How to Use Muriatic Acid to Clean Wheels

by Kallie Johnson
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retro car, wheel image by strokine from Fotolia.com

After attempting cleaning method after cleaning method, you still cannot remove the residue, tar or sap on your vehicle's wheels. Muriatic acid, an extremely strong and corrosive acid, can work to quickly remove what seems impossible. However, due to its corrosive nature, it should only be used when absolutely necessary. It is also important to ensure all of the acid is rinsed from the wheels once cleaning is completed. If any is left on the wheels, it can eat away at the metal rims and any coatings or paint used.

Step 1

Add 10 cups of warm water to a bucket. Add 1 cup of muriatic acid to the water. Always add the water first, followed by the acid. If acid is added, followed by water, it can cause the water to pop or explode upward, potentially getting on you.

Step 2

Dip a cloth into the acid. Rub the mixture into the wheels.

Rinse the muriatic acid mixture from the wheels within 60 seconds of wiping the acid onto it. If left on the wheels for long periods of time, the acid can eat away at the metal and finish. If longer exposure is needed, repeat the process.

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