Clean wheels are essential for any vehicle, but if you’ve got black rims, that’s a whole different story. Black rims require careful cleaning so as not to damage their finish.
The good news is that with the best cleaner for black rims, you can get the job done quickly and efficiently. All you have to do is find the right one for your needs.
Fortunately, there are plenty of great wheel cleaners for black rims on the market.
Based on reviews from car owners and experts, we’ve compiled this list of the 10 best wheel cleaners for black rims. Our aim is to make sure that your car always looks like it just came off the lot – with shiny, spotless wheels.
How Do You Get The Shine Back On Black Rims?
You might be wondering what you can do to restore the gleam of your rims without having to replace them. Well, the answer is simple: wax!
Step 1: Just purchase a wax specially formulated for rims. But you should check to make sure that the wax is compatible with your rim finish.
Step 2: Clean inside of rims. You can use car-specific cleaners for black rims. Then leave the rims to dry.
Step 3: Apply the wax all over your rim using a special applicator. You can use a clean microfiber cloth or polishing pad. Others come as spray-on.
Note: Be sure to follow manufacturer instructions! Otherwise, you might end up with streaks or, even worse, spots where you missed an area entirely.
Step 4: Let the wax sit for the time specified by the manufacturer.
Step 5: Now buff it out! Use a soft cloth to rub away any excess wax gently, so you’re left with a glossy shine.
Note: You can also paint car rims gloss black to restore shine.
How Do You Remove Oxidation From Black Wheels?
The most effective way to remove oxidation from black wheels is to use a product that can break down the oxidized layer without leaving behind unsightly streaks or swirl marks.
Step 1: Wash your wheels to remove any dirt or debris. It will prevent them from scratching up your wheels when trying to remove oxidation. For this, use black wheel cleaner spray and rinse with a powerful stream of water.
Note: Ensure to remove glue from car rims if present.
Step 2: Test your wheels for a coating by applying a small amount of polish and wiping with a soft cloth. Bare metal will leave a black residue on the cloth. If not, your wheel is likely coated. In this case, use a clear coat cleaner, such as Griot’s Garage Wheel Cleaner.
Step 3: Spray on a non-acidic wheel cleaner to your wheels. Always follow the manufacturer’s directive for the best results. This is because some cleaners require a special procedure to be effective.
Step 4: Agitate lightly using a soft-bristled brush to avoid scratches. Then rinse the wheel thoroughly, paying close attention to lug nuts, wells, and spokes.
10 Best Wheel Cleaners for Black Rims Reviews
We’ve tested and reviewed the top wheel cleaners on the market to bring you our list of the 10 best options for black rims. Keep reading for the details on each one so you can find the perfect cleaner for your needs!
1. Meguiar’s G180132 Ultimate All Wheel Cleaner –Editor’s Choice
- Combines brake dust dissolving agents with road grime attacking surfactants
- Acid-free formula is safe for all wheels
- Safe for painted brake components
- Color-changing to signal it’s working
- Needs agitation for neglected or heavily soiled wheels
Count on Meguiar’s G180132 Ultimate Wheel Cleaner to take your car rims from drab to fab.
This powerful cleaner is engineered to be tough on dirt but gentle on your wheels. It fights against brake dust stains without harming your wheels’ protective finish.
That’s not all: with this cleaner, you can clean your rims without having to brush or scrub! It is specially formulated to work its magic on the toughest grime with minimal effort from you. Moreover, it conditions your wheel’s finish to prevent deterioration and damage.
It’s also highly concentrated, so you only need a small amount of product to get the job done. Simply spray it on, wait a couple of minutes (2-4), and watch as that thick, sticky grime comes off like nothing. It’ll be like you never had to deal with dirt in the first place.
Also, don’t worry about the type of wheel on your ride. This cleaner is gentle enough to use on all types of surfaces, including alloy, clear-coated steel, painted wheels, and anodized wheels. It’s even safe for plastic hubcaps!
When you’re ready to hit the road, make sure you have Meguiar’s G180132 Ultimate All Wheel Cleaner by your side.
2. Chemical Guys CLD_997 Diablo Gel Concentrated Wheel Cleaner – Best Budget Pick
- Loosens and lifts brake dust, grime, and other contaminants
- 100% pH balanced safe for all OEM and aftermarket wheels
- Foam-able gel for a spot-free rinse
- Concentrated formula dilutes up to six parts of water
- Brush or spray-on application
- Scented with premium natural fragrance
Chemical Guys Diablo Gel delivers a powerful concentrated formula to clean and shine all types of wheels effectively. It combines the cleaning power of degreasers, natural pH balancing extracts, foaming technology of hyper surfactants, and some powerful fragrances.
The one-of-a-kind gel glides easily over surface contaminants for a deep clean and shiny finish. It makes quick work of brake dust, dirt, grime, oil, grease, and road tar.
Diablo Gel comes out thick but easily goes on thin, so you save product and money! You can dilute with six parts of water. But if you’ve got an especially dirty ride, you can apply this product full-strength (three parts water). Just remember to hose it off within 5 minutes.
In addition, Diablo Gel is extremely foam-able. You can use it as a foam spray or leave it to air dry with the same great results. But even with all this power, it doesn’t touch your beautiful finish like other harsh wheel cleaners or brushes.
The non-acid formula makes it gentle enough for use on even the most delicate wheels. You can use it on painted, powder-coated, chrome, polished aluminum, anodized, and even bare metal. And hey, guess what? You can smell the intense fragrance all day long!
There’s literally nothing easier than spraying this Diablo Gel on your rims and making short work of those pesky wheels with its foaming action. If you want the best cleaner for aftermarket wheels on a budget, this is it.
3. P&S Professional Detail Products Brake Buster Wheel Cleaner – Best Overall
- Cleans and brightens wheels, rims, and tires
- Forming action for complete coverage
- Removes brake dust, oil, stains, and light corrosion
- Safe and effective acid-free formula
- Comes with an IK pump sprayer
Brake Buster Wheel Cleaner is a professional-grade, acid-free cleaner. This top-notch wheel cleaner is the perfect way to get squeaky clean brake pads and get your wheels and rims looking like a million bucks.
This pH-neutral cleaner is safe on all surfaces. It works great on patented wheels, calipers, and other parts of the undercarriage.
What’s more, it’s easy to use: just spray it on, let it soak for a minute, and then hose it off. For stubborn stains, you can agitate with a detailing brush or mitt. Brake Buster will make your wheels look new again!
In addition, the foaming action of Brake Buster allows it to adhere to vertical surfaces for longer periods of time. Therefore, it does its job more effectively.
Plus, you get more than just a brake buster. You also get an IK pump sprayer – it really is a win-win.
Don’t take our word for it – try it out for yourself! Your car will thank you (and so will all those people who are going to be asking about your wheels).
4. TriNova Wheel Cleaner Rim Cleaning Spray
- Removes dirt, grime, brake dust, and stains
- Acid-free formula safe for all types of wheels (polished, painted, ally, and chrome)
- Safe on tires as well
- Restores original shine
- 100% customer satisfaction guarantee
Road debris, brake dust, salt, and grime are no match for TriNova Wheel Cleaner. So what makes this spray so special?
It’s all about the formula. TriNova Wheel Cleaner uses chemical-free foaming agents that are totally safe for your paint job. It’s tough on dirt but gentle enough not to damage your wheels in the process.
It’s safe for all wheels, whether aluminum, chrome, or anodized wheels. So you don’t have to worry about any kind of damage.
And it’s not a messy, time-consuming process – it gets the job done without having to do anything but spray and rinse! Just spray it on and let it sit for a minute or two. Then hose it off with water and watch as the dirt comes right off with it!
But it doesn’t stop there. TriNova Wheel Cleaner also doubles as a black rim shine spray to restore the original gloss on your wheels.
Furthermore, you don’t need to use it every time you wash your car. Hence, you’re getting an even better value than you think! And, just to make it even more tempting, it smells like minty freshness.
5. Turtle Wax T-18 All Wheel and Tire Cleaner
- New deep cleaning power foam eliminates brake dust
- Wax deepens luster and shine
- pH neutral formula safe for OEM and aftermarket wheels
- Designed for both wheels and tire sidewalls
- Biodegradable formula
With its new power foam, Turtle Wax makes it easy to get a showroom shine on your tires and wheels. It’s formulated with a special blend of polymers and surfactants to quickly and easily remove stubborn debris and contaminants.
The cleaner is strong enough to remove brake dust and road grime but gentle enough to avoid damage. In fact, the non-acid formula means that this cleaner is safe for use on all OEM and aftermarket rims. And it’s safe for the tires too!
Cleaning with Turtle Wax T-18 is like a party for your car – just spray it on, agitate with a soft brush, and rinse. You’ll be amazed at how much fun it is to see dirt vanish instantly from your wheels!
In addition to leaving your wheels sparkling clean, this black rims cleaner also protects against UV light damage. Hence, it prevents the rubber on your car’s wheels from drying out, fading, or cracking.
Turtle Wax T-18 All Wheel and Tire Cleaner comes in a 23 fluid ounce spray bottle that should last you quite a while. Also, you can adjust the sprayer from a stream to a wide fan pattern for spot cleaning or full wheel detail cleaning.
6. CAR GUYS Professional Detailing Wheel Cleaner
- Acid-free and pH balanced formula cleans all types of wheels and tires
- Safe for calipers, exhaust tips, and high-end braking systems
- Super-concentrated gel clings to wheels for minimal runoff
- Maximum cleaning power cuts through brake dust, stains, road grime, and grease
- Environmentally friendly
No matter what kind of rims or tires you have, Car Guys Wheel Cleaner will keep them looking like new. The strong but gentle formula will cut through dirt and grime without harming your wheels.
It will not damage your vehicle’s paint job or any other part of its exterior. Nor will it harm your vehicle’s finish after repeated use.
It’s safe for all types of wheels, including painted aluminum, polished aluminum, steel-painted, chrome, clear coated, and more! Also, the cleaner is safe to use on all types of tires, including white-walled tires.
Did we mention it? This cleaner is also good for exhaust tips, calipers, and high-end braking systems.
Also, no more scrubbing with brushes that only scratch your wheels and leave behind ugly swirl marks. Simply spray it on, let it sit for a few minutes, and rinse! But for extra tough build-up, let it sit for a few minutes and agitate lightly with a brush before rinsing.
You’ll be amazed at how clean your wheels get without any effort at all. Plus, it smells like your favorite scented candle.
While it works great on other wheel surfaces, CAR GUYS works remarkably well as an alloy wheels cleaner.
7. Griot’s Garage 11026 Heavy Duty Wheel Cleaner
- PH balanced and safe for all wheel finishes
- Heavy-duty formula loosens brake dust and road grime
- Highly viscous gel clings onto wheels to work longer
- Color-changing formula (deep purple) signals that it’s working
- Pleasant fragrance
Griot’s Garage Wheel Cleaner gets in all those little nooks and crannies, leaving your wheels looking like new.
It’s perfect for tackling the toughest grime on any wheel surface, even brake dust! The strong pH-balanced formula quickly penetrates and lifts any dirt or debris.
And we know how much of a pain it can be to clean your wheels – but this product makes it easy! Just spray it on, wait three minutes, then hose off. It’s that simple.
In addition, it doesn’t need much scrubbing – all it takes is a light agitation with a toothbrush. Your wheels will be sparkling in no time – and free of any unwanted scratches, too.
This all-around wheel cleaner is perfect for removing brake dust from all-wheel finishes: chrome, aluminum, steel, and more. Plus, it works like a charm on painted wheels as well.
Use it regularly to keep your wheels free of debris and ready for a show at any time. Or better still, use it as part of a spring cleaning ritual and watch your car transform from grimy to glorious! Moreover, you can use it with other Griot’s products for the ultimate car cleaning system in your garage, making your life easier and satisfyingly shiny.
8. Sonax (230200-755) Wheel Cleaner Full Effect
- Acid-free and pH neutral wheel cleaner
- Works on all factory-coated wheels
- Full effect formula emulsifies stubborn, baked-on brake dust
- Sprays on yellow and turns deep purple or red for visible cleaning power
- Ready to use (no diluting with water)
Sonax Full Effect Wheel Cleaner is ready to go out of the box. No mixing with water!
This non-acidic, biodegradable cleaner will foam as you spray it on. When the foam turns red, it’s time to rinse it off. But not before it’s done some serious work removing stubborn brake dust and other grime from your wheels.
In order to use, spray the product directly on a dry or slightly damp wheel surface. Allow it to penetrate for approximately 10 minutes. For heavy dirt buildup, agitate with a brush if needed. Then wash it off and enjoy the result: shiny, sparkling wheels!
The Full Effect wheel cleaner is safe on all factory-coated wheels. Moreover, this powerful formula is also safe on plastic hubcaps. So you don’t have to worry about ruining the finish while you clean.
And it’s safe enough to use every time you wash your car – it won’t damage or wear away your car’s wheels.
It’s never been easier to take care of your car rims than it is now. Get yourself some Sonax today!
9. Armor All Extreme Wheel and Tire Cleaner
- Safe on all factory and aftermarket coated wheels
- Triple-action formula dissolves road grime, brake dust, and grease
- Powerful foaming formula clings onto vertical surfaces to work longer
- Blanketing agent gets into nooks and crannies to clean every inch of your wheels
- Leaves wheels with a brilliant shine
The Armor All Extreme Wheel and Tire Cleaner is a fast-acting, high-performance multi-surface cleaner. It’s one of the deepest clean your wheels will ever have.
How do we know it’s the deepest clean?
Because it’s among the few products that get deep into your wheels’ pores to lift dirt out of those nooks and crannies, also, the special formula leaves no residue or streaks behind. Instead, it leaves a sparkling shine that you can see and feel.
How safe, you ask? Well, the Armor Wheel Cleaner is ideal for use on all types of wheels and tires: aluminum, chrome, steel, alloy, painted wheels, clear coated wheels, and hubcaps. In addition, it’s also safe to use on rubber surfaces such as whitewalls, raised white lettering, and treads.
Simply spray it on and watch as the intense foaming action immediately removes brake dust and grime from your rims. If you really want to buff your rims and make them shine, simply wipe them off with a microfiber rag. In a matter of minutes, you’re walking away with a beautiful car without all the hard work!
10. Chemical Guys CLD105 Sticky Citrus Gel Wheel Cleaner
- Formulated with safe all-natural citrus extracts
- Clingy gel makes more contact with brake dust and road grime
- Acid-free formula for all types of wheels
- Rinse-free technology
- Safe on brake components and suspension parts
Dirt, grime, and brake dust are no match for the Chemical Guys CLD105 Sticky Citrus Gel Wheel & Rim Cleaner.
The cleaner’s high-clinging citrus formula sticks to wheels and rims to break down and release brake dust and grime. This means there’s no dripping, running, or wasted product. It also means less scrubbing is required to achieve a clean wheel!
The best part? It’s rinse-less.
Simply spray on the thick gel cleaner, allow it to dwell for a few minutes, then wipe clean. CLD105 Sticky Citrus Gel Wheel & Rim Cleaner isn’t just for cleaning. It also protects against future grime buildup.
The gentle citrus power of the cleaner is safe for all wheel finishes and won’t strip off any protective coatings. It even leaves behind a glossy shine and a fresh citrusy scent! Moreover, you can use it at full strength or dilute, depending upon how dirty your wheels are.
How To Choose The Best Cleaner For Black Rims
The best way to ensure your rims are perfectly clean is to get the best cleaner for them. But before you can find that, you need to know what makes a good cleaner for black rims. In this guide, I’ll show you how to choose the safest and most effective cleaner for your black rims.
There are 3 types of surface finishes for black rims. They are metallic paint, powder coating, and chrome. The type of finish on your rims will determine what kind of cleaner you’ll need to get the job done without damage to the rims’ surface.
Also, you can make it easy on yourself by settling for an all-wheel cleaner. This type of wheel cleaner offers guaranteed safety and effectiveness on both factory-coated and aftermarket-coated wheels.
Do you just want to clean off dirt and grime? Or do you want to protect the surface? If you answer yes to the latter question, then look for a cleaner with water-repellant properties,
You don’t want water and other elements sticking to your rims and causing stains after you clean them up. Hence, look for a cleanser that will help repel future dirt and grime. It will ensure that your next cleaning session isn’t as dirty or labor-intensive.
While most rims are made of tough materials like aluminum or steel, they’re also susceptible to corrosion and damage. So, if you’re frequently cleaning, as you should be, you want something that won’t damage your rims with repeated use.
Find cleaners that are made from mild materials that won’t strip away at your valuable rims. Also, you’ll want to avoid acid-based cleaners. Why? Because they can cause long-term damage to your rims by corroding their surface and causing discoloration.
When choosing a cleaner for your black rims, it’s important to consider the environmental impact. You don’t want to use harsh chemicals that will damage the environment or negatively impact your health. Choosing a cleaner with natural ingredients can go a long way towards making sure you’re doing the right thing for the planet (and yourself).
UV rays can speed up oxidation in metals. Therefore, look for a cleaner that includes UV protection to prevent future damage. The sun’s rays can be dangerous, especially to black rims that absorb heat more readily than white or silver options.
The last thing you want is to spend hours trying to get dirt and grime off your black rims. That’s why choosing a quick and easy application process can make all the difference.
For instance, a spray-able formula may be easier than a liquid that needs to be applied with a cloth. You’ll be able to get back on the road faster and enjoy looking at those beautiful wheels as they gleam in the sunlight!
Take advantage of this list, and your rims will look great for years!
Best Cleaner for Black Rims-FAQs
There are many questions about cleaning black rims. Here, we’ll provide answers to the most common questions about black car rim cleaner.
What can I use to clean black rims?
Typically, the best cleaner is an acid-free product that you can spray on and remove easily with water. Also, the product should be safe for all materials, including chrome, painted wheels, and clear-coated wheels. Pick from our list for the best performance.
Are black car rims hard to keep clean?
They’re a bit hard to keep clean as they need a specific kind of care. Anything (stains, marks, and scratches) that gets on them tends to show up more obviously than it would on other kinds of rims. That’s why you need a cleaner specially designed for black rims.
How do you clean black rims without scratching?
Easy! Just use a rim cleaning spray specifically formulated with non-scratching ingredients! The unique formula not only cleans away debris and dirt without scratching. It also leaves behind a protective layer that helps prevent brake dust from building up again.
How do I make matte black rims shiny?
Use a microfiber towel (not just any towel) to wipe down the rim after washing. Paint on a layer of black wax, and then buff it off to make the rim look shiny and new.
How do I protect black alloy rims in winter?
You can use carnauba wax or a powerful synthetic sealant. But unlike carnauba, synthetic oils form a bond with paint, metal, and powder coating. Plus, it doesn’t have a melting point, making it the better choice.
And there you have it! The best cleaner for black rims that will restore your wheels to their former glory without damaging their sensitive surface.
Keep in mind that these acid-free cleaners work for just about any wheel finish. So whether you’ve got a set of chrome wheels or anodized aluminum ones, these cleaners should do the trick! All it takes is a little patience, and your ride will be looking good as new in no time!
If you have any questions or even just want to let us know about a product we missed, we’d love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments below!
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