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I don't know what it is exactly, but my guess it is just years of road tar, brake dust, and maybe a few roadkill splatters, but I don't like it. How can I clean this stuff off?

 

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eagle one rim and tire cleaner in the grey bottle is a foam cleaner that works wonders on wheels,doesn't make 'em new, but pretty damn close. give that a try
 

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yea all the wheel cleaners should make it a lot better, mothers powerball (that you hook upto a drill or the like will clean it insanely), for spray cleaners I like meguiars hot rims line of cleaner
 

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Brake cleaner would work. Also diesel mixed with ATF will work. The longer it sits on the surface the cleaner but if you're not carful then it would eat off the finish. If you really like the rims then just take them down to get sand blasted and chromed. I did it once with a intake manifold to a z28 camaro. If you go with the brake cleaner or the diesel and ATF mix I would toss on some sort of wheel polish over it.
 
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