We all have experienced a build up of brake dust on our wheels at some point in our life (whether you know it or not). For those of us that take pride in keeping our vehicles slick’n shiny it comes as a huge nuisance whenever we discover a build up of brake dust and no matter how much you scrub at it, it just won’t budge! I’m here today to tell you how to remove brake dust from wheels and paintwork.

Brake dust and other fallout is definitely annoying when we see it ruining the shiny appearance of our alloys, but that’s all it is, annoying. If you have discovered a build up of brake dust or other fallout on your paintwork Be Warned, you must act quickly before it causes serious damage.

What Is Brake Dust And Fallout?

Brake dust is a combination of iron particles and carbon which is thrown out from both your brake discs and your brake pads, some vehicles may differ in the contents of the brake dust but the most commonly found particles in brake dust is iron, this is primarily because brake pads can be made from a variety of different materials but on the other hand almost all brake discs are made from iron so as debris falls away the iron particles get stuck on your wheels, creating a horrible looking mess. Brake Dust - Before

Brake dust is caused by your brakes doing their job essentially. When you put your foot on the brake pedal the brake pads are in contact with the brake disks, creating friction. As time goes by and as you use the brake pedal again and again, your pads and disks erode away because of the continuous friction.

So basically, It is the erosion of our pads and disks that causes the brake dust that is visual to us when we look at our wheels.

Fallout are iron particles that come from a number of different sources such as railways, factories and other industrial areas, like brake dust, fallout can be found on your wheels, but because it also may have come from the air as opposed to from your brakes you can find fallout anywhere on your vehicle, including your paintwork, which is really not good.

Is Brake Dust And Fallout Harmful?

We know that brake dust is unsightly and can be harmful to the way we feel about our car when our beloved rims are stained with the dust but does it actually do any harm to our car?

Yes, it does. For wheels, depending on what materials your brake pads are made of the iron particles will become corrosive and if you do not do something before this happens the damage will be permanent so keep that in mind and just check out wheels every couple weeks to make sure they’re in the clear.

Fallout and brake dust can have a catastrophic effect if left to build up on your paint work, you may not know this but iron particles have a microscopic outer layer that is extremely jagged, couple this with the fact that iron oxidises, creating iron oxide which (you guess it) are even more jagged and uneven.

The paintwork on our vehicles is not even or flat, instead there are curves and valleys and points, all of which are perfect places for Iron particles to gather and create a big problem once the corrosion begins.

How To Remove Brake Dust And Fallout

Don’t worry! Although brake dust and fallout can cause permanent damage to your paintwork and wheels, so long as you spot it reasonably early we can remove it very easily!Clean Car Wheels

What You Will Need

  • 1 x Auto Finesse Iron Out – Iron Remover
  • 2 x Wheel Brush (1 or 2 depending on how badly contaminated the area is.)
  • Access To A Power-hose – Many gas stations have a power hose that you can pay to use.

Step 1 – Use the power hose on the contaminated areas of your wheels or paintwork, the point of this is just to lift any loose dirt and fallout that we can.

Step 2 – Spray the Auto Finesse Iron Out very generously all over the affected area. Wait for 3 or 4 minutes and watch as the liquid turns into a purple color, this is telling you that it is working its magic.

Step 3 – Watch the brake dust and fallout drip from your wheels or paintwork onto the ground.(That reminds me if you’re doing this on your own property I would place some cardboard underneath so that the product does not stain your driveway.)

Step 4 – Now, use the power hose and blast away any excess dirt and product from your vehicle.

Step 5 – If not all the fallout and dust has been removed, simply repeat the process from step 1 until your car is cleared of contaminants!

Additional Tips:

  • Never wash your paintwork if there is a large amount of brake dust or fallout as the rubbing of the sponges will rub the iron against your paint and cause scratches. I cannot stress this enough, avoid the car wash until you have got rid of the fallout.
  • Once your wheels are clean why not add the icing on the cake by giving them a blast of Autoglym Clean Wheels to restore the deep shine and bring your wheels back to life.

What Products To Use?

I’ve had a personal experience with a severe amount of brake dust contaminating my paintwork as you can see in the picture below.Brake Dust On Paint - Before
I was afraid that my paintwork that I had cared so much about could actually be ruined, I had tried agitating with petrol, using a clay bar, everything! Nothing worked, until a friend of mine recommended it so I ordered a bottle. Like you can see in the picture below, it saved me, it saved my paintwork from corrosion and permanent damage. I was incredibly grateful that I was able to find this product in time.

Brake Dust - After

You can find this high quality product on Amazon for £18.99 for a litre! A lot cheaper than getting a respray!!

I would also recommend getting a wheel brush for this job so you can agitate the product on your alloys to maximise the amount of dust you remove.

You can find both products by clicking the links below.

Auto Finesse Iron Out – Contaminant Remover 1 Litre – £18.99


AmazonBasics Wheel Brush, Long Handle – £11.99


Hope I Helped!

I hope you were able to learn something from reading this tutorial today, I hope everything was explained to you, if you yourself have any experiences with brake dust and fallout that you’d like to share or if you think I missed anything out make sure you leave me a comment I’d love to hear about it! If you have anymore questions just ask me.

Happy Detailing!