English English Nederlands Nederlands Deutsch Deutsch Italiano Italiano Español Español Français Français 简体中文 简体中文 Português Português Русский Русский
    DetailingWiki Newsletter
    Get free and automatic updates on new articles
    We respect your privacy. No data is used for anything other than sending the newsletter!

    Advertisement

What is a wheel cleaner

Written by:

Within detailing, there are many different types of product. Within the group of cleaning products, there are sub-categories. Amongst them is the wheel cleaner. This is a specific cleaning products designed to clean wheels. This product will be specifically aimed at removing dirt that is most common for this area, such as brake dust, grime, mud, tar and several more. Not all wheel cleaners attack all these contaminants, but most attack many of them.

Why use a dedicated wheel cleaner?

Wheels come into contact with several types of contaminants that paintwork hardly comes into contact with. This means that a normal shampoo isn’t always capable of cleaning these types of dirt. Claying and/or polishing the area can sometimes be difficult and most people don’t want to take there wheels off every week. Using a dedicated wheel cleaner will make it much easier to remove stubborn dirt that won’t move otherwise. You could achieve similar results with clay, but your clay will wear a lot quicker and you increase the chance of severe marring. In general terms you can conclude that a dedicated wheel cleaner will simply make your job a lot easier.

Low, high or pH neutral

There are wheelcleaners on the market that have a very high pH value (higher then 7) which would mean that they are alkali. Other have a very low pH value (lower then 7) which would make them acidic. And there are wheelcleaners that are pH-neutral (around 7). Many detailers are convinced that only pH-neutral wheel cleaners are safe, but this is not entirely true.
It all depends on what alkali or acidic ingredient is used.
Some manufacturers have spent a lot of effort into researching the effect a certain ingredient has on specific dirt, and remove the ingredients that are not specifically targeted at a certain type of dirt.

For example: a manufacturer discovers that hydrochloric-acid is very good at removing traffic film, but it also stains polished steel and aluminium. That manufacturer can research what the active ingredient is that is causing the stains and what the ingredient is that is making it clean properly. If they can successfully filter out the ingredient that causes stains, they can achieve a product that will clean properly without leaving stains. The finished product can still be very acidic, but it won’t stain polished steel or aluminium. All the benefits, none of the drawbacks.

Some manufacturers spent a lot of time in this research and development, other don’t. If you are in doubt about your product contact the manufacturer or your supplier. You can also test on a small area first and see if detailing fora has discussed the product before.

Different uses

Ceramic coatings have a very high chemical resistance against acidic liquids (pH lower then 7). This means that it allows you to clean off contaminants that are very difficult to remove with a normal shampoo. Washing the car with a low pH solution can remove very stubborn dirt. This will give the ceramic coating a deep clean and improve sheeting and beading again.
Be careful though, because some unprotected materials (like trims) can be either damaged or stained by this. Rinsing is also very important afterwards.

Common mispercetions

  • Although a fallout remover cleans (among other areas) wheels, it is not a dedicated wheelcleaner
  • A wheel cleaner that is alkali or acidic does not have to be a bad thing, it completely depends an what type of alkali or acidic ingredient is used
  • Always take care when using a wheel cleaner. It is highly recommended to try any dedicated cleaner on a small place before using it on a bigger surface!
  • Take especially big care when working with aluminium, diamond cut rims or unprotected/unpainted metals
  • A wheel cleaner can be used on every surface, however great care has to be taken because it is not always certain how it reacts with particular surfaces

Different related articles

  • What is marring
    Correction
    Marring is a superficial surface imperfection most commonly seen after claying. It is slightly similar to a combination between swirls and holograms....
  • What protection really does and mean
    Detailing Miscellaneous
    "Protection" is an often used term in the field of detailing and valeting. But it is not always clear to everybody what protection really means, and what it does. Protection is a term used to clarify that a product is designed to form a barrier between a surface and contaminants from outside....
  • AMMO NYC
    Manufacturers
    AMMO NYC is a detailing products manufacturer with the slogan "Drive + Protect". The brand offers a small range of products aimed at the most common steps in the detailing process. ...
  • What is an aluminium brightener
    Decontaminating
    Aluminium brighteners are essentially forms of hydrofluoric acid, which also sold under the type "tire cleaner". A very similar product is used for etching glass and rust removers. The pure product is extremely toxic and dangerous. Aluminium brightener is another name for "wheel cleaner" or "metal cleaner"....
  • Detailing in detail – a detailed description
    Correction
    How do you achieve the results from the videos about detailing? What is being shown in the video, and why? How can you learn from a video showing a detailer in action?...
  • Surf City Garage
    Manufacturers
    Surf City Garage is an American manufacturer of automotive detailing products. The brand was born after the owner was not satisfied with the products he used for his 150 car collection of classics....

Links to this article

This article currently has one link

Sidebar