10 Best Wheel Cleaners in 2020 – Reviews

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.

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