I used to work at a car wash, so I am familiar with the assembly line brushes they used.

I do have a bag of old t-shirt rags, but I am not sure I want to deplete them by single-use for this task. I'm wondering what people are using to apply the cleaner with. Also wondering on what cleaner is optimal.


  • 2
    A friend reduced the dust problem by adding extra vents in the front grille directed at the wheels... blew the dust out a treat...
    – Solar Mike
    Oct 2, 2019 at 14:00

2 Answers 2


The easiest way I'm aware of is to change your brake material to ceramic. While there is still dust, it's about 90% less apparent than is metallic or organic friction compounds (in most cases).

As far as getting any brake dust off of your rims which collects (no matter what the material), the easiest thing to do is not in the application, but rather in the cleaner used. There are many cleaners on the market which are spray on and rinse off which do a great job of removing the dust. This website seems to give a fairly unbiased reviews of some of these cleaners (no affiliation). Brake dust can be removed without using friction (ie: a brush or rag). Over time, using a brush or a rag can cause damage to an alloy rim.

  • 1
    Also not all ceramic brakes don't dust, the one's that came with my 6 piston Brembos were ceramic and would just coat the wheels after maybe a day of driving. I've since switched brands from OEM and the results were stunning Oct 2, 2019 at 22:38
  • @TylerH - I'm suggesting a touchless approach as opposed to using a rag. While a rag will not show damage right away, pushing dirt/dust/particles around with the rag will cause issues over time. I can see how my wording might be interpreted otherwise, so I will adjust it slightly. Oct 3, 2019 at 1:23
  • I have Wagner ceramic pads which leave about the same mess, just slightly different coloring, than the semi-metallics.
    – mongo
    Oct 8, 2019 at 16:49

Dust indicated your pads and or disks are wearing . A change of pad material will change the amount of dust. I think "organic" pads produce the least dust. I have a Nissan Murano with factory pads and dust never shows up on the wheels. It has 78,000 and it is difficult to see any pad or disc wear by eye , a physical measure would be needed; I have been told they are organic pads. I had a Nissan Titan ( 04, first model) and it generated a lot of dust: At 25,000 miles it was recalled and Nissan put in new rotors and pads - no more dust. Unfortunately I do not know what those pads were.

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