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Acid or non acid based wheel cleaner?


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#1 JDookie

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 03:39 PM

I was ordering some Auto Magic non-acid wheel cleaner and noticed that they offer both acid and non-acid based formulas. I know that you want a non-acid based cleaner for most wheels but which will work better on chrome? I have high dollar chrome wheels on my Expedition and they are getting harder and harder to keep clean using mild wheel cleaners. According to the Auto Magic description, the acid based cleaner is specifically for chrome. What do you guys think?

#2 Accumulator

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 04:12 PM

I'll admit that it's sorta a knee-jerk reaction, but I'd skip the acidic stuff. I know people who've used acidic wheel cleaners and really trashed their chrome wheels. Different products, and they might not have known what they were doing, but I'd still err on the side of caution. I'd just clean them up with a chrome polish from time to time and keep something like KSG on them.
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#3 Bill D

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 04:15 PM

I've ruined one wheel permanently already with an acid based cleaner, not worth it in my book, especially on your own vehicle ;)

I'd stick to multiple washings to get it mostly cleaned up, do the polish like Accumulator says and stay on top of cleaning the wheels as religiously as possible.
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#4 NavindraLR

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 04:19 PM

i just use double the car soap, and half the water (compared to washing the car) in a bucket, and that works good on wheels... especially on chrome.. but if its really dirty then id recommend a2z wheel cleaner... non acidic, and safe even on tires... if there are water spots on the chrome then use a polish, such as mothers, or if u wanna use the best there is, then try the 1z chrome polish... they really make a huge difference... look in my gallery (page 2) @ the escalade wheels... i used mothers on them...
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#5 Mr. Chemist

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 07:06 PM

The correct acidic wheel cleaner on the appropriate wheel material is perfectly safe. Acids do out perform alkaline based products in most cases.

Responsible manufactuers clearly spell out which product to use on a particular wheel substrate.

I personally have had more trouble with alkaline producst staining bare aluminum...than I have had with properly used acid products. For clear coated wheels IMHO...it's acid wheel cleaners...hands down.
If it stands still....wax it.

#6 JDookie

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 07:40 PM

Well, with wheels that are $600 each I am going to stick with the least aggressive stuff I can. I was just curious because the description of the product pinpointed chrome. My wheels are only about 5 or 6 months old and it's mostly waterspots that I am having trouble with, and I think you guys are right, they just need a little polish and then a protectant. I've been lazy and haven't done anything to them other than wipe them down with EO WAUD. Thanks for the input though guys, I will certainly steer clear of the acid stuff.

Mr. Chemist,
You very well may be correct, but I would think that in most cases it's just not worth the chance.

#7 WCD

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 09:18 PM

No one mentioned the health risks of using hydroflouric acid to clean wheels. Some manufacturers will no longer provide this cleaner due to health problems from use.

There are stories out there of amputations and death resulting from the irresponsible use of hf acid.

You won't feel it burn your skin, but I believe it attacks the calcium in your bones and causes serious problems.

One place use to advertise "Acid Wash". The owner died of cancer.

It's a great cleaner, no doubt. If you use it, make sure the product rep fully knows how to use it carefully. I was only told you will choke a little if you breath it in, that's all. Then I read some articles in PCandD years ago about a girl having her fingers amputated from this stuff. That was it for me.

Take care,
Rob
Robert and Susan Regan
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#8 Mr. Chemist

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 07:16 AM

When used responsibly, even products with HF can be safe and effective. By following the copious information on lableing.

I doubt that anyone has ever suffered an amputation or death from cleaning their wheels in their driveway every once in a while.

Also, not all acidic wheel cleaners contain HF...there are less reactive acids in many wheel cleaners that are quite effective.

But hey I'm really with you....if you dont need to use it because you keep your stuff nice....then why bother. However, their are consumers out there who will need products like this to clean their wheels....after they've let them turn brown with brake dust from neglet....perhaps not autopians.....
If it stands still....wax it.

#9 Jay O

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 11:42 AM

even that non-acid based wheel cleaner from AutoMagic is strong and can stain rims, even then your still gonna have to polish all that residue out. You might as well do that to start with.

Jay Oliva 

Owner Jays Detail San Antonio Tx.

www.jaysdetail.com


#10 ebpcivicsi

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 12:14 PM

For neglected wheels, I use an acid based wheel cleaner cut 50/50 with water. I but it locally for about $10 a gallon. I spray it on a cool, rinsed wheel, count to ten and rinse, repeat if necessary. I have personally never had a problem using it on clear coated or chrome wheels. I would not use it on uncoated aluminum.

FWIW, I have had more problems with high PH tire cleaners running on to wheels and streaking them.

I was a bit leary at first, but now would not go on a detail without an acid based wheel cleaner.

I used it on these(and many more) wheels without problems

http://im1.shutterfl...71e840000001610

http://im1.shutterfl...a5e620000001610

#11 SK2003TypeS

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 12:26 PM

Wow ! $600 per wheel ? Can we see ? :D
I've seen too many mishaps with acid cleaners and lost rims. My stock rims get nothing but regular washing and some zaino every now and again.

#12 JDookie

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 12:46 PM

I don't have any pics of my vehicle yet, but this is a picture of the rim by itself (courtesy of www.bazowheels.com) My own pics will replace these as soon as the weather will allow me to actually clean it up and take some pictures without getting rained on! :mad:

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#13 JDookie

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 12:49 PM

Here's another one showing what they look like actually on a vehicle. (Picture is courtesy of www.bazowheels.com)

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#14 Jay O

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 01:24 PM

i definately wouldnt use am non-acid wheel cleaner on those, just soap and a clean cloth , to give them a little bling polish them with pro polish or mothers chrome polish.

Jay Oliva 

Owner Jays Detail San Antonio Tx.

www.jaysdetail.com


#15 JDookie

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 02:04 PM

So far all I've used is soap and water or P21S wheel cleaner diluted 50/50 with water. That works just fine for me for thick brake dust, but it doesn't do anything for those darn water spots and/or tough stains. I guess I was hoping I could get a wheel cleaner that would remove those spots and stains without having to polish them. I just have a bad taste in my mouth from previously owning polished aluminum wheels that require at least an hour per week polishing to stay looking new :eek: I'm all about less work these days. :xyxthumbs

#16 percynjpn

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Posted 02 September 2004 - 08:45 AM

Originally posted by WCD
No one mentioned the health risks of using hydroflouric acid to clean wheels. Some manufacturers will no longer provide this cleaner due to health problems from use.

There are stories out there of amputations and death resulting from the irresponsible use of hf acid.

You won't feel it burn your skin, but I believe it attacks the calcium in your bones and causes serious problems.

One place use to advertise "Acid Wash". The owner died of cancer.

It's a great cleaner, no doubt. If you use it, make sure the product rep fully knows how to use it carefully. I was only told you will choke a little if you breath it in, that's all. Then I read some articles in PCandD years ago about a girl having her fingers amputated from this stuff. That was it for me.

Take care,
Rob





Wow! I'd better knock off the HF treatment baths I've been taking!! :eek: :eek: :eek:

#17 TOGWT

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Posted 02 September 2004 - 09:23 AM

Quote: Wheel Wax cleans, polishes and protects in one step!

Wheel Wax is the only wax for wheels. It is easy to apply, dries to a haze and buffs to a high shine. Wheel Wax changes the surface polarity of your wheels to repel brake dust particles. Wheel Wax leaves an unbelievably smooth shine on your wheels that brake dust and moisture can't penetrate. This protective coating also makes cleaning your wheels a snap next time you wash your wheels. Don't just clean your wheels, clean and protect them in one step with Wheel Wax!

How to Use Wheel Wax Properly:

Wheel Wax actually has a great cleaner in the formula which allows you to clean off brake dust and apply the great Wheel Wax protective shine in one easy step. Simply rub Wheel Wax directly on each dirty wheel and let it dry to a haze. Usually by the time you have applied Wheel Wax to all four wheels you can go back to the first one and buff it to a high shine.

Wheel Wax works on all chrome, aluminum and stainless appearance pieces on your car. Don't just polish, protect with Wheel Wax! http://store.auto-ge...t/wheelwax.html

~ One man’s opinion / observations ~

I resisted using this product because its called a wax, but found out its actually a polymer. (“A wax formulated with space age polymers and resins, a heat resistant sealant and carnauba wax, which provides the ultimate protection for chrome, aluminum, and stainless wheel surfaces”). Tried it works well on Jag chrome wire wheels

Rhetorical question: Why does the car-care industry blur the lines by misnaming products (i.e. calling a polymer (NXT) a wax, or calling a polymer sealant (Zanio)a polish?

Chemical Name: Hydrogen Fluoride
Synonyms: HF, Hydrofluoric Acid Bi-ammonium fluoride, ammonium fluoride
Effects on person: Small amounts of concentrated hydrofluoric acid on the skin can be fatal.
Effects on Vehicle: Damages wheels, painted surfaces
Found In: Wheel Cleaner, Concrete Cleaner, Fallout Remover (Source:autopoint.com)
This would steer me away from HF

~Hope this helps~

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Detailing Art; where applicable Chemistry meets Aesthetics See Autopia Detailing Wiki

#18 Mr. Chemist

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Posted 02 September 2004 - 11:59 AM

Let's be sure were clear on acids.

Hydrogen Fluoride............................HF

Ammonium fluoride.........................NH(4)F

These are not synonymous

Hydro fluoric acid is hydrogen fluoride in an aqueous solution. It is produced in various concentrations.

Ammonium fluoride is a crystal…HF is used to produce this chemical.

Please remember that the acid that you use to clean your pool (hydrochloric acid) is a very dangerous chemical. And the one you swim in...is even more dangerous (chlorine). Virtually all chemicals, acids, must be treated with respect.

Please keep in mind that the more dilute the solution the less dangerous it becomes, i.e. the swimming pool.

I have chrome wheels on my truck, with plastic center caps. I have used acid cleaners on these wheels for 11 years.

The only stain that I have on my wheels, comes from when I tried a fellow manufactures experimental product on one of my wheels....he was trying to replace the hydrofluoric acid with ammonium fluoride....permanently stained the chrome.

Effects on Vehicles..... no one uses straight HF or Phosphoric as a cleaning solution.

Let's please not use scare tactics to support a position. If you choose not to use acid wheel cleaners ...great, but if you do your limbs will not fall off nor will you die if a bit gets on your skin your paint won't degrade and the world will still revolve on it's axis...follow the label directions.

And please remember..the other side of the pH scale can be just as problematic.
If it stands still....wax it.

#19 Aurora40

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Posted 04 September 2004 - 07:38 AM

You said you mainly use car wash soap, but that's not cutting it. Why not step up to something specifically for wheels, but which is still not acidic or alkaline? How about a product that fits this description:

A sophisticated professional formulation for any type of wheel, this acid-free cleaner is pH-balanced, non-toxic and non-corrosive. Gentle foam loosens brake dust, grease and grime to give your wheels a streak-free luster.

The product is my favorite wheel cleaner for the Aurora, Meguiar's #36 Hi-Tech Wheel Cleaner. It is more effective than car wash soap and really does break up brake dust. It won't tackle the really crappy rims (like on the Nissan or Regal) nearly as effectively as my other cleaner A2Z, but considering how mild it is, it surprises me what it can remove. Just a suggestion...

#20 Bill D

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Posted 04 September 2004 - 08:00 AM

Originally posted by TOGWT

Rhetorical question: Why does the car-care industry blur the lines by misnaming products (i.e. calling a polymer (NXT) a wax, or calling a polymer sealant (Zanio)a polish?



Here's my take on it any way:

Probably to not further confuse the already confused general public who may incorrectly think a sealant to be a wax, a wax to be a polish and so forth. I guess rather than use technically correct terms to name their products, mfrs are using the terms in the fashion consumers take them to mean
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