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Wheel Cleaning Kit

15th December 2007

So you love your car, right. That probably means you’ll think nothing of spending a couple of hours cleaning it every week, maybe more. For me, there’s only two conditions I like to see my Sorento in - sparklingly clean like the day I drove it out the showroom...or caked in mud. Whilst the latter may be the more fun to achieve, its the former we’re looking at here, and in particular, the wheels.

One thing that really bugs me with other people’s cars is when they have obviously spent ages cleaning the bodywork, but they didn’t really expend much effort on the wheels. Then there are the tyres. How often do you see a fantastically shiny, freshly waxed motor with tyres a drab shade of browny-grey. Well it doesn’t have to be that way. There are loads of products out there to help your wheels make your car shine, rather than let the side down.

Over the years I’ve tried almost every kind of wheel cleaning fluid, wheel cleaning brush and tyre shine stuff on the market...well, the ones that are readily available to Joe Public. I’m sure there are better professional products available, but if I can’t walk in to my local motor store and buy them they’re no use to me, or most other people for that matter. So here’s my perfect wheel cleaning kit.

Halfords Wheel Brush, Anza Woodstain Brush, Halfords Alloy Wheel Cleaner - the perfect wheel cleaning kit

Wheel Cleaner

Halfords Alloy Wheel Cleaner (£3.99 for 500ml)
Comes in a handy 500ml pump-action spray bottle and produces a white foam. It’s easy to use and performs well. To be fair its performance is on a par with many other products available but its pump-action and reasonable price make it a winner.


Halfords Alloy Wheel Brush (£4.49)
Has a chunky plastic handle and the brush itself is made of a twisted wire loop with firm bristles all the way round. This is perfectly sized for cleaning the spokes on many wheels and may also fit between the wheel and caliper, especially on larger wheels. A word of warning though, the wire can bend if handled too firmly and over time the resulting stress can cause it to snap. My first one lasted about 8 months, but then I was actively bending it this way and that to reach every inner part of the wheel. So why did I buy another? Because it is the perfect size and shape and has just the right firmness to the bristles. This one I’m handling a bit more carefully though!

Anza 1" Round Woodstain and Varnish Brush (£3.49 from your local DIY store)
The trouble with a lot of the similar brushes you can by in a motor store is that the bristles are either not quite the right length, or they’re not quite firm enough or the whole thing is not quite strong enough and ends up breaking sooner rather than later. This Anza woodstain brush is just right for cleaning around the rims, the wheel nuts and any other recessed part of your wheel. And it’s chunky and robust too. Perfect.

Tyre Shine

Turtle Wax Extreme Tyre Gel (£6.49 for 500ml)
For best results the tyres need to be clean, so wash them with the rest of the car and allow them to dry first. I tend to use a small washing-up sponge to apply this slimy gel. Application is easy but messy so best to use latex gloves or similar. It gives the rubber a deep black shine - although if you prefer a matt finish you can wipe over with a clean cloth after application. It can last for weeks in dry conditions but with our British weather (rain, rain and more rain) you’ll probably be doing it every week.

So that’s it. Now you’ve no excuse - your wheels can gleam with the best of them. The only other thing you need to do...when you wax the car, do the wheels as well. This really does help stop the brake dust and other crap sticking to the wheel and makes your weekly wash a whole lot easier.


Alloy wheel cleaning step 1
Step 1 - Wet the wheel, it will help loosen the muck
Alloy wheel cleaning step 2
Step 2 - Apply alloy wheel cleaner
Alloy wheel cleaning step 3
Step 3 - Use Anza brush to clean rims and recessed parts
Alloy wheel cleaning step 4
Step 4 - Use Halfords brush to clean spokes and inner parts
Alloy wheel cleaning step 5
Step 5 - Rinse with water
Alloy wheel cleaning step 6
Step 6 - Allow to dry then apply Extreme Tyre Gel
Perfectly clean alloy wheel
Finished - More shiny than a really shiny thing

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