The Best Wheel Cleaner For Removing Brake Dust

Click here to see examples of wheel cleaners.
Click here to see examples of wheel cleaners.
Outfitting your car with the right set of wheels can make it go from drab to fab visually. New wheels, new tires, or a color change using wheel paint make a big impact on how people perceive your hotrod or commuter. However, because wheels are an item of heavy focus and are thus so important to your car’s identity, you need to take steps to keep them looking nice and clean or people will start to notice pretty quickly. Keeping your wheels clean can be a bit of a tedious task considering how quickly brake dust can accumulate. In addition, the longer brake dust sits on your wheels, the more adherent it becomes and the harder it is to get off. Fortunately, there are a number of different products available to make this work relatively painless.

Wheel cleaners come in a mix of styles such as foam, spray, and wipe on. The best wheel cleaners won’t require a lot of extra work after application as they should penetrate and melt away dirt and grime before spraying your wheels clean with water. Using a good wheel cleaner with a light scrubbing from your wheel brush should get the even the worst of grime off your wheels and tires. In today’s eco-friendly world, your chosen wheel cleaner needs to also be environmentally friendly and have minimal chemicals that will cause an issue with your washing environment. Furthermore, it shouldn’t stain your hands after use, stain anything on your vehicle, or cause an issue with other products used on the vehicle.

The Best Wheel Cleaner

sonax wheel cleaner
When it comes to selecting the best wheel cleaner on the market, the Sonax Wheel Cleaner is the bottle to have in your home garage. Sonax offers their top of the line cleaner in an easy to use 16.9 fluid ounce spray bottle, or if you have a fleet of vehicles to keep clean they offer a 169 fluid ounce jug of cleaner. These larger jugs can also fill a small spray bottle to refill over and over as needed. Whether you have a custom set of wheel in steel, aluminum, or a high-end alloy material, the Sonax cleaner won’t harm any wheel you apply it to. Beyond that, it also won’t harm any finish you have such as clear coat, polished, anodized, or powder coat. It’s pretty much safe to use on every type of wheel surface whether you ride on an old set of racing mags or a modern set of forged three piece wheels.

The Sonax formulation is environmentally friendly, pH-balanced, and acid-free. It won’t stain your vehicle or your driveway while using it. During application you’ll notice the wheel cleaner is a fluorescent lime green color. As it works to loosen and penetrate the dirt and grime, it will start to turn red. That’s the sign it’s doing the dreaded work you didn’t want to do manually. It will also bring your whitewalls and white tire lettering back to life if they have become dingy during the road miles you’re turning. The cleaner takes less than 10 minutes to do its job and fully turn from green to red. If you have dipped wheels, as in Plasti-Dip or another plastic coating brand, no fear with using this product. It will still melt the dirt away without needing a heavy scrubbing (although scrubbing on dipped wheels is not recommended). The Sonax cleaner can also be used on motorcycle wheels and tires, so don’t think this is just a car or truck motorsports cleaner. You can pretty much use it on all your powersports equipment too.

As far as available purchasing options, Amazon’s competitive pricing makes it the best value we could find. If you’re planning on just lightly cleaning the wheels one vehicle every once and a while, the 16.9-oz bottle will be enough to last a few washes. If you plan to wash your vehicle more frequently, have larger wheels and tires (20-inch diameter or more), or have a full stable to keep clean, jump up to the larger jugs. Overall, Sonax makes a terrific wheel cleaner that will most certainly treat you well. Happy wrenching!

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