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View Full Version : How to clean inside/behind spokes?


soundmind
08-27-2011, 10:31 PM
Sorry if this has been answered before, I did a search but only saw types of chemicals to use. My problem is I can't get to the areas behind the spokes very well. My fingers barely fit there, let alone a sponge. I tried one of the rectangular tire "sticks" but I can't angle it enough to get behind the spoke where everything is caked up. I also have a hard time getting inside the lug nut holes. Currently I have a '06 325 with stock rims -- awaiting my 2012 550 M Sport (which looks like the spokes may be a bit easier to clean).

But in the mean time... what tricks/tools have you used?

bmw_n00b13
08-27-2011, 10:36 PM
Well, you shouldn't be using a sponge really on any painted surface. There's detailing brushes available for the lug bolt holes, but I clean my wheels every time they're off the car (every three months or more). Unless you have the z8 rims and tiny hands, youll have to take them off.

POof540i
08-28-2011, 01:04 AM
Well, you shouldn't be using a sponge really on any painted surface. There's detailing brushes available for the lug bolt holes, but I clean my wheels every time they're off the car (every three months or more). Unless you have the z8 rims and tiny hands, youll have to take them off.

OP, this ^^^ is what you're going to have to do for baked on brake dust. Once you deep clean them once, future cleanings will be much easier, especially if you use a sealant to protect the wheels. Beware though, using wheel cleaners will remove sealants so only use soap and water unless you absolutely have to use a cleaner. One last item, the Daytona Wheel Brush is bendable and would allow you to clean behind the spokes, unfortunately the bristles are soft so they don't have a "scrubbing" action.

Johnz3mc
08-28-2011, 01:41 AM
It might help a bit but maybe not.
Try googling 'wheel woolies' and see if the smallest of the three brushes might fit the bill for your narrow cleaning situation.
For the lug nut area, I just use a 1 - 2 inch horsehair paint brush with the obligatory duct tape wrapped around the metal ferrule. The longish fibers reach in to the recesses and do the trick admirably.

Since you've already done searches and came up with articles about cleaners/chemicals, I'm assuming you already have that aspect handled.
Anyway, have a look at the little wheel woolie and the paint brush. The wheel woolie may not be able to get past your difficult 'angle' but maybe it will fit the bill.
-John C.

BimmerBurger
08-28-2011, 01:42 PM
Any suggestion on even smaller cleaners? I have very tiny nuts (ha ha) all around the circumference of my rims and i need to get in and around them to clean. Someone suggested Q Tips but those seem abrasive to me ... ?

mikenap
08-28-2011, 08:08 PM
Check out the Swissvax brushes that Phil sells. If it works for lugnuts, it will work for those tiny nuts of yours!:D

soundmind
08-29-2011, 07:43 AM
It might help a bit but maybe not.
For the lug nut area, I just use a 1 - 2 inch horsehair paint brush with the obligatory duct tape wrapped around the metal ferrule. The longish fibers reach in to the recesses and do the trick admirably.


John, Nice thanks for the tip. I never thought of using a paint brush. I'm not great at taking things apart so maybe it's best I leave the first deep cleaning of the wheels to a detail professional and then maintain it myself from that point. I can do just about anything computer related but had me a drill and I'm a mess (effed up my cabinets trying to drill a damn pull bar hole once - sad, isn't it? lol). Glad I'm not a surgeon. :)

dboy11
08-29-2011, 08:36 AM
These brushes are what you are looking for. I have two and there has not been a rim that I've not be able to clean. I should also add that OTC wheel cleaners (chemicals) are fairly mild and require using a lot more to get the rims clean. You might look into something a tad better.

http://www.autogeek.net/ezdetailbrush.html

Munich77
08-29-2011, 02:11 PM
These brushes are what you are looking for. I have two and there has not been a rim that I've not be able to clean. I should also add that OTC wheel cleaners (chemicals) are fairly mild and require using a lot more to get the rims clean. You might look into something a tad better.

http://www.autogeek.net/ezdetailbrush.html

That is an awesome brush i have it myself. Autogeek also sells a small round boars hair one that is great for small places

zkeeper
08-29-2011, 05:59 PM
OK--go to the autogeek site above and look into the LUG NUT Brush...often called the Corvette Lug Nut brush on other sites etc...you can also get them Harbor Frieght. BY FAR, hands down easiest way to get into the lug area...insert spin and pull out...clean all the way down, and it breaks up the dust, as no brush can get into the recess as slick and easy.

Second, on the little recessed nuts or allen bolts around rim, I have the same issue on my BMW Z4 with the 108's...enough allen bolts to make NASA happy. I struggled for one season, using tiny brushes, and tooth brushes [not good]. Fortunately I went to Ace Hardware, and got one of the Sonic electric home cleaning brush sets---the one with four heads that are used for various surfaces. It all works like a sonic tooth brush. Put in the battery, selected the nice fine fiber brush out of the set, clip it on...and zip, zip..you just hold the brush tip to the bolt area, and it does the work...in the allen head, around it, that no Q tip or tooth brush ever did. The tooth brush was tipped the wrong way and this is a dream. I can clean the many bolts, the recesses and around them in about 20 seconds, whole wheel. Cost, I think 19.95 or so...it was this spring anyway. Both of these work fast, and no pain to the paint or wheel. It has made wheel cleaning with the set I have which is complicated by all the allens, a dream. Might want to check it out...:thumbup: