Best Alloy Wheel Cleaner 2024

A black spray bottle with blue, red, and white branding on the front in front of a black alloy wheel.
Credit: Carfidant

A black spray bottle with blue, red, and white branding on the front in front of a black alloy wheel.
Credit: Carfidant

When it comes to effectively cleaning your vehicle from top to bottom, owning the best alloy wheel cleaner is crucial for the best results in cleaning your wheels. Fortunately, we have compiled a list of top-notch products to help you achieve spotless rims quickly and easily.

While top car shampoos and wax sprays primarily focus on the bodywork of your vehicle, our selection of wheel cleaners is specifically designed to tackle stubborn dirt and grime on your wheels. Our goal is to help you choose an alloy wheel cleaner that can effectively dissolve tough dirt without causing any damage or agitation.

In our list, you will find a range of options, including convenient spray-on solutions like the Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel Cleaner, as well as more budget-friendly alternatives like the CarPlan Demon Wheels formula. We have carefully selected these products to cater to different preferences and budgets, ensuring that you find the perfect solution for your vehicle. Plus, we've addressed some of the most commonly asked questions about alloy wheel cleaners, enabling you to make an informed decision about which cleaning solution is right for you and your vehicle.

That's enough preamble though - let's get into our top picks...

Best alloy wheel cleaners

  1. Meguiar's Ultimate All Wheel Cleaner - a well-rounded alloy cleaner
  2. Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel Cleaner - a top sprayable solution
  3. CarPlan Demon Wheels - best budget choice
  4. Carfidant Ultimate Wheel Cleaner - a superb neutral formula
  5. Autoglym Clean Wheels - a stronger, acidic alternative
Meguiar's Ultimate All Wheel Cleaner product image of a black spray bottle with a golden yellow label and an image of an alloy wheel on the front.
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Credit: Meguiar's Store

1. Meguiar's Ultimate All Wheel Cleaner

Best alloy wheel cleaner overall

Meguiar's Ultimate All Wheel Cleaner is said to be a fast-acting solution to suit all wheel types as its active gel formula quickly dissolves heavy brake dust, turning it purple in the process, thus making it easy to spot and clean every inch of dirt.

Moreover, the solution is acid-free and, therefore, pH neutral, thus helping this particular cleaning product be safe to use on all wheels according to Meguiar's Store.

Being pH-balanced, the formula is also said to be completely suitable for painted brake components too, thus helping this alloy cleaner achieve an all-around spotless finish on your wheels.

Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel Cleaner product image of a white spray bottle with a blue label and cap.
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Credit: Bilt Hamber

2. Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel Cleaner

Best alloy wheel cleaner spray

This Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel Cleaner is arguably the complete package with its pH-neutral formula which Bilt Hamber boasts can be universally applied to any type of wheel.

Simply spray the solution on, and its unique colour-changing formula should help you identify every single inch of dirt so you're ready to wipe away with your sponge or brush. It's water soluble as well, so can be hosed down afterward.

The formula works by reacting with the oxidising surface of your wheels, causing the rapid removal of rust whilst reducing the size of embedded particles such as brake dust.

Ultimately, we feel there's a lot to like about this alloy cleaner, hence its inclusion on our list.

CarPlan Demon Wheels product image of a clear spray bottle containing a pink cleaning product, plus black and red labels.
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Credit: CarPlan

3. CarPlan Demon Wheels

Best budget alloy wheel cleaner

If you're looking for a budget-friendly cleaning solution, consider the CarPlan Demon Wheels cleaner. With its inexpensive price tag, this cleaner offers a convenient spray applicator for the swift application of its fast-acting formula. Say goodbye to oil, road grime, and stubborn brake dust as this cleaner efficiently breaks them down, unveiling spotless wheels after a simple rinse.

It's important to note that this cleaner has an alkaline composition, so exercising caution during use is recommended. To mitigate its alkalinity, WhatCar suggests adding a touch of water while using this solution, aiding in balancing out the mixture.

Despite its alkaline nature, this alloy cleaner remains a solid choice for those seeking a cost-effective yet potent solution to keep their vehicle wheels gleaming.

Carfidant Ultimate Wheel Cleaner product image of a black spray bottle with a blue label.
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Credit: Carfidant

4. Carfidant Ultimate Wheel Cleaner

Best neutral alloy wheel cleaner

The Carfidant Ultimate Wheel Cleaner is a versatile solution crafted with a neutral formula, specifically engineered to swiftly and efficiently eliminate dirt and brake dust from your wheels at the source.

With its convenient spray-on application, using this cleaner is a breeze. Simply spray the solution onto your wheels, allow it to penetrate and work its magic, then rinse off to reveal your alloy wheels in pristine condition.

Carfident also boasts that its formula is safe to use on tyres. You can, therefore, confidently apply it to your wheels without worrying about unsightly stains or detrimental effects on the rubber, even if you accidentally overspray onto your alloys.

As a result, this neutral formula from Carfidant is a compelling choice for wheel maintenance, suitable for all types of wheels, and is easy to use.

Autoglym Clean Wheels product image of a white spray bottle with an orange label.
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Credit: Autoglym

5. Autoglym Clean Wheels

Best acidic alloy wheel cleaner

Autoglym, a brand previously featured in our list of the best car window cleaning products, makes another appearance here with its Clean Wheels solution. This product stands as a testament to Autoglym's expertise, offering an acidic cleaning solution designed specifically for alloy wheels.

It's essential to approach acidic cleaners with caution and use them sparingly. WhatCar recommends applying a solution like this exclusively to lacquered alloys, painted wheels, and plastic finishes due to its harsher formula.

Nonetheless, Autoglym proudly claims that their solution is remarkably fast-acting, capable of effortlessly tackling even the most stubborn brake dust and road grime. So, if you're comfortable working with an acidic product, this formula could be the ideal cleaning solution for your alloy wheels.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When it comes to finding the best wheel cleaning products, there are usually a few questions that pop up. Don't worry though because we've answered some of the most common queries right here.

Does alloy wheel cleaner damage wheels?

Neutral alloy wheel cleaners are, by and large, safe to use on all wheel types as they contain an active ingredient that reacts with iron particles to loosen any dust and debris.

You may encounter some issues with acidic or alkaline alloy wheel cleaners which are typically harsher, more aggressive cleaning solutions. They may be fast-acting, but they can also damage the finish of your alloy wheels.

Therefore, we'd recommend only using acidic or alkaline alloy wheel cleaners sparingly, possibly even only as a last resort if you're struggling to get your wheels looking spotless. Also, consider only using them on lacquered alloys that are a little more protected than regular alloy wheels.

How often should you clean your alloy wheels?

There's not really a set rule on how often you should clean your alloy wheels; however, it's important to clean them somewhat regularly in order to prevent the dirt and debris that builds up between cleans from becoming a problem, i.e. difficult to remove.

Generally speaking, alloy wheels require cleaning every one to two weeks, although this can vary depending on how often you use your vehicle and the type of roads you drive on. You can also clean your wheels more frequently than this if you desire.

What's the best way to clean alloy wheels?

The best way to clean alloy wheels, in our opinion, is as follows:

  • Switch off your ignition and give your wheels enough time to cool down.
  • Add some of your alloy wheel solution to water (or use as per instructions), then dip a soft sponge into the mixture ready to clean away the worst of the dirt.
  • Once most of the debris has been removed, take an old toothbrush and clean it in between the spokes.
  • Gently rinse off the remaining grime with a hose or jet wash, then dry off with a microfibre cloth.

Should you rinse your alloy wheels first before cleaning them?

Like paintwork, alloy wheels will only benefit from being rinsed before you start applying cleaning products.

Pre-washing helps to remove any loose dirt and debris from your rims which you may end up spreading across your alloys instead of wiping away.

As a result, you might end up with slightly dirty alloys rather than spotless wheels as intended. We'd recommend using a sponge and some water or a pressure washer to rinse your alloys before cleaning.

How do you clean brake dust from alloy wheels?

Out of all the dirt and debris that builds up on your allows, brake dust is perhaps the hardest to clean if it's left on your wheels for too long. However, the best way to remove brake dust is to essentially follow the steps we've mentioned above.

We'd definitely recommend rinsing your alloys first before diving in with a soft-bristled brush or sponge.

You can also purchase cleaning products and formulas designed specifically for removing brake dust, or you can use the popular homemade solution of white vinegar and baking soda, although we'd recommend opting for a specific cleaning product to avoid accidentally damaging your alloys.

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