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When it comes to keeping your car looking clean and shiny you really have to pay extra attention to your wheels. This part of the vehicle takes more punishment than probably any other – being driven through mud, dirt and dust and pinged with loose stone chips and even red hot, metallic discharge from the braking system.
Frankly, you need all the help you can get to keep your wheels looking great – which is why wheel cleaner brushes were invented. But of all the brushes on the market, which one is the best? Well, as you may have guessed, the best way is to read on, and check out our guide to the best Car Wheel Brushes on the market.
The Best Wheel Cleaner Brushes
If one criticism can be leveled at some of the products on this list it is that many of them are very specialized products. Now, that is not a problem if you have the budget (and storage space!) to accommodate a number of specialized tools.
If however you are looking for a tool to justify it’s price and the space in your garage by performing multiple tasks this entry from Mothers could interest you. This brush comes with bristles with a nice medium level of stiffness. That means that whilst they are strong and stiff enough to tackle caked on mud and dirt on your wheels, they are also soft enough to be used to clean other surfaces like fenders and bumpers.
A comfortable ergonomic handle and low price make this is great, multi-purpose tool a solid investment.
Multi-Surface Soft Bristles
- Weight9.6 oz
Another versatile brush that is good for a range of cleaning applications, though slightly different from the more traditional brush from Mothers above.
This product from Chemical Guys looks more like a large paintbrush, and employs long, relatively soft bristles. This means that it’s not really suited to scrubbing away at caked mud or dust so don’t buy this to be your only brush to clean up your car after off road adventures!
Instead, this product is both very gentle and but also effective – but more so when utilized in smaller, more detailed cleaning tasks. So for getting into the smaller spaces on your wheels and alloys, this is perfect, it’s also great for cleaning around the wheel lug nuts. Inside the car, it’s perfect for cleaning out smaller areas that accrue dust like touch screen displays, air vents and around the dash.
This is another high quality, multi-purpose tool that is well worth the surprisingly low price.
- BrandChemical Guys
- Weight1.44 oz
This product is so far removed from the typical wheel brush, the manufacturers don’t even describe it as a brush – instead, they refer to it as Water Powered Turbine. How cool does that sound?
What does that actually mean though? Well, the product itself looks like a toilet brush with a durable handle attached. Doesn’t sound quite as cool now, does it? Well, the handle attaches to a plain hose (no pressure washer required) and the product uses the water stream to both rotate the brush head and deliver concentrated stream of clean water right where it’s needed to wash away loosened dirt and mud.
No, it’s not cheap (it is in fact the most expensive item on this list) however the cleaning power you get from this brush is phenomenal. If your cars wheels always seem to be filthy, if you seem to spend ages cleaning them but never quite getting all the dirt and grime out then this powerful cleaning aide could be worth every penny you invest in it.
Powerful Water Based Cleaning Action
No Electricity Required
Deep Cleaning Power
- BrandBrush Hero
- Weight10.1 oz
Though the EZ in the title of this product refers to the manufacturing brand, it could just as easily be referring to the ease of use of this product. An overall length of 10 inches provides plenty of brush (and handle) to allow access to all parts of the wheel.
The bristles are nice and long, and of a stiffness that will happily tackle mud and dried on dirt whilst being gentle enough that you can use them on a range of surfaces and wheel types without worrying about scratching.
This is a well-made brush too that should provide a nice long lifespan, and the useful built in hand guard just above the handle is great for protecting your hand during prolonged scrubbing sessions.
This is a well-designed brush that just does everything you would expect it to.
Safe on All Wheel Types
- BrandEZ Brand
- Weight7.2 oz
Another superb brush of the traditional design style, this brings many of the advantages to the table as the product we mentioned above. So you’re looking at a well made brush, with bristles that are nice and long, that are stiff enough to clean dirt and mud but soft enough to use on chrome and alloys with no worries.
So what is the difference between the two (apart from this brushes very attractive, red & black color scheme)? Length. This brush comes in at a mighty 18 inches total length, which includes 9.5 inches of brush head. That is a lot of cleaning surface on one product!
On the one hand, it is going to allow you to easily access parts of the wheel construction you though were out of reach. On the other hand of course, it’s not just about length, it’s also what you do with it that counts (am I right, guys?)
So it may be a little too big for smaller wheels or more intricately designed alloys, and for more detailed cleaning jobs it could be best to pair it with a smaller product.
18 Inch Length!
Gentle but Effective Bristles
- Weight4.8 oz
This product from Speedmaster is very much designed to live up to its name. The central stem that the bristles are attached to is designed to offer a certain degree of bend. The bristles themselves are designed to lay completely flat.
This means it can easily access – and clean – even the smallest holes and tightest angles on your wheels, making for a lovely, quick cleaning process. The bristles themselves have the required stiffness to tackle dirt and mud, whilst at the same time are soft enough that you don’t have to worry about scratching.
This brush gets in easy, does the job and gets out – saving you time and energy, and giving you a set of squeaky-clean wheels too. What’s not to love?
Non Abrasive Bristles
- Weight7.8 oz
So far we’ve seen flexible cores, ergonomic handles with grip guards – even rotating water cannons. All superb quality models of course, and all bringing certain advantages by benefit of their unique designs or features.
But what if you have read this far, and you are saying to yourself “But Car Bible, that’s all well and good, but all I want it is a brush. Nothing fancy, no bells and whistles – just a simple brush.”
This could well be the product for in that case because what we have here is a brush. Nothing more, nothing less. You also have a very low, bargain price (this is the cheapest model on this list.)
Bristles and a handle all present and correct. The core is twisted wire, which takes a little extra care to avoid scratches. But other than that this is a great little product for a low, low price.
17 Inch Length
Soft & Flexible Bristles
- BrandS.M. Arnold
- Weight4.8 oz
This product is all about safety – just take a look as those features. The non-slip grip is both comfortable for prolonged use, and will also keep the brush securely in your hand even when soaking wet. The rubberized bumpers round the cleaning head eliminate any sharp edges so protect against paint chips or scratches. Finally, the bristles themselves are soft enough to use on all the materials used to construct your wheel.
Safety doesn’t mean lack of cleaning power however, and whilst those bristles won’t scratch any surfaces, they are certainly tough enough to provide an excellent clean. The long handle allows for easy access throughout the wheel, whilst the brush head is large enough to tackle cleaning the surface areas of the wheel too.
All in all, this really is a very good brush.
- Weight11.4 oz
Some products simply love to live up their name, and these brushes are real examples of that! They are genuine little buddies designed to keep all the detailing in your car looking great.
That means, like some of the other brushes on this list, they are not going to be tough enough to tackle really caked on dirt or brake debris by themselves. This is not a failing on the part of these brushes by the way – it’s just not what they are designed to do.
Instead, they are designed for cleaning the detailing. This could be the smaller alloy arches on your wheels, it could be the spaces in and around the wheel lug nuts. Internally, they are soft enough to tackle the most careful cleaning jobs from dashboard displays even leather trim and seats.
These are not the product to go for if you need deep cleaning power. They are perfect however for performing that final, carefully detailed clean and polish that turns a tidy car into a gleaming, spotless, display level of clean.
Long Lasting, Solvent Resistant Bristles
Gentle Enough to Use on Leather
- BrandDetail Buddy
- Weight4.8 oz
Best Wheel Cleaner Brushes Buying Guide
That is our list of the best wheel cleaner brushes on the market. But what are the benefits of such a specialized tool anyway? How do you decide which product is right for you, and once you have purchased one how do you get the most of out it?
Well, read on for the answers to those questions – and many more!
Why You Need a Wheel Cleaner Brush
Let’s start with the big one then – just why do you need one of these products? Well, as anyone who likes to take care of their car will be able to tell you – keeping it clean is not as simple as it seems!
There are so many different materials to clean, there are large, easy to reach spaces and small, tight angles that are difficult to reach into – let alone clean. That’s why such a range of cleaning products and tools have come about, namely to solve a specific problem.
Wheel brushes – and wheel cleaner – were invented to help with the cleaning of one of the more awkward parts of the car. So a good brush is going to help:
- Cut down on cleaning time – By being one tool that cleans the surface and goes into the arches on alloys, the spokes on old-fashioned wheels, whatever. The brush tackles multi surfaces easily.
- Cleans off Mud/Dirt/Salt Deposits/Brake Fragments – The wheels on your car really do have a pretty tough time! They pick up a lot of dirt, grime and deposits that quickly make them look dirty and ruin the overall impression of your car. Wheel brushes are specially designed to safely clean away a range of surface containments – making your life easier and keeping your wheels cleaner!
- Work safely – Finally, these products are designed to do all that without you having to worry about damage. So you can clean away dirt and mud without the need to be concerned about scratches or paint chips.
What Makes a Good Wheel Cleaning Brush
As we saw in our product list above there are a number of different designs of brush on the market today. Depending on what exactly you need in terms of cleaning strength will likely be the biggest factor to determine the product you choose, however broadly speaking any good brush should come with:
- An Ergonomic/Slip Proof Handle – You have to hold the thing to use it properly, so selecting a product with a superior handle design will help you out a lot. Non-Slip keeps it in your hand even when wet, ergonomic make is comfortable for long periods of use.
- Good Bristles – the brush will only be as good as it’s bristles. If you want an all in one brush, they need to be tough enough to scrub away dirt and mud, soft enough not to scratch.
- Detailing Safe – Softer bristles won’t scrub away dirt so well. They will however get into all the nooks and crannies to remove dust and any dirt left behind by larger brushes. They are also safe to use on even softer surfaces, making them suitable for cleaning interiors surfaces and even, in some circumstances, leather trim.
- A Hand Guard – Somewhat connected to the handle (actually, literally so in this case) a hand guard will stop you whacking your hand off the wheel as you push the brush into it’s deepest, hardest to reach recesses. May not seem like a huge factor, but when you’ve only cleaned 3 of the 4 wheels and your knuckles are already bleeding, you’ll consider trading your first born child for a effective hand guard (trust me!)
Equipment You Will Need to Clean Your Wheels
- An effective Wheel Brush (Duh!) – Luckily, there is a really cool list above to help you pick one.
- Specialist Wheel Cleaner – This will help to break down dirt and especially brake pad deposits, making the whole job that little bit easier.
- Water Supply – You need fresh water to rinse off soapsuds and dirt. A bucket is fine, a hose is better, and a pressure washer is best.
- Wax – A good car wax is going to put the cherry on your efforts, making the wheels look lovely and shiny and providing some long-term protection.
- Beer – Cleaning the wheels is tedious, but also worth it! Have a cold one (or three) on ice to celebrate and toast your sparkling wheels.
Tips for Cleaning Your Wheels
Just as with any other cleaning task, wait for the right weather. No rain, no wind – a nice warm day.
Start with the wheels. Yes, they can be tedious. But if you clean the bodywork then move onto the wheels, you’re just going to splash dirty water up onto the clean bodywork. Very annoying!
Use a specialist wheel cleaner to break down dirt and brushes to get into every nook and cranny and scrub every surface safely.
Wax after you clean for a long-term sparkle.
- Clean your Car Like a Pro - Popular Mechanics