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What to use to clean your wheels?

zer0cool

Member
Apr 26, 2015
504
328
charlotte, nc
Hi, what should I use to clean the car's wheels? I have standard 19in silver wheels.

I looked into Meguiar's yesterday and they have 3 kinds of cleaning solutions, one for chrome (so not that), one for regular coated wheels, and one for uncoated aluminum and various other aftermarket wheels.

I assume the Tesla factor wheel is coated aluminum so the 2nd kind of cleaning solution should be used?

Or do you recommend other types of cleaning solutions?

Thanks
 

artsci

Sponsor
May 10, 2012
6,256
3,230
Timonium, Maryland
Hi, what should I use to clean the car's wheels? I have standard 19in silver wheels.

I looked into Meguiar's yesterday and they have 3 kinds of cleaning solutions, one for chrome (so not that), one for regular coated wheels, and one for uncoated aluminum and various other aftermarket wheels.

I assume the Tesla factor wheel is coated aluminum so the 2nd kind of cleaning solution should be used?

Or do you recommend other types of cleaning solutions?

Thanks

Dirt on the wheels is pretty much the same as dirt on the rest of the car, so all of the so-called wheel cleaners are just a marketing gimmick to sell more stuff -- make it seem "specialized" and it moves off the shelf faster. I use the same solution on the wheels as I do on the car body -- plain old car wash. Works fine and you wouldn't see any difference. Many wheels are powder coated and some of the specialized wheel cleaners can do some harm.
 

linkster

Active Member
Apr 22, 2013
1,128
267
USAX2
I use the same solution on the wheels as I do on the car body -- plain old car wash. Works fine and you wouldn't see any difference.

+1

While the car and wheels are still wet after washing, I spray both car and wheels with either Turtle Wax "1-Step Wax&Dry" or Meguires "Shine As You Dry! Quick Wax", then dry. This will provide a thin wax coating to help protect and make it easier for dirt removal at the next cleaning.
 
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Brightonuk

Member
Mar 16, 2014
418
50
Plantation
Spend a little more and get these they have lasted me over a year on three cars and I use them every week, best wheel brushes I have ever bought.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dautomotive&field-keywords=Chemical+Guys+ACCM10+Wheel+Woolies+Wheel+Brushes
 

jcaspar

Member
Aug 19, 2013
834
72
Sacramento
Thanks for the tip. I'll get a set.

Spend a little more and get these they have lasted me over a year on three cars and I use them every week, best wheel brushes I have ever bought.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dautomotive&field-keywords=Chemical+Guys+ACCM10+Wheel+Woolies+Wheel+Brushes
 

Tony Lin

Member
Jul 31, 2014
216
5
Hong Kong
Dirt on the wheels is pretty much the same as dirt on the rest of the car, so all of the so-called wheel cleaners are just a marketing gimmick to sell more stuff -- make it seem "specialized" and it moves off the shelf faster. I use the same solution on the wheels as I do on the car body -- plain old car wash. Works fine and you wouldn't see any difference. Many wheels are powder coated and some of the specialized wheel cleaners can do some harm.
I agree, some if not most of the wheel cleaner can leave stains on powder coated wheels. It happened to my wheels.
 

Blu Zap

Grinning member
Oct 1, 2014
1,088
699
San Rafael, CA.
I have been getting it hand washed. So it gets taken care of then. Between washes a soft rag/towel will get the dust off. Although thanks to regen braking, not much brake dust.

For any of you with 21"s, I would really suggest getting the rim guards from Evannex. They work and have saved my rims from curb rash several times. They blend right in or you can have a highlight color.
 

Tony Lin

Member
Jul 31, 2014
216
5
Hong Kong
My car has been hand wash as well, but somehow the wheels still got stained. So I assume it's the chemical from wheel cleaner. Any idea how to get rid of the stains? I tried some liquid wax to buff it out, seems not working!
 

Jean-Claude

Local Vendor - Southeast
Feb 3, 2015
274
75
Atlanta, GA.
In the first video we use Sonax Full Effect Wheel Cleaner and show how to clean wheels.

The second video shows off the newer and better Sonax Wheel Cleaner PLUS used on coated wheels.

Since making the second video we've been exposed to an even better wheel cleaner called TUGA Alu-Teufel Spezial Gel: Tuga free wheel rim cleaner Alu-Teufel Spezial Gel 1L: Amazon.co.uk: Car Motorbike though you can purchase it stateside from carpro-us under the name TUGA Aluminum Devil Special (wheel cleaner).



 
Last edited by a moderator:

3s-a-charm

Active Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,916
821
Calgary, Canada
I absolutely swear by Iron-X - looks to be similar to the post above where it turns red when washing. You use a spray-bottle to apply and simply rinse off. I've used this on wheels I thought were way beyond being able to clean properly and this stuff is magic! No brushes, no scrubbing - simple towel dry at the end and your wheels, calipers and even most of the inside portion of the rim are spotless!

Iron X Iron Remover, CQuartz IronX, Paint Cleaner, paint decontamination
 

Tony Lin

Member
Jul 31, 2014
216
5
Hong Kong
So this can remove stubborn stains without damaging the clear coat as my wheels are powder coated, I was told not use any cleaning agent but soap and water
 

mspohr

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
9,153
10,652
California
You will need a specialized wheel cleaner only when corrosive brake dust is baked onto the wheel.
You really don't need any special cleaning solution except when you have something unusual such as tar on the wheel. Any cleaning solution runs the risk of staining, etching, coating, etc. the wheel. Most of the time just plain water and an appropriate brush will remove the dirt. If you have tar, use bug and tar remover. If you have something baked on, you may need a specialized cleaner.
Same thing goes for cleaning the paint. Any cleaning solution could damage the paint and plain water works great. All cleaning solutions are designed to remove grease, wax and oil and you definitely don't want to remove the wax from your paint.
 

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