Wheels take a lot of beating when on the road. They’re exposed to the outside world and are in close contact with the ground. Dirt and grime can get in the nooks and crannies.
If left unchecked, things can take a turn for the worse. You don’t want to deal with a wheel that has years of baked-on grease and dust.
That’s why we scoured the internet along with experts and buyers’ opinions to bring you the best wheel cleaner for black wheels.
All of these cleaners are not only effective at getting rid of stubborn grime, but they’re safe for your wheels too! And guess what? Some even have a pleasant scent. How cool is that? So, let’s get started.
10 Best Wheel Cleaner for Black Wheels Review
There’re a ton of wheel cleaners in the market. One simple google search will immediately tell you that. How do you know which one to get? Well, leave that to us. Here is a roundup and review of the top 10.
1. Sonax 230500 Wheel Cleaner Full Effect
If you’re in the market for the top-notch wheel cleaner, you can’t go wrong with our top pick. This one from Sonax is great for DIY and professional needs. Plus, it’s also safe on wheels.
When cleaning your wheels, you don’t want them to get damaged. This one’s made with an acid-free and pH-balanced formula that doesn’t harm your wheels. Unlike other products, you can use it on different finishes too.
It should work on all, whether you have aluminum, steel, chrome, plastic, or magnesium wheel covers. Check if you’ve got one of them.
Its effective and advanced chemistry even takes care of the most stubborn marks and grime. The cleaner will go deep and emulsify brake dust that’s baked on.
Usage is pretty easy too. That is excellent news if you want something for DIY use. All you need to do is spray it on and let it sit for a while. If required, you can agitate it and improve its effectiveness.
One thing you should note is you should use high water pressure for rinsing. Not everyone will have access to a power washer.
Once it’s on your wheels, it gets to work immediately. The first spray will come as a fluorescent yellow coat. As it eats into the brake dust and grime, it’ll turn purple or deep red.
There’re no extra preparations. It’s ready to use out of the box. But we do suggest you be cautious when using it. Try out a patch first for testing.
2. CAR GUYS Wheel Cleaner
This 18 Oz bottle looks as cool as it performs. If you’re in the market for something with a little more versatility, CAR GUYS has you covered.
The cleaner can be used to clean not only black wheels but also rims. With it, you don’t need to buy individual cleaning products for different components. And it does a fantastic job of cleaning.
Just like the previous one, Sonax 230500, it’s made with a pH-neutral formula. That makes it safe to use on different kinds of wheels and finishes. You aren’t just stuck using it for black wheels.
Have an aluminum, chrome, or any other wheel? Guess what? It’ll work with those without a hitch.
How about going beyond just tires? The formula is safe to use on rotors, calipers, and exhaust tips. Dirt and grime will be no issue.
The cleaning is deep and thorough. It removes grime and brake dust build-up of the most difficult kind. To top it all off, the brand made sure it was easy to use.
It comes in a convenient spray bottle. You don’t need any extra things to apply it. Just point the bottle and spray on – easy peasy.
When you spray it, the runoff is kept minimal. It won’t drip. That means it won’t create a mess, instead give it more effectiveness.
You can even extend the longevity by diluting the liquid. This particular one is only 18 Oz. For frequent use, that might not be enough. However, there’s a larger 128 Oz option.
3. Chemical Guys CLD105 Sticky Citrus Gel
Ever been to an auto workshop? There’s a distinct scent of oil and hardware. Car heads will love it, and some may not. Well, Chemical Guys have a solution for that. How would you like a citrus scent black painted wheel cleaner?
That’s what you exactly get with this. The fresh citrus scent makes for a pleasant experience when you use it. If you’re at home, you won’t have to deal with the unpleasant smells some shoddy cleaners have.
It’s not just for home use. No one is stopping you from using it in an auto workshop, either. Personal DIY use or in a workshop, you will love the scent.
Application is pretty easy for the most part. You have the choice to spray it on or use it as a foaming gel.
There isn’t a spray bottle included, though. You kind of need to get one for yourself. Those shouldn’t be that hard to find.
It works with finishes like chrome, painted wheels, polished wheels, and powder-coated finishes.
Since it’s an all-natural formula, the safety of the wheels is a given. Once you spray it, the cleaner will stick on. It’ll remove nasty grime and brake dust.
The best part is you don’t need to do a lot of scrubbing, which will save you some elbow grease. You get instant professional levels of cleaning with this.
4. Adam’s Wheel Cleaner
Those who work in a professional auto workshop or as a car detailer they will love the large bottle this wheel cleaner comes in.
You get 1 gallon of super-effective wheel cleaner. It’s the best black wheel cleaner for professional use.
All the things you would expect from a professional-grade product are present. The advanced chemical technology starts working its magic right when you spray it on.
You do need to agitate the mixture a bit after you spray it on. That will make it more effective. It’ll work for cleaning brake dust and grime that has been built on your wheels.
Poor-quality wheel cleaners on the market can do more harm than good. They actually eat away at your wheels more than you want to. These don’t.
It uses a safe formula that can be applied to different finishes. You won’t need to worry about damaging your wheel’s finish. As for the dirt and grime, say goodbye to those thanks to the tried and true pH-neutral formula.
But you need to dilute it first. A 50/50 ratio should be good. This is crucial if you’re going to use it on painted wheels.
And it can be used on different finishes like chrome, aluminum, clear coat, or even plasti dipped wheels.
We highly recommend you not to use it on raw polished aluminum or bare metallic wheels.
5. P&S Detailing Products N26
The phrase pretty in pink has a new meaning with this cleaner. It’s efficacious and ensures complete coverage. New users might find it hard to use wheel cleaners since they can miss some spots. P&S uses foaming technology to avoid that issue.
When you apply it on your wheels, you’ll see a rich and nice foam form. This makes it easy to ensure that your wheels are covered.
It’s essential to cover every nook and cranny of your wheels. Otherwise, you might be left with spots that still have grime or dirt on them. Thankfully there’s no chance for something like that to happen.
The acid-free formula gives you quite an impressive clean. Brake dust and build-up don’t stand a chance. It goes in deep and cleans your wheels. You can even use it to remove minor corrosion.
We’d recommend you keep your reservations about the corrosion removal. It does work but on minor corrosions.
You can clean painted wheels and also ceramic coating. As long as you use a cleaning tool that doesn’t scrape the surface, you’re all good.
A little attention to detail you will love is the inclusion of a handy-dandy microfiber towel. While it’s nothing special, it adds more value to the overall package.
6. Griot’s Garage 11026 Heavy Duty Wheel Cleaner
When a run-of-the-mill cleaner won’t do, Griot’s Garage comes to the rescue. If you have severe build-up and need something heavy-duty, then look no further than this one.
Before we dive into the performance and use, let’s talk about something you’ll love. If you finish it all up, you don’t need to spend extra and buy a completely new bottle. Just buy the refill, and voila! It saves you money and time.
Since it’s non-acidic and pH-balanced, it won’t damage the paint coat on your wheels either. When applied, clean it off with a soft brush and watch as all the grime disappears. It also works on powder-coated wheels.
The liquid is pretty thick. This allows it to stick to the wheels better and gives you a deeper clean. Whether it’s grime or brake dust you’re dealing with, Griot’s Garage cleaner can handle them all.
If you need a bigger bottle, you can get that too. This one is a 35 Oz size. Other options like a smaller 22 Oz and larger 1-gallon ones are available for heavy users.
A promising sign about its versatility is you can use it on white walls. Yes, we know that’s quite a departure from black wheels. But hey, if you can use it, why not, right?
7. Meguiar’s D14301 Non-Acid Tire & Wheel Cleaner
Hunting for a black wheel cleaner that’s super easy to use? Then this one deserves a close look.
Using it will be a breeze. You can get squeaky clean tires with just three steps – spray, agitate and hose off. It’s as simple as that. Not a lot of cleaners give you this level of simplicity.
Meguiar nails other aspects too. It doesn’t damage the paint coating, and neither does it leave any residues. If you’ve got a clear coat, you can use this cleaner for that.
And since it’s an acid-free cleaner, it won’t eat away at your wheels either. Those can dull down surfaces which makes the wheels look really unappealing. All in all, you won’t be disappointed with this one.
If you need to dilute it, that’s possible. The best ratio is 2:1. So, that’s two parts water and 1 part cleaner.
A minor gripe we have with this one is the cost. It was a tad bit expensive. But given the performance, we think the price is worth it.
This cleaner manages to take care of grime, brake dust, grease, and dirt with ease. You do get value for your money with it.
8. Carfidant Wheel Cleaner Spray Premium Rim & Tire Cleaner
When isn’t money an issue? How about something premium? Carfidant is a reputable brand known to make some of the most top-tier products. This cleaner is no different.
It’s specially formulated to attack baked-on grease and brake dust. Once you spray it on and clean your tires with it, you get the day-one look your tires had. Nothing is quite as satisfying as seeing a brand-new-looking tire.
While some cleaners like the Chemical Guys CLD105 Sticky Citrus Gel have a scent, this one foregoes that. It doesn’t even use any dyes. Many users can get irritated with the smell.
If you’re one of them then, this one’s for you. The neutral smell will make it much more comfortable to use. You can already see why it’s a premium cleaner, can’t you?
Apart from being 100% safe for you, it’s safe for your tires too. Carfidant uses a pH-neutral formulation. You can clean your wheels and ensure all the dust and grime are out.
Not to mention you’ll also keep the look and shine of the wheels. Speaking of safety for your wheels, have you thought about the tires?
Some cleaners can attack the tires while cleaning the wheels. This one, however, keeps them safe and sound.
And lastly, it’s easy to use. The package already includes a cool-looking spray bottle. This makes application a breeze. All you need to do is spray it on, let it soak, and clean off.
Don’t worry about the finish. It works on chrome, clear coat, painted wheels, polished wheels, and also aluminum alloy.
9. TriNova Wheel Cleaner Rim Cleaning Spray
When the cleaner isn’t just all show and no talk, we have to hand it to TriNova here. The brand did deliver with the packaging of this cleaner. It looks super-premium.
Spray it on any wheel finish and be in awe as it makes dirt and grime disappear like magic. Any unwanted build-up like dirt or oil residue doesn’t stand a chance.
A cool bonus is you can use it during the wintertime. When there is heavy snow outside, this cleaner can help you protect your tires from damage. Now, that’s what we call versatility.
It pulls double duty by not only removing the stains but bringing back the finish. Your tires’ original shine and factory look will be restored, thanks to the innovative formula.
Let’s talk about that formula then, shall we? It’s acid-free, for starters. If you’ve been paying attention, you’d know that’s something crucial for tire well-being.
You can even go a bit further than cleaning just tires. It can be used for cleaning engine blocks as well.
10. 3D Yellow Degreaser Wheel & Tire Cleaner
For our final product, we have the yellow degreaser from 3D. It’s a strong cleaner that works even for cleaning spokes and, of course, wheels.
If you have iron build-up on your wheels, this cleaner can take care of those with utter ease. This is the best wheel cleaner for black rims. It’s one of the most powerful cleaners you can buy right now.
When you apply it, you will see it turns to a prominent yellow color. This is by design.
The more yellow it turns, the harder it’s doing its job, basically. Apply and use it to clean tires that have iron, brake dust, or grime built upon them to get back the day one look of your tires.
It’s even safe for the wheels. The biodegradable formula used is tough on the grime but gentle on the tires themselves. So, you won’t need to worry about your tire’s safety.
What more can you want from a tire cleaner? It works, is safe, and is also easy to clean. You’ll love the simple one-step procedure.
Plus, the 3D vision has a history of providing its customers with unmatched quality. That sentiment holds for this cleaner as well.
Things to Consider Before Buying Wheel Cleaner for Black Wheels
You don’t want to be disappointed while picking the wheel cleaner for black wheels and see your money go down the drain. So, here are some essential things you need to consider before you spend your money.
This one is the most important. It goes without saying that whatever cleaner you choose needs to be good at its job. Not all cleaners are made equal. Some might not give you the cleaning potential like others.
Depending on your needs, you might need something that’s gentle or one that’s heavy-duty. Make sure the cleaner works well on grime, brake dust, and iron build-up.
Cleaning the wheels isn’t the only thing you need from your wheel cleaner. Regardless of the paint or finish type, you also need to ensure that it doesn’t eat away at your wheels.
That’s why a non-acid or a pH-neutral formula is crucial in that case. Those work on different kinds of wheel finishes and materials. These cleaners can not only be used on black-painted wheels but clear coats and other finishes.
Let’s face it; cleaning can be a tedious job. It requires patience. It’s worth investing in a cleaner that makes it easier for you.
Look for one that comes with a sprayer attached. That can be a great way to make things easier for yourself.
If you’re working in an auto workshop, this is even more important. You might need to clean multiple sets of tires on any given day. The more convenient it is to apply, the better it is for you.
Ease of Use
Then there is also the ease of use. Can the wheel cleaner be used easily on your wheels? Most cleaners work by simply spraying the solution onto the wheels and agitating it.
After you let it sit for a while, you can scrub it. These kinds of easy-to-use cleaners shouldn’t be taken for granted.
There might be special instructions for a specific cleanser. Look into whether the manufacturer includes good instructions.
Strength and Dilution
A cleaner that can be diluted is excellent for extending it for longer use. High-quality cleaners can be diluted with water. Definitely look for that.
Price and Brand
Lastly, there is price and brand. All the brands mentioned here are top names. You can go with the one that’s right for you without worry.
As for the price, set a budget first. Then get the one that you can afford within that budget. Make sure all the essential features are present, though.
How Do You Clean Black Painted Alloy Wheels?
When cleaning your wheels, you need first to get the right tools. Apart from the cleaner, the brush you use is essential too.
Use soft bristle brushes that are gentle. A moderately large brush is suitable for covering the entire wheel surface. Also, make sure to get a brush that can get into those nooks and crannies of the wheel.
Step 1 – Wash with Water
The first step is to wash the wheels with water. Clean it thoroughly with water. This will prepare it for the actual intensive cleaning. And it even gets some of the loose dirt and grimes out.
Step 2 – Apply Your Cleaner
Next, apply your wheel cleaner. If there are any specific instructions for your cleaner, you need to follow those. But most will ask you to apply a generous coat and agitate it.
Step 3 – Clean with Brush
This part is self-explanatory. Get your brush and start cleaning. You should get into those tight spots, so you don’t miss any area of the wheels when cleaning.
After that, rinse it off. Your wheels are clean. A water jet works great here. It will get rid of the foam and clean the wheels.
It would be best if you blow-dried the wheels to avoid any water spots. Do not leave any moisture on the wheels. This is a big no-no. After all, is said and done, apply a protectant on your wheels to retain their gloss and shine.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How often should I clean my car wheels?
Proper maintenance is important for the longevity of your wheels. You not only want them to look clean but also want to retain their shine and factory look.
It is recommended to give your wheels a moderate clean once every 1 or 2 weeks. You need to give it a deep clean at least once in 2 or 3 months.
- Do I need to use a protective coat for my wheels?
Yes! Applying a protective coat to your wheels will help them stay looking pristine for longer. You don’t want your cleaned wheels to gather dust and grime right after cleaning. Using a protective coat is worth it.
- Does vinegar and water solution work for cleaning wheels?
Using a dedicated wheel cleaner is the best way to go here. Even WD-40 can work for hard tar deposits. But a dedicated wheel cleaner is better.
They are specifically made for the job and are formulated not to be harmful to the wheels themselves. That’s an important note to keep in mind.
By now, hopefully, you’ve got your desired cleaner. You just have to remember that you’ve checked all the margins and facts we mentioned in the buying guide.
All the ones we reviewed are some of the top cleaners you can buy right now. But if we were to choose the best wheel cleaner for black wheels, we’d pick the Sonax 230500.
You just can’t go wrong with a brand like Sonax. It checks all the boxes for us and has all the right features you would want from a wheel cleaner. The brand managed to deliver a top-notch product.
So, there are a host of other effective cleaners you can choose from. The thing to remember here is to get one that works for you.