How to Get Light Rust off Aluminum Wheels

by Melynda Sorrels

Rust has a tendency to compromise the appearance of anything. Wherever there is water, it's a pretty safe bet that there will soon be rust too. Removing rust takes only a small amount of time and effort, and with multiple ways with which to remove it, rust is a pretty simple fix. Fortunately there are several proven methods that will have aluminum wheels gleaming in no time.

Step 1

Scrub the rust away with a dampened SOS pad. It may take a little pressure, but it will come off. Rinse the area well with clean water.

Step 2

Apply naval jelly with a dry clean cloth and work it into the rust. Continue to scrub until all of the rust is gone. Wipe the area clean with a soft dry cloth.

Step 3

Crumple a piece of aluminum foil into a ball, shiny side out. Pour Coca-Cola on the aluminum and scrub the wheel until there is no rust remaining. Rinse the area with clean water.

Step 4

Use a 000 steel wool pad and enough water to lubricate and scrub the wheel until all of the rust is gone. Rinse the area with clean water.

Spray the wheel with WD-40 and wipe the rust away with a dry clean cloth. A light coat of WD-40 can help prevent rust from reoccurring, but won't help the shine much.


  • Wear gloves when working with chemicals and be sure to have proper ventilation. WD-40 does not smell good.


  • Do not use vinegar on aluminum wheels as this can permanently etch them.

Items you will need

  • SOS pad Dry clean cloth Naval jelly Aluminum foil Coca-Cola 000 steel wool pad WD-40

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