How do you remove EXTREME brake dust
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  1. #1
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    How do you remove EXTREME brake dust

    Here's the problem. I was cleaning my dad's Volvo S80 to take it to prom, and I got to the wheels. These wheels are disgusting. I had heard that Volvo brake pads put out more dust than most, but man, this is extreme. It has hardened into a crust. I tried dowsing it in wheel cleaner, but it just took off the loose stuff. I am scared to try scraping it off because I don't want to scratch the wheels... Should I try an alcohol-like solution to get this stuff off?? What is yall's opinion.
    -Ryan

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  3. #2
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    Meguiar's "hot wheels" cleaner. Works incredibly well.
    -Tom

  4. #3
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    Simple Green! Spray on heavy at full strength and let it soak in. Use a firm brush and scrub. May take a few sessions if it's that bad. I use it to clean my wheels every washing - brake dust falls right off. It's also not a harsh chemical so you don't have to worry about what it gets on or drains into.

  5. #4
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    Re: How do you remove EXTREME brake dust

    Quote Originally Posted by ryan8186
    Here's the problem. I was cleaning my dad's Volvo S80 to take it to prom, and I got to the wheels. These wheels are disgusting. I had heard that Volvo brake pads put out more dust than most, but man, this is extreme. It has hardened into a crust. I tried dowsing it in wheel cleaner, but it just took off the loose stuff. I am scared to try scraping it off because I don't want to scratch the wheels... Should I try an alcohol-like solution to get this stuff off?? What is yall's opinion.
    -Ryan
    Good old Simple Green and a good wheel brush. Then after that use a cleaner wax or rubbing compound to get out the real stubborn caked on brakedust. Hopefully no pitting has occured. Be safe at the prom man!! :wink:

  6. #5
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    Re: How do you remove EXTREME brake dust

    For future use, I clean my wheels to the best I can, then I take a clay bar, clay it down, then I put a good amount of wax on them, for about a month or two it is very simple to clean them.

  7. #6
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    I use a super strong cleaner called Eman Fabrik Hi-Intensity Cleaner. Good (and expensive stuff).

    Anyways, it strips all the wax which is why I only use it when I want to rewax.

    Most of the other time I use just car washing soap.

    BUT you have to protect that wheel with something so that all you have to do is use soap. Otherwise the brake dust sticks.

    Two things that help do that is a sealent (I prefer Klasse) and this stuff I use called Rain-X Wheel Protectant. Basically you spray on a layer of the stuff and during your next wash the brake dust sticks to the stuff and not to your wheels. Then you respray. I've been doing it for about 3 years on my Montreals. Good stuff.

    Good luck.

  8. #7
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    Always save your old toothbrushes, they work great for getting those "hard to reach areas" on wheels.
    get it?........get it? :roll:

  9. #8
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    why you getting so much brake dust??

    Dont you clean your wheels every week???

    Clean yur car and wheels every week, so brake dust doesnt sit on there for awhile

  10. #9
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    I tried a half-dozen cleaners, Simple Green, "professional" degreasers, and was spending 20 minutes per sqare inch, when I decided I had to get serious. I don't know if I should recommend this to anyone, cause I don't if it could eat up a finish, but Easy Off Oven cleaner absolutely KILLED it. I couldn't believe it-- it was like spray on, wipe off clean. Amazing. (PS. use outside ONLY, don't breath the stuff!)

  11. #10
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    Easy off oven cleaner has lye in it. The same stuff that eats through hair in clogged drains. But, hey it works! Maybe Dranno would work too....
    use at your own risk ! !

  12. #11
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    Simple Green doesn't work for REAL brake dust...These people haven't had real brake dust if Simple Green was getting it off.

    I never did find a chemical that removed my brake dust. I had let it go for a very long time. What did work pretty well was a clay bar. It really pulls out the deep seated dust, and you can see the bar getting very dirty so I knew it was working. Even then, though, I still had some extreme pitting. The only way to get it out was to go extreme: Wet sanding my wheels. Basically I was reducing the thickness of the wheel finish so that the claybar could reach down further and pull out more junk. It worked, but it's a pretty extreme measure, and it took a LONG time.

    If I had to do it again, and if your wheels are that bad, I'd take them to a pro and just pay to get them refinished.

  13. #12
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    what we use...

    It doesn't surprise me that the Oven Cleaner pulls the brake dust off. What the wash bay guys use at the dealership are two-fold. One is a general purpose cleaner that it hazardous to your hands and requires gloves, but it otherwise a traditional cleaner. This works for steel wheel, hubcaps and rims that aren't that dirty. Its also used for extremely dirty trade-ins that have never been washed.

    The other wheel-cleaner is straight acid. That's right, acid. That's what they use for alloy and/or chrome rims that have almost never been cleaned. It cuts clean through the crusted on dust and it just bleeds right off. However, this is a very corrosive substance (duh) and you CANNOT leave this stuff on for any period of time. Spray, quick scrub with a long-handled nylon brush, and hose off. If I was going to use oven cleaner, I'd treat it the same way. When using these hardball substances, its better to do it quickly, multiple times, than to let it sit and pit the rim.

    Just my 0.02

  14. #13
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    Go to your local car wash and ask them to "acid" your wheels. It is some strong stuff!! It won't damage your wheels as long as it is sprayed off right after application

  15. #14
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    Last two posts are correct, at the dealer we would get the wheels wet, spray the wire wheel acid, suds them up with soap then hit them with the brush and immediately rinse. One wheel at a time. The power washer helped a little too Im sure.

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