Best Wheel And Tire Cleaners In 2021
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.
One of our favorite things about the TriNova Tire Shine Spray is that it’s made in the USA. This makes it one of the most popular tire cleaning products at national car shows. And, if it’s good enough for car collectors, it’s good enough for your average car owner.
The coating provides more than just a wet look. It protects the tires against signs of aging and repels dirt and grime, keeping them looking new for longer. You also get an extra-long nozzle, which allows you to be as accurate as possible with the spray. For more must-have products for your vehicle, check out our guide to the best car battery testers.
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.
In addition to its wheel-cleaning ability, it also provides shine to tires as well. It’s not as effective as the TriNova Tire Shine Spray on tires, but it’s still pretty impressive. Plus, it works on any type of wheel and tire – there’s no need to check if it will work on your car, it just will.
Like the TriNova Tire Shine Spray, it’s made in the USA, which means you’re supporting the local industry by buying this product. If that’s not convincing enough, check out the huge amount of 5-star reviews on Amazon. You may also be interested in some of the best car cleaning kits, so be sure to check them out.
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.
It’s not as environmentally-friendly as The Wheel Cleaner by CarGuys, which is why it’s cheaper per ounce. However, it’s still free from acid and pH balanced. That makes it safe to use on all wheel types and it won’t damage your brake calipers (some cheaper products can).
There’s something else about this product that isn’t mentioned in the product description. It can be used on the body panels of the car as well. It has a similar effect on paint as it does on car wheels, which makes it a much more versatile product. You can even use it on plastic hubcaps. It’s not the ideal product for cleaning body panels, but it’s a nice bonus. Be sure to also check out our guide to the best car air fresheners and pick the scent you like the most.
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.
For the impressively low price of $6.47 (at the time of writing), you get a large 24oz bottle. This should cover a standard car’s wheels and tires three times over, making it the best value wheel and tire cleaner on this list.
The Amazon reviews make for good reading when you consider the low price of this cleaner. It has over 500 reviews and has maintained a 4-star rating. The only real complaints are from serious car enthusiasts complaining that the product isn’t safe enough for high-end cars. If you’re serious about your motor, you should probably look elsewhere. But, if you need a solid cleaner, this will work fine. For more amazing products to help you keep your car clean, check out our guide to the best car vacuum cleaners.
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.
The other benefit of using a gel formula on your tires is that it lasts longer and is less affected by rain or washing. If you apply it correctly, it should last weeks without the need to reapply. We’d strongly recommend this tire cleaner for serious car enthusiasts, due to the cost and lack of versatility as a car care product. If you don’t care that much about your tires, you could find a cheaper product.
The other great thing about Meguiar’s G7516 Endurance Tire Gel is that it protects your tires as well. The formula contains specialized macro polymers and copolymers, which work to protect tires against UV damage and stops them from browning. If you’re serious about the health and aesthetics of your car tires, this is probably the best tire cleaner around. Don’t forget to also check out our guide to the best tire pressure gauges for more amazing car gear.
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.
It can also be used to clean your tires as well. Unlike cheaper wheel cleaners, this product doesn’t slowly rot away at your tires, causing them to become stained or even crack.
The thing that sets The Carfidant Ultimate Wheel Cleaner Spray aside from its competitors is the 100% satisfaction guarantee. This isn’t something you see on many car care products, so it’s a huge plus. Carfidant says that they’re professionals and enthusiasts and believe in their products 100%. It comes in an 18oz bottle and should cover all four wheels at least twice. For more reliable products for your car, check out our guide to the best car jump starters.
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.
P&S Detailing Products N26 is made to remove brake dust, oil, dirt, stains, and light corrosion without damaging the surface of the wheel. This is important in premium-quality wheels because the surface can be quite delicate. Unlike a lot of the products on this list, it’s safe on powder-coated and painted wheels.
The Amazon listing for this product doesn’t have that many reviews (just over 200) but pretty much all of them are positive. So, it’s a bit of a newcomer on Amazon but it’s off to a flying start.
The other thing we love about this product is that it comes with a microfiber towel. This helps you get the most out of the formula by putting in some elbow grease on the stubborn bits. If you’re looking for an amazing value formula for your expensive wheels, this is the product for you. Our guide to the best tire repair kits offers some useful products every car owner should have, so check them out.
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.
It’s safe to use on pretty much all wheels, including factory and aftermarket coated wheels. However, you have to make sure that you follow the instructions carefully.
We also love the fact that this works well on both wheels and tires. A lot of the products that do both aren’t that effective, but this product is. If you’re looking for one of the best all-rounders, this is one of our favorites. You may also like to invest in some of the best de-icers from our list, so be sure to check them out.
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).
This formula comes in a concentrated strength designed to tackle the toughest jobs. But, if you only need to do a basic clean of your wheels you can dilute it up to eight times. That makes it a great value product if you’re using it for regular cleaning. It’s great that the company has mentioned the option to dilute the product because every car has different cleaning needs and not everyone will need the full-strength version.
It’s not the most effective formula on all wheel types, but if you have performance wheels, this could be the perfect cleaner for you. You may also be interested in some of the best car gadgets from our list, so take a moment to check them out.
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.
The big selling point of the wheel cleaner is the fact that it has brake dust remover and grease-cutting active ingredients. These work together perfectly to cut through even the toughest dirt on your wheels. Plus, you get a free applicator and microfibre towel to help you get the most out of the cleaning products. If you like using a pressure washer for car cleaning, you may need to invest in a quality pressure washer detergents, so check out our list of the best ones on the market.
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.