How To Clean Dirty Fabric Wheel Arches

Fabric wheel arches are one of those areas that I really struggled to get clean, the Velcro like fabric seems to cling to any bits of grass and debris and is not easily removed.

Over time I figured out a routine that seems to produce great results and I’m confident that with a little time and effort I can bring any dirty fabric wheel arch up to a great standard.


Dirty Wheel Arches

—  Step 1: Pre Rinse 

To begin with I like to use the pressure of a pressure washer to blast a lot of the dirt and debris out of the wheel arches, I will get quite close to the fabric with the tip of my pressure washer and this really helps dislodge and break up a lot of the grass and debris.

A word of caution!

Make sure the pressure on your pressure washer isn’t going to blast a whole in your wheel arches and always keep the pressure washer moving, this should help to prevent a build up of pressure that could cause damage.

Pressure Wash Wheel Arch

If you don’t have access to a pressure washer then you will have to just use a regular garden hose, adjust the stream of water so that its like a beam (as opposed to the shower mode) and do your best to remove the dirt and debris this way.

—  Step 2: Degrease 

Next I like to liberally spray Meguiars – Super Degreaser (4:1) onto the wheel arches, really saturate the hard to reach areas. Next begin agitating with a soft bristled brush, I find that a brush with a long handle is an effective way to thoroughly clean the arches, also the long reach handle allows you to not have to reach in with your hands which can be awkward and very dirty.

Wheel Arch Cleaning

I also use something like a…..toilet brush (Preferably a clean one!) in order to more aggressively agitate the fabric. As the bristles are pointing in all directions I find it helpful when cleaning the very back of the wheel arch as I can’t get the angle with my long handled brush. Make sure that the brush isn’t so stiff that it pulls at the fabric as this could potentially ruin it.

When you’ve finished agitating, thoroughly rinse all of the cleaner away, you may need to repeat this process to further clean the arches. At this stage the wheel arches will probably still contain bits of debris and grass (this will be removed later), however most of the mud and general dirt and grime should have been removed.

—  Step 3: Dry Brush 

Allow the arches to dry, if you have access to it use forced air to speed along the process. Once dry, use a stiff bristled brush (I’m using the…..toilet brush again) to scrub the arches breaking down and removing all of the remaining bits of grass and debris. Again ensure that the bristles aren’t too stiff as to damage the fabric. You may need to spend a bit of time to thoroughly remove all of the debris but the results should be worth it.

Wheel Arch Cleaning

—  Final Results 

Whilst it may take quite a bit of time and effort and you’ll probably need to shower afterwards! The results are worth it. The wheel arches have been transformed from being caked in mud to looking like they’re brand new. Check out the after photos below and compare them to the before photo posted at the start of the blog to really appreciate the difference.

Clean Fabric Wheel Arch

Keep in mind that if you live in area where your arches are constantly exposed to heavy mud, then in order to achieve this level of cleanliness you will have to repeat all the processes again! However if not you should be able to maintain the look by regularly dry brushing the debris with the stiff bristled brush.

Clean Fabric Wheel Arch

Thanks for reading!

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