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Best wheel cleaner?

Discussion in 'Detailing' started by ElliottB, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. ElliottB
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    ElliottB Audi A3

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    [Mar 8, 2013]
    Morning peoples.

    What would you suggest as the best wheel cleaner, im swaying towards getting some carpro ironX?

    I do alot of driving to and from work everyday so the wheels get filthy!!

    Cheers
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  3. scotty76
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    scotty76 Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 8, 2013]
    What state are the wheels in? Iron X will certainly help but make sure you clean them with a dedicated wheel cleaner or shampoo first then apply Iron X. That way it can be most effective.

    After that I would apply a wheel sealant, multiple coats if you have the time. After that you should be able to just wash with car shampoo and water. This is what I do. I use Planet Polish Wheel Seal & Shine. Loads of wheel sealants to choose from, everyone has a favourite or if you don't want to buy something new just put any old car polish you have on them.

    HTH.
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  4. ElliottB
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    ElliottB Audi A3

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    [Mar 8, 2013]
    The wheels are good condition they just get really really filthy on a weekly basis
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  5. scotty76
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    scotty76 Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 8, 2013]
    In that case clean them up using normal car shampoo and put a wheel sealant or polish on them. If you find you have any black spots left after a wash, it might be worth trying Carpro Trix as this is essentially Iron X + tar remover in one.

    I find with mine I can pressure wash most of the dirt off because I sealed them first.
    #4
  6. voorhees
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    voorhees Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Mar 8, 2013]
    I have a few of the poishedbliss stuff to polish and seal the wheels,I would say avoid like the plague the acidic cleaners as in the long run they will ruin your alloys imho.
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  7. CHEZ
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    CHEZ moderately amusing Supporter

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    [Mar 8, 2013]
    wonder wheels is excellent!
    albeit, slightly acidic so you need to be careful, but is the muts!
    and even available from tesco
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  8. CHEZ
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    CHEZ moderately amusing Supporter

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    [Mar 8, 2013]
    really?
    i dont think so! if used as advised!
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  9. scotty76
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    scotty76 Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 8, 2013]
    Sorry Chez, I would agree with this. They will slowly eat your wheels. Plus you don't really need it unless the wheel are in a bad state. The wheels on our family runabout were pretty bad when we got them but washing plus a few goes with Iron X sorted them.

    As for sealing them, anything is better than nothing. I've used Autoglym Ultra Deep Shine, Autofinesse Tripple and Planet Polish Wheel Seal & Shine. The Planet Polish did best and the others I used as I had nothing else to hand at the time. :)
    #8
  10. CHEZ
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    CHEZ moderately amusing Supporter

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    [Mar 8, 2013]
    i seal with poor boys wheel sealant, and have used wonder wheels for about 8 years no problems.
    dont use with polished or diamond etched wheels and you will be ok!
    trust me!
    it is a good product for bringing filthy pitted wheels up to scratch again, but as said it is acidic so dont let it dwell for long!
    it is widely available too!
    just remember to rinse off thoroughly and keep out of your cuts on your hands as the acid in it really hurts!
    of course there are better more expensive alternatives out there, but for high mileage crud shifting, this is an excellent product! imo
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
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  11. B7_FUR
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    B7_FUR Avantee

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    [Mar 8, 2013]
    I use bilberry wheel cleaner which I find to be really good. Bit of agitation and they come up brilliantly. I buy in 5l bottle and can be diluted 10:1 if needed, so lasts for ages.
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  12. scotty76
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    scotty76 Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 8, 2013]
    Thanks Chez, useful feedback.

    Have you tried the Wonder Wheels Hot Wheels at all? It's non acidic (AFAIK) and works really well for a lazy clean. Spray on, jet wash off.
    #11
  13. CHEZ
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    CHEZ moderately amusing Supporter

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    [Mar 8, 2013]
    no mate, not as yet! but probably will give it a bash in the future no doubt!
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  14. Tom487
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    Tom487 New Member

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    [Mar 8, 2013]
    Wonder wheels hot wheels is really good!
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  15. Rom
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    Rom Member

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    [Mar 8, 2013]
    Ideally, you want a decent cleaner, then you want to seal the wheels, which will make the next clean a lot easier.

    I use Zaino stuff mostly, which isnt cheap, but its amazing stuff. For a cleaner, i use Bilberry, its very good, and non acidic. After that, i use Zaino Z2 / Z6 / Z8 then finally ZCS which is the true sealant on them all.
    You could just seal them, the first 3 are polish / gloss enhancer / finish spray.
    You can also get others, like poorboys wheel sealant, which is also pretty good.

    On my 205, i spent a lot on finding some rare wheels, and having them refurbed. After the above treatment, i never touched them for cleaning. Just Bilberry and a jet wash, and a wipe over with Z8 when ever i redid the car. Dirt just doesnt stick.
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  16. AUDI_ADDICT
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    AUDI_ADDICT Member

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    [Mar 8, 2013]
    Billberry or Wolfs are very good, the latter had a rather unpleasant smell, but is ok to leave to dry to a deep purple. Then pressure wash off. Works a treat.

    I used acidic cleaner on wheels a few years back and it rotted them from the inside out
    #15
  17. voorhees
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    voorhees Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    As said Chez on the end of the line...in my honest opinion,in 8 years the only problem I have had is when I used wonder wheels and had to get my alloys refurbed six months after.
    Whether I left residue on the wheels after cleaning I dunno but I wouldn't endorse an acid based cleaner to anyone new to cleaning/detailing,even my refurber wouldn't and he reaps the rewards :)
    #16
  18. A4_MaJiK
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    A4_MaJiK Azeem

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    x2 on Bilberry Wheel Cleaner. I use it diluted 4:1 (Water:Bilberry).
    #17
  19. CHEZ
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    CHEZ moderately amusing Supporter

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    i have never tried a wheel cleaner that is not acidic to be honest! lol
    i will however try that hot wheels by wonder wheels to see what its like!
    wonder wheels is a bit heavy duty, but sometimes i only get to wash my car once a fortnight, and the build up of brake dust is quite severe, so this works a treat!
    over the years i have tried wonder wheels and autoglym wheel cleaner and just last week when in halfrauds noticed they had a 3 for £10 deal going on so ended up with a bottle of turtle wax wheel cleaner!
    this turned out to be acidic too!
    you can tell by the whiff it gives off and by how much it stings your cuts in your fingers that it is acidic! lol
    voorehees, i can honestly say i have never had a bad experience with it, hand on heart!, but when collecting my refurbed wheels from the factory, the owner advised me not to use wonder wheels!
    so there obviously must be issues with it!
    i think if you have any kind of damage to the surface lacquer be it kerbing or just scratches then there will be scope for the acid to get inside and attack the finish.
    for me never to have had any problems before, must be down to the technique i use with it!
    i rinse my rims first, apply the solution, agitating into the corners that seem to accumulate the crud the worst that wont shift with suds alone, then rinse!, then wash whole rim again with shampoo, then rinse again, so there is no chance of any solution remaining!
    and then dry with a micro fibre!
    #18
  20. AUDI_ADDICT
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    AUDI_ADDICT Member

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    When you have them in a condition you are happy with (clean and contaminant free hopefully, thats inside AND out) then get them protected with somthing like Jetseal 109 or Poorboys sealant and you will reap the benefits when you come to clean them next time.

    I fell foul to this with my old car..I was happy as a pig in s**t when i got it cleaned and the wheels looked very clean and shiny. Little did i understand that what i couldnt see from the outside was killing them. Inside the hub, you have 100 times more brake dust that was coming directly from the break calipers than you get on the outside of the wheel. Add to this overspray from acidic wheel cleaner that never gets washed off completely when you clean it..and its just a recipe for disappointment in the long run.

    I cleaned & protected my wheels and even after a month of not cleaning them the dirt just fell off with Billberry. Easy to clean and piece of mind too. Win win!
    #19
  21. Steve220
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    Steve220 Member

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    I use AMDetail Wheels. Its non-acidic and more powerful than that wonder wheels cack.
    #20
  22. Brodster
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    Brodster Shark Performance In Scotland Regional Rep VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    Wax Tec Fall Off usually gets rid of all dried brake dust and **** on the inside without the need for agitation with a wheel brush. Spray on leave for 10-15 mins then power wash off and voila.......clean wheels ready for the next step of drying, polishing and sealing.

    If the carbon doesnt disappear on 1st application do it again and agitate with a descent wheel brush.

    You'll hear loads of other opinions but the main thing is whats best for you. Thats why I said Wax Tec IMO.....Have used Bilberry...not bad, Iron-X.....not bad, AM wheels......needs alot of agitation, wonder wheels.....very powerful as acidic so need to be quick to rinse off. The Wax Tec stuff suits me as I can get on with detailing other parts of the car as it works its magic. If the product can remove all the carbon without agitation then thats perfect in my eyes. Have a look at the sponsors on here as there are alot that are resellers/distributors of the main big brands. I am a reseller/distributor of Angelwax, Garnet and Wax Tec products so can save you some £££'s against high street prices.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2013
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  23. P_G
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    P_G Member

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    If you get a good wheel sealant you should just be able to use your normal car shampoo to clean your wheels. To get the wheels clean in the first place pre-sealant you could use Autoglym Custom Wheel Cleaner and then Iron-X. Once cleaned G-Techniq C5, pricey but will give you 3-6 months duration and simple wipe down with car shampoo / mitt or wheel brushes will maintain them.
    #22
  24. @udi A3
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    @udi A3 Site Sponsor Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    Turtle wax Ice. Spray on, let it turn red, jet wash off. Not too fussed about the wheels atm, if they rot through its a good excuse to buy something bling :D
    #23

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