How to Clean Brake Dust

by Contributor

Brake dust is usually caused by brake pads. Normal brake usage causes flakes of metal, Kevlar or other monofilament carbon fibers to collect around the brake components and an automobile's wheels. When this dust meets with moisture, it can cause long-term damage to your car. Therefore, it's important to clean brake dust periodically.

Select a cleaning chemical to clean away brake dust. While there are any number of chemicals that are safe to use, consider buying one of the specialty products designed for use on brake dust. You can find these products at an automotive repair shop.

Spray a modest amount of the cleaning chemical into a rag. Use a clean cotton or microfiber fabric. Not all fabrics are ideal for cleaning brake dust.

Scrub the inside of each tire and wheel. Take your time and pay attention to any places where you may notice deposits of collected brake dust.

Spray cleaning fluid directly onto the exterior walls of your tires. Use a nylon brush to remove any remaining brake dust. Refrain from using a metal brush on your delicate rubber tires.

Rinse your tires and wheels clean by using water and a hose. Make sure to spray water along the underside of your wheels to remove all traces of brake dust.


  • check Help protect your wheels from brake dust by using a wax coating on the rubber. When brake dust gets hot, it can cause damage to your tires. A wax coating can help make it easier to clean brake dust from your tires.
  • check It's possible to purchase inserts to help block brake dust from collecting around your wheels. While some repair shops used to advise against these inserts, they've become more commonplace over the years. Most dealerships stock these inserts in their maintenance garages.
  • check Take care to protect your car's wheels when cleaning brake dust. These parts are delicate. As a rule of thumb, you should use the same care to clean the wheels and tires as you would with your car's exterior paint job.


  • close Bleach can damage your wheels. When looking for a cleaning product to use on brake dust, make sure to find one without bleach. Select one of the specialty cleaning products designed for use on wheels and tires.
  • close Look for tiny moisture droplets collecting around your wheels. While these drops may resemble road tar, they could be discharge from the adhesive on your brake pads. This can be an especially costly problem to correct.

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About the Author

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