You need the right products to take good care of your car. In this article, we’re looking at the best wheel and tire cleaners on the market. Some of them are specific to just wheels or tires and some cover both. We’ve also included products from across the price range, to make sure there’s a wheel and tire cleaner for everyone.
The Best Wheel And Tire Cleaner
Faded tires can make a car look much older than it is. So, if you’re selling your motor or you just like to take good care of your car’s appearance, you need to keep the tires looking new. TriNova Tire Shine Spray No Wipe is a one-trick pony (you’ll need a separate product for your wheels), but it does that trick better than any other product on the market. It gives your tires a dark and shiny finish that makes them look brand new.
Unlike cheaper products, the wet-look finish won’t come off after a few miles of driving. It’s widely regarded as the longest-lasting tire shine product on the market. You won’t have to reapply multiple times a week. Not only that, it provides the deepest shine of all the products we’ve tested.
Tire shine spray
Protects against signs of aging
Lasts longer than other products
Made in the USA
- Weight8.33 pounds
The Wheel Cleaner by CarGuys is one of the best cleaners on the market for metal rims. Anyone who’s cleaned a car before will know that the wheels are the hardest part to get clean. Brake dust, winter grime, road salt, and other materials get stuck to the metal and are almost impossible to dislodge. Spray it on to your wheel and let it do it’s magic for 3-5 minutes, and the dirt will come straight off.
You might think that a powerful wheel cleaner like this is full of nasty chemicals, but this is an environmentally-friendly product. It’s non-toxic, and pH balanced, which means it’s completely safe to use. The only downside is that this makes the product slightly more expensive than other similar products. But, if you want a powerful cleaner that’s completely guilt-free, the Wheel Cleaner by CarGuys is the product for you.
Wheel and tire cleaner
Made in the USA
- Weight1.13 pounds
If you’re looking for a cheaper all-purpose wheel cleaner, the Meguiar’s Ultimate All Wheel Cleaner is one of the best. It might not seem much cheaper than other products on this list, but you get a large 32oz bottle that lasts a long time.
The active gel formula works similarly to Wheel Cleaner by CarGuys we featured above. You spray it on the dirty wheel, leave for 2-4 minutes, and then just spray it off with a hose. It works particularly well on brake dust, which can be stubborn if not treated regularly. Due to the size of the bottle and the strength of this solution, we’d recommend it for car owners that clean their car weekly.
Wheel and tire cleaner
Can be used to clean body panels
- Weight2.5 pounds
If you’re on the lookout for a budget wheel and tire cleaner, this product from Mothers is our pick. It’s not the most powerful product on this list and it isn’t environmentally-friendly. However, not everyone wants a premium cleaning product, so we’ve included this one for balance.
Mothers 05924 Foaming Wheel & Tire Cleaner can be used on both wheels and tires, making it one of the more versatile products on this list. However, it can only be used on specific types of wheels. The Amazon listing says that it’s safe for painted, clear-coated, color-coated, steel, modular, chrome, or factory coated wheels and hubcaps. That covers most wheels, except for polished or roughcast aluminum, billet or anodized wheels.
Wheel and tire cleaner
- Weight1.8 pounds
Next up is our second product from Meguiar’s. This company has been making car care products for around 118 years. That’s nearly as long as cars have been around, so it’s fair to say they’ve been in the game a while. Meguiar’s is one of the industry leaders in car care, which is why a couple of their products have made it onto this list.
This product is designed just to care for the tires. It’s an alternative to the wet-look spray you can find in any automotive store. Instead of spraying it onto the tire, you have to apply it with a sponge. This might take longer, but it provides a more even finish and avoids any oversprays, runs, or drips.
Apply it with a sponge
Protects against UV damage
- Weight1.1 pounds
The Carfidant Ultimate Wheel Cleaner Spray is one of the highest-rated wheel care products on Amazon. A quick look at the reviews and you can buy with confidence, knowing that this product does what it claims.
One of the most impressive things about this wheel cleaner is that it’s 100% safe to use on all rims. There’s no need to check if it will be okay on your car wheels, it’s made for all cars. This is because it’s free from acid, pH balanced, and doesn’t contain any dyes or scents.
Safe for tires and rubber
- Weight1.25 pounds
Next up, we’ve got a product that’s designed to be used on premium quality wheels. It’s more expensive than most of the products, but then again you get a huge 1-gallon tub, so it works out considerably cheaper than a lot of the products on this list.
The downside of buying a 1-gallon tub like this is that it doesn’t have a spray lid. You need to buy a spray bottle to apply the formula (or repurpose an old spray bottle that you have finished using). The upside is that it will last a lot longer than most of the products on this list.
Designed for premium wheels
Comes with a microfibre towel
- BrandP&S Detailing Products
- Weight8.87 pounds
Armor All is one of the biggest car care brands in the world. They make some of the most popular products on the market, and we knew that we’d include at least one of their products on this list. The Armor All Extreme Wheel and Tire Cleaner is a triple-action formula. That means it works on grease, road grime, and brake dust. These are the three most common things that cause wheels to look dirty and ultimately get damaged.
The most impressive feature of this wheel cleaner is the intense foaming action. When you spray it onto the wheel, it quickly expands into a foam that clings to the wheel and lifts the dirt away. It also has a blanketing agent in the formula, helping it spread into the difficult-to-reach areas of the wheel.
Wheel and tire cleaner
Safe on aftermarket and factory coated wheels
- BrandArmor All
- Weight2.3 pounds
Chemical Guys CLD_203_16 Signature Series Wheel Cleaner is designed to safely clean powder-coated, chrome, polished, and painted wheels. That covers all kinds of custom wheels available. If your car is standard out of the garage, you probably won’t need this product and could find something a little cheaper to do the same job. But, if you’ve spent hundreds or thousands on your rims, it’s not worth risking damage with a budget wheel cleaner.
The product we’ve featured here is a 16oz bottle, but it’s possible to buy the formula in a large 1-gallon bottle. So, if you try this wheel cleaner and like it, you can save money by buying in bulk. The citrus-based formula is designed to remove brake dust, oxidation, oil, and dirt. The brake dust must be removed because it can cause corrosion on performance wheels (like those mentioned above).
Perfect for custom wheels
Removes dirt and debris from tires
Can be diluted up to 8 times
- BrandChemical Guys
- Weight1.1 pounds
The Black Magic No Scrub Wheel Cleaner is the cheapest product on this list. We don’t just recommend products based on a low price, because there’s no point in saving money if it costs you more in the long run. This can be the case with cheap car care products that end up damaging the paintwork or corroding the metal.
However, this product is completely safe to use on your car. The most important reason it’s safe is that it’s pH neutral. Some cheap wheel care products are acidic and can cause damage to both the wheels and tires. This cleaner is safe to use on ABS plastic, chrome, aluminum, wire, and mag wheels. It can also be used on a clear coat, polished, painted, or anodized finish. It’s designed to work on brake dust and road grime, but it will remove pretty much anything stuck onto your wheels. It’s not the strongest product on here (which you’d expect, considering the price) but it still works remarkably well. Don’t forget to also check out our guide to the best power inverters for cars for more quality products like this.
Work on all wheel types
- BrandBlack Magic
- Weight1.5 pounds
Turtle Wax is one of the biggest car care companies in the world. They’re most famous for (you guessed it) their car wax, but they make a whole range of products. This listing is for a pack of two sprays – a tire shine and wheel cleaner. This is the best of both worlds because you get twice as much liquid and it costs about the same as the two-in-one sprays.
The tire shine product has UV inhibitors, which is something we haven’t seen in many other tire products. However, it’s really important because it protects the tires against fading, drying, browning, and cracking. Using a product like Turtle Wax 50837 Tire Shine & Wheel Cleaner Kit on your tires can increase their lifespan.
2 pack – tire shine and wheel cleaner
Contains UV inhibitors
Contains applicator and microfibre towel
- BrandTurtle Wax
- Weight4.06 pounds
If you want to get the most out of your wheel cleaning product, this bottle from Auto Fanatic is probably the best choice. You might only get a 16oz bottle, but it’s ‘super mega concentrate’. That means you dilute it with water and end up with 4 gallons of formula. This wheel cleaner could last you over a year of regular cleaning.
AUTO FANATIC Professional Wheel & Tire Cleaning Foam is made for professional car cleaners because it can be used in a foam cannon, a foaming sprayer, or other industrial machines. But you can also apply it using an old spray bottle that you’ve got lying around. It’s non-acidic, doesn’t give off any fumes, and is safe to use on all wheel finishes. An amazing gift for car lovers.
Makes 4 gallons
Made for industrial cleaners
- BrandAUTO FANATIC
- Weight1 pounds
Wheel And Tire Cleaner Buying Guide & FAQ
Features To Look For In Wheel And Tire Cleaners
Rinse Action - Rinse action means that you don’t have to put any elbow grease into cleaning your wheels. You spray on the cleaner and leave it for a few minutes (it’s slightly different for each product), then just rinse it off with water.
Use - Every wheel and tire cleaner has a different use. Some work on just wheels or just tires, some work on both. It’s also important to check the material of your wheels before choosing a cleaner because some of them are material-specific.
Wheel And Tire Cleaner FAQ
Q: What is the best way to clean car tires?
A: You should rinse them off with a powerful hose first. Then, apply one of the tire cleaners from the list above. Some of them are better if you leave the tires to dry first.
Q: What is the best way to clean rims?
A: Again, clean them with a hose first to remove any loose dirt. Then, use a rim cleaner that can remove both brake dust and road grime.