: What is the best cleaner/polish for wheels?



fogey0
04-03-12, 09:21 PM
I have a new V Coupe with the highly polished aluminun wheels. They look like chrome. What is the best cleaner to knock the dirt off when washing and what is the best polish to use after?
Thanks.

MSOsr
04-03-12, 10:19 PM
Sonax Full Effect sprayed on and left for 3-5 minutes. Agitate with a brush in the worst areas and then rinse with a strong water spray. Will clean them like new. After they are clean, polish them with paint safe products like Meguiars 105 or 205, depending on the amount of swirl marks on the wheel (least abrasive polish first). After the wheels are totally cleaned and polished out, coat them with Wheel Wax, Zaino Z2 or Z5 or, if they are perfect, Opti Guard.


Mike

Kluch
04-03-12, 11:18 PM
All I would use is soap and water. Anything too abrasive will destroy the coating on your rotor hats and cause them to rust prematurely. I might know something about this.

Stillborn
04-03-12, 11:21 PM
simple green. let sit 2-3 min. then rinse. chrome must breath, so no wax or polish (if applicable)

JOEYCTS-V
04-04-12, 12:11 AM
simple green. let sit 2-3 min. then rinse. chrome must breath, so no wax or polish (if applicable)

Do you realize these wheels have a clear coat?

hlantin
04-04-12, 12:32 AM
if the rims have a lot of brake dust, i use some simple green, but mostily the same soap and water i use for the rest of the car. a little elbow grease helps too..

once dry, i use armor all wheel protectant and it keeps it clean for a long while..

bash535i
04-04-12, 12:54 AM
P21S Wheel Cleaner Gel Formula- hands down!

Since I have the clean-up duty for all of our cars, I've used about all of them including Sonax Full Effect. The Sonax does okay on wife's 2010 MB AMG wheels and pretty good on my 2011 CTS-V polished wheels, but first use stained the calipers on my 2012 Land Rover and seemes to have promoted rust on the rotor hats and caused a dingy look on the Brembo calipers of my kid's 2011 Camaro SS. :rant2:

Sonax is good to go on our beater 2003 Montero Limited, but there certainly isn't any pretty brake hardware on it to be affected.

The Sonax turns red (supposedly from a reaction with iron particles) and leaves a mess everywhere. The P21S can be left on the wheels for hours without hurting them, doesn't change color and rinses clean without leaving a red mess everywhere.

That's just my 2 and about $400 worth (several gallons) of comparison use between the two products.

cvs
04-04-12, 09:17 AM
Griots Wheel Cleaner

http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/wheel+cleaner%2C+one+gallon.do?sortby=ourPicks

thebigjimsho
04-04-12, 09:19 AM
I like the Griots as well...

SecretWeapon
04-04-12, 09:20 AM
Simple Green and a clothes dryer vent brush to get in the tight spots.

fogey0
04-04-12, 09:27 AM
Appreciate all of the comments. Is it safe, after cleaning, to use something like Mother's Chrome Polish to shine the wheels?

Maxniman
04-04-12, 09:47 AM
Appreciate all of the comments. Is it safe, after cleaning, to use something like Mother's Chrome Polish to shine the wheels?

only if you want to damage the clear coat

SoCal_V
04-04-12, 01:46 PM
3rd vote for GRIOTS Wheel Cleaner...

http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/wheel+cleaner,+35+ounces.do

It's approved by BBS and doesn't harm clearcoats. I've used it for years with great results. It does require some light scrubbing/agitation...

I learned from Griots a long time ago that if you use a wheel cleaner that doesn't require scrubbing (a "spray on/spray off" type), then it will be too harsh/acidic and will damage the wheels.

thebigjimsho
04-04-12, 02:21 PM
3rd vote for GRIOTS Wheel Cleaner...

http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/wheel+cleaner,+35+ounces.do

It's approved by BBS and doesn't harm clearcoats. I've used it for years with great results. It does require some light scrubbing/agitation...

I learned from Griots a long time ago that if you use a wheel cleaner that doesn't require scrubbing (a "spray on/spray off" type), then it will be too harsh/acidic and will damage the wheels.

Much like touchless car washes...

Purple87SS
04-04-12, 02:35 PM
No one uses Adam's Polishes Green Wheel Cleaner? I've also used Adam's All purpose cleaner, followed by their wheel cleaner on real dirty wheels. Then armor all wheel
protectant. Good results on my TBSS wheels.

bash535i
04-04-12, 11:52 PM
Oh, meant to also recommend the Daytona Speed Master wheel brush. Works really well for keeping the inside of wheel clean also. I will be checking out the Griots product as it is priced considerably less than either the Sonax or P21S. Hopefully it is equally safe and effective as the P21S.

Lastly, I'm not affiliated with any automotive product mentioned here or elsewhere.
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51-BFvB2%2BzL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

zinner
04-05-12, 12:17 AM
I use Eagle something wheel cleaner and a sponge. I don't wax them/seal them. That is just too much work for me. Takes me 30 minutes to just clean them.

cdog533
04-05-12, 05:55 PM
Think of the wheels' clear coat as PAINT. So no chrome polishes, no metal polishes, etc. A decent low-impact wheel cleaner like P21S, or an all purpose cleaner, like Megs APC, is probably the best way to go. If you need to agitate the dirt use a wash mitt or wheel brush. Then I would rinse, spray with quick-detailer for lube, and dry with a MF towel. Simple Green is probably OK, but isn't recommended for aluminum. I wouldn't let any product completely dry on the wheel. (I hope I don't have to say never apply cleaner to hot wheels or in direct sun....)

That being said, mine do have lots of micro-marring I can't seem to avoid or correct. Has anyone done any correction on their wheels?

cruiser68
04-05-12, 08:45 PM
I like Sonax and P21 with the pictures brush. I also use zaino on my polished alum wheels.

Anyone else find the clear really soft? I have tons of swirl mark like scratched on my wheels. I'm guessing the metal in the brake dust is lightly scratching them when I use the brush. Only noticeable in certain light.