How to Clean Your Alloy Wheels

Here at The Hatchbag Company, we’re committed to helping you keep the interior of your car, namely your boot, as clean and stylish as possible. At the same time, while we don’t provide products focused on the exterior of your car, we do love to see a car looking just as good on the outside as it does on the inside.

One area that can give your car that feel of lasting quality is in keeping your alloys pristine, which can be difficult to do if you have an active lifestyle that takes your car across a variety of terrains. So, we thought we’d offer some advice on how to clean your alloy wheels easily and effectively, keeping them looking great for the long haul.

Step 1: A Good Rinse

Begin by giving your wheels a good rinse with a hose, as this will not only get rid of any easily clearable surface dirt, but it may well also soften any more resistant grime or markings on the wheel. It can help to use a focused nozzle on the end of your water supply to deliver a strong stream of water to a particular point of the wheel.

Step 2: Non-Acidic Alloy Cleaner

Once you’ve done the initial rinse, you’ll want to make use of an alloy wheel cleaner, preferably one that is non-acidic so that it doesn’t cause any damage to the wheel finish. You may not notice it first time, but prolonged use of an acidic cleaner will chip away at the finish over time. There are a number of quality and non-acidic alloy wheel cleaners on the market, such as those from SONAX, and Wolfgang, to mention just a couple.

Step 3: A Soft Bristle Brush

Once you’ve given the wheel a rinse with water, then a bit of a lather with a cleaning product, it’s time to gently agitate away any dirt that is still stuck to the wheel by using a brush. Make sure that you use a soft bristle brush so that you don’t cause any scratches to the wheel finish as you brush in and out of the gaps in the alloy wheel.

Step 4: Lug Nuts and Wheel Wells

Once you’ve done the main alloy itself, it’s important to get to the slightly harder to reach areas, namely the lug nuts and wheel wells. Dirt, grime and dust can hide anywhere, so you don’t want to clean your alloy wheel only to have dirt from the lug nuts and/or wheel wells transfer back onto the main alloy as soon as you start driving.

This is particularly true of the wheel wells, as a lot of dirt, mud and gravel can be kicked up into the wheel wells while driving and then fall down onto the wheel later on. You can use an all-purpose cleaner and a slightly rougher brush for the wheel wells than you would for the alloy finish itself; it’s all about clearing that dirt.

Step 5: A Final Rinse

Once you’ve given every area a going over with a cleaning product and/or cleaning brush, you should give the whole area a final once-over rinse to clean away any bits of dirt you may have missed or partially dislodged.

Step 6: Finish by Drying

Now that the cleaning is out of the way, you may want to finish by drying the alloys to avoid water spots and give them that extra glisten. Make sure to use a microfiber towel, and ensure that you use a different towel for your wheels to whatever you use on your main car paint job.


We hope this has given you a helpful rundown of how to clean your alloy wheels properly. As for the inside of your car, Hatchbag can take care of that with our high-quality range of handmade boot liners, with a custom fit and colour choices for a range of specific car models, protecting your car boot against pets, sports equipment and tools. For our full range of custom boot liners, click over to: