Proper method to clean/ polish aluminum mags - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old Aug 20th, 11, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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Proper method to clean/ polish aluminum mags

Bare aluminum and alloy wheels need the most care. Aluminum wheels oxidize much faster than other types. The amount of time required to polish aluminum wheels depends on their condition. It is usually easier to polish them more often. To polish aluminum wheels, use duct tape to guard the tire from the polish staining it. The duct tape will not leave any residue on the tire, yet it will stick unlike many other types of tape. Polish the alloy wheels using a cream aluminum polish. Apply using a soft towel or diaper. Polish in the direction of the wheel. Use moderate pressure and turn the towel often. The towel will turn black from the aluminum-polishing residue. A terry towel may be used on severely oxidized wheels to rough them in, followed by a soft diaper to finish. When satisfied with the renovation to the wheel, wipe the majority of the excess polish from the wheel. To final polish and increase the gloss of the polished wheel, wipe the wheel with cornstarch. Cornstarch can be purchased at any supermarket. Dip the clean towel into the box and wipe the wheel thoroughly with the cornstarch. The cornstarch will absorb the excess polish from the pores of the aluminum and eliminate any streaks in the finish. To remove any cornstarch powder, use compressed air. Very severely oxidized wheels may be wet sanded with a very fine wet or dry sanding paper prior to polishing. If you are unsure about sanding aluminum wheels, it is better to consult a professional rather than risk damage to the wheel.
the above tip can be used on all aluminum parts !!!!!!!!


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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old Aug 20th, 11, 05:59 PM
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Re: Proper method to clean/ polish aluminum mags

I do more reading than answering, (kinda knew about polishing) but I never thought of the corn starch trick! Learn something new everyday. THANK YOU VERY MUCH! I will try it!
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 11, 05:45 AM
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Re: Proper method to clean/ polish aluminum mags

Thanks dawg new about the pastes polishing but the corn starch thanks.After cleaning wheels alway looked hazy.Will try the corn starch trick! Thanks again.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 11, 06:38 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Proper method to clean/ polish aluminum mags

yeah cornstarch seems to really make em shine!!!!
Ive even damped a cloth with crnstarch and rubbed it on aswell.
youll see the cornstarch turn grey from pulling out the polish residue from the pores.


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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old Oct 17th, 11, 11:02 PM
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Proper method to clean/ polish aluminum

..

Last edited by HwyStarJoe; Oct 18th, 11 at 02:36 AM.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 11, 06:13 PM
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Re: Proper method to clean/ polish aluminum mags

Also as alternative to sanding, you can use #0000 steel wool dipped in the same aluminum polish to cut the surface faster if the wheel is lightly oxidized.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old Oct 19th, 11, 03:26 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Proper method to clean/ polish aluminum mags

I forgot to mention to follow up with a good coat of wax and buff.


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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old Nov 10th, 11, 02:31 PM
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Re: Proper method to clean/ polish aluminum mags

dawg,
is it possible to use corn starch on the paint after rubbing out the paint
with a wheel or by hand to remove the swirl marks? has anyone tried this? or something better?
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old Nov 16th, 11, 10:17 AM
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Re: Proper method to clean/ polish aluminum mags

Try this product: Wizards Metal Polish from Innate.com. It puts most other polishes to shame.Cornstarch to remove the residue helps too
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old Nov 16th, 11, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerrys 67 View Post
dawg,
is it possible to use corn starch on the paint after rubbing out the paint
with a wheel or by hand to remove the swirl marks? has anyone tried this? or something better?
No - it will make the 'swirls' worse!

You need a "Hand" Glaze or the correct polishing pad and a good finish polish (or even a 'swirl remover' if you must) to get rid of them.
I use 3M (5990) or Meguiars (#80 or #9) for most ...

If doing by hand - always use a clean/new Micro-fiber towel to apply and remove (one for each obviously) and fold it into 6ths/8ths so you can use a new section for each panel.
DO NOT use circular hand motion - use only back-forth wipe on the panel and work from top to bottom.

If the paint is older or has been driven/stored this way for a year or so - I would suggest doing a "clay-bar" to remove any surface dirt BEFORE trying to polish out the swirls.
This will give a smooth dirt free surface to work on and prevent spreading any dirt around scratching it more as you work to remove the swirls.


The cornstarch works great for removing the small particules left behind when polishing any metal - its and old detailers trick
Always have a couple boxes in my detailing box
btw - I like to sprinkle the cornstarch onto the towel vs. dipping the dirty towel (you'll be amazed at how dirty the towel will get!) in the box.
Helps me regulate the amount better ...

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old Nov 16th, 11, 11:46 AM
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Wink Re: Proper method to clean/ polish aluminum mags

Quote:
Originally Posted by clevrrr168 View Post
Try this product: Wizards Metal Polish from Innate.com. ...
I don't know about the 'put to shame' part of that, but their products are usually pretty good - just WAY MORE $$ than others that are just as good and in some cases the same product they sell in 'Their' can ...

When polishing metal(s) you have to consider the surface condition of the part first.
A raw or old-highly oxidized surface needs an agressive base polish to get the surface smoothed to the point you can start your finish polishing steps.
You may even need to use sheet or mechanical grinding/polishing steps at first.
Then you'll need to do an intermediate process to get the surface smooth enough to accept the finish polishing work.
Finally you'll want to use a mild/light abrasive product to give the surface the final finish. This product will also be the one you will most likely use for continued maintenance of the surface prior to protective (wax) coating during the year.

For high to mildly high oxidation I like to use fairly abrasive compound products and/or tube products like Wenol, SemiChrome (Happick) and a few others [note: this is after using any needed abrasive, like 100~200 paper, to remove scratches/marks].
For final finish polishes I switch to a light compond or 'wadding' to give me a nice shiney surface. I'll commonly use Flitz, Blue-Magic, Nevr-Dull (wad) or others - IF, the product says I can safetly use it on Plastics, then I find it will usually give me a very good smooth final polish surface.
After this is finished I finish up with a last wipe down with a clean towel, the 'Cornstarch' wipe and finally a complete wipedown with a new/clean microfiber and then a wax if needed.

Lots of good products out there for any given application - but truthfully, in 40+ years of cleaning, polishing and detailing cars/trucks/boats I've never found a "Best" ...
They all work fairly well in any given condition, and not-so-much for some others.

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old Dec 11th, 11, 05:15 PM
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Re: Proper method to clean/ polish aluminum mags

Thank you thank you. This will be very helpful.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old Dec 16th, 11, 04:44 AM
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Re: Proper method to clean/ polish aluminum mags

Maas Metal Polish is the best and check it out on line. How do you know if wax/polish really works? I did one wheel with and the other without and after 2 months they both "tarnished" the same and the wheels looked no different?
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 14th, 12, 08:10 PM
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Re: Proper method to clean/ polish aluminum mags

used 0000 grit steel wool with metal cleaner, then a 4 inch buffer wheel on a drill with mothers polish, then corn starch
before

after

love them all corvettes,camaros,chevelles!!!

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 15th, 12, 03:40 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Proper method to clean/ polish aluminum mags

lookin good!!!!!
did ya notice how the cornsstarch turns grey?
thats it pulling the polish residue out of the pores.


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