Table of Contents
- View The Best Wheel Cleaners Below
- 1. Tri-Nova Wheel Cleaner rim cleaning spray
- 2. Carfident Ultimate Wheel and Tire Cleaner
- 3. Armor Extreme Cleaner for Wheels and Tires
- 4. Chemical Guys Signature Series Wheel Cleaner
- 5. Sonax Full Effect Wheel Cleaner
- 6. Carguys Wheel and Tire Cleaner
- 7. Adams Wheel and Auto Detailing Cleaner
- 8. Griots Garage Wheel Cleaner
- 9. Mothers Foaming Wheel tire cleaner
- 10. Meguires ultimate all-wheel cleaner
- Wheel Cleaners Buyers Guide
The wheels can make or break the look of your car, but it can be hard to keep on top of the brake dust, dirt, and grime that builds up over time. The dirt that builds on the wheels is often thicker, oilier and more stubborn that the mud splatter and water stains on the rest of the car.
This means that shampoo or all-purpose cleaner doesn’t cut it anymore, which is where a dedicated wheel cleaner is necessary. Use one to break down the layers of dust and dirt that have found themselves a home on your alloys.
View The Best Wheel Cleaners Below
1. Tri-Nova Wheel Cleaner rim cleaning spray
This wheel cleaner has been deemed the best overall cleaner and is certainly a stand out contender in the category.
The spray is non-toxic, environmentally friendly, and has an acid free formula, meaning that it’s also completely safe to use on your wheels long term – no need to worry about harsh chemicals damaging paint or powder on coated wheels.
It’s also a gel formulation, meaning that it’s easy to apply straight from the spray bottle without it dripping over any other areas you may want to avoid. It’s brake safe too, and won’t cause any damage to pads or discs. This spray will give you a fantastic overall clean, restoring the original shine to your hard-working wheels.
+ Suitable for every wheel type, including coated wheels.
+ Powerful concentrated formula that breaks down dirt and grime, and brake dust.
+ Can help fight against snow and salt splattering
+ Melts away dirt and grime with only light agitation
Why We Like It – This cleaner provides excellent protection, restoration, and cleaning for your wheels. It’s suitable for all types of wheels, and it is kind to the environment. It works fast and effectively for an impressive clean.
2. Carfident Ultimate Wheel and Tire Cleaner
This wheel and tire cleaner is the premium choice for those who want the ultimate clean for your wheels. This spray also has a great formula, being PH neutral, is advanced and safe for use near the skin, as well as being non-destructive to the environment.
It’s suitable for all rims and is also 100% rubber safe. Some wheel cleaners are not safe for tires and can cause damage over time, whereas this product is formulated to be completely friendly to your tires. It’s perfect for giving your rubber a clean too, restoring that factory black glean.
+ This cleaner is one of the safest out there, and maybe even the best wheel/tire cleaner for environmental + safety.
+ It is safe for both your rims and your tires, making it a good all-round, all-in-one wheel and tire cleaner.
+ It’s one of the most versatile wheel cleaners, as you can use it on all types of rim: chrome, steel, aluminum, and + coated wheels too.
+ Carfident have a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Why We Like It – This wheel/tire cleaner is great as it features a super friendly formula. It requires little effort to apply and use and is suitable for all surfaces. It’s a joint wheel and tire cleaner that saves money and time and is suitable for absolutely all wheels and tires. Its satisfaction guarantee also makes it one of the most risk-free wheel cleaners.
3. Armor Extreme Cleaner for Wheels and Tires
This wheel and tire cleaner is the best value for money on the market. It will make quick work to clean any dirt or brake dust that has built up, as well as being a solid tire cleaner in its own regard. It’s quick and simple to use and the spray bottle is a great size at 32oz.
Some customers have said that as a wheel and tire cleaner, it even outperforms some dedicated tire cleaners on the market but also makes for one of the best wheel cleaners in the price range too. It’s a foaming wheel cleaner, providing an intense foaming action that will clean the dirt from your rims almost instantly. Safe for factory and aftermarket coated wheels alike.
+ Triple action formula
+ A double use wheel/tire cleaner
+ A foaming wheel cleaner formula
+ A blanketing agent is incorporated, which helps this foaming wheel cleaner reach every nook and cranny.
Why we like it – It’s affordable, easy to use, and being a foaming wheel cleaner means that it’s aggressive on all types of dirt, while providing a world-class clean suitable for any budget.
4. Chemical Guys Signature Series Wheel Cleaner
This wheel cleaner is not only effective and satisfying to use, but it’s also dilutable, meaning you get a lot of bang for your buck. It has a citrus-based formula that breaks down dust, dirt, and grime. It cleans polished, chrome, painted and powder coated wheels, and is fantastic for aftermarket wheels and modified rims.
+ Great, fast-acting, and well-formulated wheel cleaner that breaks down dirt in minutes, leaving rims clean and shiny.
+ The dilutable formula, making it great value and customizable.
+ Suitable for any wheel.
Why We Like It – The dilutable formula means you can spread the bottle further, or even strengthen or weaken the formula, depending on your cleaning needs. It’s fast-acting and has brilliant reviews from all walks of the car scene.
5. Sonax Full Effect Wheel Cleaner
This Sonax wheel cleaner is based on an advanced formulation that provides an effective clean for all-wheel types. It even has a unique color-changing formula, so you can see when the spray has come into contact with ferrous metals from brake dust and road grime. It’s not a tire cleaner and has to be used cautiously around brakes. However, it is tough on dirt, so it’s perfect for not only people wanting to clean their cars but professionals as well.
+ The color-changing formula means it’s easy to see what you’re cleaning from where.
+ Acid-free, meaning it’s tough on dirt but kind to your wheels
+ Sonax wheel cleaner is safe on many wheel surfaces, including coated surfaces.
Why We Like It – The color-changing formula is super innovative in a cleaner, and makes it easy to see what’s on your wheels and where. This is an advanced wheel cleaner perfect for regular folks and professionals alike.
6. Carguys Wheel and Tire Cleaner
Carguys have hit the sweet spot with this formula. This cleaner tackles salt and snow damage, regular dirt, brake dust, and oil residue, as well as cleaning away grease and oil from the rubber too, giving you a factory finish and sparkling clean. It’s even safe for plastic-dipped rims. Certified environmentally friendly! A great product for those of us who want a wheel cleaner, tire cleaner, or both while making sure we have as little impact on the planet as we can.
+ Safe on every wheel and tire, and also safe on body panels, meaning you don’t have to worry if the spray
+ doesn’t go exactly where you planned.
+ Safe for the environment and you.
+ Perfect for winter use, as it’s not just effective on dirt but also salt and snow.
Why We Like It – It’s suitable for everyone to use on any wheel/tire, be it on your classic muscle car, hot hatch track toy, or your daily driver. It’s one of the most consumer-friendly wheel and tire cleaners out there.
7. Adams Wheel and Auto Detailing Cleaner
Adams has combined the best chemical formulation with the safest materials available for your rims. They’ve created a fantastic wheel cleaner that will make car cleaning easy, fast and, dare we say it, fun. This is for anyone who wants to give their rims a bit of love. It’s a super-effective cleaner, wiping brake dust straight off your wheels.
+ Brilliant cleaner for getting rid of stubborn dirt that’s built up over a long time
+ Made in the USA and designed by US people with a 100% satisfaction guarantee
+ A wheel cleaner that is safe for use on every wheel no matter the car
Why We Like It – It’s USA made and USA produced, meaning you’re supporting industry while giving your wheels one of the best cleaners possible. It’ll make your wheels gleam, and you’ll have fun doing it.
8. Griots Garage Wheel Cleaner
Reviewers do not only highly commend this product, but also comes with certification from BBS, Dayton Wire Wheels and The Tire Rack, meaning that it has a professional recommendation from some of the biggest names in the industry. You can rest easy in the knowledge that it’s safe for every wheel out there. The formula is also rubber safe and could make an effective wheel/tire cleaner if used properly.
+ Made from high-quality ingredients.
+ Professionally certified and approved.
+ Rubber safe and safe for all coatings and finishes.
Why We Like It – This is not only an effective wheel cleaner, but being rubber safe can also make for a brilliant cost-effective wheel/tire cleaner too. Big-name brands recognize it as one of the most effective wheel cleaners. It’s also a safe cleaner for all wheels.
9. Mothers Foaming Wheel tire cleaner
Mothers have created a unique spray-on hose off design that breaks through all types of grime and dirt, including dust and salt. There’s no need to pressure wash. Just spray off with a hose to reveal a clean, long-lasting shine from a brilliantly simple foaming wheel tire cleaner. However, this product is not suitable for use on motorcycles, aluminum, or anodized wheels.
+ One of only a few foaming wheel cleaners available, providing a fast and effective clean for your wheels.
+ A wheel/tire cleaner that’s multi-use, making it cost-effective and efficient.
+ Incredible value for money and effective on all kinds of dirt.
Why We Like It – Mothers foaming cleaner is a great budget option that’s an effective wheel/tire cleaner for its category and doesn’t require a pressure washer for the best effects.
10. Meguires ultimate all-wheel cleaner
This product is a fast-acting gel-based cleaner that will leave you with a pristine finish on your wheels. It’s easy on brakes, so there’s no need to worry if you get any on your pads or discs. The formula is a great thick gel, so it won’t go in places you don’t need it too.
+ Well-formulated and safe for brakes.
+ Fast-acting and easy to use.
+ Acid-free and PH balanced, so safe on wheels of all types, and kind to the environment.
Why We Like It – A big name and a big impact! This product is well received by buyers and works fantastically on all types of wheels. It’s effective and useful and is endorsed by professionals too.
Wheel Cleaners Buyers Guide
It can seem that the best wheel cleaner and wheel/tire cleaners are all very much alike, which can make it hard or even confusing to choose the best wheel and tire cleaner for you. So what should you look at before you decide on which is the best cleaner for your wheels and tires?
Do you want a wheel cleaner, a tire cleaner, or both? All are available, and they don’t all do the same job. If a wheel cleaner does not explicitly state that it is safe for use on rubber, then it’s best not to buy that product if you’re hoping to clean up your tires back to black.
If you just want a wheel cleaner and wish to dress your tires separately, then most products would be suitable for you. But there are still more things to consider. You could go for a simple spray, which you will need to agitate more than some formulas. This will be cost-effective and easy to use, and probably the best option for those who need a quick spruce up of their wheels.
Otherwise, there are more advanced options, such as foaming cleaners, for intense break down of brake dust, dirt, and grime. Gel cleaners that are generally stronger, and sometimes even dilutable, meaning you can mix it with water to get a strength that’s suitable for you.
If you’re after a wheel/tire cleaner, make sure you choose one that states it’s safe for all tires, as some may still break the rubber down over time. Some wheel cleaners may say they are safe for rubber, but it does not always mean they’re designed for it. It may be okay to get a bit on your tires, but if it’s not a specialized wheel/tire cleaner, it may cause damage if you apply a lot to the tires.
Suitability for your wheels
Not all cleaners are safe for every surface, so be careful which you choose. While most brands have made their product safe for every surface, some are not. Make sure you know what type of wheels you have, as some may have specialized coatings that may require specialized products.
Some coatings you want to be especially aware of are powder coatings, and plasti-dip, as not many cleaners are available to cater to these surfaces. So make sure you pick something PH neutral and acid-free to avoid breakdown.
If you have factory wheels you should be safe with most products, but make sure to double-check the materials of your alloys, and whether they are painted. If you have steel wheels, you should be safe with any of the products on the list above, but again, double-check.
An essential factor to take into account for most of us is whether or not a wheel cleaner is brake safe. Most are, but some stronger cleaners aimed at professional buyers aren’t. You will probably want to go for a cleaner that’s safe on your brakes, as it means you can clean quickly and effectively without having to be cautious of where the product goes. It will save you time and stress to choose a safe wheel cleaner.
Sometimes, product will spray where it’s not supposed to. For this reason, it’s best to make sure that the product you’re using is paint-safe, as an extremely strong or acidic formula may cause damage to paintwork over time. This is even more of a concern for those of you with classic cars and paint that’s hard to replace. If you have a vinyl wrap, you should be careful about this too, as an acidic formula may damage the materials. Go for an acid-free formula, or even better, PH neutral. A lot of foaming sprays are quite aggressive, so perhaps stay away from there formulas, as many are suitable only for factory wheels and hubcap. They may damage aftermarket surfaces.
You should take into account the weather, as this will affect the road conditions and the dirt that the cleaner will have to target. All the cleaners on our list will effectively target brake dust, dirt, and grime. But if you live in a snowy area that sees a lot of salt on the roads, you should try to pick up a wheel/tire cleaner or wheel cleaner that aims to target salt and grit build up, as some formulas may not be effective against this. If you live in a very cold climate then acidic cleaners may not be the best wheel cleaner for you.
Some wheel/tire cleaners will need you to pressure wash off the residue once you have applied and agitated the cleaner to get the best results. This is especially true for gel and foaming cleaners as they tend to grip onto the dirt and become thick and sticky, which is fantastic for lifting stubborn dirt, oil, and brake dust from the wheels. But if you don’t have the right equipment, it may be difficult to remove. A lot of cleaners are effective with just a hosepipe, so make sure you take this into account.
There is a difference between acid-free, PH-neutral, and natural formulas; all are available, and all do different jobs. Acid-free means simply that there are no acidic compounds, which is great news for sensitive coatings. However, it may mean that the formula is alkaline, which can also damage some types of surface. PH neutral is the best bet for gentle cleaning (although, they are often just as effective, so don’t be put off) and will be safe on most surfaces. Natural formulas are harder to come by but are safe for you, the environment, and mostly all surfaces.
Overall, picking the right wheel/tire cleaner for you and your car can be a confusing process. However, if you take into account our buyer’s guide and recommended products, it should be a painless process. Make sure you pick out a cleaner that suits the surface of your wheels and finish, as well as something that will suit your budget, your equipment, and your time frames. Choosing a good cleaner will bring you great shine and complete the look of a clean, well-loved car.
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