Rust on steel wheels is both an eyesore and potentially damaging if left unchecked. There are three simple ways you can remove rust from rims, none of which require advanced tools or a huge amount of effort.
The Brush and Water Method
As pointed out by automotive writer Sam Eggleston, if the rust is not too thick and established, it may be possible to remove it with nothing more than water, degreasing soap, and a brush. Eggleston recommends washing the whole rim first with hot water and soap, then using the brush to scrub the oxidation off.
If the rust proves to be more of a challenge, a wire brush or no. 0000 scouring pad may come in handy. Keep in mind that this type of scouring pad is gentle, rather than rough and aggressive. Once the oxidation is off, use a microfiber cloth to give the rim a new shine.
The White Vinegar Method
Tammi Clements offers a different method of removal that involves the use of white vinegar. Her do-it-yourself method requires only 12 ounces of white vinegar, a spray bottle to dispense the vinegar, a fine-grade pad of steel wool, and a cloth. To use these to remove rust, spray the vinegar over the entire rusted segment of the rim, and then scrub it in. Next, spray more vinegar onto the rim, and then wait for half an hour. Once the time has passed, use a garden hose to rinse the vinegar away. The oxidation should leave with it, but if you find the white vinegar needs more punch, try adding some baking soda. The final step is to use the cloth to dry the rims.
The Magica Method
If the above two methods don’t work, you are not out of options. Consider instead using Magica rust remover spray on your rims. Magica can quickly treat spots of oxidation before they have a chance to spread. Additionally, its effects are confined to the rust alone. Magica is often used in the auto restoration industry because it does not contain corrosive substances, meaning it does not harm other parts. Even when other rust-removal methods fail, there’s a good chance Magica will be able to safely restore your rims to a like-new condition.