How to Clean Matte Black Rims? Complete Cleaning Guide!

As far as your car’s wheels are concerned, there are many tips and tricks given by experts to keep them in excellent shape. One of the basic steps in the maintenance of a vehicle’s wheels is to clean its rims. However, unlike other rims, cleaning matte black rims isn’t as straightforward.

Let’s admit it, if you have ever browsed online for cleaning agents, most things you find end up creating a glossy finish that can absolutely ruin the aesthetics of your rims. However, with the right methods, products, and techniques, you can master cleaning the rims in no time.

To help you in this journey, here’s a complete guide on cleaning matte black rims effectively.

So, let’s dive in.

Table of Contents

How to Clean Matte Black Rims

The process of cleaning matte black rims is similar to cleaning any other kind of rims. The only major difference being the use of silicone-free wheel cleaners that give matte surfaces their blotchy look.

On the other hand, heavy acids should be avoided at all costs as they can quickly degrade the appearance of your matte rims in no time. Besides that, you should also avoid polishing your matter rims as it starts to give a more reflective look.

Here’s an in-depth method of effectively cleaning your matte black rims.

Step 1: Spray your rims using a water hose to eliminate the top layer of grime. Next, use a brush to scrape out large chunks of muck without having to use your cleaner. This will help soften up the dirt on your rims, making the next steps easier and more efficient.

Step 2: Fill a bucket with water and add a few tablespoons of dishwashing liquid. Remember not to use harsh chemicals on your rims as they aren’t as professionally finished as alloy or chrome rims that come with their robust sealant. By doing this, you will only aggravate the situation and potentially remove the paint off the rims.

Step 3: Dip the sponge into the water and start cleaning your rims. If you are washing your car and rims simultaneously, I recommend you get two different buckets as you don’t want to get the paint in your rims.

By the end of the cleaning session, you may notice paint in the sponge. This is normal. What isn’t typical, though, is finding chipped paint on your rims. As long as it looks okay after the wash, you are all set to go.

Step 4: Rinse the rims and apply a thin coat of wax to make cleaning simpler in the future. Instead of going for the standard wax, I propose opting for a specialized matte car wax that is better equipped to withstand vehicles’ hectic wear and tear. It is also recommended to dry your rims with a lint-free cloth to make sure you leave no water stains that’ll ruin the look of the tires.

Aside from that, if you want to go the extra mile, you can also try a waterless rim cleaner to ensure that the paint doesn’t get ruined during the cleaning procedure. This is because water-dense rim cleaners can remove the paint, requiring a whole new series of adjustments and paintings.

When and How Often you Should Clean Matte Black Rims

Whether you have painted the car rims yourself or are currently looking at a filthy, handling matte material is slightly different than any other material you’ll deal with.

This is mainly because matte black rims aren’t finished the same way as chrome or alloy rims. In fact, when it comes to these two materials, you can easily rely on your good old’ rim cleaner sprays to do the trick. However, that’s not the case with matte-painted rims.

I recommend you wash your rims every time you wash your car; let’s say, for instance, once a week.

Water won’t be enough to achieve the clean look you desire. It certainly gets rid of all the dust and dirt on the surface level, but it also aids in softening the rest of the gunk that’ll further ease the cleaning process with a sponge.

Another concern that most people fail to understand is over-cleaning. If you over-clean your matte rim, it will dry out the surface and give the rim a faded look. Although you may need to go back after the initial wash and cover the details, it is not advised to use harsh soaps, cloths, or sponges that can deteriorate the integrity of the finish.

This especially includes rim cleaners, as they consist of a high concentration of acids to give a faded and blotched look to your rims. The only thing you need to bear in mind is to stick to as mild or natural products as possible. Thus, avoid going for specialized products that can do more harm than good.

In a nutshell, the best way to take care of your rims is to protect them from damage in the first place. As the saying goes, prevention is always better than cure. Protecting your rims can go a long way in making sure you never have to worry about “fixing” your car’s rims now and then.


Coming to the end of this cleaning guide, we can safely say that maintaining your matte black rims isn’t as difficult as it may seem. If you think about it and get your fundamentals straight, you can effortlessly clean your rims at any given time.

However, the only takeaway I want you to have is that when it comes to cleaning anything, it always boils down to your maintenance and regular upkeep. For example, if you have protected your rims with wax and washed everything you use to clean your car, you are less likely to encounter any problem with it in the future.

Your products’ only condition should be mild enough to avoid stripping the color off your matte rims.