Wheels cleaners are usually pretty effective at removing the dirt and grime that is baked onto the wheels of a car. Typically, wheels are the dirtiest part of a car because it is located so close to the ground and and is constantly being bombarded with brake dust coming from the brakes. Add the fact that the wheels are always exposed to the elements and are always exposed to heat from the brakes, and you have a recipe for hard-to-clean wheels. Griot’s Garage sells this wheel cleaner called Heavy-Duty Wheel Cleaner that is acid-free and safe, yet is very effective at cleaning very dirty wheels.
Griot’s Garage Heavy-Duty Wheel Cleaner works similarly to other wheel cleaners on the market; spray it on, clean with a brush, and rinse it off with water. The product not only cleans, but reacts with iron contaminants and produces a purplish-red color, indicating a chemical reaction taking place. This reaction helps to loosen the particles from the wheel’s surface.
The product does require the use of a wheel brush to agitate and remove the dirty particles from the wheel’s surface. Shown in the photos below, I’ve used a wheel barrel brush to clean the inner barrel as well as a detail brush (although a general-use wheel brush would be more efficient) for the surface of the wheel.
As you can see, the product works very well at cleaning the wheels. If you purchase the gallon-sized container of Griot’s Heavy Duty Wheel Cleaner, you’ll need a spray bottle in order to apply the product to the wheels. The product does not need to be diluted and is ready to use out of the container.
I’ve used this product over the past year on various vehicles and have had great success no matter how dirty the wheels were. I do believe that if you have some extremely dirty and neglected wheels, it may require cleaning it more than once with this formula, or may require the use of an acid wheel cleaner. However, for the majority of wheels out there, this product is more than enough to get wheels cleaned brilliantly.