How To Clean Matte Black Rims? A Step By Step Guide

Matte black rims look astonishingly good on cars. It adds a premium feel to the appearance of the vehicle. However, cleaning the matte black finish is a bit of a headache.

There are many ways of cleaning the rims of a car, but the most efficient one is by using a pressure washer. These pressure washers work with high pressure and remove all the dirt and gunk out of every corner of the rims. And then you just have to add a layer of synthetic wax so that the looks don’t degrade.

Even the slightest amount of dust can ruin the appearance of your black rims. So, if you own a car with such rims, learning how to clean matte black rims will eventually come in handy for you!

Cleaning Matte Black Rims:

Cleaning matte black wheels is similar to cleaning other types of wheels like metal, glossy, or chrome.

However, in the case of matte black rims, you’ll need a silicone-free wheel cleaner. It’s because silicone makes the surface of such rims appear uneven and patchy. Heavy acids also change the appearance of matte black paint. So you should avoid it at all costs.

Although some might feel that these are just wheels, they are way more valuable than the paint itself for some people. Remember never to polish the matte wheels because it makes them more reflective.

Here’s an elaborated discussion of how you can effectively clean the matte black rims of your vehicle:

Step 1: Scrub And Lather

First, get a water hose and spray water on your rims just to remove the top layer of dirt. Next, find a clean brush and scrape the larger chunks of muck out. That’ll soften the dirt up to an extent and make the following steps more efficient.

Get a bucket full of water and mix a few tablespoons of the liquid dishwasher in it. Don’t use harsh chemicals on the rims as the finishing won’t be able to withstand the reactions. Moreover, it can aggravate the entire situation and even remove the paint.

Step 2: Start Washing

Take a sponge and start washing the rims right away.

A major thing that you should remember is that if you’re washing the rims and the car simultaneously, you must keep two separate buckets. That’s because you don’t want the dirt or the paint to get mixed.

However, after you’re done cleaning, you might find some paint stuck in the sponge. This is fine as long as you don’t notice any chipped paint on the rims. If it looks alright after you’re done washing, you’re all good to go.

Step 3: Rinse

Now, rinse all the rims. Then, apply a thin coating of wax on them. It’ll make the cleaning process a lot easier in the future.

Also, you should use specialized matte car wax rather than going for the standard quality wax. The specialized one is way better equipped to take on the hectic wear and tear of the vehicle.

Step 4: Dry And Wipe

Another excellent recommendation would be to dry the rims using lint-free cloths. That’ll ensure that there aren’t any water stains left on the rims that can ruin the tires’ appearance.

You also have the option to go for waterless rim cleaners. These cleaners ensure the safety of the paint during cleaning and don’t let it get ruined. Some rim cleaners can destroy the color during the cleaning procedure and require brand new adjustments.

Removing Brake Dust From Matte Black Rims

Brake dust entirely ruins the appearance of the matte black rims. These rims are made to have that glossy and even finish. But the brake dust comes in the way and makes the rims look dull.

You can remove the brake dust easily with a pressure washer. A pressure washer is just a water hose, but it works with additional pressure. It works with immense pressure and clears out every corner of an object.

The high-pressure functionality of the pressure washer makes it so efficient. You just have to point it in the right direction. The staggering amount of pressure that the washer has will clean the brake dust from the rims with ease.

So, if you have a pressure washer, you don’t have to worry about brake dust at all!

Preventing Matte Black Rims From Getting Dirty

Matte black rims have the tendency of often getting dirty. So, there are many different kinds of products that protect the rims. There are also some wax-based products too.

Using a synthetic formula is undoubtedly the best decision. Just avoid any type of filling agents or silicone-based waxes, or any product that promises the “Best Shine.” It’ll probably have one of these elements active in the formula. Covering the rims with wax will protect them from dirt and make the cleaning process much easier in the future.

Unfortunately, natural wax isn’t that efficient when introduced to high heat. Some polishes can melt around 200°F, whereas the rotor usually hits over 500°F while braking. That heat naturally transfers to the rims and ends up melting the wax.

Using A Car Wash On Matte Black Rims

Although most cars are equipped with dust protection, the wheels and rims should be washed regularly after every car wash. This will prevent the brake dust and other layers of dirt from forming on your rims.

A general recommendation would be that you always wash your wheels every single time you wash your car. You may not flush the rims with extra detailing, but the least you should do is clean the out faces of the wheels. And also, clean the parts that are around and between the spokes.

It’s mandatory that you take proper care of your matte black wheels because the dust can easily affect their appearance.

Are Black Rims Hard To Keep Clean?

Black rims look majestically beautiful on cars. But sadly, they are often subjected to scratching. In fact, they’re more likely to get scratches due to their natural position on the vehicle.

Wheels get dirty all the time and require excessive cleaning. When you add black rims, the struggle gets even more complicated. Maintaining the black shine on the rims is indeed extremely difficult. So, what you can do is either coat it with a layer of wax or just be prepared for the worst.

The rims generally collect more debris than the rest of the car’s body. If you got yourself a new polished black rim, it’d most likely get scratched within the week.


It’s safe to say that maintaining matte black rims isn’t that difficult. The process is actually pretty effortless if you know what to do and get your fundamentals straight.

Also, you’ll be able to do it any time as you don’t have to go to a car wash only to wash the rims. Because matte black has such a premium finish, it’s vulnerable to dust and debris.

The layer of dirt can quickly decrease the quality of its appearance and make it look dull. So, if you own a car with black rims, knowing how to clean matte black rims is a must for you.

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