People tend to love forged aluminum and magnesium alloy wheels, the shinier the better. it should be said, however, that no matter how hard you wash the wheels by hand, they will never shine the same way they shine when washed with specially formulated cleaning agents. We’re talking here about wheel cleaners and how widespread they have become. these cleaners are very effective for the most part, not to mention how easy they are to use.

We should point out that not all wheel cleaners are created equal and that some are definitely better than others, and we’re not only talking about efficiency alone here. Decent wheel cleaners are known to not only deliver a cleaner shine but also to help the cleaning process overall. Having said that, let us delve into what the market has to offer in our quest to find out what the ten best wheel cleaners are and what to look for when buying one.

Best Wheel Cleaners – Reviews

10AutoSmart Purple Iron-Free Wheel Cleaner

Free from acid, pH balanced and super effective, AutoSmart Purple Iron-Free Wheel Cleaner is uniquely formulated to safely dissolve all kinds of metal contamination caused by construction, rail travel, and automotive breaks. Ideal for using on delicate paint, glass, alloy wheels, plastic and chrome, this wheel cleaner sprays on with ease and changes color when it reacts with the iron particles. Featuring a thick and rich foam, it clings on to the surface, making it easy to wipe off. Safe for all kinds of wheels, however, this cleaner should not be used in direct sunlight or on a hot wheel.

9Poorboy’s World Spray and Rinse Wheel Cleaner

The tough acting World Spray and Rinse Wheel Cleaner features a heavy-duty, powerful formula that easily dissolves and removes brake dust, road grime and contaminants from your wheels without scrubbing or rubbing. Easy to use, the liquid simply requires spraying on and rinsing off after allowing it to sit for a few minutes. Reliable, effective and acid-based, this cleaner can be used on all clear-coated, plastic, chrome and painted wheels, however, they should not be used on aftermarket wheels.

8Sonax 230200-755 Wheel Cleaner

Featuring a pH balanced, acid-free formula that is tough acting and effective, the Sonax 230200-755 Wheel Cleaner is an eco-friendly product that does not contain any harsh chemicals. Easy to use, this cleaner sprays on as a thick, rich foam and changes to red as the iron and other contaminants are removed during the cleaning process. Safe for all types of wheels including aluminum, clear-coated, painted and chrome wheels, it also works great for alloy and steel rims and is non-corrosive.

7Poorboy’s World Spray and Rinse Wheel Cleaner

Poorboy’s World Spray and Rinse Wheel Cleaner is a heavy-duty professional grade product that is uniquely formulated with high-quality ingredients and elements and is free from acid. Designed to effectively remove all traces of dirt, brake dust, and road grime, this product is ideal for quick and easy maintenance of your wheels. Easy to apply and use, it does not require any scrubbing or brushing and simply needs to be sprayed on and wiped off after a few minutes. Ideal for using on factory coated wheels, plastic hub caps, painted and chrome wheels, but not suitable for uncoated wheels, matte and powder coated wheels.

6Flash Brown Royal Non-Acid Wheel & Tire Cleaner

Another premium quality product to make it to the list is the Flash Brown Royal Non-Acid Wheel & Tire Cleaner. Fast-acting, reliable and effective, this cleaner is safe to use on all kinds of wheels and is biodegradable. Featuring a heavy-duty formula, it removes all traces of heavy dirt, brake dust and road grime from chrome, clear-coated, alloy and painted wheels. It also includes a polymer-agent that leaves a shine after cleaning your tires. Unlike most of its kind, this cleaner also removes engine grease, bugs, tar, oil, whitewalls, and other contaminants.

5Quwei Wheel and Tire Cleaner

The Quwei Wheel and Tire Cleaner is a premium grade spray that’s formulated to remove all traces of brake dust, road grime, and dirt on your wheels and tires. Providing you with quick and effective results, it decontaminates and restores the shine and luster on your wheels. Featuring a mild, yet powerful formula, it is free from fragrance and will not stain or damage your wheels. Suitable for all kinds of wheels including alloy, chrome, aluminum, polished, anodized, clear-coated, painted and plastic-dipped, it also helps in cleaning and removes harsh salt and winter grime.

4GYEON Quartz Iron Remover – Wheel Cleaner

Considered one of the most tough-acting, quick and effective wheel cleaners available today, the GYEON Quartz Iron Remover – Wheel Cleaner contains a heavy-duty formula that decontaminates surfaces from strong ferrous particles like dust and dirt. This particular cleaner contains a PH neutral and suitable formula that’s suitable for all kinds of wheel finishes, and it also works effectively on polished and chrome wheels. Fairly easy to use, it can be sprayed on and lightly brushed after just a few minutes for best results.

3Black Magic BM41023 No Scrub All Wheel Cleaner

The Black Magic BM41023 No Scrub All Wheel Cleaner is a premium quality product that is designed to dissolve road grime, brake dust and dirt with ease. Formulated with high-end ingredients and elements, it boosts the appearance of your wheels without causing any discoloration or hazing. Safe for cleaning all kinds of wheels, it is suitable for ABS plastic, wire, chrome, aluminum and mag wheels. This cleaner is also safe to use on a polished, clear coated, anodized or painted finish and does not require any scrubbing.

2Chemical Guys Diablo Gel Wheel and Rim Cleaner

Uniquely formulated for all kinds of OEM and aftermarket wheels, the Chemical Guys Diablo Gel Wheel and Rim Cleaner is a multipurpose product that clings on to the grime and dirt on your wheels, loosening and dissolving it, making it easy to wash and wipe off. Easy to apply, it can be brushed on or sprayed on after diluting 6 parts of water to 1 part of this heavy-duty gel. Suitable for painted and powder-coated wheels alike, it works great on chrome, wheels that are wrapped with decals and carbon fiber lips.

1CarGuys Wheel and Tire Cleaner

Known for its superior quality, reliability, and high performance, the CarGuys Wheel and Tire Cleaner is a popular product that is highly recommended by past users. Entirely eco-friendly and free from acids and harsh chemicals, this cleaner is pH balanced, non-toxic and safe for your wheels. Suitable for cleaning alloy, anodized, chrome, painted, clear-coated, aluminum, polished and plasti-dipped rims, it is non-corrosive and will not stain your wheels. Unlike other products of its kind, it also helps in removing harmful salt and winter grime that damage the protective layers of your tires.

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What To Look For In A Wheel Cleaner

Many are those who have yet to benefit from the tremendous cleaning power and shine that even your average wheel cleaner delivers. Those that do, however, understand well how much time and effort a decent cleaner can save you in the long run, especially if it’s one that boasts a versatile, multi-purpose formula. Now, it should be said that there are a handful of factors you should consider when buying a wheel cleaner, such as formula, ease of use, and of course, packaging. It is for this reason that you should take the time and educate yourself on what exactly makes a good wheel cleaner and what features to look for when buying one.

Features To Consider

  • Wheel Type – Perhaps the first thing one should consider when deliberating on wheel cleaners is whether a particular cleaner fits is good enough for their car’s wheels. Not many people realize this by wheel construction can differ ever so slightly from one car to another, especially in regards to coating and alloys. Some wheels, for instance, are powder coated whereas others are made from alloys or pure aluminum. As such, you should first figure out what material your wheels are made from and look for a cleaner that’s specifically formulated for that purpose alone.
  • Check the pH Levels – You also need to pay close attention to a cleaner’s pH levels, so as to ensure that it will not damage your wheels. We say this because some cleaners contain acidic chemicals that can cause irreparable damage to the wheels through extended exposure. These cleaners can damage the outer coating of the wheels, unlike non-acidic formulas that are guaranteed to leave behind a nice, shiny surface. That said, let us point out that acidic cleaners are somewhat more effective at removing dirt and grime.
  • Look For Color-changing Cleaners – It also needs to be said that color-cleaning cleaners are a lot more convenient than retain their color at all times. The main reason behind this is the formula, which nine times out of ten has been designed to change color when it gets in contact with dirt or grime. If you have any uncertainties about a cleaner of your choosing, try spraying the formula a second time to check if there is any dirt left once the cleaning process is complete.
  • Check the Instructions – Seeing how different wheel cleaners contain differently portioned chemicals, it pays to keep an eye on the product’s instructions. That said, most cleaners are applied and behave roughly the same way, so it isn’t the application that changes from one cleaner to another but rather their contents. This also gives you a better idea of how to best prepare for the cleaning process beforehand and adapt accordingly.

Application Tips

  • Use Small Brushes – Not many people realize this but smaller brushes are a lot better than large ones when it comes to cleaning the wheels. Unlike regular car washing cloth or brushes, small brushes are a lot more efficient at cleaning between nuts and spokes, thus increasing the overall efficiency of your cleaner. It needs to be said, however, that smaller brushes are guaranteed to render the cleaning process a bit longer.
  • Have A Water Hose On Hand – You should also keep a water hose and brush on hand for more in-depth cleaning. Should you wish to, you can also combine different rags and brushes according to the areas of the wheel you are cleaning at the time. You see, it isn’t just the cleaning agent alone that helps remove the dirt and grime from your wheels but water as well; so make sure to use plenty of it as you proceed.
  • Use Wheels Cleaners for Wheels Alone – Refrain from using a wheel cleaning agent for anything other than the wheels. This is because some wheel cleaners have a high acidic content, which can seriously damage the car’s paint job even in small doses. Not just that but even non-acidic wheel cleaners can end up causing stains and discoloring on account of the powerful chemicals used in their making. Instead, try using a clay bar or a car-wash shampoo for the job at hand as they are a lot easier on the paint.

Eco-Friendly Wheel Cleaners

Although not all wheel cleaners are eco-friendly by nature, some of the high-end versions can definitely be not only eco-friendly but entirely safe to use. This is not to say that low-end cleaners aren’t safe by most standards, even though they usually contain cleaning agents intended for cleaning alone. Considering the fact that most people wash their cars outdoors, you definitely want a wheel cleaner that’s relatively safe for the environment.

Consider the Foam

One should also consider whether they want a foaming or non-foaming wheel cleaner because they tend to differ application-wise. While foaming cleaners are easier to use on account of how easy they are to wipe away once the cleaning is done, non-foaming cleaners are considered better at making the wheels shiny. In this respect, you want to think about whether you only want your wheels cleaned or whether you want them looking shiny as well.

The Fragrance

Last but not least, think about the fragrance of any wheel cleaner you plan on using because you will be smelling that particular fragrance quite a lot. No matter how hard you wipe or wash away the cleaning agent once you finish cleaning, chances are that it will leave a certain fragrance behind. You might not notice it at first, but once you do it will be pretty hard to ignore every time you walk by your car.