Nowadays, cleaning your vehicle is almost automatic. You only spend an average of 15 minutes at a car wash. But as clean as your car can be after visiting a car wash, you might want it to be shinier than that, especially the wheels. Obviously, the wheels are closer to the ground than the car and take more dust and dirt than the rest of the car. This is particularly the case for open, alloy wheels. When you take the vehicle to the car wash, most of the dirt will be removed. However, if you are looking to have shiny tires and shiny wheels, you might want to handle their cleaning yourself. All that is required is a brush, water hose, time, and the best wheel cleaner.
There are several types of wheel cleaners found in gas stations, car shops, and online stores. Here is a buying guide and review of ten of the best wheel cleaner products on the market right now.
Best Wheel Cleaners Buyers Guide
There are various things you require considering before shopping for a great wheel cleaner. The higher the effectiveness of the wheel cleaner, the less frustrating and easier your process of cleaning will be. You will also get more value for your money. You may also want to double up your wheel cleaner with a great tire shine for maximum effect. Here are the considerations to make before buying a wheel cleaner.
1. Bottle Size
The bottle size is a crucial consideration to make when buying a wheel cleaner. The more the cleaner you possess, the more times you will use it for washing your wheels. Big bottles can last you for years or months, based on the frequency of car cleaning. You also require looking at the cost per gallon or ounce of the cleaner. This will determine if the cleaner is an ideal purchase. You also require determining the amount of cleaner you need for a single wash. In case the cleaner is too concentrated and you only need a tiny amount, you can obtain numerous more uses out of it than you would with a more diluted cleaner.
2. Effective Cleaning
Another essential consideration to make when picking a wheel cleaner is its effectiveness of eradicating grime and dirt from the wheels. An effective cleaner removes all dirt in a single use, without multiple layers or extra scrubbing. It also needs to wipe away everything that can dirty up your rims including snow, salt, grease, oil, and brake dust. The more powerful the cleaner, the more it will be effective at eradicating all these dirt. The formula needs to remove the grime from the wheel’s surface. This makes it easier to use a hose to rinse it off.
3. Safe Surfaces
When buying a cleaner, you require checking the surface types it is designed for and cross-check it with the materials that make your car. While the majority of pH neutral wheel cleaners are safe for every surface, some of them aren’t. Specific cleaners are made for surfaces that are more sensitive, which makes them ineffective for extreme grime and dirt.
4. pH Neutral and Acid Free
The wheel cleaners that you employ on your car must always be pH neutral to avoid damage to your vehicle. pH neutral cleaners will not damage your paint job or have other damaging impacts on your vehicle. They also won’t ruin your brakes and tires. Cleaners that are not pH neutral usually have acid, which is hazardous for cars, especially those designed from sensitive materials. Acid can erode the paint and metal from your vehicle and be very problematic. For instance, center caps are normally designed from weak materials that can be ruined by the acid. Also, some wheels feature uncoated aluminum that can be damaged too. To prevent against this, be sure to use a dedicated aluminum cleaner for safe cleaning. Acid cleaners can also be harmful to individuals who use them. Hence, you need to be keen about the method of application and where the tires are washed.
Numerous wheel cleaners are colored. In addition to making them stunning, the color assists you in identifying where the formula has been sprayed for a comprehensive wash. Some cleaners will also stick to the debris and make it look bright in order for you to know where to rinse off. Even though it is important, a colored cleaner can make the cleaning process much easier.
6. Cleaning Method
Another consideration to make when buying a wheel cleaner is the cleaning method recommended by the manufacturer. The majority of cleaners will include detailed instructions regarding the cleaning method using the particular cleaner indicated on the bottle’s back. Before buying the formula, be sure to comprehend how to clean your wheels and that you possess all the materials required to clean them properly. You must also make sure that you have a dedicated space for cleaning your wheels.
7. Foaming vs. Non-Foaming
Some cleaners have a foaming consistency, which makes them convert to foam from liquid after being sprayed onto the wheels. Other formulas remain liquid the whole time. Numerous individuals find foaming wheel cleaners to be easier to use and that they remove dirt with more effectiveness. There are numerous foaming cleaner options. Hence, it is crucial to consider this feature before buying the best wheel cleaner.
The smell of the formula is another essential factor to keep in mind when buying your cleaner. In case you have high sensitivity to chemical smells, then a formula with smell can give you headaches, making the cleaning process unpleasant. Normally, an ideal cleaner should not have any odor, or if it’s there, it should be light and pleasant. Cleaners that have very strong chemical smells are usually dangerous for sensitive vehicle materials.
Since there is a higher likelihood of washing your vehicle outdoors, it is vital to ensure that the cleaner you pick fails to have any harmful chemicals that can ruin your environment. View the long list of ingredients at the bottle’s back to know if the product is eco-friendly.
10 Best Wheel Cleaner Reviews
The Sonax 230200-755 Wheel Cleaner is popular for its durability and high performance. It has been designed from unique formula that is free from harmful chemicals and acid. It is safe and can be used in cleaning wheels that have various kinds of finishes. This wheel cleaner automatically turns red after getting into contact with grime and dirt, which makes it easy for you to spot the dirt for cleaning. Unlike some other cleaners, this one performs well on alloy and aluminum wheels and is also suitable for clear coated and painted wheels. Its simple to use spray-on bottle makes it easy to apply and wash off effortlessly, provided you follow the instructions strictly.
- Ideal for anodized, clear coated, and painted wheels
- Turns red during cleaning
- Suitable for alloys and aluminum
- Employs pH-balanced and acid-free formula
- Flimsy packaging
- Odd smell
This wheel cleaner has been specially made with a premium grade formula, which makes it a high-quality wheel degreaser and cleaner. Its unique cleaning agents and ingredients remove the necessity of scrubbing since the cleaner eradicates the dust and dirt easily. You only need to apply it to cooled wheels and use a hose to clean off the grease and dirt. The cleaner is free from harmful chemicals like phosphate. But it cannot be applied on aluminum wheels and other smoother alloys before verifying the instructions.
- Fails to ruin the paint on your wheels
- Safe on all wheel types
- Can clean winter grime and harmful salt
- Can lead to issues when used on anodized surfaces
- Can affect the clear coat present in tires
The Meguiar’s Hot Rims Wheel Cleaner uses an extreme cleaning formula that immediately sticks to the wheel’s surface in order to dissolve and remove grime, dirt, and brake dust. It is filled with fully safe cleaning agents and ingredients, making it suitable for use on painted and clear-coated rims and tires. It comes with a convenient spray-on bottle that makes it simple to use. In addition to high cleaning standards, the cleaner will offer your wheels an excellent shine.
- Dissolves grime and break dust
- Has an easy-to-use sprayer
- Safe for factory painted rims
- Unsuitable for powder coated or anodized surfaces
- Hard to use on alloys
This cleaner can be safely used on any wheel type including chrome coated wheels, powder coated wheels, painted wheels, and custom wheels since it is a non-corrosive and heavy-duty formula. It has been specially design to eradicate debris and dirt through its foaming action that makes it penetrate through thick layers of grime and break dust. The high-quality formula is eco-friendly and lacks any hazardous chemicals. What’s more, it is not acidic and has been engineered to eliminate all types of harmful deposits that are on your wheels.
- Features pH-balanced and acid-free formula
- Applicable on all wheel types
- Adjusts color after being sprayed
- Issues with custom-made wheels
- Unsuitable for heavily painted wheels
The Mothers 05924 Wheel Cleaner is a non-acidic formula for cleaning your wheels. As a result of its high-quality formula and ingredients, it is suitable for color-coated, steel, modular, painted, chrome finish, and factory coated wheels, including hubcaps. It comes with a simple to use spray-on bottle and easily goes through thick layers of dirt, grease, and dust. In spite of its reliability and premium quality, it should not be utilized on roughcast and polished aluminum or bike wheels.
- Can be employed on factory wheels
- Comes with a spray-on bottle
- Safe for painted wheels
- Uses non-acidic and foaming formula
- Hard to use with other cleaners
- Issues to use with Brembo Brake Calipers
The Black Magic Wheel Cleaner is a fast acting and convenient formula that quickly dissolves and eliminates every trace of road film, grime, and dust seen on the wheels. Moreover, it cleans white and black walls as well as the white lettering on your wheels. It features advanced Primascrub that has premium-grade cleaning elements to enable it clean out debris and soil that ruin the surface of tires. The formula is easy to use and can be applied on and washed off to offer clean wheels in no time.
- Easy spraying
- Fortified with Primascrub
- Cleans white or black walls and white lettering
- Quick acting
- Does not work well with other wheel cleaners
- Ineffective in shining
The Adam’s Deep Wheel Cleaner has been made to eradicate every trace of road film, grease, and break oil and dust. The formula lacks butyl ethers, caustic acids, and other dangerous cleaning agents and detergents, making it safe and natural. It has been designed to dissolve and suspend dirt and break dust, and adjusts color when in contact with the dirt. Since it is heavy duty concentrated, it requires being diluted in water in a ratio of 1:3 for exceptional cleaning.
- Adjusts color during cleaning
- Gentle on wheels
- pH-neutral and acid-free formula
- Eliminates break dust and dirt
- Small packaging
- Few uses
This wheel cleaner is suitable for custom wheels and eliminates debris and dirt from wheel easily. It has a unique citrus-based formula that immediately removes brake dust, oxidation, grease, and dirt that can corrode and harm the tires.
- Eliminates dirt and debris
- Effective on custom wheels
- Small package
The Yellow Degreaser Wheel Cleaner is a high-grade concentrated cleaner that has been specially made with 100 percent all-natural, safe, eco-friendly ingredients that are free from hazardous toxins and chemicals. It has been made to remove every trace of brake dust, grime, and grease marks.
- Highly concentrated formula
- Suitable for white wall wheels
- Awkward smell
This wheel cleaner has been designed to be pH-balanced, which means that it is suitable for all types of wheels, including chromed, powder coated, aluminum, steel, and polished wheels. Additionally, the cleaner has been engineered from high quality ingredients to ensure dirt, grime, and break dust are eliminated.
- From a trusted cleaner
- pH balanced
- Specially designed