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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wash, Wax, Detailing and Cosmetic protection/repairs > BEST wheel cleaner?



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      01-12-2018, 03:50 PM   #1
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BEST wheel cleaner?

I'm looking for an alloy wheel cleaner, maybe of industrial strength to clean this hardened grime off of my wheel.

https://imgur.com/a/TAmQB

I've scrubbed and scrubbed with soap and water, and used a wheel cleaner of a brand which I don't remember that didn't do anything to clean it at all.

What's the strongest brand of cleaner I can use to maybe get this off? I think it'll be a challenge. I don't know what it is but it's really on there.
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      01-12-2018, 03:58 PM   #2
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Vinegar works much better than most wheel cleaners I've come across.
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      01-12-2018, 04:00 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Needbmwpartzz View Post
Vinegar works much better than most wheel cleaners I've come across.
Really? That's interesting, I've honestly never heard of that.

Do you use just straight vinegar? Or do you mix with water?

Also is there a specific type or brand you recommend?
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      01-12-2018, 04:00 PM   #4
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I've actually used polishing compound like Meguiars M105 to clean nasty stains off of wheels that no amount of scrubbing could get off.

My stains were on the inside barrel of the wheel so I was able to get my DA polisher in there, but doing it by hand might also be worth a try.

The other product that comes to mind is maybe IronX?

Here's a before and after of my wheels using Meg's M100 with a trash red pad on a DA polisher



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      01-12-2018, 04:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifelike View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Needbmwpartzz View Post
Vinegar works much better than most wheel cleaners I've come across.
Really? That's interesting, I've honestly never heard of that.

Do you use just straight vinegar? Or do you mix with water?

Also is there a specific type or brand you recommend?
Just regular old household vinegar is acetic acid and basically dissolves baked on grime.
I use it straight...but key is let it sit for bit then use a non-abrasive sponge to wipe away then rinse wheels well after.
I use soap/water to rinse then just water.
Heinz because there is no other kindz....just like ketchup
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      01-13-2018, 01:56 PM   #6
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Spray it on, wait five minutes and then rinse off.
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      01-15-2018, 10:23 AM   #7
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sonax is great, i use it.

but if its a truly imbedded i reckon you'll need an abrasive... i recent went though this to coat my wheels with Rim but Gyeon.

chemicals wouldn't touch it so used petrol and a credit card.... not the best but it was the barrel of the wheel so didn't mind so much, but a DA and compound would have been a better bet.

clay didn't work either so i feel your pain!
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      01-15-2018, 10:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy198712 View Post
sonax is great, i use it.

but if its a truly imbedded i reckon you'll need an abrasive... i recent went though this to coat my wheels with Rim but Gyeon.

chemicals wouldn't touch it so used petrol and a credit card.... not the best but it was the barrel of the wheel so didn't mind so much, but a DA and compound would have been a better bet.

clay didn't work either so i feel your pain!
I've heard good things about Sonax. I checked my local Walmart and didn't find it anywhere. Where can I pick some up?

I will probably have to use an abrasive or some kind of scratching tool for this, I didn't think of that since it's on the face of the wheel.

I tried Mother's brand tire/wheel cleaner and applied some and scrubbed/washed 2 or 3 times to no avail. All of my other wheels are clean though

Any ideas on a good tool to scrape it off? I might try the credit card lol!
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      01-15-2018, 12:37 PM   #9
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Amazon, Autogeek and the Sonax website.
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      01-18-2018, 10:40 AM   #10
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I have tried a bunch of different products. I really like the diablo gel from Chemical Guys it is thick and really lets you scrub. IronX is a HUGE waste of money IMO. It works about as well as Simple Green but for 10x the price. Simple green is good if you are doing a quick job on them.
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      01-22-2018, 10:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcphoto View Post
Spray it on, wait five minutes and then rinse off.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy198712 View Post
sonax is great, i use it.

but if its a truly imbedded i reckon you'll need an abrasive... i recent went though this to coat my wheels with Rim but Gyeon.

chemicals wouldn't touch it so used petrol and a credit card.... not the best but it was the barrel of the wheel so didn't mind so much, but a DA and compound would have been a better bet.

clay didn't work either so i feel your pain!
+1 for Sonax Wheel Cleaner.

I love it, it acts very quickly and it makes it really easy to remove dirt and other things that stick to the wheels.

It turns purple and you can really see it working.
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      01-22-2018, 11:39 AM   #12
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Sonax but only Sonax Wheel Cleaner PLUS. Don't bother with any other sonax wheel cleaner.

Another one I tried few months back is original BMW wheel cleaner, and it was in par with sonax wheel cleaner plus.
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      01-22-2018, 05:32 PM   #13
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Meg's Wheel Brightener:

https://www.autogeek.net/meguiar-s-w...rightener.html

Take the wheel off the car. This stuff will eat at and rust your brake components.
Use a mask and chemical resistant gloves.
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      01-23-2018, 11:35 AM   #14
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Sonax Wheel Cleaner Plus is one of our best selling wheel cleaners, and one that is used by many professionals. It does a nice job of loosening dirt and grime on your wheels, but for heavily contaminated wheels, the job does not always end with the wheel cleaner. The wheel cleaner will help to loosen the dirt, but for a perfectly clean wheel it is recommended you truly wash them using either a wheel brush or a wash mitt.

Sonax Wheel Cleaner Plus
Wheel Brush
EZ Detail Brush for Wheel Barrels
Black Microfiber Wash Mitt


If there are bonded contaminates, you will benefit from a chemical or mechanical decontamination. Products like tar removers and clay bars can be very beneficial.

If there are embedded contaminates or superficial defects, abrasive substances like compounds and polishes will be required.

Meguiarís M100 Compound
Meguiarís M205 Polish

You can see Sonax Wheel Cleaner Plus in action in the following write up featuring some very dirty Mercedes E55 AMG Wheels....

Mercedes Benz E55 AMG - Detail, Paint Correction, and Crystal Serum Light Application

Hope that helps!

-Zach McGovern
DI Ask-A-Pro Blog Author
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      02-01-2018, 11:33 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifelike View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy198712 View Post
sonax is great, i use it.

but if its a truly imbedded i reckon you'll need an abrasive... i recent went though this to coat my wheels with Rim but Gyeon.

chemicals wouldn't touch it so used petrol and a credit card.... not the best but it was the barrel of the wheel so didn't mind so much, but a DA and compound would have been a better bet.

clay didn't work either so i feel your pain!
I've heard good things about Sonax. I checked my local Walmart and didn't find it anywhere. Where can I pick some up?

I will probably have to use an abrasive or some kind of scratching tool for this, I didn't think of that since it's on the face of the wheel.

I tried Mother's brand tire/wheel cleaner and applied some and scrubbed/washed 2 or 3 times to no avail. All of my other wheels are clean though

Any ideas on a good tool to scrape it off? I might try the credit card lol!
Best place is fcp euro
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      02-04-2018, 02:35 AM   #16
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I use Autoglym's Wheel cleaner. Comes with a few brushes which helps get into those hard to reach places. Works well for me.

http://www.supercheapauto.com.au/Pro...1-Litre/383994
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      02-13-2018, 01:17 AM   #17
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Iíd use some DUB wheel cleaner ($8 at Wally World), a bucket with the hottest
water available, a brush and some muscle. Then some Eagle One Never Dull. Iíve used some cheap blue soap Brillo steel wool pads with lots of water before as well and they never scratched my wheels.
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      02-16-2018, 04:16 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SiEgs90 View Post
Iíd use some DUB wheel cleaner ($8 at Wally World), a bucket with the hottest
water available, a brush and some muscle. Then some Eagle One Never Dull. Iíve used some cheap blue soap Brillo steel wool pads with lots of water before as well and they never scratched my wheels.
I hear 200-grit and some Ajax or Comet works wonders.
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      02-16-2018, 04:43 PM   #19
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S.O.S Steel wool soap pads. I've used them for years on the insides of rims - chrome, aluminum, mag and it will get years of thick brake dust, rust and pitting off fairly well. Be sure to rinse well, wipe down and or blow dry. The steel can rust on the rims, but after I use it once, I maintain the insides every 2 months or so with any wheel cleaner and a brush.
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