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How should I remove these strange spots on wheels?

nk24

307 ► 602
Supporting Member
Jul 6, 2017
288
Phoenix
I bought a set of Ravine wheels a while back and knew from day one they weren’t perfect. A couple of the wheels have these tiny, black spots on them. I can’t tell what it is, exactly.

41190CCF-5D6C-450A-9A3D-F20762E8AB1D.jpeg


I tried scrubbing them with a stiff brush and soapy water to no avail. The only way I was able to remove them was to scrape them with my fingernail.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I was thinking of a bamboo pot scraper or something similar.

I was thinking of getting some Sonax to clean the backsides anyway but have no idea if it would do anything for the front.
 

JMT

The Jeep Guy
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Feb 27, 2017
7,896
Texas Hill Country
Looks like overspray from spray paint.

Are the wheels machined? I can't tell what the surface is and you'd hate to damage them with a harsh chemical like mineral spirits.
 
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MountaineerTom

LJ Enthusiast, Retired USAF Weapons Loader
Supporting Member
Sep 25, 2018
769
South Carolina
Try a claybar. Mother's sells a kit with the bar and spray for it. I've used it on my truck a few times over the years. I was amazed at how smooth the paint was after the first time I used it. I washed truck then clayed half the hood. I thought it was clean. there was a big difference in the 2 halves of the hood. It took a long time to clay a whole full sized extended cab tuck, but the wheels shouldn't take too long.
 
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-T.

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Depends on what the spots are, but you can try a lot of things, as it looks like the wheels are still clear coated and that stuff is pretty durable. If you suspect it is oil based, like tar, try WD-40. Then clean off the WD-40 with soap and water. Try rubbing alcohol. It's a pretty good solvent that won't hurt paint. There are a lot of paint prep solutions that may remove it. I have had good luck with Eastwood Paint Prep.
If your finger nail pops the stuff off you could do something similar with soap and water and a sponge that has the plastic mesh over it, used for scrubbing pots and pans.
 
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pagrey

TJ Enthusiast
Apr 10, 2018
506
Los Angeles, CA, USA
I'd try denatured alcohol, they call it alcohol camp fuel or SLX alcohol in some places. It wont damage the paint and dissolves almost anything, especially road tar and tree sap. Be sure to wax after you use that stuff, it strips all the wax.
 
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OP
nk24

nk24

307 ► 602
Supporting Member
Jul 6, 2017
288
Phoenix
Looks like overspray from spray paint.

Are the wheels machined? I can't tell what the surface is and you'd hate to damage them with a harsh chemical like mineral spirits.
It crossed my mind that it could be overspray, but I didn't even think to try Goo Gone or something similar. I think I'll give that a shot first since I've used it before to remove spray paint overspray.
 
OP
nk24

nk24

307 ► 602
Supporting Member
Jul 6, 2017
288
Phoenix
Depends on what the spots are, but you can try a lot of things, as it looks like the wheels are still clear coated and that stuff is pretty durable. If you suspect it is oil based, like tar, try WD-40. Then clean off the WD-40 with soap and water. Try rubbing alcohol. It's a pretty good solvent that won't hurt paint. There are a lot of paint prep solutions that may remove it. I have had good luck with Eastwood Paint Prep.
If your finger nail pops the stuff off you could do something similar with soap and water and a sponge that has the plastic mesh over it, used for scrubbing pots and pans.
The wheels still have very good clear coat on them and I definitely want to keep it that way. Thanks for the tips.
 

LukesfirstJeep

TJ Enthusiast
Aug 2, 2018
285
Central PA
Some A#$hat sprayed grafitti on my motorcycle a few years ago. I removed it with my wife fingernail polish remover. It did not damage the plastic of original paint finish.
 
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nk24

nk24

307 ► 602
Supporting Member
Jul 6, 2017
288
Phoenix
Tried Goo Gone on the wheels tonight and while it did remove the spots (with a lot of elbow grease), it seemed to dull the clear coat a bit as well. I was a bit surprised by this considering I’ve used Goo Gone on the body before with no issues.

I’m thinking about trying acetone or nail polish remover with a magic eraser next. I will also look into the other products and methods mentioned above.