Brake Dust Sucks and It’s Bad For Your Car

Posted January 20, 2022 by Josh Hart, Onsite Detail

What is brake dust?

Brake dust is a dark-colored residue that is made up of little metal shavings that come from the rotor, as well as carbon fibers that rub off the brake pad. Most rims manufactured today are made of a metallic alloy and can easily be damaged by build up if left uncared for.

brake dust removal before after bmw

How can brake dust damage my wheels? 

Brake dust can be harmful to your wheels if it’s not cleaned often. Brake dust will start to corrode the clear coat and eventually over time start to corrode the wheels. Painted wheels will over time start to have the paint chip off and peel from the corrosion. If the corrosion and damage gets bad enough it can lead to rusting and safety issues as well.

Audi bad brake dust build up

What if I have chrome wheels?

There are many different metals made into wheels. However, any wheel can still get brake dust corrosion. This can happen regardless of whether your wheels are made from chrome, aluminum, steel, alloys, or composites. No matter what type of wheels you have, our detailers here at Onsite Detail would love to help you keep your wheels looking brand new, just like the day you drove off the lot!

How do I remove brake dust? 

Iron remover on rims turns purple

There are many ways to remove brake dust from your wheel. Without going into too much detail, here of some of those ways;

  1. Wash with soap and agitation on wheels
  2. Clay Bar Treatment 
  3. Heavy-Duty Degreaser 
  4. Wheel and Tire Cleaner
  5. Iron Remover
  6. Acid Wash

There are several ways to remove brake dust but I only listed the most common and best methods of removing it. Some methods are more aggressive than others but can remove heavier build-up. In some cases, the brake dust will corrode into the surface of the wheel and will not be able to be removed just from simple chemicals. In the worst-case scenarios, you may need to replace your wheels or have them repainted. 

How can I protect my wheels from further damage? 

To protect your wheels from further damage, wash your wheels regularly! To further protect your wheels, you can apply a layer of wax or sealant onto the surface of your wheel or get a ceramic coating installed onto the wheels. Here at Onsite Detail, we perform the necessary steps to prevent any build-up by offering a ceramic coating installation to your wheels or taking the necessary steps to clean any and all build-up of brake dust. A wheel ceramic coatings will not only help prevent the forming of brake dust contamination but from any other kind of contamination that may find its way onto the wheels. Along with our wheel ceramic coatings we also offer a special “Wheel and Tire Protection Package”

To find out more info about brake dust removal and car wheel cleaning and protection please call or text us at (801) 412-9274.