Will break cleaner damage wheels and tires

## Breaking Cleaner: Damage to Wheels and Tires

Breaking cleaner, a powerful chemical solvent, is commonly used for cleaning various surfaces. However, its improper use can result in adverse effects, including damage to wheels and tires. This article explores the potential consequences of using breaking cleaner on wheels and tires and provides guidance on proper cleaning methods to avoid such damage.

### Chemical Composition of Breaking Cleaner

Breaking cleaner is a solvent primarily composed of chlorinated hydrocarbons, such as methylene chloride, trichloroethylene, and tetrachloroethylene. These compounds possess strong degreasing and cleaning properties, enabling them to effectively remove dirt, grease, and grime. However, their potent nature can also be detrimental to certain materials, including the finishes and components of wheels and tires.

### Damage to Wheels

1. Corrosion: Breaking cleaner’s corrosive nature can attack the protective coatings and finishes on wheels, leading to corrosion and premature aging. The harsh chemicals can penetrate the paint or clear coat, exposing the underlying metal to moisture and oxygen, resulting in rust and pitting.

2. Oxidation: The chemical components of breaking cleaner can react with the metal surfaces of wheels, causing oxidation. Oxidation leads to discoloration, dullness, and the formation of white or brown deposits on the wheels.

3. Finish Damage: Breaking cleaner can strip or damage the factory finish of wheels, leaving them prone to scratches and wear. The solvent can dissolve or weaken the paint or clear coat, resulting in an uneven or blotchy appearance.

### Damage to Tires

1. Dry Rot and Cracking: Breaking cleaner can deplete the natural oils and plasticizers in tires, making them dry and brittle. Over time, this can lead to cracking and premature deterioration of the tires, increasing the risk of blowouts and other tire failures.

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2. Sidewall Damage: The chemicals in breaking cleaner can weaken the sidewalls of tires, making them more susceptible to punctures and tears. The solvent can penetrate the rubber and damage its structural integrity, compromising the tire’s ability to withstand impact and pressure.

3. Reduced Traction: Breaking cleaner can leave a slippery residue on tires, affecting their grip and traction. This can lead to reduced handling, performance, and safety during driving.

### Proper Cleaning Methods

To prevent damage to wheels and tires, it’s crucial to use appropriate cleaning methods and products specifically designed for these components. Here are some recommended steps:

1. Use Wheel and Tire Cleaners: Opt for specialized wheel and tire cleaners that are formulated to remove dirt and grime without harming the delicate finishes and materials. These cleaners typically contain milder solvents and detergents that are safe for regular use.

2. Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Steer clear of harsh chemicals, such as breaking cleaner, bleach, or strong acids, as they can cause irreparable damage to wheels and tires. These chemicals can strip away protective coatings and compromise the structural integrity of the components.

3. Gentle Scrubbing: Use soft cloths or sponges and avoid abrasive pads or brushes that can scratch the surfaces. Gently scrub the wheels and tires to remove dirt and debris without applying excessive pressure.

4. Rinse Thoroughly: After cleaning, thoroughly rinse the wheels and tires with clean water to remove any residual cleaner or dirt. This helps prevent lingering chemical exposure that could lead to damage.

5. Dry Completely: Allow the wheels and tires to dry completely before storing or using the vehicle. Moisture can promote corrosion and damage, especially in the presence of residual chemicals.

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### Conclusion

Breaking cleaner, while an effective cleaning solution for certain applications, should not be used on wheels and tires. Its potent chemical composition can cause significant damage to these components, including corrosion, oxidation, finish damage, dry rot, cracking, sidewall damage, and reduced traction. To maintain the health and longevity of wheels and tires, it’s essential to use appropriate cleaning methods and products designed specifically for these surfaces. By following these guidelines, you can prevent costly repairs and ensure the optimal performance and safety of your vehicle.

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