How to clean off brake dust

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by CompUser, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. CompUser Guest

    Anyone know how to clean off brake dust? My dad's car produces so much of that crap. I've tried cleanining it off, I've never been able to get all of it off, and it seems to come back very fast.

    He got new tires on his car so now there are finger prints and marks from the person handling the tires. It looks so bad.

    I've tried cleaners but none of it work very well.

    (yes my parents tell me to clean their cars)
  2. OutThere macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
  3. hal0n macrumors regular

    Dec 27, 2004
    start with the least aggressive products.. like water and a mild plastic bristled brush... that works for me 90% of the time. the next step up for me is simple green because it's non corrosive. after that, there is a something called red hot that has never failed to remove everything off of a wheel, but make sure you wear gloves and don't let it sit on the wheel too long.

    the only other thing i would recommend is just dont let it get bad and you will be much happier

    edit to add this link:
  4. Roger1 macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2002
    You say you've tried cleaners, have you ever tried brake dust removers? Their specific job is for cleaning off brake parts. The stuff is great if you have to work on them, ,because it removes all the crud and whatnot.
    Read the directions first, because some of that stuff is really harsh.
    Good luck
  5. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    If it's a wheel that is easy to wax, try waxing the wheels and treating them like the rest of the car.

    A lot of these wheels are painted, but you are using acid to clean them.

    If they are hot when you clean them, the acid activates and eats the paint or metal.

    If they are chromed, never mind. :eek:

    Note: Simple green eats bare aluminum... keep it away from stuff under the hood.
  6. CompUser thread starter Guest

    Yea, I am pretty sure they are painted alloy. They are on a 2003 Discovery II.
  7. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Looking quick, I cannot tell if they are a shiny smooth surface.

    If they are, waxing them and using a sheepskin tire brush and the same soap you use for the rest of the vehicle works.


    The satin finishes and lacey wheels make this method pointless.
  8. ibook30 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 4, 2005
    2,000 light years from home
    So far a lot of good advice on cleaning the stuff. Very nice.

    If the car is producing a lot of dust, you may ask your folks about having the rotors turned and / or buy a higher quality brake pad. I know with my vehicles, as the rotors get older and develop grooves they produce a lot more of that nasty dust.

    Car talk on MR - nice!
  9. alexstein macrumors 6502a


    Aug 23, 2004
    First try some simple green. Always I say always use a soft sponge or cloth. Never use any of those rim cleaning brushes or harsh chemicals they sell at automotive stores.(They just ruin the finish of the wheels).

    If you have any tough baked on brake dust you can use WD40 or any other petroleum based cleaner (even petroleum works wonders)and will not ruin the finish of your rims.

    After you have cleaned your wheels apply a heavy coat of wax. To ease the cleaning next time. The wheels are just painted so treat them like any other painted surface on your vehicle.

    If you want to go all out change rotors and brake pads. Most OEM pads dust like hell try to purchase some high quality aftermarket pads.
  10. Megatron macrumors regular

    Nov 19, 2005
    The key is to clean the wheels often enough so the brake dust doesn't stay on long enough to eat away at the finish of the wheels. It WILL do that if you leave it on long enough.

    As has been said before, use the least aggressive cleaner first and see if it helps - you don't want to harm the finish on your wheels. Soap and water usually works for me, and a flexible sponge, and some elbow grease, but EagleOne A-Z wheel cleaner also has worked well.

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