Stained wheels

Mar 8, 2012
Just picked up a Toyota RAV4 Sport, was able to clean up the paint and it looks great (clay, polish, sealed). However the wheels are stained from brake dust, tried my usual wheel cleaner and tried Sonax but no luck.

Any suggestions?


  • 04485527-8D6E-4EAA-9C63-A8B46BBCEFD5.jpeg
    134.4 KB · Views: 64
You need an acid based wheel cleaner such as this:

However, depending on how long the wheels have been stained for, they may have been permanently damaged/etched.
  • Like
Reactions: JC1
Mild compound or chrome polish with lots of water.
I've even used white toothpaste(not gel) on small(er) areas.

Just from your picture, they don't look that bad and look like they'll clean right up. ;) 👍
Even some WD-40 may loosen up the brake dirt/grime.
Last edited:
I have the same issue with the polished aluminum wheels on my truck. 2 of them have what apparently is staining from a dog, or some other animal, that must have pissed on them while it was parked.
  • Haha
Reactions: JC1
The price is definitely attractive. Didn't know O'Reilly sold this stuff.

But the SDS suggests it might be a bit weaker than most acid wheel cleaners (7-13% HF, 3.-7% phosphoric acid):

At least compared to the P&S version (5-10% HF, 30-40% phosphoric acid):
I used this:’s+fall&sr=8-3
Works well, smells like your wheel is getting a perm. 😂