Guide to waterless wheel cleaning

Guide to waterless wheel cleaning

Shift Waterless Wash is amazing for safely cleaning your car’s bodywork, glass and trim without the bucket and sponge, but what about the dirtiest part of all - your wheels? Well, our Waterless Wash can do that, too!

Wheels have to stand up to harsher contaminants than any other part of a vehicle’s exterior. These include harmful substances such as road salt and hot brake dust which, if left to build up, will quickly eat into the wheel finish. Eventually these nasties will work their way through protective lacquer or powdercoat layers and corrode the actual metal that makes up the wheel, causing not just unsightly blemishes, but in some cases total failure.

To prevent this from happening, alloy wheels need to be cleaned on a regular basis, ideally when they’re only lightly soiled with road grime and brake dust… and that’s where our Waterless Wash comes in.    

Cleansing your wheels couldn’t be simpler. It does however, require a slightly different process to the rest of the car - here it’s all in the dwelling.

Leaving our solution to soak into the contaminants on the surface essentially works away at the most harmful particles unsticking them and allowing them to be emulsified into the liquid and suspended on top of a special polymer layer to be safely wiped away. And all this without scratching, too.

In fact, the anti-abrasion properties of Shift Waterless Wash are so effective, it’s safe for use on any wheel finish, including specialist polished or anodised wheels, as well as more common painted or powdercoated finishes. And, of course, this product also installs a quartz-based ceramic coating helping to stop further heavy contaminants from bonding to your wheels, making cleaning the next time around easier than ever.

Shift Waterless Wash is ideal for use every time you wash your vehicle and for periodical maintenance of light soiling in between full waterless washes, but perhaps best of all, it’s easy to use. Here’s how you can make the shift and clean your wheels the waterless way…

Waterless wheel cleaning made simple:

Ensure that wheels and brakes are cool before cleaning. Always leave the wheel cleaning stage until last to prevent transferring grime to other parts of the vehicle.

Tackle one wheel at a time, from start to finish. First saturate the entire wheel and tyre wall with Shift Waterless Wash. Be sure to spray liberally into the barrels and all recesses.

Wait for 4-5 minutes for the Waterless Wash solution to break down and encapsulate grime and brake dust.

Fold your microfibre in half, then in half again, and finally one more time. This should give you a suitably sized, clean portion to work with each time your re-fold. We recommend using dedicated Shift Microfibre Cloths for wheel cleaning and buffing only.

Respray your wheel with a little more Shift Waterless Wash as you work, do not allow the product to dry on the surface.  

Wipe in one direction, working your way around the wheel lips and barrels, before finishing off with the faces. Avoid using small, circular motions and periodically check your microfibre, refolding to a clean portion whenever necessary.

Finally move on to the tyre walls, working all the way around the outside to wipe away any debris.

Using a separate Microfibre Cloth, remove any excess residue and buff wheels to a deep shine.

For maximum impact, use Shift Tyre Dressing to give a wet, glossy look to tyre walls – simply spray over the tyre walls and allow to dry.