View Full Version : 2. What is the best and safest way to clean my wheels?

Mike Phillips
Sep 27th, 2004, 06:20 AM
From Meguiar's Meguiar's *NEW* FAQ (http://www.meguiars.com/faq/)

2. What is the best and safest way to clean my wheels? (http://www.meguiarsonline.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=64)

Use the correct wheel cleaner

The best and safest way to remove brake dust, dirt, and road grime from wheels is to match the type of wheel cleaner to the type of wheel you're cleaning. Using the wrong wheel cleaner can lead to discoloring, dulling, and permanent staining. When in doubt, contact the wheel manufacture and ask them for their recommendations.

When cleaning neglected or extremely dirty wheels with extra heavy build-up of brake dust and road grime, instead of relying solely on a chemical cleaner for its cleaning power, boost the power of your wheel cleaner by using either a soft wheel brush or quality household paint brush.

When it comes to cleaning extremely dirty wheels, many people seek-out an extra strong wheel cleaner to do all of the work, when all the extra strength they really need can be found in their arms.

Don't make the mistake of trying to take the easy way out by resorting to an extra strength cleaner that can potentially damage your wheels because it's too strong. This is a common mistake people make when they rely on cleaners that are too strong, or use common under the sink multi-purpose cleaners that were never intended for use on their particular wheel surface.

Twice is Nice

Instead of using a more aggressive and potentially harmful cleaner on your car's wheels, try cleaning your wheels twice using a soft bristle wheel brush such as Meguiar's Deluxe Wheel Brush, or Ultra Soft Wheel Brush. Even a high quality household paintbrush along with a little extra elbow grease will help you get you wheels clean easily and safely.

Your first wheel cleaning will remove a majority of the built up brake dust and road grime. This will allow the next application of wheel cleaner to go right to work on the built-up brake dust and road grime that was underneath the first layer.

By using a high quality wheel brush or a household paintbrush, you will effectively agitate the built-up brake dust and road grime enabling the wheel cleaning chemicals to penetrate, loosen, and break their grip on the surface of your wheels. A second application will only take a few extra minutes and it will do a much better job of safely cleaning your wheels, versus trying to get the job done quickly with only one application.

Of course, as Barry always says, "Frequent car care is easy car care". This goes for cleaning wheels too. Washing your car often and thoroughly cleaning your wheels each time you wash your car, including all of the nooks and crannies, will prevent excessive brake dust and road grime from building up in the first place. Applying a protective coating of either a Meguiar’s NXT All Metal Polysh, or Meguiar’s All Metal Polish (for uncoated, polished wheels), or any Meguiar’s premium wax or paint protectant (for coated, or factory painted wheels) to insure cleaning your wheels is fast and easy.

In an effort to help you keep your wheels sparkling clean, Meguiar’s offers the following wheel cleaners, one of which is perfectly suited for your particular wheels:

Gold Class Instant Wheel Cleaner - Safe for factory clear coats and chrome
Hot Rims/Cool Care All Wheel Cleaner - All wheels except anodized aluminum
Gold Class All Wheel cleaner - All Wheels
#36 Wheel Cleaner - All Wheels


Dec 29th, 2007, 10:52 AM
What About The Pink Bottle Of Hot Wheelz

Dec 29th, 2007, 12:26 PM
Well, this article is 3 years old... there are a few new products since then.

You have the Multi-Piece Wheel Wash, All Wheel Cleaner, Chrome Wheel Cleaner, and perhaps 1 or two more. What you would want to do is check what your wheels are made of/coated with, and use the appropriate cleaner. Multi-Piece would be the most gentle, and safe for everything.

Dec 29th, 2007, 02:03 PM
Boars hair brush works great on any finish and any product.

Mar 10th, 2008, 07:25 AM
I have powder coated then clear coated wheels. I have used a buffer with 80 and then waxed and they look fantastic. My only issue is getting in around my rivets day to day. Any new products that are spray on and wipe off? Normally I spray them with the ultimate quick detailer...what about a good wheel brush that wont scratch or swirl? I know from class that clear coat is hard but I only break out the buffer for them every 6 months or so.

Apr 22nd, 2008, 03:59 PM
what about using wheel brightener from detailer series ? I was told this stuff is very acidic and we can't even smell it :confused: need to wear mask and glove when doing the application ?

Jul 1st, 2008, 10:26 AM
Has anyone found a way to make it easier to clean off brake dust and keep it off?

Dec 12th, 2008, 06:28 PM
I do not recommend using acidic wheel cleaners on "your" car unless the brake dirst is extremely hard to remove.

I like being gentle with wheels, I only use soap and water, multi-purpose cleaner for stubborn dirt much safer then acidic wheel cleaners, thoroughly dry.

Clay bar your rims to "exfoliate" embedded brake dust and road grime. Apply a generous amount of quality wax of your choice but allow the wax to sit on the surface for an hour or more to allow the wax to adhere and bond to your wheels surface. Wipe clean, maintain shine by using a spray detailer such as quick detailer and gently wipe clean to remove fresh brake dust. Treat your wheels as gentle as you would treat your car's body.