Categories: Reviews

Best wheel cleaner of 2017 – Find yours today! Bonus: Save up to 86%.

Hello! My name is Jamie Franklin, and I am going to tell you about the best wheel cleaners of 2017. I work in the chemical industry and supplying chemicals to carwashes. It is my primary activity. So, let me answer the most popularity questions about wheel cleaners and propose the rating list of the best products.

This guide was made for beginners, so it does not contain complex terms or unnecessary details. I hope you will like it!

Feel free to explore the podium, click on the pictures to find out more.




№1 – Sonax Wheel Cleaner

It is not acidic;
You do not even have to use towels or rags to brush it – simply apply this to your wheels and wash it with water 10 minutes later;
I like that the liquid turns red indicating the moment when you can wash it off;
One battle is enough for about 10 cleanings (4 wheels).

Why did this wheel cleaner win the first place?

Because this is a quality-made cleaner that does not require brushing.


№2 – Griot’s Garage 11106SP

You can use it to clean any types of wheels;
This formula is environmentally safe;
It is powerful enough to remove all the dirt yet it does not absorb wax;
Comes with a good sprayer.

Why did this wheel cleaner come in second place?

Because it is a good mild cleaner (especially for those who likes to wax their wheels), but extremely dirty wheels require a lot of brushing – unlike from the “Sonax” formula.


№3 – Meguiar’s Hot Rims

This cleaner is much cheaper than other products from this rating list;
It is very gentle;
Can be safely used on factory painted rims;
I use it for my own car – wheels become clean and shiny!

Why did this wheel cleaner take third place?

Because this formula gives great results, but one bottle is only enough for two or three cleanings.





Attention! Don’t buy any wheel cleaners until you read the FAQ!



Griots Wheel Cleaner vs Sonax – what is better?

I would choose Sonax over Griots Wheel Cleaner. Both formulas clean really good, but former does not foam and it has a color changing feature which is useful.

What is the best wheel cleaner for diamond cut alloys?

It is better to not use acidic cleaners for diamond cut alloys. The easiest solution is regular shampoo – it is usually strong enough to remove all the dirt but without damaging the coating itself.

What is the best wheel cleaner for plasti dips?

There is nothing special about cleaning plasti dipped rims. Simply use any regular cleaner – products from my rating list should work great.

What is the best wheel cleaner for Porsche?

If we are talking about standard Porsche wheels, basically any cleaning formula will suit your needs.

What’s the best chrome wheel cleaner?

There are chrome specific wheel cleaners such as “Griots” formula. I recommend you to use them, but usual car soap should not harm the coating anyway.

How to use P21S wheel cleaner?

P21S is a great and easy-to-use cleaner, though it is a bit pricey. Simply spray it on your wheels and wait for about 20 minutes, then rinse it with water. You can but it here:

Niche Leader
Even old wheels can find a new life with this formula;
It is acid-free;
Can be safely and effectively used for all types of coating;
Wheels shined like new after I used it to clean my car!

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What is the best wheel cleaner for powder coated wheels?

Use a soft sponge and any light paint cleaner. Any product from my rating list is an appropriate choice.

Is there a good aftermarket wheel cleaner?

Yes. Chemical Guys sell a wonderful formula designed for aftermarket wheels. It is not acidic, so It is safe to use even on vinyl-wrapped finishes!

How to dilute Bilberry wheel cleaner?

If you got tried from buying pricey cleaners – dilute them with water at 1:2 ratio. This applies to most of the quality products – including Bilberry Wheel Cleaner.

What is the best wheel cleaner for painted aluminum wheels?

Use the cleaner from Chemical Guys named “Diablo Wheel Gel”. It works really well and you can dilute it 4:1 and still have a great cling and cleaning results. I know that this product is rather expensive, but trust me – it is worth its price!

What is the best wheel cleaner for polished aluminum?

Most of the premium car washes choose to use acid-free Sonax Wheel Cleaner. This formula is mild enough for aluminum wheels. Keep in mind, that you should not use chrome cleaners – they will leave horrible stains and spoil the looks of your wheels!

What is the best wheel cleaner for baked on brake dust?

Iron X is a pretty good product which should easily remove brake dust. You can also use Sonax or P21S wheel cleaner.

What is the best wheel cleaner for matte black rims?

Choose a gentle wheel cleaner – such as Sonax or Griot’s Garage from my TOP3 list. I also recommend you to wax it afterwards if you have not done it yet.

What is the best wheel cleaner for gloss black wheels?

Gloss black coating is very fragile, so I recommend you to use simple soap and water or very mild cleaners like Meguiar’s Hot Rims.

What is the best wheel cleaner to remove rust?

I highly recommend you to try out this product:

Niche Leader
It is very effective – concentrated gel saves the product;
Perfectly cleans painted wheels;
It absorbs rust;
Manufacturer guarantees money back if product will not help you. This is confirmed by reviews of hundreds of buyers.

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What is GBL wheel cleaner?

GBL are cleaners that contain gamma-butyrolactone. This is a powerful and cheap solvent and reagent. It is very hard to find GBL cleaner for household use in the United State. Their sell is tightly controlled since it is considered as narcotics.

What car alloy wheel cleaner should I use?

Most of the good car washes use specific water-based cleaners for alloy wheels. It is called Surfex HD and it is a pretty good product for its cost.

What is the strongest wheel cleaner?

In my opinion, Sonax wheel cleaner is the most powerful formula.

What are wheel cleaners made of?

Most of the wheel cleaners consists of water, thickener, sodium citrate, butyl cello solve and acids (phosphoric, hydrochloric, gluconic, etc.).

What is the best wheel cleaner for BMW?

BMW sell their own cleaner gel – you can buy it if you want to use authentic only products, but other quality cleaners would not harm your wheels anyway. Branded cleaner from BMW works great, but it ends very quickly. If you do not mind spending extra money for extra cleanliness – it is a good product.

Can I use wheel cleaner on tires?

You can, but only if the cleaner is not acidic or alkaline. But I recommend you to use specialized tire cleaners – they are not very expensive and they last for quite a long time.

How to use wheel cleaner?

It is very simple. Apply the cleaner to your wheels and wait for some time (it depends on the formula, but usually it takes about 10 minutes). Brush them afterwards (it is better to use brushes for rims) and rinse with water. If you are using a powerful cleaner (like Sonax) and your wheels are not that dirty – you can skip the brushing part. Here is a short video:

How to use acid wheel cleaners?

Use them just the same as non-acidic cleaners, but do not forget to put gloves on. Be careful – acid formulas may harm painted wheels, you should clean them with acid-free and abrasive-free products.

Wheel cleaner vs degreaser – what are the differences?

Degreasers are much stronger. They are used to clean greasy engine parts and may harm wheels. Unless wheels are super dirty, I would never use a degreaser on them.

Do I need to use specific wheel cleaners for motorcycles?

No, it is OK to use regular car wheels cleaners.

What is a drill brush and can you use it with wheel cleaner?

Drill brushes are special drill attachments for cleaning. They are very useful for not only wheel cleaning, but also for any surfaces that require tough cleaning jobs. You can use them with wheel cleaners instead of regular brushes.

Is Iron X good as a wheel cleaner?

I used it a million times and never had any problems. You can try it yourself:

Niche Leader
It does not destroy painted coatings;
Iron X is shipped in sturdy plastic pouches;
It is safe to polish or wax wheels after using it;
Spray it, wait five minutes and sponge it down. That is all you need to have a shiny wheels!

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Is there a wheel cleaner that works without water?

Yes. If for some reason you cannot rinse your wheels – use waterless solutions (like EcoSmart from Chemical Guys). It is worth mentioning that usually they are more expensive than regular cleaners.

Can I use vinegar as a wheel cleaner?

Yes. Distilled vinegar is a pretty good cleaner and it is suitable for any types of wheels (including chromed and painted wheels). However, it has a strong smell and requires a lot of working with a brush, so specialized cleaners are better.

Can I use APC as a wheel cleaner?

Yes. Dilute all purpose cleaner with water (1:10), spray it on your wheels and brush them.



How to save up to 86%? Here is little trick.

You must visit the page of sales. Here is the link. If you don’t care about which brand is better, then you can choose the wheel cleaners by the price and buy from the one who will offer the greatest discount.



Final Word

There is a whole industry of wheel cleaning. You are faced with a choice between hundreds cleaning solutions from various manufacturers. It is hard to choose the best wheel cleaner, if you have never used it before – you have to rely on reviews and learn details about such aspects as whether or not specific product is suitable for painted, chrome or aluminum coating, is it safe for environment, can it be used without water and so on. This guide sheds light on these questions and proposes the best wheel cleaners of 2017. Use this information and you will not have any problems keeping your wheels clean!

So, TOP3 of wheel cleaners:

P21S wheel cleaner:

  • P21S 10001R Wheel Cleaner

Wheel cleaner to remove rust:

Iron X wheel cleaner:



Questions? Leave a comment below!

Chatting about wheel cleaners is my passion! Leave me a question in the comments, I answer each and every one and would love to get to know you better!