Best Alloy Wheel Cleaners 2022 | Group Test

We pitted eight of the best alloy wheel cleaners against each other in a blind test to find out which is the best wheel cleaner on the market in 2022.

Alloy wheel cleaners are one of those things you can never have too much of, and you go through it seriously quickly. If you’re spending all that money, you want to make sure that you’re using the best product you can, one that’s going to give you the best results, and that’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive wheel cleaner group test so we can find out what the best alloy wheel cleaners are in 2022.

We brought together eight of the best car wheel cleaners, some from brands you know, some from brands you might not know, and put them against each other to find out which one delivers the best cleaning power. These are all similar products in terms of cleaning potential, so it’s an even playing field.

The best alloy wheel cleaners in 2022

Bilt Hamber - best alloy wheel cleaners

1st Place – Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel

Size tested: One litre

There can only be one winner, and, in this wheel cleaner test, that is Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel. It was an exceptionally narrow victory, and there was almost nothing to choose between this and Autoglym Clean Wheels, but in the end, Auto Wheel just edged it in terms of sheer cleaning power. It was the most reactive wheel cleaner in this test, turning its half of the wheel bright purple instantly, and it clung on tenaciously during its dwell phase, really attacking that tough, stuck-on brake dust and dirt. The post-rinse visual inspection and swipe test revealed that it had delivered incredible results. It also happened to end up having to deal with the dirtiest portion of the dirtiest wheel on the whole car, making its performance all the more impressive. Honestly, there’s not much more to say – it just got on with doing its job and delivered sensational results, which is what you want from any product.

Price-wise, it’s the third most expensive per litre in its standard size, but its five-litre size matches Gtechniq for price. You can buy it in a 25-litre container, assuming you have the room and are happy to spend £269.95 in one go, but then it will cost you just £10.80/litre.

There’s no fancy packaging and flashy marketing here, just an incredibly impressive product that really delivers. Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel is the best alloy wheel cleaner here, and our group test winner.

Autoglym wheel cleaner - Best alloy wheel cleaners

2nd Place – Autoglym Clean Wheels

Size tested: 500ml

Upon initial application, we were left wondering if Autoglym Clean Wheels was actually doing anything. Unlike a lot of the other products we tested, it’s not a reactive colour-changing wheel cleaner, so you don’t really see anything happening. However, it quickly became apparent that it was definitely doing some serious work, as the dirt began to dissolve in front of our eyes. Post-rinse, the difference was clearly visible before, we’d even reached for the cotton wool pad, and the swipe test confirmed what we saw. Autoglym Clean Wheels put in an exceptional performance, effortlessly shifting some seriously baked-on brake dust, and we were left very impressed with how little dirt was left on our cotton pad.

In its 500ml size, it’s the most expensive product in our top four, and at £14.99 it’s still more expensive than the others (just) if buy the one-litre size. However, it’s money well spent, because this is a fantastic wheel cleaner and one we highly recommend.

Valet Pro Bilberry - best alloy wheel cleaners

3rd Place – ValetPRO Bilberry Alloy Wheel Cleaner

Size tested: 500ml

It was almost too close to call between ValetPRO’s Bilberry Wheel Cleaner and Gtechniq’s W6, but after staring at cotton wool pads for longer than we’d care to admit, ValetPRO just took the win by the narrowest of margins. It delivered very impressive results, and the post-test swipe showed a significant reduction in surface dirt remaining.

Even in 500ml form, it’s the cheapest product in our top four – opt for the one-litre container and you’re paying £12.90, and if you buy the five-litre container it’s just £5.78/litre, which is unbelievable value.

This is the only product in our top four that can be diluted, up to 10:1 for lightly soiled wheels. This means you can get up to 11 litres of product from a 500ml bottle, and if you clean your wheels often and thoroughly, you won’t need it at full undiluted strength. And, where the other cleaners either didn’t smell of anything or stunk of chemicals, ValetPRO Bilberry Wheel Cleaner has a lovely fruity scent, making it the most pleasant to use.

Gtechniq Iron and fallout remover

4th Place – Gtechniq W6 Iron & Fallout Remover

Size tested: 500ml

Gtechniq doesn’t have a dedicated wheel cleaner, but that’s clearly not an issue as W6 Iron & Fallout Remover put in a very strong performance and delivered exceptional cleaning, leaving very little behind on the post-test swipe. The price is reasonable, and if you commit to the five-litre container, it works out at just a fraction under £12/litre, which makes it good value if you’re happy buying in bulk.

W6 Iron & Fallout Remover is also the only product in our top four that can be used on your car’s bodywork as well as the wheels, meaning you don’t need to buy a separate fallout remover, so that’s a bonus on top of the excellent cleaning power.

Best of the rest alloy wheel cleaners

Four out of our eight best alloy wheel cleaners delivered very similar results and performed equally as well as each other, and these are all good products which you’d be more than happy with.

Auto Finesse Reactive - Best alloy wheel cleaners

Auto Finesse Reactive

Size tested: 500ml

Reactive has been designed to, in the words of auto Finesse, bridge the gap between a wheel cleaner and fallout remover, and is safe to use on all painted, powder coated and lacquered wheel finishes. Reactive will break down dirt, as well as chemically dissolving embedded ferrous metal particles.

Dodo Juice Deep Purple - Best alloy wheel cleaners

Dodo Juice Deep Purple

Size tested: 1-litre

Dodo Juice calls Deep Purple a full-spectrum wheel cleaner, and that means it is able to tackle all manner of dirt on your rims. Based on the company’s Ferrous Dueller fallout remover, its thicker formula means a longer dwell time, which improves cleaning power and it contains surfactants to remove road grime and dirt, while a little bit of added solvent allows it to soften tar spots.

Meguiar's hot rims - Best alloy wheel cleaners

Meguiar’s Hot Rims Wheel & Tyre Cleaner

Size tested: 710ml

Hot Rims, safe for use on all clear-coated wheels, boasts Meguiar’s Xtreme Cling foam, which means it sticks to the vertical surfaces on your wheels and won’t simply slide away, giving its powerful formula more time to dissolve the contaminants on your wheels.

Pro Kleen Troll's Breath - best alloy wheel cleaners

Pro-Kleen Troll’s Breath

Size tested: 1-litre

Troll’s Breath is a pH-neutral iron contamination remover that is safe to use on just about any surface – paintwork, glass, plastic, stainless steel, wheels as well as rubber. It dissolves any contamination it comes into contact with, and it also features a degreasing agent that helps to loosen dirt and grime.

How we tested the best alloy wheel cleaners

We carried out a blind test – all the car alloy wheel cleaners were poured into identical spray bottles so that the tester would not know which product they were using, and the spray nozzles were set to the same spray pattern on each. The test was carried out on one day, using one car, and each product was applied to half of one wheel. Using a cotton wool pad, we performed a swipe test on a portion of the wheel before using each product and doing another swipe test from the same area after use.

Each of the alloy wheel cleaners was applied from the same distance, using the same number of sprays in the same motion and pattern to ensure even and equal coverage and a divider was used during application and rinsing to ensure that there was no cross-contamination. We didn’t use any brushes, eliminating this variable, and purely measured each product’s cleaning power. We also applied each wheel cleaner to a dry wheel and followed each product’s instructions for dwell time. The rinsing was performed using a hose with a jet spray pattern because not everyone has a pressure washer or can use one.

Products bottled into non-branded spray bottles ready for best alloy wheel cleaners test


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