12 Best Wheel Cleaners in 2017

When it comes to cleaning your car, nothing can be left unattended. Not even your wheels – especially your wheels.

Just like a person is described by how clean their shoes are, so is the case of your wheels – because they are your car’s shoes.

If you are looking for the best wheel cleaner to make your wheels nice and shiny, then this article will give you a few ideas. You will be provided with the types of wheel cleaners and how they act, and you will also see a few examples of products that you can use.

Top 12 Wheel Cleaners Comparison Chart

Design Name Container Wheel Part Type Rating (1-5)
   1. Meguiar’s G9524 Hot Rims Wheel Cleaner  Spray  Rims  Liquid  4.5
   2. Chemical Guys CWS_301_16 Citrus Wash and Gloss Concentrated Car Wash  Reg. Bottle  Rims  Liquid  4.5
   3. Best Wheel and Tire Cleaner on Amazon! – Safe for all Wheels and Rims Spray  Rims & Tires  Gel  4.3
   4. Sonax (230200-755) Wheel Cleaner Full Effect  Spray  Rims & Tires  Liquid  4.3
   5. BMW wheel cleaner gel  Spray  Rims & Tires  Gel  4.3
   6. Mothers 05924 Foaming Wheel & Tire Cleaner  Spray  Rims & Tires  Liquid  4.2
   7. 3M 39036 Wheel and Tire Cleaner  Spray  Rims & Tires  Liquid  4.2
   8. Griot’s Garage 11136 Rubber Cleaner  Spray  Tires  Liquid  4.2
   9. Chemical Guys CLD_997_16 Diablo Gel Wheel and Rim Cleaner  Reg. Bottle  Rims & Tires  Gel  4.1
   10. Griot’s Garage 11107 Wheel Cleaner  Canister  Rims  Liquid  4.1
   11. Wheel Cleaner – for Removing Tire Dirt  Spray  Rims & Tires  Gel  4.0
   12. Eagle One 824331 All Wheel and Tire Cleaner  Spray  Rims & Tires  Liquid  4.0

Choosing Your Wheel Cleaner

Wheel cleaners generally come in different containers that you can choose based on your own convenience. These can be:

  • Sprays
  • Regular bottles
  • Canisters

Out of these options, cleaning sprays are the most popular type among buyers.

  • Bottles and Canisters – Regular bottles come with the good old fashioned bottle cap that you unscrew when you plan to use. It’s the small version of the canister, which means that the liquid has to be taken directly from the container and applied to the dirty spots.

This method can be rather inconvenient at times since you will have to manually reach out towards the dirty spots with the cleaning tool (brush or sponge). Unlike other cleaner containers, it doesn’t allow the cleaning solution too much movement.

  • Sprays and Pumps – Since you will basically be spraying liquid particles over your wheels, they will have a better chance of reaching narrow or smaller areas that you could not usually reach with a regular sponge.

Depending on the substance, these can generally be easily rinsed off. If the particular solution has a stronger foaming agent, it may clean better, but it also might be harder to rinse off.

Choosing What to Clean

When you are cleaning your wheels, you may want to make sure that you choose the right product for the surface.

For example, if you are looking to clean your rims, you will need something that will remove dirt and provide shine to the alloy. Substances for these hard surfaces have a higher acidity level, so using them on the tire may be compromising.

For the tires, you may want to opt for a cleaner that has a lower or balanced pH level. It will clean the tire and leave it protected, without drying it and making it predisposed to cracks.

Many companies nowadays, however, have designed wheel cleaners that can clean both rims and tires. They are strong enough to remove dirt from rims but balanced enough to protect the rubber of the tire.

Types of Solutions

When it comes to cleaning solutions, it’s always safe to know how powerful your cleaning product is. Some were made to provide deep cleanse while others were made to quickly go through the narrow dirt spots and be easily rinsed.

Basically, the two types of wheel cleaning solutions are the following:

  • Liquid – These cleaning solutions come as they are advertised – in a liquid They combine water with various other solutions and detergents, the result being a swift cleaning of all blind spots.
  • Gel – Unlike liquid detergents, these solutions will make greater foam that will cling and dwell to the surface, providing a deeper cleanse of the wheel. These have a heavier consistency, and thanks to their balanced pH, they are safe to be used for both tires and rims.

The best wheel cleaner is the one that will clean every part of your wheel efficiently while protecting its properties.

Top 4 Best Wheel Cleaner Reviews

1. MEGUIAR’S Hot Rims Wheel Cleaner

Meguiar’s wheel cleaner is proof that you can have lovely rims on a small budget.

It’s safe even for color-coated wheels, so if your rims are the same hot pink that this bottle is, then the color will not have to suffer in any way.

The formula of this cleaner, while it is not gel, it was still designed to hold onto the rims as the cleaning process it taking action. This way, you will not have to do any unnecessary spraying that will only be a waste of wheel cleaner.

The application is just a bit different if you want this cleaner to work at full power. You need to ensure that your rims are cool, so you may want to splash them with some cold water before applying the product. The action will only take 15 seconds before you need to rinse it off.

2. CHEMICAL GUYS Citrus Wash & Gloss

This is a versatile product that will work miracles not only on your rims but also on every part of your car that is metallic. It will provide shine, and the acidic citrus composition will ensure that all dirt is dissolved, leaving your rim clean.

Since the solution is pretty strong, you may not want to use it without protective gloves.

Still, what is certain is that this slick formula will outshine any waxes you may find out there, one cup being enough to make 5 gallons of liquid cleaning solution.

3. CAR GUYS Premium Wheel and Tire Cleaner

This gel-type solution is thought to be the Cadillac of all wheel cleaners. It’s quick, it’s efficient, it works for all wheel parts, and it doesn’t leave any wheel streaks or smears.

This cleaner is safe for all kinds of rims, regardless if they are alloy, aluminum, chrome, anodized, polished, painted or plastic-dipped. It provides a clear shine and considering that it is sprayed, it can penetrate all parts of the wheel.

The best part is that the pH is leveled enough to make it safe for rubber as well – and therefore, you can safely clean your tires without worrying about any long-term damage.

4. SONAX Wheel Cleaner Full Effect

Although this cleaner is not actually a gel, it sure acts like one. It has a heavier consistency than water, and therefore, it can hold much better onto the surface, providing a deeper cleansing.

Sonax is also appreciated for its trick effect. When you spray it on your rims, the color will be neon green. Still, once it stays in contact with the iron fibers, it will slowly turn into red. This will be a sign that the dirt is dissolving and your rims are being cleaned.

The best wheel cleaner so far is Meguiar’s; however, the other products have proved that they can also do their job quite efficiently.