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Best Wheel Cleaner for 2022

Blast away brake dust and other grime with our top wheel cleaner picks.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
4 min read

Like your car's body and interior, its wheels are just as important to take care of. They're a bit like a pair of shoes. They complete the look of your car, and while you need to replace them every now and then, you can extend their life and beauty by cleaning them regularly. The more you do so, the longer they last. That's why finding the right restorative products is so important and why we've tested and compiled the best wheel cleaners available in 2022.

There are a lot of wheel-cleaning products out there, so which you should invest in before grabbing a brush and a microfiber cloth and starting to scrub down that wheel surface?

Read more: Best Motorcycle Cleaners for 2022

Chemical Guys Diablo Gel Wheel and Rim Cleaner

Read on our our best picks!

Chemical Guys

Have no fear, CNET Cars is here with what we recommend as the best car wheel cleaners on the market (based on our hands-on experience). Read on for our picks and some handy wheel-cleaning tips.

Chemical Guys

This wheel cleaning product nearly made it to our top pick, but Sonax is just slightly easier to use in our experience. However, Chemical Guys' Diablo Wheel Cleaner is safe on all factory coated wheels and aftermarket wheel types, so no need to do any homework to make sure you're good to go. This product is also, as it notes, a gel. You'll need to dilute it properly to get the best results cleaning up dirty wheels, but it returns very good results washing away stubborn dirt, road grime and brake dust.

Comparison of the best wheel cleaners for 2022

Best wheel cleanerBrandNamePrice
Overall SonaxWheel Cleaner Plus$24
Aftermarket wheels Chemical GuysDiablo Gel Wheel Cleaner$13
Plasti-dipped wheels Car GuysWheel Cleaner$45
Cheap Turtle WaxAll Wheel and Tire Cleaner$4

How to get wheels clean and keep them clean

  • Use enough cleaner: You may need more or less of a specific cleaner depending on the product. Typically, the more premium cleaning products will do a better job with less. But if you find results aren't really what you're looking for, try spraying a little more.
  • Scrub the wheel: Honestly, it's really tough to find a cleaning product that's a true "spray on, rinse off" deal. That's especially true with seriously dirty wheels caked in dirt, road grime and brake dust. So, do some scrubbing and work that cleaning product in!
  • Separate buckets: Don't clean your wheels and wash your car with the same water. That's a great way to mix contaminants and won't do any favors for your wheels or the car's paint.
  • Try a power washer: High pressure water will blast brake dust and dirt off wheels with ease. It's a game changer with the right wheel cleaner and pressure washer.

Rock wheely clean wheels

Any of our top picks will leave you with sparkling clean wheels. Follow our tips to give your car a proper and clean look.

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