Best Wheel Brushes: Clean Your Wheels the Right Way
These handy cleaning tools will shake free all of that dirt and debris.
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Wheel brushes are one of the best ways to clean up the rims of your vehicle. Unlike microfiber towels and other car applicators, wheel brushes tend to have the right design to get in between the spokes and behind the wheels; places where other applicators have a hard time reaching. Since there are so many different sizes and designs of wheel brushes, we've created this handy guide to help you find the right one.
Takavu Wheel Brush
- Long 18-inch design is perfect for reaching in between the rim spokes or behind the wheels
- Safe for all finishes
- Knuckle guard protects hands
- There have been some reports of the end cap popping off right out of the box.
Chemical Guys Wheel and Tire Brush
- Comfortable handle
- Ergonomically designed to stay in place while using liquids and soaps
- Brush head is small for reaching behind the wheel
- Longer handle model can be difficult to maneuver around the wheels, especially when trying to reach behind the rims of larger wheels
Woollywormit All-in-One Auto and Car Wheel Detailing Brush
- Long, flexible design makes it easy to get between spokes
- Good, clean finish with the right cleaning liquids
- Includes patented lug nut cleaning tool
- Small handle is difficult to hold for larger hands and can fall off from time to time
When you’re giving your car a regular cleaning, you can’t skip the wheels. You can give them a scrub with your mitt and soap just like the rest of your vehicle’s exterior, but to get them truly clean and debris free, you’re going to need a wheel brush.
While a mitt, sponge, or cleaning cloth can wipe away dirt, mud, and other road debris, your wheel’s nooks and crannies can be tricky to reach. The bristles of a brush are better able to scrub away the dirt hiding in your rims. It’s a must-have tool if you’re detailing your wheels. We found the best wheel brushes for getting your rims sparkling once again, and we’re highlighting our top picks.
The best wheel brushes are those that are both comfortable to work with and effective at sweeping away dirt in small, cramped spaces. In order to name my top picks, I sought out brushes that offered good reach, a slim cleaning head to slip into the spaces of your wheels and rims, and bristles that are safe for various types of finishes. I also considered comfort and ease of use by looking at user reviews, which provided insight into what it’s like to work with each product in hand and with various rim styles. And I also considered the bristle material, durability, and effectiveness on different kinds of dirt.
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Best Wheel Brushes Reviews & Recommendations
Our pick for the best overall wheel brush is the Takavu Wheel Brush, which offers great reach and length plus a solid level of effectiveness for even the toughest kinds of dirt and debris. If you’re hoping to find a good combination of affordability and effectiveness, the Chemical Guys Wheel and Tire Brush is another option that’ll deliver.
What to Consider When Buying Wheel Brushes
At first glance, wheel brushes can kind of all look the same. But when you dive into the details, there are some key considerations you’ll want to think about. From handle length to bristle material and style to durability, don’t overlook the smaller aspects of each brush.
The size of the wheel brush affects your cleaning rate and the efficiency of your work. Select a brush that’s a decent size so that you don’t have to stay too long cleaning one spot. For example, it would take too long to clean your wheels if you use something that resembles a toothbrush. However, you don’t want something that’s so large that it feels heavy in your hand.
Your brush’s performance is largely affected by the material used to make the bristles. You need something that’s neither too hard nor too soft. The type of wheels you have will affect your buying decision. For example, if you have shiny, polished wheels, then you need a brush with softer bristles to ensure you don’t scratch them. Some wheel brushes have metal bristles and, while they may be more effective at removing heavy dirt buildup, they can scratch the wheels if you scrub too hard.
When it comes to the design, we are talking about the flexibility of the brush and how well it can clean tight spaces. You will have an easier cleaning experience if you have a brush with a body that can bend and long bristles to clean the largest of wheel openings. However, brushes with smaller and softer bristles are the best for removing the dirt left behind by the larger brushes.
For less than $10, you can find a selection of wheel brushes with short handles. You won’t get much reach or comfort, but these budget-friendly brushes can get the job done (without scratching up your rims). Spend $10 or more, and you’ll find a wider selection of options, including more ergonomic brushes and wheel brushes with high-strength soft bristles. You can even choose more varied brush materials.
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.
Do wheel brushes scratch the surface of the wheel?
The good ones don't. The bristles of the brush need to be soft enough to flex against the surface so they don't dig in and scratch the metal.
How do I clean the wheel brush?
Most of the time, a basic water rinsing is enough. You can also use soapy water to get any dirt or grime clinging to the bristles.
Can I use a drill brush on my rims?
If you want to take the hard work out of cleaning your wheels, you can opt for a brush that’s powered by your drill. It’s easy to find brush heads that fit onto power drills. Just make sure you opt for bristles that won’t scratch your wheel material.
Can I use a tire brush on my wheels?
Cleaning your tires typically requires a tougher, stiffer brush. That kind of brush could potentially scratch up your wheels, especially if they’re a softer or more delicate material. You want to opt for a wheel-friendly product — not a tire brush — to prevent damage.