How To Remove Glue From Car Rims Without Leaving Any Trace

If you’ve ever glued your car’s tires to the rims, you must’ve had excessive glue getting stuck to the rims. We know the feeling; it’s super frustrating. The excess adhesive throws off the look and feel of your wheels entirely.

So you might be wondering how to remove glue from car rims.

A popular way is to incorporate warm water with white spirit and scrub the glue with it until it wears off. Glue removers work fine, too, in some cases.

This article will cover glue removal from car rimsin detail. Stick around, as we’ll provide some helpful tips. So without any adieu, let’s get started.

How Do I Remove Super Glue From Rims?

If you’re in the nasty predicament of having super glue on your alloy wheels, there’re some methods you can try. Before covering them in detail, let’s gather up the materials we’ll be needing.

Materials You Need To Remove Glue From Car Rims

Here are all the things you’ll need —

  1. Heat gun
  2. Warm water
  3. Non-abrasive cloth towel
  4. Car drill brush
  5. Latex hand gloves
  6. Acetone or Nail polish remover

Glue Removing Methods

There’re multiple foolproof methods to remove glue from car rims. Let’s go over the most popular ones which might be best for you.

Method 1: Using White Spirit

White spirits are fairly common if you often paint or know someone who does. If not, they’re affordable enough to buy and effectively combat glues on alloys. Follow these steps for removing glue from alloy wheels —

Step 1: Wet cleaning cloth with warm water

Heat to create warm water and place it in a bucket. Then, put on latex hand gloves and place the cleaning cloth in the warm water.

Step 2: Scrub the wheel with a wet cloth

Use a soft and wet cloth and start scrubbing the wheel. Car drill brushes work great too. We’re doing this to remove excess grimes and other debris from the rim.

Step 3: Add a few tablespoons of white spirit

After removing debris, add about two to three tablespoons of white spirit to your wet cleaning cloth. A lacquer thinner solution works if you don’t have white spirit.

Step 4: Heat up and loosen the layer of glue

Use a heat gun to heat up lightly and loosen the layer of glue. Then, vigorously start scrubbing on the glue attached to your car rims. If you see glue residues on the rims, reapply about half a tablespoon of the white spirit of lacquer thinner and continue the process until all excess adhesive is wiped off.

Step 5: Add automobile wash to the warm water

Add a tablespoon of automobile wash to your buck with warm water. Stir the solution to create foamy water. Then add a separate cleaning cloth to the water solution and scrub the wheel a final time to clean blemishes. ‘

Step 6: Spray the wheel with water

Finally, use a water hose and spray the wheel thoroughly.  Afterwards,  you just have to wait and let it dry. If you fear rusting, you can dry it off with a dry towel to make the process faster.

Method 2: Using Nail Polish Remover

If you’re looking for a DIY solution with items you have lying at home, this one for you. You only need a nail polish remover, a few cotton swabs, and a plastic ruler to remove the glue left on the rims.

Most nail polish removers are made of some kind of acetone solvent. And if you already didn’t know, acetone puts up a good fight against sticky adhesives like glue.

Follow these steps to remove glue in a DIY fashion —

Step 1: Dip cotton swab on nail polish remover

Put on your latex hand gloves and dip one end of a cotton swab into the nail polish remover.  Then rub the nail polish remover covered cotton end to the glue for a couple of minutes. We recommend going for at least 10.

Step 2: Take a plastic ruler and scrape excess glue

You’ll notice the glue starts to loosen after those 10 minutes, but to check you can poke the other end of the cotton swab and see if it’s squishy yet.

Once you’re sure the glue has loosened, take a flat plastic ruler and start scraping off the excess glue. If the ruler can’t reach the rim’s round edges, use a cloth or a simple plastic pen. It’s important to use plastic so that the rim doesn’t get scratches.

Step 3: Wash the rim and dry it off

Even when all goes well, you’ll notice some small glue still stuck to the rim. To remove it, repeat the process by dipping an end of a cotton swab in the nail polish remover and continue until all glue has been removed.

Afterwards, you can now simply wash the rim with a water hose and dry it off.

Can You Use Goo Gone on Car Rims?

Goo Gone is specially made for automotive vehicles and removing tire stickers and tire glues. You can use it for tire sticker glue, bumper stickers, and anywhere some adhesive might be left behind.

Tips & Tricks For Removing Glue From Car Rims

As promised, let’s now go over some helpful tips and tricks to follow when removing glue from car rims.

Preheat Or Chill The Glue

Depending on what condition you’re in, drastically changing the thermal state of the glue may help in loosening it up a bit. If you have a lot of glue stuck to your car rim, preheating the glue and then adding a water-based solution and scrubbing is a good idea.

But if the glue is stuck in multiple small clumps, bringing the temperature down to sub-zero might be helpful. This freezes the glue and turns it into a single solid piece, which you can simply remove with just your hands.

Beware Of Scratches!

The most crucial tip we’d like to give is keeping the material of your car rim in mind when you try to scrub off excess glue from it.

Usually, metal alloys get scratched easily with any sharp object. For this reason, it’s essential to use something blunt when rigorously scrubbing against it.

We recommend blunt objects like plastic rulers, rubbers, or wood. Be careful when using wood, though, as they might have splinters that may damage and scratch your car’s alloy wheels.

Caution When Operating Heat Guns

Although they’re super fun to use, you should hold heat guns with extreme caution.

When using them to loosen the glue, ensure you’re not keeping them in contact with the alloy wheels for too long. Finding the Goldilocks zone is important; otherwise, you might end up frying the metal of your car’s rims.

Be sure to wear thick rubber or latex guns when operating them, too, for the best grip and efficiency.

How To Remove Glue From Car Rims-FAQ

How do you dissolve tire glue?

You can boil each wheel and tire to dissolve the surrounding glue. Then, use the cotton swab technique with acetone and keep scrubbing till it’s removed. We recommend using a putty knife to scrape for the most optimum glue removal on a rubber tire.

Should I use direct acetone on my car tires?

We wouldn’t recommend using pure acetone on your car tires. If your car’s tires are made of rubber, acetone might damage and permanently cause tears in it. We suggest sticking to nail polish removers as they have a lower concentration of acetone which is safe to use on a rubber tire.

Can I remove silicone glue from rubber tires?

If the glue has high concentrations of silicone, then it might be impossible to remove it from rubber tires. Silicone adhesives are known to bond very strongly to rubber, which makes them super tricky to remove. If you’ve tried the steps we mentioned in this post and still can’t remove the adhesive, there’s a possibility it’s permanently stuck. In such cases, you might need to change your tire.


If you were thinking before about how to remove glue from car rims, hopefully, now you have the answer. It’s easy if you follow the step-by-step guides we’ve recommended in this post.

To leave you off with something, we recommend not buying the generic glue remover to remove an adhesive from your tire. Usually, most glue removers are bound to materials such as plastic or wood. They might work on RC car tires but won’t work great on real ones.

Rather invest in a white spirit or pick up a nail polish remover, and you should be good to go. Good luck!

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