The Best Wheel Cleaners in 2023
Some of the most common types of debris and contaminants that can be found on car wheels include dirt, brake dust, grime, and much more than a simple rinse with soap can handle. If that were the case, then there wouldn’t be the need for wheel cleaners.
If you want your wheels to look shiny and have a brand-new feel, then we suggest having a look at a few of the best wheel cleaners currently out there that can do much more than just clean the dirt off of wheels. On top of showing you a few of the best choices around, you are also free to have a look at our wheel cleaner buyer’s guide below and learn what to look for and what to avoid when it comes to buying this type of product.
Best Wheel Cleaners
Chemical Guys Diablo Gel Wheel and Rim Cleaner
The Best Wheel Cleaner for Painted Wheels
- 16-Ounce Bottle
- Safe for OEM and Aftermarket Wheels
- Oxygen-Rich Suspension Technology
- 100% pH Balanced
- Dilution: 6 Parts Water to 1 Part Cleaner
Kicking things off is a wheel cleaner gel from Chemical Guys. If you’re someone who has used anything by this brand, then you know that you should be expecting a high-quality product.
One of the reasons this is one of the most effective wheel cleaners is that it features a unique concentrated oxygen-rich suspension technology to make sure it lifts and gets rid of any debris it comes into contact with on your wheels. It’s safe to use on all OEM wheels, providing convenience and a hassle-free process.
This is a 16-ounce bottle that is relatively inexpensive for the benefits it has to offer. The main thing you should know about this cleaner by Chemical Guys is that it is safe for use on painted and powder coated wheels, carbon, decal wrapped wheels, chrome, and fiber lips. It’s a concentrated cleaner that will get the job done and ask as little scrubbing and work from you as possible.
TriNova Wheel Cleaner Rim Cleaning Spray
The Best Non-Acid Alloy Wheel Cleaner
- 18-Ounce Bottle
- Safe for All Wheel Types
- Prevents Brake Dust Accumulation
- Restores Wheel Shine
- Acid-Free Formula
TriNova’s wheel cleaner is another choice you must check out if you’re looking for the best ones out there. This one comes in a spray bottle, as opposed to the previous pick. It comes in an 18-ounce bottle and can easily remove dirt, oil residue, brake dust, grime, and much more. Another handy feature it has is its ability to also protect from brake dust accumulation. This means you won’t be needing to use it as much, and it will save you both a bit of time and money.
It’s safe for all wheels but does its best work when applied on chrome wheels and painted alloy. To make it even more unique, TriNova’s particular wheel cleaner also works nicely against snow and salt, which may ruin the wheels’ surface. On top of cleaning and protecting, this wheel cleaner also gives them a nice shine and restores the brand-new look. If that doesn’t make it one of the best spray-on wheel cleaners, we don’t know what will.
Sonax Wheel Cleaner Full Effect
The Best Alloy Wheel Cleaner
- 16.9-Ounce Bottle
- Non-Acid Formula
- pH Balanced Formula
- Color-Changing Feature
The next acid-free wheel cleaner you should consider is one by Sonax. This is a 16.9-ounce spray bottle that is packed with wonderful benefits for your vehicle’s wheels. It’s another one that’s safe for all types of wheels, and its acid-free formula will make sure they aren’t harmed after long-term use of the cleaner.
One of the best and it’s most noticeable features is that you can literally watch it as it destroys the dirt and grime off of your wheels. It changes its color to red or a deep purple shade after it comes into contact and starts dissolving and removing the brake dust and similar debris.
Its formula has proven very effective, which is why many professional services also prefer this choice. It’s not exactly the cheapest of all our picks here, but you can see for yourself that the effects and benefits speak for themselves.
CarGuys Wheel Cleaner
The Best Wheel Cleaner for Professionals
- 1 Gallon
- Highly Concentrated Cleaner
- pH Balanced
- Environment Friendly
There are a few major brands for these types of products, and CarGuys is one brand that should never be overlooked. For this reason, let’s take a look at their wheel cleaner and what benefits it can offer you.
This is a 1-gallon wheel cleaner that is safe for all types of wheels, as well as tires and rims. In fact, it can be used on a few other surfaces as well, including calipers, whitewall tires, braking systems, exhaust tips, and more. A few of the main benefits you can expect when applying this wheel cleaner include an acid-free formula that will not harm anything in the long run, a very effective clean of the recommended surfaces, and much more.
It’s a bit pricier than we’d like, but you can’t argue with its quality and performance. It’s also environmentally friendly, adding to the list of amazing features and reasons for deciding to purchase this excellent wheel cleaner by CarGuys.
Griot’s Garage Wheel Cleaner
One of the Safest Wheel Cleaners
- 22 Ounces
- pH Balanced
- High-Tech Formula
If you’re looking for a high-quality premium formula, then Griot’s Garage doesn’t shy away in this area. If you don’t believe us, just ask BBS, Dayton Wire Wheels, or The Tire Rack what they think of this product, as all of them approve and support it. Let’s see what these brands see in Griot’s Garage’s wheel cleaner that makes it such an amazing one.
First of all, it’s pH balanced, it’s safe for all wheels, it efficiently and quickly removes brake dust, dirt, road grime, and tar, and it also makes the wheels a bit shinier than they were before. I’d say this is a pretty decent list of benefits, but there’s more. On top of all that, it’s formula is also non-toxic and environmentally friendly.
Among the best benefits is that it is quite affordable. You don’t have to pay an extraordinary amount of money to get a premium quality experience. With Griot’s Garage’s amazing wheel cleaner, you have everything you need in one 22-ounce bottle.
Adam’s Wheel Cleaner
The Best Wheel Cleaner for Brake Dust
- 16 Ounces
- Color-Changing Formula
- Eliminates Heavy Brake Dust
Another professional wheel cleaner worth considering is this one by Adam’s. Why is it worthy of being called professional? Well, it’s inexpensive, making sure you don’t go broke by using it, it’s effects are some of the best out there, and it’s extremely easy to use thanks to the high-quality 16-ounce bottle it comes in.
This is another one of those cleaners that features a color-changing formula, so you can see its effects in real-time. One slight drawback is that it isn’t exactly safe to be used on all types of wheels out there, but you will have to live with that if you want the premium benefits that it has to offer. The most recommended types of wheels you can use this one with include chrome, clear coated and Plasti Dipped wheels.
The difference after using Adam’s wheel cleaner is highly noticeable and quite satisfactory. You’re getting another premium-quality product for an extremely reasonable price and a bonus wheel brush woolie on top of all that.
Mothers Foaming Wheel & Tire Cleaner
Most Inexpensive Wheel & Tire Cleaner
- 24 Ounces
- Non-Acidic Spray
Mothers offer their wheel cleaner next on our list, as they introduce their foaming wheel and tire cleaner. It comes in a 24-ounce bottle, which you can spray. After that, it quickly turns into foam, making it easier to see which areas you’ve covered and scrub and rinse off more easily.
You’re not limited to cleaning only the wheels of your vehicle as their formula does a wonderful job on tires as well. This adds a lot of conveniences as you don’t have to buy a tire cleaner. Speaking of convenience, this cleaner is good to go on most surfaces, including clearcoats, painted, steel, modular, chrome, and any surface in between. Please note that the manufacturer doesn’t recommend you use their wheel cleaner on motorcycles or any other casings or components.
This one is strictly for wheels and tires. Simply spray it on, let the foam do its magic while it dissolves dirt, grease, brake dust, and grime. After that, simply rinse it off, and you have your brand new-looking wheels and tires.
Turtle Wax T-18 All Wheel and Tire Cleaner
One of the Shiniest Wheel Cleaners
- 23 Ounces
- pH 10
- Phosphate Free
This is another wheel and tire cleaner that has plenty of exciting features and benefits to offer. It’s by a brand known as Turtle Wax. This is a product that is also recommended by many professionals who know what they’re doing. It’s a wheel & tire cleaner that works fast, efficiently and leaves both your wheels and tires spotless and looking shinier than ever.
Make sure the wheels are left to cool before you apply its contents. Otherwise, you will have some unpleasant results. After you spray it, all you need is around half a minute in order for the liquid to do its work and remove all contaminants from the wheels and tires. Its non-acidic formula will make sure to provide efficiency while at the same time protecting the surface of the wheels and making sure not to harm them after regular use.
Its price is somewhere in the middle, making it one of the best car wheel cleaners out there that don’t cost much yet offer incredibly beneficial results.
Meguiar’s Hot Rims Wheel and Tire Cleaner
The Best Clear Coated Wheel Cleaner
- 8 Ounces
- Completely Dissolves Brake Dust and Grime
- Convenient Trigger
- Provides Nice Shine
Finally, the last wheel cleaner we have to show you is this one by Meguiar’s. This is a 3-in-1 cleaner as it treats wheels, tires, and rims. One of its best features is that it’s completely safe to be used on all painted and clear coated wheels. This provides a lot of flexibility and doesn’t limit you to only a few types of wheels.
Meguiar’s is a brand not to be messed with as their products are always highly recommended. Their wheel cleaner eats up grime and brake dust like it’s nothing and leaves your wheels and tires looking fresh and brand new while adding an elegant shine. This one is actually specifically made to treat clear coated wheels, making it one of the best for this type of wheels out there.
One 8-ounce bottle costs a bit more than you might expect, but it’s nothing to get frustrated about. You can rest assured knowing that it will do its job and leave you quite satisfied with the results.
How to Choose a Wheel Cleaner
Similarly to products such as tire cleaners, a wheel cleaner has almost identical requirements when it comes to choosing the best one out there. These requirements aren’t at all complicated, and they aren’t anything out of the ordinary. However, if you don’t mind many of them, you could run the risk of harming your car’s wheels and doing more harm than good.
That’s why we created this wheel cleaner buyer’s guide. Go through the essentials that we’ve researched for you and make sure you’re on the right track to buying the best wheel cleaner you can find.
Why are we mentioning performance when it’s clear that it’s something we should always focus on, no matter what? Well, performance has a lot to do with your budget and the effects you’re trying to achieve. There’s no point in buying something extremely expensive when you simply need it to perform a mild wheel cleaning.
This can also be said for buying something inexpensive when you need something to do a deep clean and restore the shine of your wheels. Determine what you’re trying to achieve, and buy the appropriate wheel cleaner that’s designed for precisely that. Don’t get anything better or worse than what you needed it for.
This is another no-brainer, but it’s surprising how many people overlook such an essential factor. To be compatible means that the wheel cleaner you’re considering is intended for the type of wheels you have. Even if you buy the best aluminum wheel cleaner ever, it still won’t do a great job if your wheels are made from chrome or anything else.
Many wheel cleaners are almost universal, meaning they go great with all of the common and most used types of wheels. Find either that or one that’s made explicitly for your wheels. The same goes for other products such as wheel paint. Check the compatibility for products like these before making your decision.
Another main concern is the safety of the product. When we say safety, we’re referring to whether it can damage the wheels after long-term use. Usually, non-acidic formulas are better for this as they don’t pose a threat to any type of wheel whatsoever. Try to keep that in mind before purchasing, and you should be fine. Another thing you could do to further protect your wheels and your pocket is to clean the wheels beforehand with a foam cannon. After that, you can apply the cleaner and watch the magic happen.
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