Best Wheel Cleaner Reviews (2020)
When it comes to cleaning any kind of automobile, taking care of the wheels is one of the most important things. Just imagine the human analogy, after washing your body but forgetting to clean your dirty and sweaty feet. Doesn’t sound good, right?
Today, you have the option of purchasing tire cleaners, wheel cleaners, or a tire and wheel cleaner all-in-one. These products can help to bring out the shine of your rims, and also remove embedded dirt, dust, and other debris that can eventually cause permanent damage. As for the tires, the things that receive the most pressure and usage at all times. They, too, need heavy-duty cleaning and hydration to avoid dry rotting.
In order to get the proper tire and rim cleaning process completed, you need the right tools. With the right tools, you’ll be able to bring your rims back to their factory look and even keep your tires lasting a little bit longer.
Below we put together a list of the seven best wheel cleaners and tire cleaners that can help you get a professional detailing job done. Just remember that some of these products may be two products integrated into one, while others may be stand-alone products. Either way, this list should be all you really need to complete your shopping venture in this area of detail.
Top 7 Best Wheel and Tire Cleaners 2019
- Removes unwanted grime, Tough on stains to restore shine, Suitable for all wheel types, Acid-free formula
- Removes unwanted grime, Environment friendly, Acid free, Non-toxic, Suitable for all wheel types, Money back guarantee
- Perfect for custom wheels, Effectively removes dirt and debris, Citrus-based formula, Easy to apply
- Boosted cleaning strength, Perfect for all wheel types, Ready & easy to use
- Xtreme Cling foam, Safe and effective on factory painted, clear coated rims and tires, Easy to use
- Easy to use, Effectively removes brake dust, grease and grime, Leaves brilliant shine
- Non-acidic spray, Safe for all wheel types, Unique spray on, hose off design safely penetrates, Easy to use
7. Mothers Wheel and Tire Cleaner
You are safe to use this cleaner on all factory/OEM wheels and hubcaps. Anything that may be painted over, clear coated, color coated, steel, modular, or even chrome.Although this isn’t a super heavy-duty product, in most cases where necessary cleaning and detailing is involved, using the Mothers Wheel and Tire Cleaner will do just fine.
6. 3M Car Care Tire and Wheel Cleaner
For a go-to product that doesn’t require any kind of diluting, this is one darn good wheel and tire cleaner. Using it with a soft-bristle brush will help you adjutant brake dust, grass, and grime right from the wheels. From there, you simply need to wash it off with pressurized water, and you’ll have much better-looking wheels than you did before.
Do you want to re-moisturize your tires and reduce the dry rotting process? Great, because using this cleaner will help to remove excess grease from the tires without drying them out. For around 10 dollars, you’ll get multiple uses out of this product.
5. Meguiar’s Hot Rims and Wheel Cleaner
This is by far the lowest costing product we found, and you get a whole 24oz of it. The easy to use spray bottle is excellent for go-to detailing/cleaning, targeting dirt, dust, grime, and grease from your wheels. Using a wheel brush to work the cleaner into the wheels then rinse off. Doing this for all four wheels will give you a finished product that makes the whole car look 2x better.
It is worth mentioning that this isn’t a super heavy-duty product like some others we will mention below. However, if nothing too heavy is to be cleaned, we definitely recommend getting at least 2 for less than 10 dollars. *Two should last you for at least five full wheel cleaning sessions.Key features:
- Easy to apply and rinse off.
- Safe to use with tires, paint, and rims.
- It is a foam-based product.
4. Sonax Wheel Cleaner Plus
3. Chemical Guys Signature Wheel Cleaner
2. CarGuys Wheel and Tire Cleaner
1. TriNova Wheel and Tire Cleaner
From our list of the best wheel cleaner to get, the TriNova wheel and tire cleaner gel are by far the best one we found. Made 100% in the USA, it will, without a doubt, remove unwanted grime, dirt, brake dust, grease, and much more that can cling-on to your wheels and tires. In the events that you have stains on your wheels, this cleaner will fight them like OxiClean.
Tires that are usually not regularly cared for, run the risk of a puncture and potentially dangerous blowout. For the benefit of your car, and those riding in the car next to yours, it’s extremely important to take your tire and wheel care seriously.
The best wheel and tire cleaner for cars, trucks, and everything in between are the ones that remove the most stubborn traces of road dust and dirt and contaminants while sealing and protecting the tire from harmful ultraviolet rays.
Any of the cleaners from the list should be able to make the wheel and tire cleaning process a piece of cake for you. They are highly recommended, and high-quality products from trusted producers, and they won’t damage your car in any way. We know how important a car can be for a person, so no wonder you gave the cleaning process so much thought and effort. That is the way to go. Follow the shopping guide as well as all the tips and tricks that you have learned from this article, and make sure that your wheels and tires stay in pristine condition as long as possible.
Best Wheel and Tire Cleaner Shopping Guide and FAQ
There are a lot of different kinds and brands of cleaners currently available on the market, and the challenge is to choose one that has the best quality to price ratio. How to do that? You need to know what makes or breaks a great cleaner. Here is everything you should be aware of when it comes to the features to look for in a proper cleaner.
➡️What Are Wheel Cleaners and How Do They Work?
Wheel and tire cleaners are specially designed products that should be able to remove dirt from the surfaces that are highly exposed to it. Wheels take a lot more punishment on the road than the rest of your car, and that is why they need more maintenance. They are in constant motion and have to deal with loose stones, pieces of grit, as well as dust and mud.
When you add small pieces of a hot material that is discarded by the brakes, then you will surely admit that wheels and tires need special attention throughout the cleaning process.
Wheel cleaners are typical to tackle the standard road dirt, but in addition, they are able to clean metallic contaminations, so the residue that is left on a tire as a result of using a brake. This is what makes a tire cleaner different from other car cleaning products.
A proper cleaner can have a significant effect on your tires, but no amount of product will restore a tire that is highly damaged beyond the point of no return. If you’re not sure a tire can be saved, the experts tend to recommend replacing your tires when the depth of the tread is worn below 4/32 inches. Other than that, using a fantastic wheel and tire cleaner and a little bit of regular maintenance should do the job.
➡️The 3 Different Types of Cleaners
Most of the wheel cleaners that you will find on the market have a similar formula. It is usually a spray that you use on the tire and clean off. However, there are some smaller differences between brands that may result in one cleaner being more suitable for your car than the other.
The differentiating features are:
- Change of color – there are more than a couple of cleaning products that are formulated in a way that they change color when reacting with metal containment and dirt. This particular feature can help you observe whether the cleaning product is actually working and when the clean is complete.
- Neutral PH – when a wheel cleaning produced is labeled with a neutral PH, and then it is a sign that it can be safely used on paints and alloys. Make sure to check whether the product that you want to buy has a neutral level of PH so that you don’t have to worry about damaging your wheels during the cleaning process. Not all wheel and tire cleaners can be used on any kind of surfaces as there are some with high acidity, which could cause damage to your tires, wheels, and paintwork.
- Water rinsing – some tire cleaners claim to work with a simple water rinse. You simply spray your wheels with water, after you have cleaned them, and wipe away. This feature will save you a lot of time and effort.
If you can find a wheel and tire cleaner that ticks all three of the boxes, then you have just found the perfect solution to the dirty car problem.
Ask yourself whether your wheel cleaner is eco-friendly
It is highly essential to make sure that the wheel cleaner you choose does not contain any harmful toxins or chemicals. Since you will be washing your car wheels most probably outdoors, it shouldn’t cause any damage to yourself, the environment around you, and your pets. If possible, always check the ingredients on the label of the bottle to be certain you know what its formula contains and whether you can use this product safely on separate occasions.
➡️Foaming vs. Non-Foaming
Some cleaners turn into a foam when applied to the wheels and tires during the cleaning process, while others stay in liquid form. Most people find cleaners that foam up easier to use as they can wipe away all traces of dirt with ease. However, the non-foaming cleaners are generally considered to be better at giving the wheels the extra shine many people look for and without any of the risks of purely cleansing oriented solutions.
➡️What about the smell?
Another factor you should consider is the fragrance that comes with the cleaner. For those who are sensitive to strong chemical smells, a cleaner with added fragrance might leave you with a headache, or you might experience discomfort while washing your car wheels and tires. A high-quality cleaner should be odor-free or should have a mild pleasant fragrance. Cleaners that are made with more dangerous chemicals usually have strong smells, and this should be kept in mind when purchasing not just cleaners but shiners as well.
➡️The Additional Equipment Needed for Cleaning Your Wheels and Tires
Besides the wheel and tire cleaning product itself, you will need a little bit more help from other equipment in order to make your wheels look new once again. The additional equipment should make it able for you to do the job faster, easier, and more precisely, which must be what you are looking for. Here are some gadgets that will save you a lot of time and trouble:
- Pressure washer – Any car enthusiast knows that when it comes to washing your beloved vehicle, a pressure washer can do you a lot of wonders. It is a faster and more effective approach to the cleaning process rather than a simple bucket filled with water and soap. You should know that spraying your wheels and tires just with water at the beginning of a clean-up should get a lot of the dust and mud off. Then, you can go in with the professional cleaner.
- Wheel brush – Did you know that such brushes even exist? This specifically designed brush should help you get into all the parts of your wheels and tires. It is especially helpful when used for alloy arches that are particularly hard to clean.
- Towel/Cloths – No rocket science in this particular choice of additional equipment, as towels and cloths are always handy when you want to make something clean and shiny. Clothes should be a fantastic tool to wipe in the cleaner and microfiber towels are excellent for drying off the wheel surfaces.
- Wax – Finally, a step that is best used after your wheels are already restored to their former glory. Please consider sealing your wheels with wax once you are done cleaning them. This should help you prevent fast dirt accumulation in the future and promote a long-lasting shine. Wax is an addition that you won’t regret.
These four additional pieces of equipment that you might need should be already at your home or should be easy to get or borrow from friends and family. Use all of them for the perfect cleaning finish.
➡️The Ultimate Shopping Guide
Now that you have wide knowledge about the wheel and tire cleaners as well as their types and additional equipment let’s summarize the facts in a short shopping guide you can follow.
What to consider while buying a wheel and tire cleaners:
- Always choose a wheel cleaner that is pH neutral or mild – Mild products are usually pH neutral and are safe to use on any type of wheel. Acidic products can damage your wheels and tires, and when you use them on other car surfaces, they can negatively affect your paint. Always check whether the product that you are buying is acid-free.
- Choose a cleaner depending on your wheel type – Most car owners are aware of the type of wheels they have, but some aren’t sure.
With the wide range of wheel types, finishes and different materials used in production, it is difficult to tell which wheels are powder coated and which ones are made from aluminum and alloy. For those who don’t know the kind of wheels they have on their car, it is recommended first to find out and then decide on which wheel cleaner suits you the most. Always buy a cleaner that is specifically designed for your type of tire.
- Color-changing cleaners are more convenient – When applied and put in contact with the dirt and grime present on wheels, most cleaners change their color. This is only to make you aware that there is dirt on your wheels. If it doesn’t change color, that means your wheels are clean and good to go.
- Always check the instructions – Although some might think this guide would help you only determine the best wheel cleaner and how to use it, it is highly recommended that you read the instructions mentioned on the bottle itself, along with any instructions from the manufacturer. This is simply because it would help you make an educated choice in regards to the logistics of applying the cleaner. Most cleaners are concentrated and need diluting, but without reading the instructions, you can end up using the highly concentrated solution in its pure form.
- Always keep a water hose and brush on hand – For better results, while cleaning your wheels and tires, it is handy to have a water hose and a brush as well. It will make it easier to take off the unwanted dirt and debris along with the cleaning agent. If possible, look for instructions from the manufacturer on what types of brushes work best for your cleaning solution of choice.
- Smaller brushes are better when cleaning between spokes – In order to reach areas, using a smaller brush would help. This is particularly important if you have custom wheels or chrome alloy wheels, as they are among the most sensitive when it comes to brushes.
- Use wheel cleaners only for your car wheels and tires – Apart from cleaning your wheels and tires with a wheel cleaner, it is not recommended that you use this product to clean the paint job on your car. Most of these products tend to stain and cause discoloration of the paint when used for other parts of the car. Use a car-wash shampoo in this case, or if there are tough grease and tar stains on your paint job, try using a clay bar.
- Tire and wheel cleaner products that are a combination of solvents, sealers, and conditioners will be the most effective at producing a shiny and clean wheel free of contaminants and restored to perfection.
Here’s some additional buyers guides you may find helpful:
- Heavy duty and light duty automotive detailing degreasers.
- Proper sponges and microfiber wash mitts for auto detailing.
- See exactly which steam cleaner is right for you, with chemical free cleaning.
- See the best car polishers and car buffers of this year.