How to clean the caked on brake dust? - Honda-Tech


How to clean the caked on brake dust?

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Old 05-26-2015, 09:18 PM   #1
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Default How to clean the caked on brake dust?

How do I remove the caked on brake dust from these rims? I want to plasti dip these rims to experiment with colors on my next Accord (6th Gen, up from a 5th ), but need to get the surface cleaner. I just put new tires on them, and want to move them to the 6th gen since the 6th gen I am getting, has those ugly hubcaps on it, and I can't afford new better looking rims and tires. Any ideas on removing brake dust from years of the former owners abusing it (Sadly, my parents).







These pics somewhat capture the brake dust caked on, but in some spots it is worse.
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Old 05-26-2015, 10:00 PM   #2
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Default Re: How to clean the caked on brake dust?

I don't really see all that much brake dust. What I do see, is oxidized aluminum caused by the clearcoat bubbling/lifting. The only way to remove/cover that, is to re-machine the entire wheel face, polish it, or paint/powdercoat it.
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Old 05-26-2015, 10:06 PM   #3
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Default Re: How to clean the caked on brake dust?

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Originally Posted by toyomatt84 View Post
I don't really see all that much brake dust. What I do see, is oxidized aluminum caused by the clearcoat bubbling/lifting. The only way to remove/cover that, is to re-machine the entire wheel face, polish it, or paint/powdercoat it.
Okay. Around how much is it to get the wheels refinished? Or can I just clean the surface as best as I can, and plasti dip over it?
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Old 05-26-2015, 10:12 PM   #4
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Default Re: How to clean the caked on brake dust?

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Okay. Around how much is it to get the wheels refinished? Or can I just clean the surface as best as I can, and plasti dip over it?
I'd sand down the bigger flakes, and just plasti-dip. Typical refinishing is $100+ per wheel.
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Old 05-26-2015, 10:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: How to clean the caked on brake dust?

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I'd sand down the bigger flakes, and just plasti-dip. Typical refinishing is $100+ per wheel.
Alright, so areas where the oxidation is bad, sand down to a smooth surface then plasti dip them. Thanks
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Old 05-29-2015, 08:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: How to clean the caked on brake dust?

I had a similar issue with my wheels. I actually used aircraft stripper (think that's what it's called...came in a spray can) and stripped all of the clear coat off and then went over them with 1000 grit sandpaper to make them nice and smooth. Then just sprayed on some fresh clear coat and they're good to go. I was going to plasti-dip them but they look like new wheels now so I'm undecided on that.
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Old 08-01-2015, 10:12 PM   #7
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Default Re: How to clean the caked on brake dust?

I know OP's wheels don't have significant brake dust but....

What is used now a days for bad brake dust on bare aluminum alloy wheels?

Twenty years ago we used to use a mild Hydroflouric Acid on them. If they are polished you'd avoid it as it would fog them but if they weren't you'd be okay. We always tested in an inconspicuous area first of course.

Anyways, besides being very bad for detailer's bones (skin and muscle doesn't stop the flouride ion for nothing), it's probably not considered environmentally friendly so doubt it's used much anymore.

What products are used now a days for stubborn thick caked on brake dust?
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Old 08-10-2015, 06:03 PM   #8
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Default Re: How to clean the caked on brake dust?

Now a days there's literally TONS of Products that do that. Many are called Iron removers. Or some just basic wheel cleaners can do it to an extent.

For example this product: CarPro IronX. it's kind of expensive, and it stinks like ****. but it works amazingly. Also safe on paint as well.

Iron X Iron Remover, CQuartz IronX, Paint Cleaner, paint decontamination

A lot of people(dealers/detail shops) still use acid. it's cheap and effective. Depending on the dilution it can be very hard on wheels, and you.
Dealers use the stuff all the time.
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Old 08-10-2015, 08:20 PM   #9
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Default Re: How to clean the caked on brake dust?

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Now a days there's literally TONS of Products that do that. Many are called Iron removers. Or some just basic wheel cleaners can do it to an extent.

For example this product: CarPro IronX. it's kind of expensive, and it stinks like ****. but it works amazingly. Also safe on paint as well.

Iron X Iron Remover, CQuartz IronX, Paint Cleaner, paint decontamination

A lot of people(dealers/detail shops) still use acid. it's cheap and effective. Depending on the dilution it can be very hard on wheels, and you.
Dealers use the stuff all the time.
Thanks for the info.

How does that IronX work for the ceramic dust?

I notice after a month or so the cermic based akeebono pads leave a pretty stubborn dust that does not like to come off the wheels if it's not hit every other week or less.

IronX makes sense for metallic pads just curious about the new ceramic pads that are quite popular now a days.
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:36 AM   #10
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Default Re: How to clean the caked on brake dust?

It should work with all brake dust.
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