Best Wheel Cleaning Brush
The wheel cleaning brush has become one of the most important tools in my detailing kit. They allow me to get my wheels as clean as I can without taking the wheel completely off the car. In this article, I will take a look at what I think is the best wheel cleaning brush on the market at the minute.
But, as with all things in the detailing industry, the success of these types of products has seen a massive range of cheap, knock-off products filter into the industry, of which you want to avoid.
If you haven’t used a wheel cleaning brush before reading this article, it is high time to join the bandwagon.
Having the right tools will make any cleaning and detailing job much easier. Here are the best wheel cleaning brushes you can buy today.
1. Wheel Woolies
Let me give it to you straight. Penny pinchers need to look elsewhere. The Wheel Woolies genuine wheel cleaning kit is the most expensive in this list. But even though this kit is a tad pricey, you ultimately get what you pay for.
First off, you get three wheel brushes in this kit. Yes, three!
You might be asking if there’s really a need to have three wheel cleaning brushes in your cleaning arsenal? My straight answer to that is a resounding YES.
In this case, having wheel brushes in different sizes will allow you to choose the right brush for any type of wheel, whether stock or aftermarket rims.
The Wheel Woolies wheel cleaning kit utilizes polypropylene fibre heads along with flexible polypropylene handles. The bristles are 100% free of any metal fibre.
What this means is the confidence to safely clean any type of wheel without leaving scratches and nicks on the finish.
It doesn’t matter is your vehicle comes with chrome, aluminium, coated, anodized, or painted wheels, the Wheel Woolies are the perfect brushes for all types of alloy, steel, or magnesium wheels.
The smallest brush in this kit is 8” long with a 1” diameter. This is the perfect cleaning brush for those gorgeous wire spoke wheels.
The medium brush measures 18” long with a 2” diameter. This brush is ideal for larger multi-spoke wheels with larger gaps in between.
Finally, you also get a large cleaning brush that measures 18” long with a 3” diameter. This brush is ideal for cleaning the inside of the wheels with bigger clearance between the barrel and brakes.
One of the main reasons for me why the Wheel Woolies is the best wheel cleaning brush is because of the durability. I’ve been using these for over 3 years now and they’re still in tip-top shape. The bristles have held magnificently without losing a pile.
It doesn’t matter if you have a humdrum compact, family sedan, or hulking SUV, the Wheel Woolies 3-Piece Wheel Cleaning Kit is as good as it gets for me.
- Genuine Wheel Woolies from U.S.A. Supplied as a set of 3. Large (18" Long, 3" diameter), Medium (18" Long, 2" diameter), Small (8" Long, 1" diameter).
- Polypropylene fibre heads & flexible polypropylene handles. Guaranteed not to scratch your wheels or paint!
2. Luxury Angled Wheel Woolies
If your motor comes with a high number of wheel spokes, then this 18” angled option from Luxury Wheel Woolies will be a godsend for you.
It has the same polypropylene fibre head with a flexible polypropylene handle that the Wheel Woolie products above contain.
The angled design is ideal for reaching behind the wheel, especially near the brake callipers. It can make quick work on those oversized off-road wheels but is gentle enough to be used on chrome or anodized wheels.
It also allows you to work within tight areas and multi-spoke alloy wheels. The angled head means that you can clean the face of the wheel without nicking or scratching the wheel at all.
Again, this wheel cleaning brush is not exactly the cheapest, but with a larger 18” long and 2” diameter brush, you can clean the wheels even while standing up. No kidding!
I still prefer the Wheel Woolies 3-Piece wheel cleaning kit if I could only choose one of the two, but as an addition, the Luxury Wheel Woolies will make the perfect wheel cleaning kit.
- Large (18" Long, 2" diameter), Angled Spoke Back Wheel Woolie
- Polypropylene fibre head & flexible polypropylene handle. Guaranteed not to scratch your wheels or paint!
- Patented Technology 100 % metal free design. Ideal to use on wheels to reach behind the wheel and caliper area
3. EZ Detail Cleaning Brush
The EZ Detail Cleaning Brush is unique. It can be used to clean the wheels on your car, but it can also perform a marvellous job in your motorbike, ATV, and mountain bike. It comes with synthetic nylon bristles that are guaranteed not to scratch even the most delicate surfaces.
The EZ Detail Cleaning Brush is great for any type of painted, coated, plated, polished, or blank metal surface. I use this brush to clean the wheels in my car, but I also use it for other demanding cleaning jobs. The smallish size makes it the perfect cleaning tool under the bonnet. I loathe the appearance of a dirty engine bay, and this brush sure beats using a microfiber towel to remove dirt, oil stains, gunk, and tough stains under the hood.
If you take a closer look at the nylon bristles, you will see that each strand has a multi-edge structure. This is responsible for the excellent cleaning power of the EZ Detail brush.
When used in combination with a wheel cleaner, this brush will work wonders for any type of wheel. It even has a rubber-coated stem and a rubberized knuckle guard to offer a tight grip while protecting your precious hands.
The brush comes as a nice alternative to the Wheel Woolies as it’s softer bristles means that you can clean the barrels in even the tightest of gaps.
Whilst the EZ Detail Cleaning Brush is again, not the cheapest, I’ve had this brush for the better part of six months and it still performs like a brand new product.
- Non-scratch bristles and rubber-coated stem
- Cleans narrow gaps as well as large openings
- Flexible bristles flatten to squeeze into small openings
- Chemical resistant bristles can be used with any type of cleaner
4. Auto Finesse Hog Hair Detailing Brushes
If you have a rather tight budget, look away. But, in the Auto Finesse Hog Hair Brush you get a pair of exquisite and super soft detailing brushes with extra-long bristles, that will deliver outstanding results.
The bristles are reputably 75% longer than the industry standard for wheel cleaning brushes, and this means they can reach in between the tightest areas to deliver a superior clean.
What’s more, the Auto Finesse Hog Hair Detailing Brushes are equipped with a balanced set of solid wood handles. There is no metal whatsoever in these detailing brushes.
You can use them safely to clean the wheels without leaving marks or scratches. I also use this kit to clean the emblems, grilles and shuts in my ride. But, they are different brushes and I mark them, as it’s key not to use anything on or near paint that you would use on your wheels.
The brushes in this kit are so smooth that you won’t need to think about inflicting swirls or scratches on the interior and exterior of your vehicle. It even comes with the signature Auto Finesse black box to protect your cleaning brushes in storage.
But best of all, the Auto Finesse Hog Hair Detailing Brushes are proudly handcrafted in the UK. If you’re a perfectionist who demands only the finest cleaning brush, you need not look further than Auto Finesse.
- These luxury detailing brushes are hand crafted in the UK
- Fully balanced solid wood handle
- Epoxy set chopped Hog hair bristles that are up to 75% longer than the industry standard, enabling them to clean deep spoke designs easier and safer
How to your car’s wheels
I’ve loads on site that tell you about the methods that I use to clean the wheels on my car. But, I wanted to include a quick step-by-step guide on to how to clean alloy wheels here, just in case you’ve missed it.
Park the vehicle in a shaded and level area. It is always advisable to only clean the wheels (or the entire vehicle in general) when they’re cool to the touch. If the wheels are hot from a short drive, allow them to cool for at least thirty minutes or so before cleaning.
Now at this point, it is probably best to jack up the vehicle and remove the wheels altogether. This will make it effortless to thoroughly clean the inside and the face of the wheel. But for normal cleaning applications (or if it’s impractical to remove the wheels from the hub), you can proceed to clean without removing each wheel.
That’s the purpose of using a wheel cleaning brush, right? The brush can roam in all the hard-to-reach places behind the wheel, which is enough to remove severe traces of dirt, mud, and grime.
Always wash the wheels first before proceeding to wash the body of the vehicle. Start by rinsing the wheels with a pressurized jet or garden hose. This will help to remove any standing dust and dirt on the surface of the wheel.
Grab the wheel cleaner and spray a liberal amount of the cleaning solution on the wheels. Certain wheel cleaners have a unique formula that changes colour as the solution makes contact with dirt and brake dust. Allow the wheel cleaner to dwell for a few minutes.
Now, cleaning the wheels means cleaning the tyres as well. Some wheel cleaners can be used safely to clean the tyres. What I usually do is to have a small bucket filled with water and car shampoo. I grab a separate wheel cleaning scrubbing brush to clean the tyres. You can do this as the wheel cleaner is dwelling on the wheels.
Get the wheel cleaning brush. Spray a small amount of wheel cleaner on the bristles and proceed to clean the wheels. The cleaning brush will agitate the wheel cleaner to safely and quickly remove stubborn traces of grime and brake dust on each wheel.
If this your first time using a wheel cleaning brush, you will find out it is many times better than using a sponge or towel. Not only is it easier to clean between the spokes, but you won’t hurt or wound up your knuckles in the process!
After cleaning one wheel, simply dip the wheel cleaning brush in a small bucket of water to rinse the bristles before moving to the next wheel. This will remove dust and dirt from the bristles and avoid cross-contaminating the next set of wheels.
Rinse the wheels thoroughly with clean water and wipe the wheels dry using a clean microfiber towel. If you are then going on to clean the rest of your car, you can hold off from drying until the rest of the car has been washed.
This final step is optional but recommended. Every once in a while (once a month), I apply wheel wax to my wheels. This will not only keep the wheels looking as good as new, but it will protect the wheels from brake dust, dirt, and UV exposure. I like using the Swissvax Autobahn for this task. It contains a fine mixture of carnauba wax and non-stick PTFE to bring out the best on all types of alloy wheels.