View Full Version : Super wheel cleaner?

11-14-2002, 07:50 PM
My wheels have some very stubborn crud which has staked claim to the real estate in the crevaces of my wheels. I need to know how to remove the stuff without marking the wheels at all. My car is so beautiful, no need for this crud to stay. I have tried a few brands of spray on and rinse off stuff to no avail. I have some mothers mag polish, but I don't want to polish them, I just want them clean. Please help. Thanks.

11-15-2002, 02:05 AM
eagle one a to z all wheel cleaner and a brush

11-16-2002, 03:33 PM
thanks Ed,
Anybody else have any luck with this before I go out and buy the eagle 1 a to z?

11-16-2002, 09:58 PM
I've been a pro detailer for more than 10 years now, and this is the $60k question really.

The best non-acid stuff i've come across is P21S all wheel cleaner. It's more like a spray on gel, and you can literally leave it on your wheels for hours , unlike 90% of them out there (don't even THINK about doing that with Armor All Quicksilver and a few others, or it's bye- bye wheel finish) It actually works as well at removing stubborn brake dust as the acid based cleaners, which DO clean WELL, but they are caustic and just weaken (and etch) the clearcoat on painted wheels, making it easier for dirt to bond the next time, not to mention hastening the demise of your wheel finish. For stubborn stuff you'll need to brush agitate it regardless what you use.

It's a very difficult product to engineer really, because hot brake dust literally burns/ sinters it's way into the finish, etching it and breaking the finish down further, making it tough to remove. If you don't use a product with the proper PH you risk discoloration and etching of the wheel finish.
The best thing is to wax your wheels and clean them every few days, so the bad stuff dosen't get a foothold. Many wheel cleaners contain phosphoric or hydroflouric acid, and if you leave them on too long, or spray them on a warm or hot wheel, it can ruin them in a New York minute.

I have a customer that decided to clean his 18" BMW Z3 polished wheels himself between my visits, he bought the Armor-All wheelcleaner , sprayed it on his warm wheels, went inside for 10 minutes, came out to see his $2000 worth of wheels toast. True story. His fault though because it did say on the bottle not to spray on hot wheels nor certain polished wheels, so he had to eat it.
The eagle 1 is decent stuff, but in my experience, will take more effort than the P21 S. Some other things to try in a pinch; Permatex hand cleaner (the non abrasive kind, without pumice). Cleans wheel grime well with a brush.
P21S is difficult to find though, but you can order online if you can't locate it in your area. Here is one link to buy it, but shop around if you want to give it a try. Cheers.



11-16-2002, 10:35 PM
wow..that was informative...just another reason i love this forum...people know what theyre talkin about...i'll have to remember..my moms grand prix had horribly dirty wheels.......oh..and i have a quick question..for polishing wheels..i always used meguairs hot rims with great results..is there anything much better....or is meguairs one of the best..


11-16-2002, 10:44 PM
Hey great thanks Quik,
I just placed my order for the gel from there. Should be about 22 bucks I think shipped but well worth it if it does a good job. Thanks pal.

p.s. Nice shine on your car there, looks like chrome!

11-16-2002, 10:46 PM
On the Meguiar's...haven't tried it but...

... if it's working for you who can argue?
The P21 S is actually re-bottled by Porsche for their wheels and sold at dealerships as Porsche alloy wheel cleaner, so that means something IMO.

Actually, almost ANY cleaner will work fine on wheels that are waxed and cleaned regularly. It's the wheels that are neglected or have burned in brake dust (actually re-polymerized brake pad material) that require something special. And the products that are PH safe yet clean well are few indeed. Cheers