LAST UPDATED: October 1, 2019
Best Wheel Brushes: Clean Your Wheels the Right Way
Here are some wheel brushes that won't damage or mark your wheels
The Review Team
How We Decided
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PUBLISHED ON October 1, 2019
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.
The best wheel cleaning and detailing brush that is long enough to hard difficult spots or to be used on other metal parts around the vehicle.
The long 18-inch design is perfect for reaching in between the rim spokes or behind the wheels.
There have been some reports of the end cap popping off right out of the box.
A small, affordable wheel brush that gets the job done during a quick hand detailing job.
A comfortable handle is ergonomically designed to stay in place while using liquids and soaps. The brush head is small for reaching behind the wheel.
The longer handle model can be difficult to maneuver around the wheels, especially when trying to reach behind the rims of larger wheels.
A unique, flexible brush design that can reach behind challenging obstacles or contours without sacrificing the cleaning results.
The long, flexible design makes it easy to get between spokes. Good, clean finish with the right cleaning liquids.
The small handle is difficult to hold for larger hands and can fall off from time to time.
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Benefits of Wheel Brushes
- Easy to use. Using a wheel brush is one of the easiest ways to wash wheel surfaces in comparison to using a rag or a sponge. Most wheel brushes are tailored to reach the tight spaces that a cloth rag can’t. Plus, there’s no learning curve to using a wheel brush. You will be good to go once you have a bucket of soapy water.
- Keep your vehicle clean. Your wheels can pick up a lot of mud, brake dust, salt deposits, and other forms of dirt as you off-road or blast down the highway. Wheel brushes can help get rid of a wide range of contaminants. It can leave your wheels shining and looking as good as new when used with a liquid wheel cleaner.
- Economical. You can give your wheels a quality wash right on your driveway and save the cost of hitting a car wash. You only need to buy a high-quality wheel cleaner, which can last for a few months with proper use.
- Versatile. Wheel brushes can clean multiple surfaces including your car mats, the undercarriage, tires, and other surfaces in your household—anything that has been stained with mud, salt, or dirt.
Chemical Guys was founded in 1968 in California as a manufacturer of car care products that are engineered to the highest quality. It has grown over the years to make some of the best nano-polishes, waxes, ceramic sealants, hybrid coatings, and accessories such as foam cannons, budding pads, and wheel brushes. The Chemical Guys Acc_M10 Wheel Woolies and the Chemical Guys Acc_G08 Wheel & Tire Brush are some of its best-rated wheel brushes.
Mothers is one of the apex manufacturers of car cleaners in the automotive industry. It was started by a team of car enthusiasts back in the 1970s. It’s currently based in Huntington Beach, California, and has a diverse product line consisting of over 100 unique products. They include degreasers, wheel cleaners, car polishes, waxing pads, and not forgetting wheel brushes. You can try out the Mothers Standard Wheel Brush or the Mothers 155800 Brush if you are looking for a long-handled brush.
Muc-Off is not a new name in the car detailing industry. It traces its roots back to 1991 when Rex and Marilyn Trimnel designed a bicycle fork cleaner. Currently, it’s one of the go-to brands for top riders and racers looking for the best cleaning products for their bikes and cars. Its product line includes drivetrain cleaners, pressure washers, lubricants, degreasers, mechanic gloves, antibacterial screen cleaners, and wheel brushes. If you need a set of wheel and detailing brushes, try out the Muc-Off 5-Piece Brush Set.
EZ Detail is an American designer of multipurpose cleaning brushes that can be used in homes, garages, and shops. The EZ Detail 1001-SA is one of its best wheel cleaners that can be used on any automotive application including cars, motorcycles, dirt bikes, four-wheelers, and trucks.
Wheel Brushes Pricing
- Under $10: Expect to find most wheel brushes with short handles within this price range. With most short handles, you may have to compromise on having a comfortable hold on the brush. Despite that, most are all-purpose cleaners and can keep your wheels clean without scratching them.
- $10 and up: Wheel brushes here have more advanced designs aimed at easing the cleaning process and promoting the durability of the brush. Therefore, expect to find brushes with high-strength but soft bristles, and ergonomic handles made of non-slip PVC or rubber. Also, expect to find kits that come with three wheel brushes of different designs, or a wheel brush that comes with a soft scrubber and a sponge.
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.
- Comfort: You need a brush with an ergonomic handle that gives you a comfortable grip as you work. A longer handle would be best for this since you can work for longer hours without getting tired. Also, be sure to get one with a non-slip rubber handle that stays in your hand even when it’s wet and soapy.
- Hand Protection: It’s easy to knock your knuckles against the wheel as you push to clean the nooks and crannies. This is why you need a brush with a handguard, which acts as a barrier between your hands and the wheel’s surface to keep your knuckles from getting injured.
Best Wheel Brushes Reviews & Recommendations 2020
The Takavu Wheel Brush offers an easy way of getting rid of grime and brake dust stuck between wheel spokes, tires, and tight nooks and crannies with just a simple wash. It has soft but stiff synthetic bristles that are safe for chrome, polished, painted, and matte finishes. They will also serve you for a long time without breaking from the handle.
The brush is about 9.5 inches long and has large bristles, which makes it easier to clean between spokes without compromising on its ability to maneuver into smaller crevices. Apart from that, it has an ergonomic plastic handle that’s further equipped with a knuckle guard to protect your knuckles from banging on the metal surface as you clean it.
However, there have been reports of the plastic end cap popping off as soon as you open the box. You risk scratching your wheels or having it jammed in your brake rotors if you don’t glue it back on. Also, the bristles splash water everywhere unless you work them gently.
This wheel brush from Chemical Guys features fully synthetic bristles with feathered ends for gentle cleaning. The feathering also helps the bristles to hold more soap. The bristles are chemical-resistant, and can remove grime and grease that has caked on wheels, rims, tires, or undercarriages.
The brush has a rugged, non-slip plastic handle that’s contoured to the human hand for a perfect grip even when you are wearing plastic gloves. It’s safe for chrome, polished, powder-coated, wrapped, and custom wheels.
However, its biggest downside is the large handle, which can make it hard to move the brush behind the rims or clean through tight spaces. Also, it can be hard to hold when your hand is soapy and wet. In addition, the bristles can scratch or leave swirls on painted rims.
We included this option for a safer way to clean your rims and wheels without damaging them. This Wollywormit cleaner features thick chenille microfiber, which provides the best way to remove grime and brake dust from your wheels without scratching the surface. It has a long 13-inch body with a patented handless design. You can grab anywhere along its body, and it can bend to reach behind the wheels.
Where you’d expect the handle to be is a patented lug nut cleaner with cavity cleaner attachments. Also, you can throw out any part that wears out since you get an extra lug nut cleaner of a different size and three replacement chenille microfiber sponges. From the overall design, you will notice that there aren’t any exposed metal parts, making it safer for cleaning painted or polished surfaces.
While it has a clever design to it, the lug nut cleaner is a bit small and can be difficult to hold for anyone with large hands. Also, it’s not the best for removing caked up dirt on the barrels of the wheels.
The Mothers Wheel brush is one of those small items you can use to reach all remote and tight areas in your vehicle. Thanks to the lightweight design, the brush is easy to move around and handle. You won't feel hand fatigue even after extended use, and the protective rubberized bumper on the handle will ensure a superior grip.
Overall, this brush is ideal for cleaning wheels, fenders, and bumpers. It has soft bristles that come through tight spots and pick up even the smallest particles. Therefore, an ergonomically-designed product like this feels good in the hand and lasts throughout many cleaning processes.
The main downside to this product regards the soft bristles. The brush is not stiff and sturdy enough to efficiently remove heavy dirt and debris off tires. If you need something for excessive cleanups, we recommend you to check out other options on our list. The Mothers Wheel brush is more suitable for light and quick dusting and cleanups.
Chemical Guys is a company that never fails to deliver high-quality cleaning products and accessories. This time, we have a compact wheel brush ideal for cleaning tight and hard-to-reach areas. The 100 percent sheepskin bristles are soft and durable at the same time. They pick up the dirt efficiently and hold over 8 ounces of soapy water.
The Chemical Guys brush cleans all kinds of wheels, including alloy, chrome, anodized, and polished ones. You don't have to worry about scratching or damaging wheels and rims on your vehicle. This brush cleans gently and keeps the surface lubricated. It also packs easily due to its small size, and the narrow tip on the head reaches those tight spaces that collect all the road dirt.
Unfortunately, the brush is not that durable. Although it holds up well for the price, keep in mind that it might fall apart after heavy daily use. You'll have to add a few more bucks to get a brush with a sturdier head. Also, the handle is not very long—you probably won't be able to reach deep into the rim to clean brake dust.
This is a multipurpose brush suitable for cars, motorcycles, RVs, boats, and other vehicles. It cleans and polishes wheels and rims without scratching the surface, so it's perfect for a variety of materials. The brush cleans crevices, brake dust, road grime, and other harmful particles and residues. With it, you can easily clean and maintain your car's wheels and rims in the long run.
The EX Detail brush is made from quality materials, and therefore, resistant to strong solvents. That means you can use a more efficient cleaner without the fear of your brush dissolving under your fingers. Still, the bristles are soft enough to gently go over vehicle parts and reach tight and remote spots.
The softness of the brush doesn't influence its overall durability, which somehow leads us to the high price. You'll have to spend quite some cash on this brush, especially compared to the lowest-priced brushes on our list. It's a smart investment, but consider what you need for your application. If your wheels require excessive rubbing for removing environmental deposits, we recommend sturdier brushes.
If you're looking for tools and accessories that will help you clean wheels until they sparkle, we highly recommend checking out this three-piece kit. It includes three brushes that will help you get the job done in a breeze and reach all areas on your vehicle. On top of that, these brushes are built from quality materials and have an impressive lifespan.
The ABN three-piece kit includes a woolie and two brushes with bristles. All of them range in size to provide better reach and give better cleaning results. They remove everything from light dust to road grime without damaging the wheels. Additionally, all three brushes come with sturdy and long polypropylene handles, which makes them easy to operate and prolongs the lifespan of the brushes.
Although the kit contains three brushes, it's still a little pricey. Those who are on a limited budget might want to get only one brush, even if these three provide an ultimate thorough cleanup. Another thing to keep in mind before the purchase is the design of the handles. They don't bend and lack a rubber coating for a firmer grip.
Brush Hero offers a unique wheel brush powered by water. Unlike old-fashioned drill brushes, this one only requires water to start cleaning. All you need to do is attach the garden hose to the brush and let it do its thing. The stiff bristles will work along with water to get rid of grime, muck, road dust, and other buildup.
Things get even better with interchangeable brushes. You can swap between a soft black brush and tough white one, depending on whether you're cleaning light or excessive dirt. That's about all of the work required from you. The steady torque makes sure to remove all the dirt off the surface.
However, we recommend that you dress appropriately when using the brush because it sprays water everywhere. If you don't stand back a little bit while using it, you'll most likely get soaked in water. We also think the product would be better with a soap reservoir. Without it, the brush sprays water and quickly rinses the applied soap.
These two brushes are compact and ideal for cars, motorcycles, and bicycles. They work effectively on wheels, rims, engines, and overall, all hard-to-reach areas. Both brushes feature microfiber heads, which means they are perfectly safe for all surface types and won't leave scratches and other damages.
The two included brushes are made from quality materials and prove to be quite durable. Despite the sturdy construction, they prove to be soft enough to treat the surface gently. The bristles pick up even the smallest particles, ensuring perfect cleaning results. Furthermore, the polypropylene handles are strong enough to prevent easy breaks, yet are flexible and easy to maneuver.
The only thing that might bother some users is the size. Make sure to double-check the dimensions before the purchase, because the brushes turn out to be smaller than expected. They are ideal for tight spaces and detail work, but not for covering large areas quickly. The handles are also a little slippery and don't have rubberized grips for more stability.
Here is another three-piece kit you might find perfect for your application. It includes an 8-inch, 12-inch, and 18-inch brush, designed to remove brake dust, oil, dirt, grime, and other harmful particles from wheels and other car parts. You'll also find them convenient for reaching tight areas and remote spots.
All three brushes are made from high-quality synthetic wool and offer a long lifespan. They feature thick plush fibers that are safe for all surfaces and don't cause scratches. The fibers also hold a lot of sudsy water and pick up even the smallest dust particles. Additionally, the brushes are easy to hold and maneuver.
The kit is a little overpriced, though. If you are looking for a solid budget-alternative, check out some of the other options on our list. Also, most buyers only use the large brush, as it efficiently cleans the entire wheel. The small brushers are not that effective and turn out to be thinner than expected.
- Having a few different wheel brushes is always a good idea, especially if you have an assortment of sizes and materials. Some brushes are better for larger or smaller wheels or tougher grime.
- Always clean the wheel brush after use. Getting the water, cleaner, and dirt out of the brushes will extend the life of the brush.
- Hand brushes are best for a controlled cleaning, but some brushes are designed to be used with a power applicator or even a drill.
Q. Do wheel brushes scratch the surface of the wheel?
A. 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.
Q. How do I clean the wheel brush?
A. Most of the time, a basic water rinsing is enough. You can also use soapy water to get any dirt or grime that tries to cling to the bristles.
The TAKAVU Wheel Brush is our top pick for the bed wheel brush, mainly due to its long and effective brush design.
The smaller, more traditional Chemical Guys Acc_G08 Wheel & Tire Brush is perfect for quick wheel cleaning jobs as well.