7 Best Wheel & Tire Cleaners

  • Written by: Amanda Myers

If you are looking for the best products and tools that will help you clean your wheels or if you want to get a list of important wheel detailing products and tools, you've come to the right place.

The most common problem that we have when owning a car are the brake dust, road grime, dirt and tar that sticks on the wheels. I know how frustrating it is when wheels get dirty after just a few days of use. But it isn't just about the appearance of the wheels that we are very concerned about, we are also worried that brake dust might eat out or damage the wheel finishes if you let it stay on your wheels for a long a period of time.

Wheel Cleaner, Wheel Brush, and Wheel Wax or Protectant

The basic wheel products and tools that we need for our wheels are wheel cleaner, wheel brush, and wheel wax or protectant. Why are these important?

Firstly, you need a wheel cleaner to clean off the brake dust from your wheels. Soap and water are not strong enough to wash away brake dust especially if you haven't cleaned your car for a long time. Cleaning your wheels properly will help keep your wheels not only look clean but also prevent the brake dust from damaging it.

Secondly, you would want to keep your wheel clean and protect it from damages. Adding a layer of wheel protectant or wax not only protects your wheels but also keep it clean and shiny.

Lastly, you would want to buy a wheel brush to pair up with your wheel cleaner. Generally, wheel cleaners can wash away brake dust just by spraying it on wheels however deep brake dust may need some brushing. Some people would use regular brushes but if you care about your car so much then it would be better to buy a brush that is specifically designed for wheels. That way, the brush won't damage your wheel finishes.

Here's a list of the most highly recommended wheel cleaners, wheel wax or protectant and wheel brushes. At the bottom of this post, you'll see a brief summary of why the following products are the best for your wheels. You may click on "Read full review" to get more details about the product. I know it can be tiring and time-consuming to research online about wheel products but if you want the best for your wheels like I do, you'll do the best that you can to understand why these products are great and find out if it fits the type of wheel you have.

Here's our top wheel detailing products and tools:

Product Our Rating
Meguiar's G9524 Hot Rims Wheel Cleaner Review thumbnail Meguiar's Wheel Cleaner
CHECK PRICE
Sonax (230200-755) Wheel Cleaner Full Effect Review thumbnail Sonax Wheel Cleaner
CHECK PRICE
Griot's Garage 11107 Wheel Cleaner Review thumbnail Griot's Garage Wheel Cleaner
CHECK PRICE
Wheel Wax Review thumbnail Wheel Wax Ultimate
CHECK PRICE
Armor All 78482 Wheel Protectant Review thumbnail Armor All Wheel Protectant
CHECK PRICE
Speed Master Wheel Brush Review thumbnail Speedmaster Wheel Brush
CHECK PRICE
Mothers Wheel Brush Review thumbnail Mothers Wheel Brush
CHECK PRICE

Meguiar's Wheel Cleaner - Inexpensive product and works for both wheels and tires

We have three wheel cleaners on this list. Let's start off with Meguiar's Wheel Cleaner. Meguiar's is a solid company and has been in the car care industry for a long time. They are well-known and popular with both regular car users and professionals. What sets this cleaner apart from the other three cleaners is that it can be used for both wheels and tires and it is inexpensive. However, it is very effective in removing brake dust however it has a very strong content and can damage wheel finishes if not applied correctly. This product comes in three variations: an all-wheel cleaner, for aluminum wheels and for chrome wheels. Know what type of wheel you have before buying to avoid risks of damaging your wheels finishes. 

Sonax Wheel Cleaner - An environmentally-safe product that cleans nicely

Sonax Wheel Cleaner, on the other hand, is not as toxic as the Meguiar's Wheel Cleaner. It has a gentle and mild feel to it but still cleans. However, you need to exert more effort in brushing off the brake dust and other types of contaminants on your wheels. The greatest thing about the Sonax Wheel Cleaner is that it is very safe to use since it is gentle on wheels and also environmentally-safe. The product is expensive compared to other products that can clean better.

Griot's Garage Wheel Cleaner - Non-toxic product with great cleaning power

The Griot's Garage Wheel Cleaner sets a balance between effectiveness and toxicity level. It isn't as toxic as Meguiar's but more effective than Sonax Wheel Cleaner. This just goes to show that a wheel cleaner doesn't have to be toxic to be very effective. The product is worth the price. In fact, it is cheaper if you purchase 1 gallon which is an option since this product comes in four sizes.

Wheel Wax Ultimate - Spread this wax on your wheels to keep it clean

Wheel Wax is a popular way to keep your wheels nice and shiny. Aside from that, it keeps off some of the brake dust from sticking on your wheels. If it sticks, it is easier to clean compared to a wheel that hasn't been waxed. Also, the wax adds a protective layer to your wheels to minimizes the damages on your wheels when you're driving your car or if you constantly use it on a rough road.

Armor All Wheel Protectant - An easy-to-use spray-on wheel protectant

A much more convenient way to protect your wheels. Instead of spreading a wax, you can use this spray-on product. It is a highly-rated product. Once you apply this product, it will take more than a week and for some, it can take months before you car will need another cleaning. It is also easier to clean your wheels the next time. Some people even use a wheel duster, wipes or water spray to clean it because the brake dust just slides on your wheels and doesn't stick as much as it does without a wheel protectant.

Speedmaster Wheel Brush - The most versatile wheel brush in the market

This wheel brush is long enough to reach deep areas of the wheel. The diameter of the stem is small enough to get into small holes. It can be bent so you can clean the back of the spokes. It is safe to use because the bristles are soft and the edges are covered to keep it from scratching your wheels.

Mothers Wheel Brush - The most inexpensive wheel brush with good quality

This wheel brush is not as versatile as the Speedmaster Wheel Brush but it is the best cheap alternative for those who are on a tight budget. It is basically best for wheels with bigger holes as it has a big head and can't be bent. However, it cleans flat surfaces nicely since it has a wide head.

Considering your wheel type, budget, needs and wants. I trust that this article will help you decide on which wheel product or tool you should buy. You have at least two options for wheel cleaners, wheel brushes, and wheel protectants. They have their advantages and disadvantages but your satisfaction usually depends on what you need at the moment. I would suggest reading the full review for each product to know everything you need to know. It is always best to get all the information you need before buying to avoid making the wrong choice.

Main Image Copyright: “Di Studio/Shutterstock”