Product Type: Autoglym in Car Care
Newest Review: ... they tend to be the most dirt prone part), however there is no denying that just after a single use of Clean Wheels, things were a lot shi... more
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Autoglym Clean Wheels
Member Name: SoadFan
Autoglym Clean Wheels
Date: 20/03/13, updated on 18/06/13 (53 review reads)
Advantages: A product made by a trusted brand
Disadvantages: May not suit all wheel types
~Get Clean Wheels with Autoglym~
Autoglym Clean Wheels is a car care product from the trusted and popular Autoglym car care range which I bought to help keep my cars alloy wheels clean and brake dust free. I must admit that I mostly use Meguiar's care care products as I find them to be of a good quality so I was rather dubious about switching from my regular brand, however I decided in this instance to try this Autoglym wheel care product instead as it was recommended to me by a friend who also takes their car cleaning and care regime seriously. As it turns out I have found that Autoglym Clean Wheels does in the main do the job it has been made for, as it leaves my wheels looking nice and clean, with a little help from my trusty alloy wheel brush.
~Product presentation and ease of use~
All Autoglym products including this one come in simple white plastic product containers with the Autoglym brand name in large letters on the front. Having already previously bought from this range I knew roughly what to look for, as the minimal white product containers Autoglym favour stand out well. This made it easy for me to pick out the product I was looking for on the in store display stand. The simply presented product packs contain either 500mls or 1 litre of Clean Wheels, which gave me the chance to pay a little less and opt for the smaller sized container, as I was unsure as to exactly how well the wheel cleaner would work at the time of purchase. I was pleased that there was an option for me to try out this smaller sized bottle of Clean Wheels as it kept my initial buying costs a little lower.
In my experience the style of the spray top product container used for Clean Wheels means that it is fairly easy operate and work with, as you simply spray as much or as little of the wheel cleaner onto your alloy wheels where needed. I like the idea of having a spray on product that can be directed towards the area of an alloy wheel that requires a little more of the product, although there can be issues with some of the spray hitting surfaces of the car where the cleaner is not required, which isn't ideal in my opinion. I found it best to use this wheel cleaner with care when spraying it on, so as not to get any of it onto the other surfaces of the car such as the paint work, so I took a little more time when applying the product to ensure that it only ended up on my alloy wheels.
~When to use Clean Wheels?
Clean Wheels is a phosphoric acid based cleaning formula which is meant to be able to be used on chrome and painted wheel finishes, although I have not tested this out on all the surface types mentioned. I have used this product on silver effect soft sheen finish alloy wheels that were just over a year old at the time of using this product. I was informed when I bought my car that it was best to avoid any acid based wheel cleaner products for the first year, whilst the powder coated finish used on my lovely new alloy wheels was settling down. I followed these directions and found that as my alloy wheels were nice and new they were fairly easy to wipe clean without using a specialist product such as this one during the first year. Over time however as brake dust and general road grime builds up around the wheel area you do need to consider using a product such as this one, as it isn't as easy to keep alloy wheels as clean as they once were. Which is where Autoglym Clean Wheels stepped in to lend me a helping hand with keeping my alloy wheels looking fresh and new.
~Setting to work with Clean Wheels~
I found that once I got the hang of using the trigger spray applicator, Clean Wheels was fairly quick and easy to spray on. I did of course make sure that I directed the spray onto the areas of my alloy wheels that needed attention and avoided getting any of the product onto the cars paint work. This wheel care product is a spray, brush and wash off type cleaner that needs to set to work for a short time on each alloy wheel in order to help dissolve dirt, grease, brake dust and other contaminants from grubby alloy wheels. Clean wheels has been approved for use with chrome, painted and plastic trimmed wheels and although I cannot comment on how well it works with other materials, I found it did a fairly good job on standard soft sheen effect silver alloy wheels when I used it.
As I hadn't used this particular cleaning product before I made sure to only apply the product to one wheel at a time, so that I could see exactly what was going on and allow myself plenty of time to clean one wheel, then rinse off with clean water after the recommended one minute contact time. I found this was the best way to make sure that I was able to keep an eye on the progress of the product. I took care when applying the spray, left it for just under a minute then brushed around the alloys with a small tyre and wheel trim brush. I found it easy enough to work the wheel cleaner into the areas of the wheels that required a little extra help, although this was a little messy.
Even though I used my Autoglym product sparingly I still found that it dripped downwards towards the bottom of the car tyres upon application, which in my opinion is almost unavoidable when using these types of products. I would advise giving your alloy wheels a basic wash and brush up prior to using Clean Wheels so as to remove most of the loose brake dust, grime and dirt that is not baked on. This does make things a little less messy when brushing the product around the wheel area in my experience, although a certain amount of mess is to be expected as the product is designed to remove dirt and grime.
I found that this alloy wheel cleaner worked as it should to help remove any stubborn build up on the main body of the wheels as well as in the edges and corners of the alloy wheel design, leaving them looking quite clean and fresh once the product was rinsed away. I found that the wheel cleaner removed loose brake dust as well as general road dirt and spray which I was pleased about. I didn't have to scrub the surface of the alloy wheels with the wheel brush, as I found that the combination of wheel brush and Clean Wheels were effective enough to ensure that I only needed to use a very light brushing motion in order to get good results.
In use I found that some baked on stains are harder to remove and may take more than one careful application of the product to fully disappear. I feel it is best to clean alloys before they get to the baked on grime stage if at all possible as this makes a general clean much quicker and easier to carry out. I like to make sure that my alloy wheels look fresh and neat when the car is freshly washed and waxed which is why I opted for this product, although I feel that there are more than purely cosmetic reasons for keeping your car wheels clean.
During colder weather the roads are gritted and the combination of road salt, traffic film/ spray and brake dust are not a very healthy mix to have hanging around on a nice set of alloy wheels in my opinion. This is why I opted for Clean Wheels, as I wanted a reliable way to remove any build up from the wheels that wouldn't damage anything. I am pleased to say that I didn't find there to be any problems with the powder coated finish of the alloy wheels after having carefully applied and rinsed this wheel cleaner, as my alloy wheels ended up looking clean and refreshed with no ill effects to be seen.
~Top tips when using Clean Wheels~
I always give my alloy wheels a general wash and clean prior to using a specialist wheel cleaner such as this one, as it cuts down on general road grime and dirt and allows me to direct the wheel cleaner to areas that require an extra helping hand, without wasting it.
I use a small alloy wheel brush alongside this product
as I find that it makes it quick and easy to remove dirt and brake dust from the wheel surface.
It is not advisable to use Clean Wheels or any similar wheel cleaner on warm or hot alloy wheels, so if you have been driving the car it is best to let everything cool down before applying this wheel cleaner, following the directions given with the product.
Care an attention should be used when spraying some of this product onto the wheel area,
as the spray can end up on other areas of the car if not directed towards the wheels.
Ensuring the product is fully rinsed away after its short application time
will give the best results without causing any unwanted damage to alloy wheel finishes in my experience.
The cost of this product varies depending on the bottle size purchased, with the 500ml being available from £6.99. Prices are around £11.50 for a larger 1 litre sized bottle that will last twice as long.
The larger size does offer best value although I would recommend buying a smaller bottle initially,
just to make sure that the product suits your requirements and is compatible with the materials used to make the car wheels you want to clean.
With Clean Wheels being an acidic based cleaner I didn't use this product on brand new alloys, as I had been told that doing so may damage the finish of them, so following this advice I only tried this product once my car was more than a year old. I found that this wheel cleaning product was easy to apply and remove, leaving me with a set of nice fresh looking alloy wheels. There was a certain amount of mess made when using this wheel cleaner, although this is easy to rinse away. I feel this is to be expected with these kinds of car care products. Taking everything into consideration Clean Wheels deserves a 4 star product rating, as in my opinion it is a useful alloy wheel cleaner that needs to be used with a little extra care in order to get the best results.
Summary: A useful cleaner that needs to be used with care
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