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How to Choose the Best Car Wheel and Tire Cleaner

Wheel and Tire Cleaner

Wheel and Tire Cleaner

The wheels of your car are susceptible to everyday dirt, grime, mud, and almost any “ugly” filth that come their way. Its alloy wheels (though rust-proof) may corrode, pitted, and be damaged over time especially when exposed to road salt. That is why wheels are better kept clean every time to avoid these destructive elements of nature.

These wheels can be cleaned without using too much water. There are wheel cleaners available in the market that are only sprayed through the wheels to get them back to their mirror finish appearance. This article will teach you how to choose the best car wheel and tire cleaner which will make your wheels look brand new.

How to choose the best tire and wheel cleaner?

Choosing the right tire and wheel cleaner might be difficult to some, that is why this article will make it more convenient for you. At the end of this article, you will surely have a decision on what to buy as your wheel cleaner.

how to choose the best car wheel and tire cleaner

How to choose the best car wheel and tire cleaner?

Know what type of wheels you have. Remember that not all wheels are made the same. Wheels are made from different types of coatings and materials. The material used on wheels is known by the surface which can range from powder coated, chrome, painted, to polished aluminum and many other materials.

By knowing what is on your wheels, you can now pick the right wheel cleaner for your wheels. Although some products will claim that their cleaner is best suited for any type of wheel, think again. Better read all the information written on any wheel cleaner that comes your way, and know the difference of every product.

Things to look for when buying a cleaner?

Here are the things that you must look for a wheel cleaner that will give you more satisfaction, both in performance and in price.

  • Acid-free, non-toxic, and balanced pH.
  • Will not damage the wheel’s clear coating or paint.
  • Will not corrode lug nuts or brake system.
  • Easy to use.
  • Environment-friendly.
  • Water soluble.
  • Easy to rinse.
  • Reasonably price.

What are the benefits you can get from this product?

Wheel and tire cleaners are mostly chemical-based, but are user- and environment-friendly that do not contribute to the degradation of the environment. While most brands use chemicals different from others, they are basically approved by the US government to be used in place of more harmful chemicals used decades ago.

Most wheel cleaners restore the natural color and shine of the tire and rim. Cleaners come in gel or liquid form and are usually concentrated to be diluted in water. Cleaners also prolong the lifespan of your wheels by minimizing its corrosion, pitting of the rim, and the drying of the tire when cleaned with detergent and water.

A tire usually comes with protective oil when it comes from the factory, like our skin, to protect them from dehydration which leads to rotting. Dryness makes the tire more brittle which may lead to its early “demise”. This dryness is the beginning of small crack on the tire when not properly attended.

What do these cleaners do to your wheels?

Brake dust is 92% minute iron particles caused by the abrasion of the cast iron brake rotor by the pad. These are also iron fibers from the semi-metallic elements of the brake pad. When these iron particles are not removed in your wheels, over time they will cause pitting and corrosion. The remainder of the dust residue is carbon content within the brake pad.

The wheel and tire cleaner melt grime, filth, dirt, brake dust, and other debris adhering to the wheel. In some instances, using a set of brushes (most common is a toothbrush for hard-to-reach crevices) gives the final touch to the cleaning.

In order to get the right rim and tire cleaning procedure completed, you basically need the proper tools. Using the right tools, bringing back the wheels’ factory look will be quite easy and you will keep the tires to last even longer.

Here are 5 of the best wheel and tire cleaners available in the market today.

Best choice
Best Wheel and Tire Cleaners Sonax (230241) Wheel Cleaner Plus - 16.9 fl. oz.

Sonax (230241) Wheel Cleaner Plus - 16.9 fl. oz.

Best value
Best Wheel and Tire Cleaners Wheel and Tire Cleaner - Safe for all Wheels and Rims

Wheel and Tire Cleaner - Safe for all Wheels and Rims

5 Best Wheel and Tire Cleaners to Buy - Reviews

best wheel and tire cleaner TriNova Wheel Cleaner Rim Cleaning Spray - Remove Tire Dirt, Oil Residue, Dust & More - Restores Shine & Clears Stains - Polished

The TriNova Premium Wheel Cleaner is an acid-free formula that goes right deep through your braking system without corroding its metal parts. This also breaks down oil residue and grime in no time. Works as a spray, the TriNova Wheel Cleaner impresses more car owners who find this little wonder a reliable piece of chemical ingenuity.

This wheel cleaner also restores the natural beauty of your tires and the shine of the metal alloy rims. This contains a powerful and concentrated formula, but still environment-friendly. This strictly guarded secret formulation allows it to pierce through stains developed by dirt from soil and the metal to metal contact of your car’s braking system.


  • Uses a minimal amount of water to dose off grime, dust, and other debris on your wheels.
  • Suits most wheel types.
  • Both tire and wheel cleaner.
  • Safe for users’ respiratory system and skin.
  • No need to wear protective clothing when using this product.
  • Easy to use.
  • Needs only to add water (water-based product).
  • Clean wheels without scrubbing.
  • Safe for metal on your car and the brake system.
  • Comes in easy to spray bottle.
  • Can bring back the wheel’s (tire and rim) original shine.
  • A waste product does not harm the environment.
  • The more time you let the mixture sit, the more it works.
  • Works by just spraying, rinsing, and wiping.


  • Needs assortment of brushes to go through hard to reach areas.
  • The wheel’s tire needs to be cleaned with soap or detergent (with pressurized water) to remove mud (if the wheel has dried mud) before you can use this product.
  • Could melt customized paint (oil-based) on wheels.
5 of 5 Stars
best wheel and tire cleaner Wheel and Tire Cleaner - Safe for all Wheels and Rims - Works on Alloy Chrome Aluminum Clear-Coated Painted Polished and Plasti-Dipped Rim

The CarGuys Premium Wheel Cleaner is an absolute relief for car owners with alloy, chrome, with clear glass, or painted rims. This powerful cleaner, though soft on hand and skin, is tough on dirt, salt, brake dust, winter grime, and stains that adhere to your wheels. 

Oil residue is also no match with this cleaner. Although this cleaner is not a quick fix, the wheels need to be cleaned thoroughly with pressurized water after brushing with soap or detergent when they are totally covered with mud or hardened dirt. The CarGuys Premium Wheel Cleaner retains the original black color of the tires and brings back the shine on your rims.

The remaining filth on the brake system will dissolve by this cleaner without damaging the metal parts. This cleaner is also super-concentrated that you need to dilute it in water and use until the bottle is empty (estimated use is 4 washes on all four wheels at a time in one dilution). Really a money saver. No wonder, this tough guy is a bestseller!


  • Hydrates the tires to avoid dry rotting.
  • Will not damage plated rim.
  • Will not damage even anodized chrome.
  • Also usable for motorcycle tires.
  • Brings back color on white-wall tires.
  • Acid-free, balanced pH, and relatively non-toxic.
  • All-in-one tire and wheel cleaner.
  • Environment-friendly.
  • No harmful ingredients.
  • Made in the USA.


  • Needs thorough cleaning of tires and rims to discard hardened dirt before you can use this product.
  • Not advisable for painted (oil-based) rims.
5 of 5 Stars
best wheel and tire cleaner Chemical Guys CLD_203_16 Signature Series Wheel Cleaner (16 oz)

The Chemical Guys’ CLD_203_16 Wheel Cleaner is effective even for customized wheels. Wheels that are painted by their owners using automotive paint is safe from this cleaner, you need not worry. The good thing still with the CLD20316 Signature Series is its capability to remove dirt, debris, and stains from powder-coated and painted rims which other cleaners

This citrus-based cleaner is scented but will not affect the efficacy of its content. This cleaner works well when your wheels are freed from mud and other soiled earth that hardened on the surfaced of the wheel. The Chemical Guys Signature Series Wheel Cleaner really works wonders in cleaning brake dust and even restores white-wall tires back to its shiny black finish.

This product is also formulated that strengthen its effectiveness by 35% compared to other brands of its class. The citrus-based formula melts away dust, debris, and grime without losing the original color and shine of both the rim and the tire. This cleaner really works great when diluted on a ratio of 4: 1 dilution ratio (4 parts water, 1 part cleaner).


  • Works well with chrome and painted wheels.
  • Also advisable for powder-coated and anodized wheels.
  • Scented.
  • Highly-concentrated could be used multiple times.
  • Gentle on wheels and hands.
  • Tough on dirt and grime.
  • Works well with brake calipers.
  • Made in the USA.


  • Needs agitation with a brush after spraying and water rinsing to attain best results.
5 of 5 Stars
best wheel and tire cleaner Sonax (230241) Wheel Cleaner Plus - 16.9 fl. oz

The Sonax Wheel Cleaner Plus main feature is its ability to change in color when sprayed into the dirt, grime, and other filth on your wheels. The chemical reaction is visible when this filth turns red, you know that this cleaner is working. This wheel cleaner easily dissolves the grime and brake dust that adhere to the calipers, where you can use a specially designed brush to finish the job.

The Sonax Wheel Cleaner Plus is one of the most popular cleaners across the United United because of this feature. Car owners just want to witness how grime and filth are dissolved right before their eyes. This product also gives back the color of the white wall tires even when subjected to heavy mud.

The tires need to be cleaned thoroughly with detergent and wash away heavy silted soil when your vehicle is used in heavy mud. The Sonax Wheel Cleaner Plus will do its job when the wheels are actually pre-cleaned. This cleaner is also Volatile Organic Compliant (VOC), making it more user and environment-friendly cleaner.


  • Dissolves safely greasy road grime and brake dust on contact.
  • Safe for aluminum, alloys, clear-coated, painted, and anodized.
  • Non-toxic.
  • Acid-free.
  • Balanced pH.
  • User-and environment-friendly.
  • 30% stronger than its predecessor (Sonax Full Effect).
  • Comes in bigger volume (500ml-16.9 Fl.oz.)
  • Dissolves even baked brake dust.
  • Does not damage clear coated rims.
  • Also great for customized wheels.
  • Made in Germany.


  • Wheels should be fully dried when using this product. Some agitation may be required for heavy soiled wheels.
5 of 5 Stars
 best wheel and tire cleane MEGUIAR'S G-9524 Wheel Cleaner

The Meguiar’s All Wheel Cleaner will let you see how dirt leaves the rim and tire. This unique cleaner is safe for all factory and customized wheels, whether painted or not. This is also safe for pure chrome metal wheels and coated and uncoated aluminum wheels.

The Meguiar's Hot Rims All Wheel Cleaner is easy to use and could be utilized even under the heat of the sun when you have no shade to run to when cleaning. Wiping is also effortless when you use this cleaner.

This cleaner is also equipped with the proprietary Xtreme Cling, a foaming solution that clings even to vertical surfaces that break down hard to dissolve grime and dirt. It also melts road residue from both metal and rubber that adhere stubbornly from the brake calipers. As opposed to another brand, the Meguiar's Hot Rims All Wheel Cleaner turns from clear to brown when dissolving brake dust and grime.


  • Safe for customized wheels.
  • For any type of wheel rims (aluminum, alloy, chrome, with clear gloss or painted rims)
    With unique foaming agents.
  • Acid-free.
  • Balanced pH.
  • Nontoxic.
  • User and environment-friendly.


  • Thorough rinsing of wheels with water and drying with a clean towel or microfiber cloth are needed to have favorable results.
5 of 5 Stars


Our choice for best wheel and tire cleaner? It’s Car Guys Premium Wheel Cleaner.

This wheel and tire cleaner are absolutely a relief for me. Look, this cleaner has no mercy for oily grime and dust which my wheels are always made of when I do travel a lot. The salty environment during winter also make my wheels rusty, so when I use the CarGuys Premium W​​​​​heel Cleaner, I am always stunned with the results.

My wheels do not only look brand new, they even repel the snow dust that comes my way. Really amazing product. Bar none!


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