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Review: Best Wheel Cleaners

Keeping your wheels clean can be a labor-intensive and messy process, with brake dust and grime seeming to get everywhere and yet stick relentlessly to the wheels. However, when not done on a regular basis, the corrosive residues can begin to damage the wheels.

The best wheel cleaners in 2021 need to not only cut through and dissolve brake dust and other residues, but suspend the particles to avoid scratching your wheels. We've ensured the following best wheel cleaners are safe on most surfaces, although it's important to always check if the product you want to use is suitable for your wheels.

For those who regularly wash their wheels with soap and water, using these cleaners regularly is likely to be overkill. However, if it's been a while since you cleaned your wheels or your car is particularly prone to brake dust, these picks will effectively remove build-up.

These products are also helpful for cleaning the hard-to-reach areas of your wheels, reducing the amount of scrubbing that is needed. However, a small bottle of cleaner can be used deceptively fast, so keep that in mind if you plan on using a wheel cleaner on a regular basis.

Comparing the Best Wheel Cleaner

Sonax Wheel Cleaner

Full Effect wheel cleaner from Sonax enjoys considerable popularity thanks to its effectiveness at a relatively reasonable cost. It begins as a green liquid, and turns a deep red as it works to remove the brake dust, residue, and grime build up on your wheels. The solution comes in a spray bottle, making it easy to apply to the wheel area.

The acid-free and pH-balanced formula works so well, even on heavy deposits, that often only minimal scrubbing is needed before rinsing everything off. This wheel cleaner is safe for use on multiple finishes, included both painted and clear-coated wheels. Although far from being the cheapest option available, it still offers superb performance comparable to more expensive products.

Mothers Foaming Wheel Cleaner

Mothers offers an entire lineup of affordable and accessible auto care products. Their combination of quality and affordability have made them very popular, especially amongst those who don't have a need for spending extra on high-end options. The Mothers Foaming Wheel & Tire Cleaner is safe for use on multiple finishes, including both painted and clear-coated wheels.

This formula is designed to dissolve and suspend particles, keeping your wheels safe from damage during cleaning. The spray bottle dispenses white foam which becomes brown as it removes dirt and grime, indicating that you can proceed with using a wheel brush to further clean. This wheel cleaner is also formulated to dry spot-free without the need for hand drying.

Meguiar's Hot Rims Wheel Cleaner

Meguiar's Hot Rims Wheel & Tire Cleaner comes in different formulas, with the All Wheel version being suitable for most finishes, although you should verify your needs before purchasing. This wheel cleaner comes in a spray bottle for easy application, and effectively dissolves grime and brake dust that has built up over time.

Spray the product onto your wheels and as it gets to work, the foam will begin to turn brown. Like most wheel cleaners, light scrubbing with a wheel brush is recommended before rinsing and drying your wheels. Although some users report that this wheel cleaner has an especially strong smell, its affordability and effectiveness make it a solid choice.

Product pictured is Meguiar's Hot Rims/Cool Care All Wheel Cleaner.

Armor All Extreme Wheel Cleaner

This Wheel and Tire Cleaner from Armor All is affordable and effective, while being widely available at most major retailers. To use, simply spray the foaming formula onto your wheels, wait as it gets to work dissolving the grime and dust, and then lightly scrub the wheels with a wheel brush before rinsing and drying. The Armor All Extreme Wheel and Tire Cleaner is safe for most finishes, and does a good job of cleaning even hard-to-reach nooks and crannies.

Buyer's Guide

What You Need To Know About Wheel Cleaners

If you are one of those who like your car wheels to be at their shining best at all times, then you need to know about the best wheel cleaners available in the market. As a matter of fact, most people would do well to invest in a good brand of wheel-cleaners. For that is the only way to maintain the health of their vehicles’ wheels. After all, it is the wheels that face maximum wear and tear and stress on the roads. Besides, they really catch a lot of dirt, grime and grease while moving on the roads. They get battered by the elements even when the vehicles are parked. So taking care of them is a sound decision both from a practical and aesthetic point of view.

But before you zero in on a wheel cleaner to buy, you need to take a couple of important things into consideration. These include things like how dirty your wheels are and the kind of wheels you use. Let’s take a look at some of the most well-regarded wheel cleaners in the market today.

Sonax (230200-755) Wheel Cleaner

This is a general-purpose wheel cleaner that you can use to clean the wheels of all your vehicles. It is characterized by its very concentrated nature, letting you get the cleanest of wheels, but without causing any damage. The Sonax wheel cleaner can be used on myriad types of wheels- steel, aluminium, PVS, chrome, clear coated, plastic and so on.

It is able to very efficiently dissolve chrome, dirt, brake dust and grime and restore your wheels to their pristine glory. You can know that it is working fine when you see the cleaner turn deep red from yellow! Because Sonax works at the chemical level, it does not damage the metal, while cleaning. It works by forming a chemical bond with the dirt and thereby removing it. What you have got to do is spray it on and wait for a while. Follow this up by rinsing with plain water and voila, the wheels are as good as new!

Sonax (9230200-755) Wheel Cleaner costs $15.96 on Amazon.

Meguiar’s Wheel Cleaner

Meguiar’s wheel cleaner is a great wheel and trim cleaner that provides great value for money. This cleaner comes out in the shape of foam sticking to vertical surfaces, efficiently removing dirt, grease and dust. It is quite good at cleaning all manner of rims, made out of any kind of material. Meguiar's Wheel Cleaner works just as well as the painted, clear coated and metallic ones. What’s more, you can also use it to clean white walls and tires.

It is quite easy to use in that it uses a spray-on application that you can hose off with water under pressure or without it. The large 32 oz bottle costing a mere $23.56 lasts for a long time indeed.

Adam’s Wheel and Tire Cleaner Gallon

Adam’s wheel and tire gallon helps one get rid of dirt, grime and brake dust, is safe and works equally well with several finishes- powder-coated, clear coated, alloy, chrome as well as painted wheels. It is extremely effective in removing all manner of metallic contamination. It makes brown tires as bright as new with the help of its blend of alkaline concentrated solvents and surfactants that create a high sudsing formula to remove silicones, wax build-up, polymers and so on.

You can buy Adam’s Wheel and Tire Cleaner Gallon for $33.99 on Amazon.

Mothers 05924 Foaming Wheel & Tire Cleaner, 24 oz.

This wheel and tire cleaner’s foaming as well as the non-acidic spray is primed to effectively clean wheels and tires. It is also equally effective at cleaning the black walls and white walls. Mothers foaming wheel and tire cleaner is just right for painted, clear coated, color coated, modular, chrome, steels and factory coated wheels as well as hubcaps.

Comprising a one of a kind spray on, hose off design, it helps safely remove all kinds of brake dust, dirt, grime and grease. This is strictly to be used on factory/OEM coated wheels and hubcaps only. It is not meant to be used on polished/roughcast aluminium, billet/anodized wheels, motorcycle wheels, casings as well as components.

You can order this for $6.47 on Amazon.

SPEEDY BRITE Organic Wheel & Tire Acid Cleaner by Nanoskin

The SPEEDY Brite Organic Wheel and Tire Acid Cleaner is super efficient at getting rid of road grime, grease and brake dust. Its strong organic acids are able to both clean and impart a sheen without you having to scrub too much. It is also good at removing water spots and is just right for glass as well as paint.

You can order this item for $11.21 on Amazon.

S100 15500G Wheel Cleaner Bottle - 16.9 oz

This product provides a tremendous amount of cleaning power on account of its unique gel formulation with clinging properties. As it contains no acid or lyre, unlike many other products, the S100 wheel cleaner does an excellent job of cleaning of any wheel or wheel finish, including anodized ones, without compromising surface safety.

It is great at removing brake dust that has a tendency of becoming corrosive, if not removed in a timely fashion. All that you need to do with this product is to spray it on and rinse it after a while. Your wheels will look as good as new.

$10.49 is all it costs to order this product.

Conclusion

While most of us take pretty good care of our vehicles with regard to the engine or upholstery, the wheels are often neglected. But the fact of the matter is that a car’s wheels are extremely vulnerable to exposure on the roads, as well as when parked.

It is, therefore, important that wheels too be cleaned regularly to keep them in fine shape. That is where wheels cleaners play a very important role in ensuring that the long-suffering shoes of your vehicles are tended to. Cleaning wheels requires the right kind of products that not only get rid of the stubborn dirt, grime and grease found on these but also don’t cause any damage in the process. The brands reviewed in this article come heavily recommended by past users who found these really effective for the job of cleaning wheels.

It would make eminent sense for you to choose one of these brands based on your specific requirements. If an ever-sparkling set of wheels is what you want on your vehicle, then you have to be willing to care for them and pamper them. These products help you do just that.

Bestcovery Staff
Our research team searches out the best of everything so that you can confidently pick the perfect products and services for your needs.
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