Alloy wheel cleaners can be a tough thing to purchase, especially when it comes to the cheaper variants as these normally contain acid which can damage the alloy wheel. Personally, I’ve prefer to opt for either a pH neutral wheel cleaner (followed by an iron fallout remover), or to use a wheel cleaner that is on the more alkaline side of the pH scale.

Autoglym Custom Wheel Cleaner Complete Kit
Autoglym Magma, 500 ml
Meguiar's G180124EU Ultimate All Wheel Cleaner Iron Remover 709ml, Changes colour as it cleans!
Autoglym Custom Wheel Cleaner Complete Kit
Autoglym Magma, 500 ml
Meguiar's G180124EU Ultimate All Wheel Cleaner Iron Remover 709ml, Changes colour as it cleans!
Autoglym Custom Wheel Cleaner Complete Kit
Autoglym Custom Wheel Cleaner Complete Kit
Autoglym Magma, 500 ml
Autoglym Magma, 500 ml
Meguiar's G180124EU Ultimate All Wheel Cleaner Iron Remover 709ml, Changes colour as it cleans!
Meguiar's G180124EU Ultimate All Wheel Cleaner Iron Remover 709ml, Changes colour as it cleans!

Last update on 2022-09-29 As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Autoglym Custom Wheel Cleaner

Autoglym Custom Wheel Cleaner is available in 500ml and 1 litre sizes. Curiously, the 1 litre version comes in a kit with two brushes, and it’s actually cheaper to buy this size when compared to just buying the 500ml bottle, twice.

I really do like that it’s a fast acting cleaner. Not only does it melt away brake dust and grime easily on the wheel, but it also acts as a fantastic tyre cleaner as well. The two brushes included in the 1 litre kit are a great starting point for cleaning the alloy wheels, although you’d do well with getting some more, or even a few microfibre cloths to clean the back of the alloy as well.

When I’ve applied a wax to the wheels, I haven’t noticed any real degradation to the wax after using this cleaner. One thing to note though is that there isn’t a fallout remover on it, so you’ll need to follow it up separately with one of them. Having said that, after using this on a particularly dirty set of alloys, I noticed that there wasn’t a substantial amount of iron fallout left behind.

It really does leave the wheels looking like new, and you don’t need to apply a lot of it either. It should be noted though that the wheels need to be cool to the touch to use this, otherwise it can leave stain marks on the alloys.

Due to it’s fast acting cleaning, I tend to use Custom Wheel Cleaner in the colder, winter months when I want to get a great clean, in the shortest time possible. In the summer months, my preference is to use Autoglym Magma and UHD Shampoo as discussed below.

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Autoglym Custom Wheel Cleaner Complete Kit
  • Everything you need to safely remove brake dust

Last update on 2022-09-29 As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Autoglym Magma

For those that want a one size fits all product, Autoglym Magma is a great way to decontaminate the paintwork as well as the wheels. When I’m using Magma as a wheel cleaner, I like to use this in tandem with a car shampoo such as UHD Shampoo. The reason for this is that Magma isn’t a foaming cleaner the way that Custom Wheel Cleaner is. By using Magma with UHD Shampoo, it allows you to get a great, deep clean.

The colour change really helps to show the level of iron contamination on the alloys and it’s usually sufficient to only apply it to the wheels once. My recommendation is to apply it to cool wheels that are dry and leave it to work for 3-4 minutes.

Whilst it’s working, I add in 20ml of Autoglym UHD Shampoo to a bucket and add in 10 litres of water and then use a wash mitt or brush to clean the alloy wheel. The two of these in combination of each other works really well. It’s also a more cost effective method in the summer months since the car is getting washed every week anyway and I don’t need the massive cleaning power that you get from Custom Wheel Cleaner. A little bit of Magma goes a long way on wheels that have a coating on them.

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Autoglym Magma, 500 ml
  • Colour Transform Technology reacts with iron particles

Last update on 2022-09-29 As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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Autoglym Ultra High Definition Shampoo, 1 Litre
  • High foaming shampoo, with an irresistible fragrance

Last update on 2022-09-29 As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Meguiar’s Ultimate All Wheel Cleaner

Ultimate All Wheel Cleaner is a tad more expensive than the Autoglym offerings, but it really is a great cleaner. It fits the pre-requisite of it not being an acid wheel cleaner, which is great since  it can be used on a variety of wheel types and finishes.

As is the case with the other two wheel cleaners, I recommend that this is used when the wheels are cool to the touch.

In the product videos for it, they do add (in my opinion) way too much product. After trying it out on alloys that hadn’t been cleaned for a few weeks, a few liberal sprays were sufficient enough to remove the majority of the dirt on the wheel with agitating it.

Meguiar’s are keen to point out that this is more like a spray on, rinse off product and you don’t need to get the brushes out, but I would say you’re going to go through more of the product that way.

An alternative is to give a few sprays to the wheel, let the gel bed into it and then use a soft brush to move the product around the wheel. Not only will you still get an amazing clean from it, but the product will last a lot longer too.

If however you want the fasting acting and minimal effort wheel cleaner, this is the product for you.

Last update on 2022-09-29 As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.