Washing car is often a fun activity for many on a sunny Sunday, because who doesn’t like to move around in a clean, shiny car. However, there’s one part of the vehicle which everyone finds a little tough to maintain, i.e. the wheels. Typical alloy wheels are usually stylish, though it still does trap in some dirt, dust, and mud from the road. A substantial amount of grime is produced by the brake pads as well.
Luckily, several products have been designed to take care of this task and make it a little easy for us. nevertheless, it is also tough to tell which product is the best one. Don’t get overwhelmed looking at the vast variety of products in the market, as we have got you covered already. Read further to explore the best products, handpicked by us for you, followed by a buying guide for the best wheel cleaners for cars as well. So, let’s dig in!
8 Best Wheel Cleaners Reviewed
1. Sonax (230200-755) Wheel Cleaner
The best part about the cleaners is that they are suitable for use on many surfaces, wheel finishes, and trims. This is precisely the one, the standout feature of this cleaner from Sonox that is formulated carefully to be both, PH balanced and acid-free. This is a great thing when dealing with dirt and grime caked on your wheel.
Its formula changes colors while working, going to a nice red or purple shade from yellow as it works on breaking down dirt. This feature is pretty convenient and shows progress, and you can be sure about your wheels becoming spotless. It comes in handy especially when working on the nooks and corners of a car wheel, where a lot of dirt and grime houses.
- Safe for use on Various Wheel Finishes
- Changes color as it works
- Weight1.43 Pounds
2. CarGuys Super Cleaner
The very first noticeable fact about this one is that it doesn’t say is a wheel cleaner anywhere on its bottle. this is because the product is designed to be your one go-to one that can be reached out for in place of any other cleaning product while being a dedicated wheel cleaning product as well.
It can be used safely on all surfaces apart from instrument panel screens and glass. Besides that, you can safely spray it on any part of your vehicle and get a nice, clean vehicle as a result. The product is quite cost-effective and can clean almost any surface, and as a plus, also bring a free towel with it. How else could it get better for you?!
- Safe for use on multiple surfaces
- Free Towel Included
- Weight1.25 Pounds
3. Meguiar’s G9524 Hot Rims Wheel Cleaner
When sprayed on your wheels, the product foams up quite nicely and evenly and clings on the surface, even the vertical ones such as a wheel. The application thus becomes super easy and simple as you just spray the product on the wheel and let it soak in, and rest is its job. It will break down the dirt and grime now which is quite easy to wipe off thereafter.
The mild formula of this cleaner allows it to be used on many surfaces like rubber, factory paint, and trim so you don’t have to be extra careful while spraying. It is among those cheaper products on the list which are still a nice pick and easy to use while leaving your wheels squeaky clean.
- Foam Based
- Safe on multiple surfaces
- Easy to Apply and Rinse
- Weight1.65 Pounds
4. Mothers 05924 Foaming Wheel & Tire Cleaner
This Mothers’ product is the cheapest one on our list, but do not be deceived by that only. The bottle has one storm inside it and delivers a lot more than what you would expect from its price.
It is formulated specifically to be safe on a variety of surfaces that include chrome, paint, etc. making its application quite easy as well. The cleanser foams up and penetrates nicely when applied on a dirt-caked wheel, though it is mild enough to be safe for paint and other surfaces as well. You can simply rinse it off without any scrubbing or extra efforts. This is one excellently priced product for the value it brings!
- Foaming Spray
- Easy to use
- Weight12 Ounces
5. TriNova Wheel Cleaner/Rim Cleaner Spray
Trinova has brought this nice and effective product that cleans deep making it perfect to work on older wheels that were used carelessly and now need attention after all these years.
It is often a hassle to clean wheels and everyone does get bothered doing the job at times, and if you can relate to this fact then this product is definitely for you. Its special formula will restore the shine and luster of your dirty, dull wheels. Its formula is also one that tackles the irritating stains left behind by road salt deposits and snow, which makes it a perfect product to keep the wheels looking sharp even in cold weather.
- Restores Shine of Old Wheels
- Works effectively on Snow & Salt Stains
- PH-neutral formula
- Weight1.15 Pounds
6. Aero Cosmetics Wet or Waterless Cleaner
If you haven’t heard of this brand, you are missing out big. This brand exceeds our expectations every single time and comes up with such outstanding car cleaning products, which are both unique and high quality.
The cleaner is a highly effective and astounding degreaser. Apart from being water-based, it is also very safe for use on many surfaces being so mild. The heritage of Aero Cosmetics’ lies in the production of aircraft products, the wheel cleaner is also suitable for Boeing airliner wheels as well!
Its water-based formula also calls for a quick wipe off with no need for additional water. The task hence becomes quite easy and quick as a result.
- Water-Based & Safe on Multiple Surfaces
- Wipe Away Without Water
- Meets Boeing Specifications
- BrandAero Cosmetics
- Weight2 Pounds
7. Adam’s Deep Wheel Cleaner
A lot of products on this are formulated to tackle the filth accumulated on a wheel’s exterior. But, if you own a sports car that has slick sports alloys and wheels, you may have to use something different in that case as you may be encountering a different issue, i.e. brake dust.
The material is a normal, natural byproduct of running the brakes as you drive. A regular car wheel may not be noticed as much but will be seen on a cut-back style sports car wheel.
If this sounds familiar to you, then it could be just the perfect product for you. Its formula is developed especially to deal with dissolved metallic debris and brake dust. Apart from this, it is also PH neutral and hence safe for use on many surfaces.
- Changes Color when works
- Brake Dust Specialist
- PH Neutral
- Weight1.24 Pounds
8. Griot’s Garage 10970 Wheel Cleaner
Griot’s Garage is a brand that holds a great reputation for producing premium products for car cleaning and this wheel cleaner is nothing different. The cleaner is a formula with balanced PH and very mild, thus suitable to be used o many surfaces including paint, aluminum, etc. its nontoxic nature also makes it environmentally friendly, which means the product can be rinsed off easily without worrying about the runoff.
This combined with the fact that you are receiving some high-quality results from using it makes it even better. Talking about its price, it may be towards a little pricey side but not as much which such premium brands charge for such great products.
- Very Mild Formula
- PH Balanced
- Effective Clean from Dirt, Grease & Break Dust
- BrandGriot’s Garage
- Weight1.59 Pounds
Best Wheel Cleaner Buying Guide & FAQ
Having read the above list of best wheel cleaners, you must now be thinking, which one is the best for me, right? Don’t worry, as we have got you some essential information which is necessary to understand the product and choose the one for yourself!
What Are Wheel Cleaners & How Do They Work?
Wheel cleaner products were perhaps designed by a very blessed, soft soul who saw the poor wheel going through what not daily, hence developed this amazing invention.
For one thing, wheels are constantly on the move and are battered by loose stone and grime pieces on the road, at times get caked in dust or are driven in the mud. In worse cases, they are also exposed to the hot material disposed of by the brakes. Having said that, one can imagine how hard it is to clean wheels and that’s where the amazing, wheel cleaners step in.
Usually, the product is formulated to deal with dirt, dust, mud, and grime only but will also be made to take on the metallic contamination which is a cast of materials coming from your brakes. This is what differentiates a wheel cleaner from any random cleaning product and is aimed to be used only on wheels.
Different Types of Cleaners Available in the Market
Generally speaking, most cleaners are the same as they are formulated to be either a clean off or a spray-on thing, which takes all the dirt and grime off, leaving the wheels to look all shiny and new.
However, there are still some minor differences between products making them more suitable for one item than the other. Look out for features such as:
All the products listed in this guide are either PH neutral or safe for use on various surfaces like alloys and paints. Before spraying anywhere, make sure you are double checking the label that it can be used on all surfaces. Though generally speaking, cleaners with a neutral PH do not cause any damage. However, this can not be stated for all-wheel cleaners as some are very acidic and hence dangerous to the wheels, tires, and paintwork as well. But if you are choosing a product from our list, you are covered and do not have to worry about this aspect.
Some of the products mentioned in our list are formulated such that they change color when reacting with a metal or dirt contaminant. This helps in getting visual cues about whether a product is working or not, and when the wheels are clean.
Some cleaners including some on the list above claim to work with a water rinse i.e. you just spray it and wipe off. This will make the task much efficient, but it is not the case with wheels that are very dirty or require some extra care or attention.
What Equipment Will I Need to Clean My Wheels?
Apart from the wheel cleaner itself, there are a couple of things you need to make the job faster and achieve better results. These include:
A bucket of water also does the job, but frankly speaking, a pressure washer makes it far more efficient and faster.
These help you dig into those parts of the wheels which are hard to reach, especially the treads and alloy arches where dirt and grime hides.
It is always handy to have some for a cleaning job, as clothes help you wipe off the cleaner and can hence get to work. Microfiber towels will further help you dry and buff off the surface of wheels.
It is great to seal your wheels with wax as you finish. This promotes a longer-lasting shine and prevents the accumulation of any dirt in the future.