluminum (bike) wheel:
Table of Contents
- How To Clean Aluminum Bike Wheels
- My Best Way To Clean And Polish Aluminum
- Best Aluminum Polish And Cleaner: Top 5
- Homemade Rim And Wheel Cleaner/ Remover
- How to quick wash your bike in 5 minutes
How To Clean Aluminum Bike Wheels
- Use a metal polish
You can use a metal polish like the BlueMagic 400 Metal Polish Cream, which is a compound that works on different categories of surfaces, including steel, copper and aluminum.
It removes tarnishes and oxidation from the surfaces, leaving a lasting protective coating on them to produce adorable shine.
- Use a sandpaper
This is an abrasive method for cleaning oxidized aluminum wheel, most especially the one that is only slightly oxidized. You can use a rag to wipe it clean after scraping the aluminum surface with the sandpaper.
So if you already have an oscillating multi-tool that performs well in sanding, try using it to clean your bike. Totally work!
- Use a rag
This is another simple method for cleaning aluminum wheels that are slightly oxidized.
Dip the rag into a cleaning solution, it could be your local detergent or a more powerful chemical solution. Make sure that your solution doesn't cause cleaning solution, it could be your local detergent or a more powerful chemical solution. Make sure that your solution doesn't cause corrosion as it could eventually destroy the aluminum surface.
- Use oiled fine steel wool:
The fastest way to polish aluminum is by using oiled fine steel wool.
You can use any type of steel wool to clean your oxidized aluminum wheel. The most common type of steel wool is the 000 steel wool, and it has been reviewed positively by many bikers.
My Best Way To Clean And Polish Aluminum
Years ago, when I used to be a little girl, I very much liked seeing my dad cleaning his bike or car. Turning a brown dirty thing into a shiny, mirror-like item is a magic to me, a little girl.
He always uses Mother’s Mag and Aluminum Polish. And years of seeing daddy using it, I am confident enough to recommend it to you.
It is a proven and popular polish for cleaning oxidized aluminum wheels that have no clear-coat. If you follow my dad's simple procedure below, I assure you, your oxidized alum wheel will be back to it mirror-perfect finish again.
1. Leave a small amount of polish onto the oxidized part of the wheel. Wait for 10- 15 minutes until a grey residue emerges.
2. Start rub the surface with a rag or steel wool until the polish turning black.
3. Add more polish gradually, and you shouldn’t be in a hurry to remove the dark residue. The residue acts as a secondary polishing agent.
4. Once you have sufficiently cleaned the wheel, wipe it with a hot cotton towel.
5. Dry with a clean, dry cotton towel. Don’t let the polish dry on the wheel—make sure you turn the drying towel frequently.
Best Aluminum Polish And Cleaner: Top 5
If you are looking for the Top 5 aluminum polish and cleaner, check these great ones out! They have product guides that will show you how to remove oxidation from aluminum:
This brand is pretty much popular in cleaning and polishing.
Its secret formula produces a wonderful shine and it is easy to use for aluminum wheels and parts, alloys, brass and other accessories.
All you need to do is to apply it on the oxidized parts using a clean cloth and a little elbow grease.
However, you need to be careful when polishing a part that is only coated with a thin layer of another metal, because the metal will be removed. For example, if you have a headlight with a chrome housing, you may lose the chrome if you do not carefully apply the polish.
Another well-known player in the game.
Simichrome can beautifully remove surface rust from your aluminum bike wheels without leaving any scratches or marks on them.
It is made up of a finely mixed formula that can make oxidized metal have a perfect mirror finish in as little as 30 seconds.
As a fastest cleaning agent, it can smoothly polish any uncoated, non-ferrous metal surface. In addition to bringing back the original shine on your aluminum bike wheels, it would cover them with invisible protective coating to prevent future oxidation.
Apart from using this polish on your aluminum wheels, it can work perfectly well on any other part of your bike.
This is regarded as the ultimate protection polish for fiberglass, painted surfaces and metal. It possesses UV inhibitors which help stop oxidation and fading.
You can use it for metals with
You will discover that PTEF is the slickest, non-stick material you will ever use. And it repels water and oil-based deposits and stains and deposits that facilitate future cleanup.
The good news is that this polish lasts for up to 4 to 5 times longer than other marine waxes. And as far as I read the customer's reviews, it also happens to be claimed as the best wheel cleaner for brake dust they have ever used.
Purple is another good polish for oxidized aluminum wheels.
It easily removes the hard water stains, and its ability to make polished aluminum look chrome is amazing.
You don’t necessarily need to take the polished aluminum parts off of your bicycle and have them powder coated black.
It is the simplest of all polishing applications and you can see the results immediately. It can make your bike looks better than the ones in the showroom.
This is a fast and powerful solution to surface defects, whatever the blemish may be. It safely treats light to extreme scratching with ease.
You can apply by hand or with
It is wax and silicon-free.
Homemade Rim And Wheel Cleaner/ Remover
Although using a proper cleaner might give the best result. Sometimes we just don't need that perfect.
Yes, anything always has a home remedy.
So instead of buying polishes available on the market, you can save money by using your own homemade wheel cleaner or remover. Described below are two examples of homemade aluminum wheel cleaners:
- Bleach and water
Using bleach is the fastest way to clean almost anything.
You need to mix bleach and water to make the mixture works well as a wheel cleaner.
As you may have known, bleach is a very powerful substance; so, it’s advisable that you dilute it. With a solution of only half a cup of bleach mixed thoroughly with a full gallon of water is enough.
You should remember to wear gloves if your skin sensitive and rinse the wheels once you’ve completed the cleaning. Also, avoid leaving bleach on your wheels because it could damage them over time.
- Dish soap
Everyone has a bottle of dish soap in their home. Have you ever thought it could be used as a wheel cleaner for your aluminum wheels?
The fact is that if your wheels aren’t too bad, just a simple mix of water and dish soap can remove the stain in no time.
For every gallon of warm water, add ten drops of dish soap and soak a soft towel in it. You can spray the wheels with a degreaser for added effect and let it soak overnight, then clean it with water and soap.
It would be unacceptable to not mention this invincible liquid. Vinegar literally appears in almost cleaning remedies, ranging from clothes, table to metal.
That said, you should check this video seeing this guide doing magic to his car wheels. I know we are talking about
How to quick wash your bike in 5 minutes
Stumbled into this video few months ago, I must say this video is extremely helpful. This guy cleans his bike in 5 minutes and I could not agree more with him about that much needed time to always have a shiny and like new bicycle.