Mercedes-Benz: How to Clean Wheels

Wheels looking a bit dirty on your Mercedes-Benz? Brake dust, grime, and dirt can quickly accumulate on any car's wheels. Here's how to get your wheels looking clean and shiny.

By Kate Halse - May 11, 2015

This article applies to the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and E-Class (2002-present).

Brake dust is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to dirty wheels. Many Mercedes-Benz owners report a fairly significant buildup of brake dust just a short period of time after their last wheel cleaning. You can spend extra money to buy ceramic brake pads, which keep dust to a minimum. However, you can also take some simple measures to thoroughly clean your wheels and keep them shiny for longer. Whether your dirty wheels are plagued with brake dust, road grime, dirt, or a combination, it's easy to get them looking pristine again.

Materials Needed

  • Bucket with warm, soapy water
  • Tire brush or sponge
  • Wheel cleaner
  • Microfiber towel
  • Wheel wax

Step 1 – Wash the wheels

Whether you're washing the entire car or just want to focus on the wheels, you'll need to wash them off. To do this, fill a bucket with your wheel cleaner of choice. Some people use a specific tire cleaning brush, but you can also use a sponge to wet the wheels and get the dirt off.

Figure 1. Wet the wheels with soapy water.

Step 2 – Apply the wheel cleaner and scrub

There are several different types of wheel cleaners to consider. Some people prefer standard cleaners while others opt for a cleaner that works on both the wheels and tires. If your wheels are particularly dirty, a professional grade wheel cleaner concentrate can penetrate stubborn brake dust buildup or grime that's accumulated over several months. Scrub the wheel and rim with a brush or sponge.

Figure 2. Cleaning wheels.

Pro Tip

It's important to choose the type of cleaner that is most suitable for your wheels. Some cleaners can be used on any type of wheel, while others are not safe for certain wheel types such as coated wheels.

Step 3 – Dry the wheels

Use a clean and dry microfiber cloth to thoroughly dry the wheels. This towel should be used exclusively for the wheels. Dry the wheels as thoroughly as possible to prevent water spots and remove any remaining brake dust.

Figure 3. Drying wheel with cloth.

Step 4 – Wax the wheels

As with car wax, wheel wax seals the surface of the wheels and keeps them looking better in between cleanings. Apply the wax with a clean cloth or an applicator pad, then buff the wheel.

Figure 4. Applying wax to wheel.

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