If you’re at all serious about keeping your car clean and you enjoy the surprisingly therapeutic process of removing grime, the best alloy wheel cleaner would make a great product to keep your pride and joy sparkling.
Wheels are often the dirtiest part of your car and are constantly subject to both dirt and mud from the world and dust and grime from your brakes. The stuff that comes off your brakes is mostly iron unless you have fancy carbon-ceramic brakes (these are only on serious performance cars, and even then, it’s often a four-figure optional extra). Iron gains a static charge when heated and clings to the wheels in a more determined fashion than regular dirt.
You guessed it; specialised wheel cleaners are better at ridding your wheels of this determined muck than an all-purpose cleaner. At least, the good ones are. Our favourites below are some of the best wheel cleaners you can get.
The best alloy wheel cleaners at a glance:
Editor’s choice: Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel Cleaner – Buy now from Amazon UK
Best wheel cleaning kit: Autoglym Custom Wheel Cleaner Complete Kit – Buy now from Amazon UK
Best wheel cleaner for deep cleaning: Pro-Kleen Dragon’s Blood – Buy now from Amazon UK
The best alloy wheel cleaners from the Parkers experts:
- Safe for diamond-cut wheels
- Strong smell
- Great starter kit
- Soft brushes allow access to difficult areas
- Still requires some effort for best results
- pH neutral
- Large quantity
- Smells dreadful
- No water required
- Quick and easy
- Not good for heavily soiled alloys
- Turns red when it's time to agitate
- Easy to apply
- Spray nozzle can clog
Best wheel cleaner for chrome wheels
- Gentle on all wheel types
- Great results
- Not so good for tougher stains
- Easy to use
- Quick results
- Not suitable for chrome or anodised wheels
- Good value
- Works on all types of wheels
- Not as impressive as some others
What to consider when choosing a car alloy wheel cleaner
Budget: Prices vary widely, although you don’t need to spend a lot for good results. You simply need to find the best products. That work has gladly been done for you by us.
Frequency: If you address the cleanliness of your wheels every once in a while, you may need a more intensive cleaner. A dedicated fallout remover may be extreme and smell appalling, but it cannot be beaten for deep-cleaning alloys.
Are your wheels chromed or anodised? If so, choose a pH-neutral product that won’t damage their delicate surface. Each cleaner advises what types of wheels they are suitable for.
For heavily soiled wheels: Use a wheel brush to scrub with in order to loosen and remove any particularly stubborn grime.
Don’t neglect the tyres: Sparkling wheels can be ruined by filthy tyres. A dedicated tyre cleaner is one option to keep your tyres black.
To protect your hard work: You can apply a wheel sealant or protector to the wheels after having cleaned them. The best of these products make it harder for brake dust and road grime to stick and accumulate on your wheels. Depending on the product, they can last from a matter of weeks to even a year or more.
Chris Williams is a Commercial Content Writer at Bauer Media and writes across multiple brands such as CAR, Parkers, and Live For The Outdoors.
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