As I previously mentioned, one of the 7×14 Riverge wheels I bought recently for my Violet SSS is in pretty nasty condition. In fact it kind of looks like it’s spent some time in the sea, it’s so corroded. Close inspection revealed that while there was a lot of surface corrosion, there didn’t appear to be any deep pitting, so I set about trying to clean up this nasty wheel. If all else fails I figure I could just get it wet blasted, but doing so would mean I’d have some serious work to do to polish the rim and face of the wheel back to a smooth surface, so the only alternative is to do it chemically…

There are all sorts of proprietary alloy wheel cleaners on the market, but besides being really expensive, none are designed to deal with a wheel as manky as this. One thing I have had some success with in the past is oven cleaner in an aerosol, so when I spotted this Astonish oven cleaner in a spray bottle, I thought I’d give it a go. This stuff smells a lot like traffic film remover (TFR) and I would think, much like the aerosol stuff, it pretty unpleasant stuff to handle, so it’s essential to use gloves. I kept the wheel soaked with the stuff all morning from about 9am, whilst I worked on my truck in the workshop, then around the middle of the day I gave it a scrub with a wire brush and a Scotchbrite. I continued soaking it all afternoon and around 4pm I gave it another quick scrub, then rinsed it off with my pressure washer.

The results are quite impressive. Most of the corrosion is gone with just a light film here and there. Another day of this treatment would most likely see it corrosion free. I don’t think this stuff works as well as “Mr Muscle” oven cleaner, but it is certainly less wasteful than the normal foaming aerosol type. I think I might buy a few bottles of it and make a tank into which I can dip aluminium parts such as intake manifolds…

!WARNING!

Oven cleaner contains Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH), otherwise known as Lye or Caustic Soda. NaOH reacts with Aluminium and in doing so releases Hydrogen gas which is a potential fire (and explosion!) hazard in closed spaces so make sure you do this in a well ventilated space! Oven cleaner usually has less than 5% NaOH content so it’s mild compared with the chemical in other forms. but it is still wise to act with caution whenever you’re using it.

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