How To Get Baked-On Brake Dust Off Wheels - Works Brilliantly!

Svetlana November 11 2021

If you are here to find out how to get baked on brake dust off wheels, you’ve come to the right place. We'll let you know everything about baked dust and how to get rid of it. 

What does brake dust mean?

Brake dust is a term used to describe the dust that gets on your wheels when you brake. This happens primarily in cars because they have alloy wheels. The debris from the brakes and tires coating these alloys with a fine brown film.

Brake dust can add a lot of character to your car if it comes out in nice curvy patterns across the wheel, but it can also detract from their looks because of its unsightly appearance. For cars with factory coated rims or aftermarket metal-ceramic rotors, brake dust is baked onto the surface rather than sprayed on.

It might not mean that your brakes are failing, but in the long run, this can hamper the performance of brakes. Also, it can be causing noise and vibration and, at length, it can create an uneven surface for braking.

If you want to build up your knowledge about brake dust, here are some facts:

  • The average car produces between 0.5 and 1g of dust per day. About 10% of that comes from the tires, the rest is produced by the brake pads/discs/drums. The material used for manufacturing these components contains mostly iron oxide (rust), so it can react with oxygen in humid air to form iron oxide hydrate (rust again!). That’s why brake dust has brown color - it is rust! It's worth mentioning that sometimes this kind of oxidation gives rise to products that are green-hued instead.
  • Brake dust doesn't pose a problem if you get your alloy wheels wet - the water droplets effectively dissolve it and wash it away. However, when dry, the dust becomes sticky and strongly adheres to the surface of the wheel.
  • The stickiness is caused by another chemical reaction: brake pad material (iron oxide) reacts with moisture and forms iron oxide hydrate (rust). When this happens, moisture on wheels gets stained orange/red! If you want to find out how to remove rust stains from wheels, keep reading our article. 

Brake dust collecting on your brake rotor and brake caliper isn't a good sign either. So, taking care of it on time is the right thing to do. You also wouldn't want excessive brake dust to ruin your wheels and paint job in the end. But there’s a solution!

How to get baked on brake dust off wheels 

Method 1: Use Decon Soap + Ceramic Shine 

Decon Soap is a ph-balanced wheel cleaner that contains special catalysts. These catalysts help in dissolving the brake dust. Decon is super easy to use. You spray it where you see the charcoal-colored dust and leave it for a few minutes. 

After that, you can use ceramic shine coating to give a glossy touch to your wheels. You can spray the ceramic shine on the wheel rims and see the difference within seconds.

Method 2: Wheel Cleaners

Wheel cleaners are a good option if you want to use traditional-style agents for cleaning. If the one you pick is an acid cleaner, do not forget to follow the manufacturer's instructions. Also, you must wear goggles and nitrile gloves for skin protection. 

You apply an acid cleaner the same way as Decon soap and scrub it after waiting a few minutes. Then you rinse it with water. The application of non-acidic corrosive cleaners includes the same steps. You can spray it and use a heavy-duty nylon brush for breaking the brake dust. 

Method 3: Iron Removers 

Using an iron remover is the ideal solution for your paint job. If there's a cloud of accumulated brake dust on your car's body, you might want to avoid an acid cleaner. 

As you would need to protect your paint, scrubbing wouldn't be a good idea. So, this is where iron removers come in. The catalysts in the iron removers loosen the iron deposits stuck on the surface. So, the brake dust comes off on its own. You only rinse it with water.

Method 4: Applying Wax

If you are looking for a cheap way to remove brake dust, applying wax might be the best option. There are several types of wheel care products out there. But it's much simpler to apply carnauba wax . All you have to do is smear it on your wheel cover and watch fine particles roll off. You can use this method in combination with other ones. 

Ways to prevent brake dust in the first place

  • To prevent brake dust from accumulating, you can use Kevlar brake pads. These pads are expensive but, they take a long time to wear down compared to ceramic brakes. Also, these organic brake pads don't let the dust get stuck on your wheels even after wearing them down. 
  • You can apply a Teflon coat to the wheels. It won't completely stop the brake dust from piling but at least would slow down the build-up process. 
  • You can also use a wheel sealant, which creates a coating on the wheels and prevents dust from sticking to it. This is a great option because you would apply only one coat of it and then forget about dust accumulating. And most importantly, your paint will be safe from any damage or fading.  

Final Thoughts 

So, now you know all about baked dust and how to get rid of it. However, it's not necessary for you to use these chemicals. Only go with them if your wheels are really dirty and need regular cleaning. But, if you want the easiest possible solution that doesn't even involve scrubbing, then your best bet is wheel sealant.

Please feel free to share this article on social media. Let others know what happens when brake dust piles up on wheels! If there is anything left in doubt or any other topic that you would like us to discuss about , please leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!

Brake dust can become a problem if not dealt with timely. It can hinder your safety, that's why cleaning it is very significant. You can use any of these quick and easy methods to get rid of the brake dust and ride your vehicle with confidence.