Amazing bare aluminum wheel cleaner!

Discussion in 'Wheels' started by screwylouie, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. screwylouie

    screwylouie Active Member

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    I just discovered a product that removes water spots and the black spots from the polished aluminum wheels on my Fat Bob! I've tried all the Simichrome and Mothers type cleaners and, yes, they do work to a degree but it takes a LOT of elbow grease. It's a powdered cleanser called "Bar Keepers Friend". It comes in a "Comet" like container. I also used a "Scotch Brite No Scratch Scrub Sponge". They are the blue ones. I soak the sponge in a bucket of water, apply some Bar Keepers Friend powder to the scotch brite side of the sponge and polish the black spots and water stains off with relatively no effort or pressure at all! I rinsed the sponge out real well and wiped off the residue. I then used a clean towel to dry the wheel off. I can now clean up my wheels faster than I can wash the rest of the bike!! I don't know why I didn't think of it before, I discovered this stuff 20 years ago for a substitute for the pricey stuff they recommend for cleaning smooth top stoves. Doesn't scratch in the least, works better, and a $2.00 container lasts a VERY long time! This just made my day for $2.00!! Keep in mind, this is for uncoated, unanodized, bare aluminum only! :D
     
  2. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    Interesting product. Haven't heard of it before. I have got to get a can along with some of those blue 3M sponges. I have yet to use a 3M product that did not work as advertised. Will give both a try.

    Bar Keeper's website says it's also OK for chrome! (Household Cleansers | All Purpose Cleaners | Bar Keepers Friend)
     
  3. screwylouie

    screwylouie Active Member

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    Let me know how it works for you! Aluminum starts turning black pretty quick here in Florida, I'm just glad that Mother Harley chose to NOT clearcoat the aluminum! I've been fighting this problem for 20 years. I had a Sportster for probably 5 or 6 years in Pennsylvania and never had a problem but when I moved to Florida, the aluminum started turning black under the clearcoat within months! Ended up getting all the aluminum chromed on that bike. Going out to do my rims right now! I'm so happy!:bigsmiley11:
     
  4. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

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    :D Thanks for that tip, I have a can of that stuff for the hard water stains in the bathrooms, there is something about the water here in Florida, Very high in Sulfur here in Jacksonville you can smell it in the water
     
  5. screwylouie

    screwylouie Active Member

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    Everyone keep in mind that MY factory wheels are NOT highly polished aluminum! You definitely don't want to use the scotch brite on chrome or mirror polished aluminum! Maybe just a soft wet cloth and some Barkeepers Friend for those areas but I would test it first. I just did my wheels and got a LOT of black stuff off with not much effort.:small3d004:
     
  6. Gator454

    Gator454 Active Member

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    Great Idea and Thanks!

    Gator
     
  7. The Prophet

    The Prophet Member

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    Would it make any sense to clean the bare aluminum wheels, rinse well, dry, and then clear coat them?

    I think you can get clear coat in either high gloss, semi-gloss, or a matte finish.

    Maybe do this once every couple of years?

    Just a thought... :eam


    Bob
     
  8. Maustarman

    Maustarman Active Member

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    This stuff is amazing ! It literally is like magic :)
    Thanks for the tip
     
  9. screwylouie

    screwylouie Active Member

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    Actually, I never had a problem with the factory clear coated aluminum on my old sporty when I lived in Pennsylvania 20 years ago. Within months of moving to Florida, the aluminum started to corrode UNDER the clearcoat! There was no way to polish it off so I removed the cam covers, primary cover, rocker box covers, and fender struts and had them chromed. This is why I'm so glad that mother Harley did NOT clearcoat any of the aluminum. I've been told by a dealer that this problem with clearcoated aluminum only seems to happen in areas any where near the ocean and south of North Carolina. I'm hope this tip helps a lot of folks, I like to keep my bike lookin' good and this makes it a whole lot easier! Maybe someday the cash will be available and I'll get my rims powdercoated or chromed. Chrome these days stinks though, not like in the old days! I've had cars with original chrome bumpers that were still beautiful from the 60's and 70's after 20 years on the road in Pa.! Bet it's the E.P.A. that forced changes to the chrome plating process. I'm also told that the only good chrome now comes from Australia!
     
  10. gator508

    gator508 Senior Member

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    Had this discussion with a bike builder, he suggested using Teflon spray, would have to be repeated about once a year according to him. I have yet to try it but it certainly works on granite countertops.