The Best Alloy Wheel Cleaner 2021

A dedicated alloy wheel cleaner is designed to safely dissolve and remove brake dust, road grime and other dirt with ease. When compared to a shampoo, they provide more cleaning power for a like-new spotless finish to your wheels.

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Best Alloy Wheel Cleaner
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If you require a quick answer, the best alloy wheel cleaner is the Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel, which is a non-acidic formula that’s safe to use upon all wheel types. It’s also easy to use with a colour changing activation and it doesn’t require agitating with a brush. Simply spray it onto the wheels, allow it to get to work and then rinse it clear with water.

We tested the alloy wheel cleaners upon a range of wheels that featured different types of dirt. However, depending upon the type of wheel you are cleaning will determine the best suited wheel cleaner to use.

Alloy Wheel Cleaner Comparison

Alloy Wheel CleanerSoak TimeBottle Size(s)
Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel1 to 5 Minutes1 Litre
Autoglym Clean Wheels2 to 3 Minutes500 ml or 1 Litre
Meguiar’s Hot Rims5 Minutes710 ml
Gtechniq W63 to 5 Minutes250 ml, 500 ml or 5 Litre
Autoglym Custom Wheel Kit2 to 3 Minutes500 ml or 1 Litre
Williams Racing Formula5 Minutes5 Litre

Although some of the best rated car wash shampoos may be able to remove most dirt, they won’t be able to provide the powerful cleaning power of an alloy wheel cleaner. Therefore, if you really want to give your car a deep clean, a dedicated cleaner for your wheels is a great addition to your car cleaning product collection.

Below is a list of the best alloy wheel cleaners that are suitable for all wheel types and provide instant results.

The Best Alloy Wheel Cleaner


1. Bilt Hamber Alloy Wheel Cleaner

Bilt Hamber Alloy Wheel Cleaner
By far the most popular alloy wheel cleaner is by the reputable Bilt Hamber brand. It’s a water based formula that provides powerful cleaning power and is safe to use upon all types of wheels.

In terms of the application, it’s contact-less and simply requires you to spray it onto the wheel, allow 1 to 5 minutes for it to activate and then thoroughly rinse clear.

Other features of Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel include:

  • Non-acidic and non-alkaline cleaner
  • pH balanced and biodegradable
  • Colour changing formulation once activated
  • No touch cleaning
  • High quality 1 litre spray bottle
  • Made in the UK

The Auto Wheel formula by Bilt Hamber is the best alloy wheel cleaner that’s made in the UK and safe to use on all wheels. The powerful formula gets to work straightaway and doesn’t even require you to agitate it in most cases.
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2. Autoglym Clean Wheels Cleaner

Autoglym Clean Wheels Cleaner
Another popular but more affordable alternative is the Autoglym Clean Wheels, which is also made in the UK. The formula is a blend of acidic cleaners, non-ionic surfactant and metal attack inhibitors that’s super effective and instantly gets to work. The brand also states that it’s safe to use upon alloy, chromium, painted and plastic trimmed wheels.

Other features of the Autoglym Clean Wheels include:

  • Spray-on, brush and rinse clear application
  • Available as a 1 litre or 500 ml spray bottle
  • Removes brake dust with ease
  • Fast acting formula
  • Made in the UK

The Autoglym Clean Wheels is an easy to use formula that provides excellent results each and every time. It does require agitating with a brush for heavily soiled wheels but it’s worth the extra bit of work for the like-new finish.

However, it’s important to note that this formula isn’t suitable for non standard or anodised wheel surfaces due to it’s strength. The brand’s alternative Custom Wheel formula is the best option for safe but powerful cleaning.
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3. Meguiar’s Hot Rims Alloy Wheel Cleaner

Meguiar's Hot Rims Alloy Wheel Cleaner
If you would like to clean the alloys and tyres within a single step, the Meguiar’s Hot Rims formula is the best option. It’s the brand’s new and improved formula that uses their patented “Xtreme Cling” foam, which clings to vertical surfaces in order to dissolve brake dust and grime with ease.

In terms of the application, rinse the wheels beforehand, spray the cleaner onto the alloy wheels, allow 15 seconds for it to activate, agitate the foam using a wheel brush and then rinse clear.

Other features of the Meguiar’s Hot Rims include:

  • Cleans alloys and tyres
  • Leaves a shiny finish to the wheels
  • Safe to use upon factory painted and clear coated rims
  • Requires agitation with a wheel brush
  • High quality 710 ml spray bottle

Although expensive per bottle, the Hot Rims formula is a highly rated alloy wheel cleaner that won’t disappoint. It’s also Meguiar’s new and improved formula that’s been thoroughly tested and proven to provide great results.
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4. Gtechniq W6 Iron & General Fallout Remover

Gtechniq W6 Iron & General Fallout Remover
Gtechniq are a fast growing detailing brand in the UK and well-known for their effective products. This alloy wheel cleaner is no different and it’s designed to remove fallout and brake dust with ease.

A unique feature of this alloy wheel cleaner when compared to the alternatives is that it can be used to remove fallout. It’s also not limited to just the alloy wheels because it can also be used upon the paintwork and other surfaces.

Other features of the Gtechniq W6 Formula include:

  • Safe to use on all wheels
  • Doesn’t strip any coatings applied
  • High-cling formulation
  • Gets to work in 3 to 5 minutes
  • Doesn’t require any brushing of the cleaner
  • Must be used within 12 months of opening
  • Available as a 250, 500 or 5 litre bottle

If you require a fallout remover as well as an alloy wheel cleaner, the Gtechniq W6 formula is the perfect solution. It’s a highly effective formula that dissolves fallout, brake dust and iron particles with ease. It’s also safe to use upon all wheel types and even the paintwork for complete peace of mind.
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5. Autoglym Custom Wheel Cleaner Kit

Autoglym Custom Wheel Cleaner Kit
Another alloy wheel cleaner by Autoglym is their Custom Wheel formula, which is designed for all wheel types. Compared to their alternative above, it has a gentle formulation, which makes it suitable for anodised, chrome or sensitive wheels.

In terms of the application, simply spray the formula onto the wheels, brush heavily soiled areas and rinse off. It really is that easy and the brand also offer this wheel cleaner as a complete kit which comes with two wheel brushes.

Other features of the Autoglym Custom Wheel Kit include:

  • Acid-free and safe to use on all wheels
  • Removes brake dust and road grime
  • Optional kit available with 2 wheel brushes
  • 500 ml or 1 litre spray bottle
  • Made in the UK

If you have unique alloy wheels that are anodised, chrome or are known for being sensitive, the Custom Wheel formula is perfect. The Gentle formulation is just as effective and you have complete peace of mind that it’s safe to use.
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6. Williams Racing Non-Acidic Alloy Wheel Cleaner

Williams Racing Non-Acidic Alloy Wheel Cleaner
Another formula that’s safe to use upon on all wheel types is by the Williams Racing brand. It’s available in a large 5 litre bottle and is designed to effortlessly clean dirt, grease, tar and brake dust using the non-acidic formula.

In order to use this alloy wheel cleaner properly, we highly advise using the provided long hose trigger. You can opt to pour it into separate spray bottles but for the small cost of the trigger, it’s simply not worth the hassle.

Other features of the Williams Racing Formula include:

  • Non-acidic formula
  • Safe on all wheel types
  • Long hose trigger for application
  • Cleans dirt, grease, tar and brake dust
  • Activates within 5 minutes
  • Requires agitation with a brush
  • Large 5 litre bottle

Overall, the Williams Racing alloy wheel cleaner is an excellent all-round option that’s safe to use on all wheels and won’t disappoint. Considering that it comes in a large 5 litre bottle, it’s a fraction of the price per litre when compared to many of the alternatives recommended within this article.
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Testing The Alloy Wheel Cleaners

Whilst testing the alloy wheel cleaners for this article, we used them upon heavy brake dust and even light dirt to test their effectiveness. Whilst the Bilt Hamber cleaner provided the very satisfying purple colour transformation, the Autoglym formula remained white as shown in the below photos.

Alloy Wheel Cleaner
Best Alloy Wheel Cleaner UK

If you want to see the process that we go through to clean alloy wheels, we posted it all on our Instagram page along with before and after results, which is shown below:

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Conclusion

Alloy wheel cleaners save the hassle of scrubbing your wheels for hours and provide far better results than a shampoo. After you have cleaned them, we advise that you use a highly rated tyre dressing, which will then provide a like-new factory finish to both your wheels and tyres.

Before purchasing any of the recommendations, we advise that you choose a formula that’s safe to use. Some are more powerful than others and may be acidic, which won’t be safe for all wheel types such as chrome or other sensitive wheels. On the bottle, it will state whether it’s safe to use on all wheel types or what surfaces to avoid.

author dan 4car

Written By Dan

Dan has been a car enthusiast ever since he can remember and has an extensive range of cars that include classic cars that he has restored himself from a barn find condition to modern performance cars. Whether you need advice on how to install car parts or recommendations on what products to buy, Dan’s first-hand experience will certainly help.

If you want to find out more about Dan, our testing process or the website itself, visit our about page for further information.

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