The best wheel cleaners for brake dust in 2024

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When you clean your car, you need to keep your wheels squeaky clean. Over time, brake dust and other contaminants can pile up on the rims and they need extra attention to be removed. If you don’t remove the brake dust, it can begin to penetrate the clearcoat on your rims and damage the paint, which can lead to corrosion and rust. With the help of a wheel cleaner, you can loosen brake dust and iron so it can easily be removed. Here are the best wheel cleaners for brake dust that are currently available at Amazon.

Meguiar’s G14324 Hot Rims Aluminum Wheel Cleaner – $6.97

Meguiar

$6.97 at Amazon

Key features

  • 24 oz.
  • Created for aluminum wheel finishes
  • Eliminates brake dust, dirt and grime
  • Cleaning agents won’t harm the wheels or brakes

This Meguiar’s Hot Rims Aluminum Wheel Cleaner is formulated for cleaning aluminum wheel finishes. This product removes grime, dirt and brake dust by deep cleaning the wheels without harming them. Meguair’s has other rim cleaners available 


P&S Professional Detail Products Brake Buster Wheel and Tire Cleaner – $16.95

P&S Professional Detail Products Brake Buster Wheel and Tire Cleaner

$16.95 at Amazon

Key features

  • 16 oz. 
  • Cleans and brightens rims and tires
  • Removes brake dust, oil and dirt
  • Safe on all wheel finishes

The P&S Brake Buster Wheel And Tire Cleaner is an acid-free formula that can clean wheels of any finish. It can be sprayed out of the bottle or diluted with a foam sprayer to cover more area. 


Griot’s Garage 10973 Heavy-Duty Wheel Cleaner – $19.99

Griot

$19.99 at Amazon

Key features

  • 22 oz.
  • Loosens and cleans off brake dust and road grime
  • Free of harsh chemicals
  • Ph-balanced formula
  • Changes color after coming into contact with brake dust

This Griot’s Garage Heavy-Duty Wheel Cleaner is pH-balanced, non-caustic and acid-free wheel cleaning formula that is safe for all types of wheel finishes. This product uses active ingredients that are longer lasting and more effective at removing dirt and brake dust.


3D BDX Iron Remover – $17.49

3D BDX Iron Remover

$17.49 at Amazon

Key features

  • 16 oz.
  • Decontaminates fallout from paint
  • Turns purple when it comes into contact with brake dust
  • Acid-free

This 3D BDX Remover removes brake dust, iron fallout and oxidation from wheels and paint. This product can also be used to safely clean tires, paint, and exhaust tips.


Chemical Guys SPI21516 Decon Pro Iron Remover and Wheel Cleaner – $18.99

Chemical Guys Decon Pro Iron Remover and Wheel Cleaner 2

$18.99 at Amazon

Key features

  • 16 oz.
  • Quickly removes brake dust, iron deposits, grime, dirt and road debris
  • Releases brake dust and iron deposits
  • Rapid cleaning agents
  • Safe for all glossy-painted wheels

This Chemical Guys Decon Pro Iron Remover And Wheel Cleaner uses rapid cleaning agents to clean wheels. This cleaner can release brake dust and iron deposits while removing grime, dirt and road debris.


How to use a wheel cleaner

Wheel cleaners are simple to use and are effective. Before purchasing a wheel cleaner, read about it and try to determine if it is compatible with the finish of your wheels. Once you’re ready to start, spray the cleaner onto your wheels and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Most cleaners will begin to change colors once they come into contact with brake dust. After a few minutes have passed, wipe off the cleaner with a microfiber towel. For a more thorough deep cleaning, use a cleaning brush to scrub the solution onto your wheels before letting it rest and removing it.

What causes brake dust?

According to Kal Tire, brake dust is caused when ”your brake pads heat up, their metallic particles get a static charge as they wear off the surface of the pad. That static charge is how the dark, metallic dust sticks to the wheels, both steel and alloy, as well as other parts of your vehicle.”

Is brake dust harmful?

Brake dust can potentially damage your wheels over time as it corrodes the clear coat and once it gets through it can corrode the wheels themselves. This will lead to paint chipping from the wheels and will begin to rust over time if not attended to.

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