Wheel Cleaning Guide


Of all of the parts of the car, it’s the wheels that get the most battering. Brake dust, tar, salt and the weather all take their toll on your wheels so it’s important to pay extra care to this area. Aluminium, coated or painted, it’s really important to choose a cleaner that is appropriate for your wheels and then test it on an inconspicuous area. Some people prefer to get a wheel cleaner that can be used on tyres also, while others prefer separate products.

The next piece of kit you’ll need is a wheel brush and for this you need to consider the space on the wheel, the EZ detail brush is a fantastic brush because of the softness of the bristles and the length of the handle, but if your alloys don’t have a lot of space to fit a brush through, then the EZ Detail Brush mini version or the Vikan wheel brush might be a better choice for you. All of the brushes that we stock have the soft feathered bristles which are not only safe for your wheels but also pull the dirt away. For the tyre itself, it’s safe to use a firmer brush. It's also always worth getting the Valet Pro Inch Round Wheel Brush also as these are cheap but highly effective for cleaning around the rim, the face of the spokes and around the wheel nuts.

Start with a specialist wheel cleaner, products such as Valet PRO Bilberry wheel cleaner which are concentrated provide the best value for money and you can increase the strength depending on the level of dirt. A ratio of 10:1 (ten parts water to one part bilbury) is a good starting point. It’s worth using a chemical resistant sprayer as these tend to withstand the stronger chemicals in wheel cleaners than the standard ones. Or for real ease, a ready to use solution like one of our favourites, the Sonax Full Effect wheel cleaner means you just literally get the bottle and spray.

Spray the cleaner onto the wheels, allow to soak the dirt off for about 5 minutes.

SONAX Full Effect Wheel Cleaner

You can use your wheel brush to get onto the nooks and crannies.

ez detail brush  and wheel

The specilly angled Spoke Back Wheel Woolies are superb for getting around the back of the spokes and around the brake discs

wheel woolies spoke back brush and wheel

After you've loosened all the dirt you can then rinse off.


And admire your handy work,

clean wheel cu
For extra protection you can then use a specialist wheel sealant or wax. These are tougher than the general waxes and can withstand greater heat. They also act as a barrier protecting the wheel from contaminants and should also make cleaning the wheels a bit easier the next time. Apply as per the instructions and then buff off.

The icing on the cake to any wheel detail is a tyre dressing, these are usually gels that nourish the rubber to prevent cracking, provide UV protection and restore its appearance. These are easy to apply with a tyre dressing applicator.

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