These chemical stains are frequently milky, black, or greenish in appearance. They result from using acid or high alkali content cleaning solutions and/or allowing them to dry. This type of surface damage usually entails refinishing.
However, the following product and procedure has been found in some cases, to improve the appearance of acid / alkali stained wheel surfaces; be cognizant that in some instances you may only achieve a < 50% improvement and in some more. For wheels that have milky or hazy staining caused by these types of chemicals try the following: Use caution with chrome wheel finishes as the plating is very thin and using harsh abrasives could remove it.
1. Wash the wheels (See Note 1) thoroughly using clean water and soap or detergent and then flood rinse the wheel surface with clean flowing water.
2. Dry the wheels completely.
3. Using medium pressure, apply 3M™ Chrome and Metal Polish (# 39527) or Autosol Metal Polish, both of which are suitable for chrome, stainless steel, brass, bronze or copper (See Note 2) with a 3M™ delicate duty scuff pad (White) its equivalent to 4000 grit finishing paper or clean terry cloth towel. Applying the polish may diminish the staining.
4. When dry, buff off the polish with a clean micro fibre towel.
5. Repeat application of the Polish until satisfied with the results. If continued applications fail to improve the appearance further discontinue use (See Note 3).
This procedure will improve the appearance of the wheels and may, with repeated applications, restore the finish dramatically. For wheels that exhibit spotting from road chemicals the above procedure may marginally improve the condition but will not restore the finish or remove the pitting. In this type of staining the wheel finish has actually been removed in spots and no manner of cleaning will restore the finish.
1. DO NOT attempt to clean hot wheels surfaces; allow cooling down time, otherwise you may cause structural damage to the wheels and cause the rotors and/or callipers to warp, making them inoperative. Heat (reactivity) will also affect any cleaners used; so apply out of the sun’s heat.
2. THE 3M polish required for this procedure contains an extremely aggressive cleaner. The wheel surfaces must be clean prior to application to avoid scratches. This cleaner will reduce the coating thickness and if used incorrectly may remove the surface finish entirely.
3. Alternative products:Swissvax Chemical Pint Cleaners (Swissvax Cleaner Fluid Standard or Swissvax Cleaner Fluid Strong)
4. Begin with a small section of the wheel and with light pressure buff off polish and examine results. ONLY apply with sufficient pressure and time to remove enough staining that you are satisfied with the results. Some wheels may be stained to the extent that you may only achieve a < 50% improvement while others may be able to be restored to the original lustre. In all instances; only apply until the results are satisfactory.