Cleaning VERY Dirty Wheels (Stored Outside)
Picked up some cheap alloy wheels to use for winter. They are VERY gross looking, especially inside. I want to get them reasonably clean, so they can be plasti-dipped.
First, the surface where the wheel mates with the rotor is very rusted. I'm assuming this should be relatively clean and level, correct? How can I get that rust off without damaging the surface of the wheel? I don't know if all the rust is from the car they came off of (it looks like actual rust, not aluminum corrosion, although a bit of that, too) or something else, but it's considerable.
After that, there's a lot of grease, tar, and what appears to be fix-a-flat everywhere else. I got most of it off of one wheel, although the mating surface is still pretty gross, and it took me a couple hours to get it clean (dish detergent + scotch brite pad). These are winter wheels, and are going to be covered in plastidip anyways, so I'm not concerned about ruining the finish...I just want a quicker solution that gets them looking decent.
Whatever the soap/scrubbing didn't take off is going to be on there well enough for the Plastidip to bond to. I just coated my winter wheels and the dirtiest part just like on yours, was the inside. A few passes with a scrub brush to remove loose stuff was enough, the "stains" in the metal shouldn't cause issues with the plastidip. I'd still wipe it down with rubbing alcohol and then water as a final prep before spraying them though.
If you're not worried about the finish get a grinder with a wire wheel on it and go to town.
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