How To Clean Motorcycle Rims?

People hold a lot of value on their motorcycle rims. Regardless if it is on or off-road, you should always make sure that the condition of your motorcycle rims is top-notch.

You see, motorcycle rims are an important part of your bike’s aesthetic. In fact, a dirty rim can undermine the styling that took you so long to perfect.

Well, cleaning your motorcycle rims may seem like an easy thing to do. However, the job is a bit technical and requires the right tools to avoid damaging your rims.

But don’t fret!

We are here to guide you through the process of cleaning your motorcycle rims so that you can restore them to a showroom shine in no time.

What Can I Use To Clean My Dirty Rims?

There are several options for cleaning your motorcycle rims, including dish soap, nail polish remover, vinegar and water, baking soda, magic eraser, and WD-40.

What Can I Use To Clean My Dirty Rims

Dish soap

Use dish soap to clean your dirty motorcycle rims. Mix 1/2 cup of dishwashing liquid with 1 gallon of warm water, and use a sponge or soft cloth dipped in the solution to wipe down your rims. This method is best if you have polished aluminum rims.

Dish soap

Nail polish remover

If you’re looking for a more heavy-duty option, try using nail polish remover. The acetone in nail polish remover cuts right through grease and grime, making it perfect for cleaning off your rims. Just make sure you wear gloves while working with this product – you don’t want acetone getting on your skin!

Vinegar and water

If you’re looking for an option that’s more environmentally friendly, try mixing equal parts white vinegar and hot water in a spray bottle. This combination will cut through most of the grease on its own, making it a cost-effective way to grease off your rims. This method works well on polished chrome rims – just be sure not to let the solution sit for too long before removing it!

Vinegar and water

Baking soda

Baking soda is a gentle cleaner that can be used on a wide variety of surfaces. It’s easy to get, too—you probably already have some in your kitchen! Just make a paste out of baking soda and water and scrub away at the dirt with an old toothbrush or a rag. It’s great at removing stains because of its abrasiveness.

Magic Eraser

This sponge is made from melamine foam and can erase scuffs and other stains from many different surfaces. It’s best used by soaking it in warm soapy water for about 30 seconds before using it on your rims. Just don’t get any on the rest of your bike or you might end up with a few scratches.


If none of those methods work, you can always go back to the tried-and-true WD-40. WD-40 is an all-purpose cleaner that will remove just about anything, making it the best motorcycle rim cleaner. It’s best applied with a soft cloth and then left to sit for 15 minutes before wiping down or rinsing off completely with water (depending on what type of rim you have).


How To Clean Motorcycle Rims?

Here are some tips on how to clean motorcycle rims:

How To Clean Motorcycle Rims

What You’ll Need:

  • A bucket of water or hosed water
  • Bike cleaner spray (Wheel Cleaner Plus New Improved Formula)
  • Stiff wire brush
  • A soft-bristled brush (an old toothbrush is perfect)
  • Dry rag
  • Soft microfiber cloth
  • Metal polish (optional)

Once you have gathered all the necessary materials, you can begin cleaning. To get started, follow these steps:

Step 1: Get your motorcycle off its kickstand

You’ll want it resting on its wheels for this job, so you can see what you’re scrubbing. If you have space, take it outside for some fresh air. If not, try to find a garage or other covered area with good ventilation. Be safe with any chemicals you use!

Step 2: Loosen stuck-on debris with a stiff brush

Use your stiff wire brush to loosen debris stuck in the grooves of your wheels’ rims. This is an important step; pressure washing alone won’t get it all out, especially for grooved rims like those in Harley Davidson bikes! Make sure you get under all the parts.

Step 3: Spray with motorcycle rim cleaner

Apply the bike cleaner spray evenly over each rim, including the spoke. Don’t apply too thickly or in a way that will let it drip off the rim. Let it sit for about ten minutes so it can grease off as well as break up the dirt and grime on the rims’ surface.

Step 4: Scrub with a soft brush

Using a soft brush, scrub the rims with a gentle circular motion. Work slowly and methodically so that you get every area of the wheel cleaned. 

Scrub with a soft brush

Step 5: Rinse off the cleaner with a hose or bucket of water

Rinse the rim thoroughly with a hose or a bucket of water. Ensure no soap residue is left behind.

Step 6: Repeat steps 3, 4, and 5

Repeat steps 3, 4, and 5 until the rims are clean to your satisfaction.

Step 7: Dry thoroughly with a microfiber cloth

Use a microfiber cloth to dry them thoroughly. This will help prevent streaks and smears on the surface of the rims.

Step 8: Apply metal polish (to polish chrome rims)

Apply metal polish with a soft cloth and rub in small circles to buff away any trace of dirt and grime. Allow the polish to set for 30 minutes. Use a second clean cloth to remove the polish, then buff the rims until they shine.

Apply metal polish

How do you get rust off motorcycle rims?

Rust is a serious threat to the integrity of your motorcycle rims. It can cause them to crack and break, resulting in dangerous riding conditions. When rust is left unchecked, it can also damage your brakes and other parts of your bike. 

How do you get rust off motorcycle rims

Fortunately, you can clean rust off motorcycle rims. One of the best ways to clean rust off of motorcycle rims is by using WD40, a product that was originally developed as a rust remover.

Cleaning motorcycle rims with WD40

You will need: 

  • WD40
  • Medium-bristled brush
  • Soft cloth
Cleaning motorcycle rims with WD40

Step 1: Spray WD40 wheel cleaner on the rims

Spray WD40 onto the rusty part of the rim using a sweeping motion until it’s fully covered.

Step 2: Give it time to do its magic

Allow the WD40 to sit for 15-30 minutes without touching it. This will give the product time to penetrate the oxidation of the rust and loosen it from the rim.

Step 3: Scrub with a brush

Scrub all areas affected by rust with a medium-bristled brush in circular motions until no signs of oxidation are present on the rim. Be sure not to be too harsh or use a hard brush; this might cause damage to your rim or create scratches on its surface.

Step 4: Wipe down with a soft cloth

Wipe your rim with a soft cloth soaked in warm water and soap. It will help remove any traces of WD40 residue or remaining rust particles and dirt.

Wipe down with a soft cloth


Now that you know how to clean motorcycle rims, you can easily keep your bike looking its best. With regular maintenance, you will extend the life of your rims and save money on replacements.

WD40 is by far the best product to clean your motorcycle rims. It’s simple and easy to use, and it will get the job done quickly.

Always remember: you have to have proper safety measures while cleaning the rims so that you don’t end up damaging the paint or layer of the wheels.

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