Keeping your wheels in a good shape means an extended lifetime, as well as a better performance, luckily for you, an aluminum wheel owner, aluminum is one of the softest metals out there, and it responds quite well to polishing.
The best tools you can use for this are aluminum wheel cleaners and brighteners.
With regular polishing and cleaning, you will ensure the well-being of your wheels, so let me shine some light on how to keep your wheels shining (and healthy).
Evaluating what is the best aluminum wheel cleaner
Before picking any chemicals to work with, be sure you thoroughly rinse your wheels with water to get rid of dust and dirt, ideally, you should avoid acid-based cleaners to avoid spotting, once you’re done with the wheel cleaner, scrub the wheels with a soft brush (using harder bristles might lead to scratching the aluminum, and trust me, they’re hard to get rid of).
When choosing your cleaner, be sure to have the following criteria in mind:
Aluminum is a delicate metal, too much pH might lead to spotting, and you definitely want to avoid that.
You should clean your wheels because you want to keep them in a good shape, rather than looking good, but who doesn’t want their wheels shining? Some cleaners are just for getting rid of the toxic deposits that eat your wheels up, but some leave your wheels looking as if they were new and that’s something great!
Some cleaners offer a lot of benefits, but that ends once you look at the price tag, so, like always, pay attention to the costs.
What Aluminum Wheel Cleaner to Use
Car Guys’ Premium Wheel Cleaner
This premium wheel cleaner is fit for both wheels and tires, and it can work in more than just aluminum wheels. The best part of it is its balanced pH which ensures efficient and safe cleaning.
Thanks to the cleaner’s lack of “dirty” chemicals and acids, your wheels will be safe from harmful spotting and corrosion
This product will get your wheels rid of all that grime and dirt plaguing your wheels, leaving them clean and nice, and with some rinsing and scrubbing, you’ll get them shining!
The price for this product ranges between $14 to $34 for the 18-oz. bottle and the 128-oz bottle hovers between $40 and $89, making the price quite steep if you don’t catch the product during a sale.
Final Verdict: 7.0
If you can get this product on a sale, you’re getting the most out of this excellent product, as the glaring flaw of this item is, perhaps, its steep price.
Mothers’ Aluminum Wheel Cleaner
The Aluminum Wheel Cleaner offers safety and effectiveness in an accessible bottle.
This product works great on a wide variety of wheels, from clear coated to aftermarket.
Gentle and effective, this product is meant to keep your wheels clean and free from sticky dirt or grime.
The cleaner is good enough for keeping your wheels free from sticky dirt and grime, while also leaving them shiny!
The price hovers around $10 and $14 for a 24-oz. bottle, while the gallon is around $30 and $36, in comparison, the 24-oz. bottle offers amongst the lowest prices for aluminum wheel cleaners, so if you won’t be religiously cleaning your wheels, the 24-oz. bottle offers you the chance to spend little for the same benefits!
Final Verdict: 7.6
The cost-effective ratio of this product is great, and if you won’t be cleaning too much, this is the best option you can get!
Nanoskin’s Speedy Brite
While I initially said that you should ideally avoid acid-based cleaners, the Speedy Brite is a soft enough to be used in most aluminum wheels, while having the power of acid based cleaners.
Due to the cleaner being acid-based, it becomes a bit dangerous to work with, if your wheels are delicate, if you’re going to get this product, be sure to know if your wheels are sturdy enough to handle a bit of acid, diluting it would be a great option to make sure your wheels aren’t corroded by the acid.
The nature of the cleaner makes it geared towards eliminating any kind of toxic deposit, like grime, brake dust, dirt, iron, carbon, or salt, but its penetrative capabilities makes it cut through all these dirt layers in no time, leaving your rims to shine!
The gallon ranges at $20, and the 16-oz bottle between $10 and $13, so you should just go for the gallon honestly. This cleaner will ensure many cleaning sessions, and depending on your cleaning habits, it might last many seasons before having to restock.
Final Verdict: 8.0
Cheap, reliable, and a bit tricky to work with, Nanoskin’s cleaner is a great choice for those seeking the best cost-effective ratio, and if you’re concerned with that, then you should get this as your cleaner!
DIY cleaning your aluminum wheels requires special care because the metal is much more soft and sensitive than others, so be sure to mindfully pick our best rated aluminum wheel cleaners.
If you’re looking for a serviceable cleaner that will leave your wheels looking good, free of harmful elements, and you don’t a problem with paying a bit more money (or catching a sale) then Car Guys’ Wheel Cleaner would be your best bet, as you’d be getting a high-quality product with guaranteed satisfaction.
If you won’t be cleaning too much., and if you want to keep your wheels both healthy and pleasant to the eye, then you should go for a bottle of Mothers’ Aluminum Wheel Cleaner, the low cost coupled with its effectivity makes this product a great option for those looking to clean their wheels 2 to 4 times per month.
If you’re interested in having multiple cleaning sessions, you don’t mind diluting your product for safety-sake and you want to keep your wheels shining, Nanoskin’s Speedy Brite is your best pick, as it offers just that for an accessible price and a remarkable cost-effective ratio.
I hope this helped you find what option suits you the best, good luck!