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How to Polish Aluminium Alloy Wheels

Polishing alloy wheels

To get the best results use our metal polishes to clean your aluminium, alloy & chrome wheels. Briliant Metal Polishes do not contain Ammonia, anhydrous chemicals or acids because these will prematurely age metals, cause tarnishing and oxidisation. They are used by some manufacturers to attack oxidisation and create a short-lasting shine – only lasting for a week or two, then the chemicals which cut away the oxidization to create the shine, continue to act, often etching into the metals. Briliant Metal Polishes avoid this problem by not using ammoniates or anhydrous products.

For best results, remove the alloy wheels & chrome wheels before commencing polishing, this will give you best access to the alloy wheels ensuring that you can see and reach every part of the wheel. Remove all road grime and dirt to prepare your alloy wheels for polishing. Make sure the wheels are completely clean and dry. You need to clean between every stage, so an abundant supply of clean terry cloth is necessary. If the surface of the wheel is pitted then this can be cleaned up using 400 grit wet and dry paper. Never sand aluminium with anything coarser than 180 grit. The scratches are too deep.
Test your surface first. Go to one of the worst areas and try out a 600 grit, then a 400, and so on, to ensure that you only use an abrasive as coarse as is necessary.

After a 400 grit (if that is the stage you choose to begin with) you need to go to a 600, Make sure that you remove all signs of the previous cut each time. Where possible this is best achieved by going at 90° to the previous cut. If you can see scratches now you will definitely see them when you are finished. Although it is possible to machine polish alloy wheels, excellent results can be obtained by the home DIY polisher without access to these specialist tools.
Hand polishing alloy wheels can be a rewarding and satisfying pastime if the simple instructions are followed.

Polishing Aluminium by hand

After initial wet and dry preparation, then the following 3 stage process can be used to produce a Briliant shine, utilising the following products in each of the stages:

Stage 1: Briliant Metal Restorer
Stage 2: Briliant Aluminium & Stainless Steel Polish
Stage 3: Briliant Premium Metal Polish & Micro Fibre Polishing Cloth

Using Briliant Metal Restorer you can remove all signs of the previous wet and dry preparation quickly, work it in well using a soft cloth, such as an old soft cotton teeshirt. You will get beautiful results if you have done your preparation properly, and a mirror will begin to show. Liquid polishes like ours tend to perform better than pastes because they allow you to use the oxidisation that you remove as an abrasive. This means not rolling or turning your applicator cloth as the residue appears, but rubbing it in and making the residue work for you.

The oxidisation you release will be no coarser than the abrasive. Hand polishing should be smooth and directionally consistent. If places are hard to get into by all means employ a tooth brush, but wrap the bristles with cloth or they'll scratch your finish. Another trick for getting into tight areas is to trim down an iced lollipop stick and wrap that with soft cloth. Make sure you tear the labels off of your cloths (if using old teeshirts) as they can scratch like you wouldn't believe. It is easiest to do about a quarter of the wheel at a time, and this normally gets the best results. So don't go crazy and do it all in one hit (you'll probably get hazy bits if you do).

When you are happy with the results and have an even shine over the whole wheel, stage 2 is to continue polishing with our Aluminium & Stainless polish metal polish which will quickly increase the intensity of the shine on the wheel, again use soft cotton cloth to apply and buff the alloy wheels.

Stage 3 finishes the process by using our Premium Metal Polish to acheive the deepest possible shine. Then finish polishing with a micro fibre polishing cloth or micro fiber mop this will leave you with gleaming mirror finish alloy wheels..... polishing aluminium & alloy wheels has never been easier, nor has the shine ever lasted so long.