Best Wheel Cleaner in The Market 2020: Buyer’s Guide
In today’s cars, allow wheels have become a thing of beauty attributed to their stylish light design. But while they present an elegant fashion statement, these wheels susceptible to getting dirty real-quick thanks to their open-spoke design, which allows road grime and brake dust to build up real fast. In addition to trapping dirt, salt, muck, and grime lining up the streets, your car wheels are dirtied by brake dust every time you step on the brake pedal. The brake calipers press hard on the brake pads creating friction on either side of the rotor, causing it to lose a thin layer of material. This material, when combined with heat, turns to a sticky dark metallic substance that beaks onto your wheel.
While most people don’t consider cleaning wheels a crucial car maintenance activity, dirty wheels compromise a car’s performance and can actually be a safety hazard. Accumulation of brake dust and road debris etch into your rims, causing permanent damage to your expensive wheels. Soapy water is ineffective in cleaning baked-on brake dust, grime, dust, and dirt. Plus, the car’s wheels need to be cleaned separately from the rest of the exterior since the brake dust embedded in a microfiber cloth or brush can when washing can trash the exterior paint job.
These products are specially formulated to attack dark metallic brake particles in grime, causing a color change and loosening the dirt on rims and rubber. Simply spray the product on the wheels, wait for a few minutes and then wash on with a pressure washer.
As manufacturers continue upping their game in regards to wheel cleaners, you can easily get confused when shopping for the best product. Here is an expert buyers’ guide to help you choose an ideal wheel tire cleaner for your treasured car. Let’s start by looking at the different types of wheel cleaners.
Types of Brake Dust Cleaners
Non-toxic wheel cleaners
While metal can withstand harsh chemical conditions, it’s not recommended to use a toxic product. Non-toxic wheel cleaning products will leave your wheel sparkling without causing any corrosion on the wheel or damaging your sensitive skin.
Color-changing wheel cleaners
Color-changing wheel cleaners like numerous cleaning products change color to signal the start of the cleaning process. Color changing wheel cleaners are not necessarily superior to other products that don’t change color. The best wheel cleaners cut grit and grime, creating a glossy appearance on the wheel.
Foaming wheel cleaners
As the name implies, these wheel cleaning products foam when applied or sprayed on the wheel to indicate the start of the cleaning process. Foaming wheel cleaners require some form of agitation or scrubbing, especially if the brake dust is baked on the wheels. They are, however, still effective, like other cleaners.
Spray & Rinse
Spray & Rinse wheel cleaner do not require any form of agitation using a wheel brush or any piece of cloth. You simply need to spray and rinse the surface to make it clean. However, this type of wheel cleaners are not useful for cleaning heavily dirty surfaces with baked-in brake dust, dirt or road grime-you’ll need to agitate with a soft brush for best results
Neutral PH wheel cleaners
Neutral PH wheel cleaners like non-toxic formulas are non-corrosive and safe to use on wheels. While they are non-acidic with no odor, pH-neutral wheel cleaners aren’t entirely effective in removing the heavy build-up of dust and dirt. They are ideal for maintaining an already-clean wheel.
Spray-on wheel cleaners
Most wheel cleaners either come packed in aerosol cans or buckets and bottles. Spray-on products are convenient and easy to use. Cleaners in bottles and buckets are best for dilution purposes.
Choosing the Best Wheel Cleaner- Key Feature to Look Out For
In selecting the best wheel tire cleaner, there are essential features you ought to consider when shopping. Some of the factors you should look out for include:
Ease of Application
You obviously wouldn’t want to struggle when using wheel cleaners. The best wheel cleaners should allow for seamless application. Preferably, go for products packed in a spray bottle with a multi-setting spray bottle to allow for a change in the spray pattern. Aerosol cans or spray bottles are easy to use and propagate the cleaner deep into the wheel, even touching the disc brakes. The overall effect is a clean wheel.
The best tire cleaner should be non-toxic or have minimal toxicity. Always go for A neutral pH formula that won’t corrode the rubber or rims. If you’re unsure of the toxicity levels, try to consult a professional
It’s important to note that cleaning formulas are specially formulated for different types of wheels, i.e., alloy, aluminum, or alloy wheels. You could easily damage your tires if you use the wrong product. It’s, therefore, best to choose a versatile cleaner that can fit any kind of wheel. An all-purpose formula will be used on all your cars and will work just as effectively as specially formulated products.
Go for a formula packed in a sturdy and ergonomically designed bottle. Sturdy and ergonomic bottles would not only make cleaning easy but also contribute to a long shell life as the bottles won’t easily break up.
The cleaning power you would require is dependent on the build-up of brake dust and dirt, Heavy accumulation of dark metallic brake dust and dirt would require stronger cleaning formula, i.e., chlorinated/premium non-chlorinated products. On the other hand, if you’re simply looking to maintain your car wheels by cleaning a week’s old brake dust or road dirt, a weaker non-toxic formula would come in handy.
Frequency of Use
If you off-road a lot, you will need to clean your wheels quite often. This means you’ll need a more robust cleaning formula or multiple bottles of the cleaning product. On the other hand, if your car wheels rarely get dirty, a single bottle would take you a long way.
Wheel Cleaning Products- Top Brands to Consider
If you’re looking to buy the ideal wheel cleaners, you obviously would want to shop for top brands as they are known for quality products. Here are the best brands to choose from
Adam’s Polishes is a relatively new entrant in the automotive cleaning industry with headquarters in Colorado. The company manufactures a variety of car cleaning products, including car shampoos, interior detailers, glass cleaners, waterless wash, tire shiners, bug removers, all-purpose cleaners, and wheel cleaners, among other products. Their products are not only affordable but also quite effective
Meguiar’s has been around since 1901 with headquarters in California-a reason you can trust their car detailing products. Their wheel cleaners are versatile and produce desirable results
With headquarters in Huntington Beach, California, Mother’s produces outstanding automotive detailing products, including super-efficient wheel cleaners.
Griot’s Garage claims to manufacture car care kits for perfectionists. They offer a wide range of car detailing products including cleaners, polishes, waxes, detailing supplies as well as car accessories. You can never go wrong with their wheel cleaners.
Based in California, Chemical Guys produce high-quality auto detail supplies ranging from car polish to car wax. Their wheel cleaners have earned rave reviews on online selling platforms such as amazon. com
7 Best Car Wheel Cleaners 2020
CarGuys Premium Wheel Cleaner best
- ✅ CAR GUYS Wheel Cleaner is a versatile brake dust cleaner that is safe on ALL types of wheel finishes, tires, and more! It's quick & easy to use, and like all our products, it’s backed with our...
- ✅ Safe on ALL Rims and Tires! – Our advanced pH Neutral formula, safely removes the toughest dirt and road grime on ANY wheel or tire. Works to clean your calipers, rotors, exhaust tips, old tire...
Size: 18 Ounces
Weight: 1.12 pounds
Top on our list is CarGuys Premium Wheel Cleaner. The non-toxic formula is packed in a slim, ergonomic bottle, which would surely make wheel detailing enjoyable. This cleaning formula is super concentrated, meaning that you’ll need small amounts of the gel to clean your car wheels. Simply spray on the cleaner and wash off-no need for scrubbing.
This top-rated wheel tire cleaner is versatile and safe to use on any and every kind of wheel or tire available in the market, i.e., alloy, anodized, aluminum, chrome, clear-coated, painted, polished and plasti-dipped rims. It’s also safe to use on all surfaces except glass surfaces. The environmentally friendly, acid-free, non-toxic, and pH balanced formula clings on wheels giving minimal runoff for unmatched cleaning power. Better yet, the product cleans away harmful salt and winter grime, which are quite corrosive.
You will be intrigued by the fact that this cleaner is safe on braking systems, calipers, and exhaust tips. The 100% satisfaction money-back guarantee guarantees users satisfaction. Note that the non-acidic formula may not be entirely effective on greatly built-up or baked brake dust. This product is ideal for average users or car detailing enthusiasts.
- Non-acidic, Non-toxic, pH balanced and environmentally friendly cleaning formulae
- Safe for all types of tires and rims in the market
- Highly concentrated
- Cleans road salt, winter grime, brake dust and other forms of dirt
- Multi-Surface Product. Can be used on non-glass surfaces
- 100% satisfaction money-back guarantee
Meguiar’s Hot Rims Wheel & Tire Cleaner
- Xtreme Cling foam vigorously clings to vertical surfaces and dissolves brake dust and grime
- Safe and effective on factory painted and clear coated rims, and tires as well
Size: 1 pt. 8 oz
Weight: 1.96 pounds
For over 90 years, MEGUIAR’S has earned a reputation for producing high-quality auto detailing products, and their G-9524 wheel cleaner affirms this reputation. Meguiar’s Hot Rims Wheel and Tire Cleaner is well designed to cling to vertical surfaces dissolving brake dust and grime on tires and rims in no time thanks to its unique Xtreme Cling foaming solution. The formula is very useful and safe to use on factory painted and clear coated rims and tires. The ergonomically designed stylish spray-bottle is easy to use and comes with a convenient trigger spray, which allows you to spray-on just the right amount of the product to avoid wastage. The Xtreme Cling solution foam turns from white to brown as it breaks up the build-up of brake dust and grime. Get to see dirt and grime being eliminated from your car wheels in real-time. You’ll absolutely love the satisfaction it brings. The formula leaves rims with a brilliant shine, and you may not need a tire shiner.
- Xtreme Cling foam excellently clings on vertical surfaces to dissolve grime and brake dust
- Easy to use with a convenient trigger spray
- Safe for use on clear-coated and factory painted wheels
- Leaves rims with a brilliant shine
Sonax (230200-755) Wheel Cleaner
- SAFE ON ALL FACTORY INSTALLED WHEELS: Acid-free, ph balanced formula won't damage wheels, Safe on various wheel finishes including: Chrome, Aluminum, Steel, Clear Coated, PVD, Painted, Plastic Wheel...
- WATCH IT WORK: The color changing formula activates when it comes in contact with the ferrous metals (iron) from brake dust or other dirt and grime. Full Effect sprays on fluorescent yellow, then...
Size: 16.9 fl. oz.
Weight: 1.43 pounds
Sonax Wheel Cleaner features an acid-free, pH balanced formula which is safe to use on most types of wheels, including steel, aluminum, chrome, clear coated, PVD, painted alloys, and magnesium wheels as well as plastic wheel covers. The product changes color when it comes in contact with small metals (ferrous iron) in brake dust or other dirt and grime. The product is originally florescent yellow but turns to deep red or purple as it dissolves and emulsifies stubborn baked-on brake dust.
The color change makes it easy to use even for beginner DIYers. Simply spray the cleaner on the dirty, grimy wheel, let it soak for roughly ten minutes, observe for a color change, scrub if necessary and rinse using high-pressure water. The formula will leave your wheels clean and sparkling.
While Sonax wheel tire cleaner is quite effective with a cool color-changing feature, it’s not best for eliminating the intense build-up of brake dust without agitation. Also, the formula may not be safe on brake systems, and anodized wheels-caution should be taken.
- Acid-free with neutral pH
- Safe for most types of wheels
- Advanced and effective chemistry with color change-watch as it works
- VOC compliant
- Ideal for DIYers and professionals alike
Armor All Extreme Wheel & Tire Cleaner
- Safely dissolves grease road grime and brake dust on contact
- Reveals your wheel's brilliant shine
Brand: Armor All
Size: 32 fl. oz.
Weight: 2.3 pounds
While people would prefer non-acidic cleaners, acidic formulas are very effective in eliminating massive build-ups of baked-on brake dust as well as other dirt with minimal or no agitation. The Armor All Extreme Wheel & Tire Cleaner is a good example of an acidic product that does a good job without corroding the rims or rubber. This product features acidic triple-action formula specially engineered to attack and dissolve all three elements i.e., grease, road grime, and brake dust leaving a shiny metallic luster on your rims. The formula is strong enough to remove an enormous build-up of brake dust.
The intense foaming action clings to wheels eliminating the toughest of dirt and dust. The formula also integrates a blanketing agent, which helps it penetrate crannies and corners to eliminate tough, hidden dirt better. The product is safe for factory and aftermarket coated wheels. Armor All offers all customers 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee to assure you of high standards
- Thickened acidic triple action formulation
- Comes with a blanketing agent
- Safe for coated wheels
- Intense foaming action
- Reveals brilliant shine on rims
Mother’s 05924 Foaming Wheel & Tire Cleaner
- Foaming, non-acidic spray, formulated to quickly and easily clean both wheels and tires, including blackwalls and whitewalls
- Safe for painted, clearcoated, color coated, steel, modular, chrome, or factory coated wheels and hubcaps
Size: 24 fl. oz.
Weight: 1.8 pounds
If you’re looking for an effective wheel cleaner without breaking the bank, Mother’s Foaming Wheel & Tire Cleaner is your best choice. Despite being quite affordable, this product leaves your car wheels spotless. The foaming, non-acidic formula is very effective on both tires and rims, including whitewalls and blackwalls. It’s safe to use on painted, cleorcoated, modular, steel, chrome, and factory coated wheels and hubcaps. Once applied on wheels, the cleaner produces sufficient foam which penetrates nooks to remove dirt, grime, brake dust, and grease. It also rinses off easily, making rinsing seamless and spot-free. No need to hand dry once you’ve rinsed off the foam
You’ll definitely appreciate the ergonomic bottle with unique spray on, hose off design for ease of use, and penetration. While it’s safe on most wheels, this product should not be used on polished or roughcast aluminum, billet or anodized wheels. It’s also not advisable to use this product on motorcycle wheels, casings, or similar components.
- Foaming non-acidic spray formula
- Unique spray on, hose off design
- Cheaper compared to other wheel detailing products
- Spot-free rinsing
- Safe for factory/OEM coated wheels and hubcaps.
TriNova Wheel Cleaner/Rim Cleaner Spray
- ☑️ Removes Unwanted Grime - TriNova's Wheel Cleaner is a premium spray that will give your dirty wheels back their original shine by melting away dirt and grime that accumulates from things like...
- ☑️ Tough on Stains to Restore Shine - This spray easily restores the original shine to your car wheels or rims by tackling even the toughest stains that have set in from exposure to damaging...
Size: 18 fl. oz.
Weight: 1.17 pounds
TriNova wheel cleaner is very effective in removing dirt, brake dust, grime, oil residue, and even salt and snow. The formula is highly concentrated to penetrate deep into stains eliminating them in no time leaving your tires spotless. This product is best used on old wheels that have been left uncleaned for months or even years. The deep cleaning formula will remove even the toughest stains and restore the original shine on your car wheels or rims.
TriNova is acid-free and suitable on all wheel types from aluminum to chrome to whitewall tires. The formula does an excellent job of bringing back shine and restoring luster in dull and dirty wheels. The cleaner is packed in an extra-long spray tube to ensure the best of value. Also, the extra-long tube reaches down into every corner of the wheel to ensure the cleaner penetrates in every part of the wheel. Simply tilt the bottle, ensuring the screw nozzle is on as you spray on to the tires. TriNova also offers a 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee.
- Acid-Free Formula
- Formulated to restore shine and luster in old dull, dirty wheels
- Safe and works great on all types of wheels
- Removes snow & salt stains in addition to brake dust, grease, dirt, and grime.
- Packed in a long tube
Adam’s Wheel Cleaner
- ✅ WHY CHOOSE ADAM’S WHEEL CLEANER? - Which part of your car takes the biggest beating? Your wheels! Due to constant heat, elements, & constant brake contaminants, your wheels are almost always...
- ✅ ADVANCED CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY - Our Wheel Cleaner was made to compliment your arsenal of car cleaning supplies. Every basic auto detailing kit needs an effective wheel cleaner, car wash soap, tire...
Brand: Adam’s Polishes
Size: 16 fl. oz.
Weight: 1.25 pounds
Adam’s Wheel Cleaner is specially formulated to remove heavy brake dust, leaving your wheels sparkling. This state-of-the-art cleaner has been made with advanced chemical technology, and it’s incredibly effective in eliminating stubborn baked-on brake dust and metallic contamination from your wheels. The thick formula clings on wheel surfaces dissolving stubborn metallic contamination accompanied by a color change from blue to purple. The formula integrates a unique raw material that targets surfactants and a color-changing formula that targets brake dust.
Adam’s cleaner works in seconds, enabling you to take less time cleaning your car wheels. Simply spray on, let the cleaner activate by observing for a color change, then agitate using a wheel brush or wheel woolie and then rise off with water under high pressure.
Adam’s cleaner in acid-free and pH neutral, thus safe to use on all almost all wheel surfaces including clear-coated, powder-coated, chrome, alloy, and painted wheels. It’s also safe on high-performance brake systems. This formula is, however, not safe on polished aluminum wheels, anodized raw aluminum, and aftermarket bare metallic wheels. Also, don’t spray Adam’s Wheel Cleaner on a hot surface. Allow wheels to completely cool before using this product. Adam’s wheel cleaner is USA made and offers a 110% money-back satisfaction guarantee.
- Color changing wheel tire cleaner
- Acid-free, pH neutral formula
- Advanced chemical technology specially formulated to eliminate heavy brake dust
- Easy to use
- Safe for use on most types of wheels.
Tips on Using Wheel Cleaners
- Never use wheel cleaner on hot surfaces. Always let the wheels to completely cool before you clean using a wheel cleaner
- Always wear chemical resistant gloves when using a wheel tire cleaner even if it’s non-toxic. This will prevent your skin from drying out or some form of allergic reaction towards the chemicals in the product.
- Consider cleaning your wheels and tires after you’re done cleaning the interior and exterior of the car. This is to prevent brake dust or other metallic residues from getting into the exterior of the car and ruining the paint job. Therefore, always clean from top to bottom. You can as well decide to rinse the entire again after you’re done with cleaning the wheels just to make sure no brake particles remain on the car’s body.
- Try to clean one wheel at a time just to make sure the wheel cleaner doesn’t dry in the process of cleaning. Wheel cleaners should never dry on the tires as they would cause permanent discoloration.
- Always use the right cleaning brush to avoid damaging the wheels or ruining the paint job. Bristled brushes are highly recommended.
- If you’re using a wheel cleaner for the first time, always start by performing a spot test on maybe a used worn-out wheel to determine whether it’s safe for use on your car wheels.
- Always confirm whether a wheel tire cleaner is safe on the braking system, exhaust pipe, and other car parts before using it. If not, take all the necessary precautions to avoid damaging other parts of the car.
Your wheels are constantly under assault by grease, road grime, and brake dust that get baked on during the intense heat of driving conditions. The build-up of such dirt does not only hinder the performance of your car but also decreased the durability of your expensive wheels. Wheels cleaners are specially formulated to eliminate dirt, brake dust, grime, and grease, leaving your car wheels spotless and with a shiny luster. The best wheel and tire cleaner should be non-toxic, safe on most wheel types, and very useful in cutting grime without the need for a lengthy scrub or agitation. Get a wheel cleaner today and keep your car wheels spotless and attractive.