LAST UPDATED: November 21, 2019
Best Wheel Cleaning Brushes: Dirt Doesn’t Stand a Chance
Use these top cleaning brushes so dirt and dust don’t settle on your wheels
The Review Team
How We Decided
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PUBLISHED ON November 21, 2019
Removing mud and dirt from your wheels can be a tiresome job, and it’s a difficult task when you don’t have the right equipment. The best wheel cleaning brush won’t leave any scratches or blemishes on your wheel’s paintwork. These products should also be comfortable to hold when you apply lots of pressure to the wheel. Here are the top three products that will leave your wheels sparkling clean and dirt free.
This 2-inch powered brush helps you target narrow areas such as in-between wheel spokes. You also receive a 5-inch flat brush for cleaning large areas. Plus, this product is safe and effective to use on other areas of your vehicle.
All brushes are safe to use on aluminum, magnesium, chrome and painted rims. The power from the cordless drill provides an effective and thoroughly clean without any manual scrubbing.
Due to the power drill, the brushes can push out of place with regular use, so you may need to replace the brushes. If you don’t properly attach the brushes, the drill can damage your vehicle’s paintwork.
Mothers designed this wheel brush with soft, gentle bristles to avoid damaging any of the parts on your wheels. The bristles are flexible too, so you can reach awkward, small areas. This product is effective at removing grime and brake dust to leave your wheels gleaming.
Features a non-slip, comfortable grip. This cleaning brush is suitable for many areas on your vehicle, including the wheels, bumpers, and fenders.
The handle is fairly short, which can make it difficult to clean areas deep within your wheels. Also, this brush is fairly wide, making it hard to target small areas.
This cleaning brush is best for targeting hard-to-reach areas, such as the inner centers or in the barrels. This is all thanks to the 45-degree angle. The easy-grip handle prevents the brush from slipping out of your hands while you clean.
This brush is safe to use on all wheels, as it’s made from 100 percent polypropylene fibers to keep the brush soft. Plus, the bristles are chemical-resistant, so you can combine the brush with cleaning products.
It’s more expensive than most products, which isn’t ideal if you don’t use the brush regularly. The head is soft, so although it protects your paintwork, it won’t remove deep, stubborn stains without the aid of a chemical cleaner.
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Benefits of Wheel Cleaning Brushes
- Remove dirt and debris. The main benefit of cleaning brushes is to effectively remove dirt and debris from within and around your wheels to leave your car sparkling. Clean car wheels make a huge difference to the overall appearance of your car, and brushes enable you to conveniently target hard-to-reach spots.
- Prevent damage to your car. If you drive your car regularly, it’ll be prone to dirt and dust. To protect your car’s paintwork, you need a trusted wheel cleaner that won’t scratch or mark your vehicle. Fortunately, cleaning brushes are designed with soft bristles to remove stubborn dirt while protecting your vehicle’s paintwork.
- Cut down on products and effort. With an effective tire brush as a cleaning tool, you don’t need to use chemicals and cleaning products on your wheels that could eventually damage the paintwork. You can also avoid using a car wash. This will also save you money and time in the long run.
Types of Wheel Cleaning Brushes
Angled brushes are long and flexible. This design enables you to reach deep inside your car’s wheels to lift off all dirt, dust, and debris. Angled brushes are the solution for reaching in all areas without having to hurt your hands or knuckles. They also come in different designs, such as a rim brush, so there are no parts of your wheels left uncleaned.
For a top-of-the-line wheel cleaner, opt for a combination of bristles. These brushes feature hard and soft nylon bristles along with wire bristles on the top. Combined, they can remove even the most stubborn stains and marks while protecting your car’s paintwork.
It’s common to purchase a wheel cleaning brush that attaches to a drill. This makes a versatile tool that can tackle the most stubborn stains, as well as household chores. Once attached to the drill, these brushes make hundreds of rotations per minute to clean faster and tougher.
Founded in 2005 in the United States, DrillBrush is one of the most recent emerging companies in this sector. The founder launched a car-washing business, though struggled to effectively clean the customers’ tires.
Consequently, DrillBrush was born and is home to hundreds of suitable and effective tools that leave your car looking fresh and clean. The products are also designed with usability in mind and are suitable for anyone suffering from arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome. We recommend the Drillbrush Soft White Brush, which has a variety of brush sizes to perfectly clean your car’s wheels.
Muc-Off was founded in 1994 and its headquarters are in the United Kingdom. This supplier of automotive cleaning products and accessories allows you to remain active while ensuring your transportation remains in tip-top condition.
Muc-Off’s Five Piece Set comes equipped with sintered bristle compounds for a safe cleaning to protect your car’s paintwork. With five different sizes to choose from, you can target a small or large surface area.
ValetPro is a car care manufacturing company that was founded in 2005 in the United Kingdom. The company prides itself on customer satisfaction, first-class support, and high-quality car cleaning products. As such, you can expect a wide range of cleaning products and accessories.
From its vast selection of products, we recommend the ValetPro 1 Piece Brush. This chemical-resistant brush features soft nylon bristles to protect your car’s paintwork. The thick hairs also offer an effective job of removing dirt and debris.
Wheel Cleaning Brush Pricing
- Up to $10: There are plenty of cleaning brushes priced up to $10. Expect bristles that are chemical-resistant and a brush with a small handle, and non-abrasive bristles.
- $10-$20: Increase your price range for a cleaning brush with soft, thick hairs to remain gentle on your car’s paintwork but tough on dirt and debris. It’ll also feature an ergonomic handle.
- $20-$80: The most expensive brushes can be electric to ensure you never miss a speck of dirt. These brushes also feature different detailed bristles so you can target hard-to-reach areas and larger surface areas, too.
Different Sized Bristles
All cars are different sizes, which means so are the wheels. One of the key features of wheel cleaning brushes is the different sizes of bristles. If you’re thoroughly cleaning your car’s wheels, you’ll require a thin, long handle and slim bristles that can target the area. Fortunately, some of the best brushes on the market come with several heads of different sizes, so you can remove and apply the perfect size for the area. This feature also makes the brush suitable for cleaning other areas on your car, too.
Safe to Use
If your car’s wheels are particularly dirty, the cleaning process requires more vigorous actions. The best wheel cleaning brushes are equipped with safety features to prevent you from hurting your arms, hands, or knuckles while cleaning. For example, a hand guard prevents you from damaging your knuckles as you reach deeper into the wheels.
An effective wheel cleaning brush should feature soft bristles to avoid damaging your car’s paintwork. Opt for materials such as nylon, sheepskin, and PVC to prevent leaving any scratches behind. The shape and size of the bristles allow you to conveniently remove dirt and debris without causing any permanent damage to your vehicle.
- Ergonomic Handle. If you suffer from arthritis or don’t have much strength in your arms, an ergonomic handle provides a comfortable and safe use while you clean your car’s wheels. These brushes are generally fitted with a rubber grip that prevents the product from slipping out of your hand and don’t require a tough grip as you clean.
- Brush Length. The cleaning brush’s length makes a huge difference to convenience. If you’re trying to reach deep into the car wheels, you’ll require a long brush. Otherwise, a small handle can be inconvenient and unsafe to use. Alternatively, maybe you require a short cleaning brush to remove dirt from the surface.
- Flexibility. A flexible brush head allows you to reach a larger surface area and target hard-to-reach spots. Otherwise, the cleaning brush will have restrictions, and you’ll need another accessory to clean the wheels’ entire surface area. A flexible brush also makes the cleaning process less strenuous, since you can clean your car effortlessly.
Best Wheel Cleaning Brush Reviews & Recommendations 2021
We rated the Drillbrush Automotive Soft White Drill Brush as the top product on the market for many reasons. It’ll save you from using a car wash ever again. This drill brush includes a 2-inch diameter brush, so you can reach into tight spaces such as lug nuts and in between mag wheel spokes. Alternatively, use the 5-inch flat round brush to tackle areas such as carpets or boat hulls quickly and effectively.
As this drill brush is powerful and effective at removing stubborn stains and marks, it’s not ideal for leather furniture surfaces, as it can leave marks behind. You also need to get used to the product’s pressure; if you press down too hard, the cleaning brush can burn out and switch off.
The Mothers Wheel Brush is equipped with a non-slip comfort grip, so you can target tough stains and marks without the brush slipping out of your hand. The protective rubberized bumper also prevents damaging any furniture or surfaces as you apply more pressure.
The cleaning brush is designed for cleaning vehicle wheels, fenders, and bumpers. It’s a lightweight and ergonomic design, so you can use it for long periods without it aching your arms. Plus, the product does most of the work for you, so you don’t have to scrub.
If you purchase this product, consider that its surface area is much larger than competitive designs, making it difficult to reach within your car’s wheels. As such, it’s designed to clean the exterior surface on wheels, so you may need another brush for a thorough finish.
For a wheel cleaning brush that’s received numerous positive comments from customers, the Adam's Wheel Woolie is a great choice. Its new fiber blend and 45-degree angle enables you to reach into all surfaces of your wheels for a dirt-free finish. It’s even powerful enough to clean carbon buildup off exhaust tips.
This cleaning brush is also designed with comfort and usability in mind. The non-slip rubberized handle allows you to clean an entire wheel surface without damaging your hands or knuckles, or the product slipping while in use.
Before purchasing this product, bear in mind that the brush’s materials are much softer than the others on this list. This means you’ll need a chemical cleaning product to remove stubborn stains, such as dried-on mud.
This kit's first benefit is its price: It is set at a much lower range than our best choice and includes three powerful brushes to help make cleaning your vehicle's wheels a breeze. All you need is a drill.
This drill kit is universal and versatile enough to be used on more than just wheels. It can also be used on several different types of wheels, such as alloy, aluminum, and metal.
Keep in mind that you may need to finish up the wheels with some elbow grease—the drill kit does a great job, but the drill doesn't offer as much range of motion as your arm does. Also, if you're too rough with the drill and brush, it could scratch your wheels. So you will want to be careful with how much pressure you apply when operating it.
The VIKING Premium Metal Free Wheel and Rim Brush is a simple yet elegant tool for cleaning your vehicle’s wheels. It’s lightweight, not even weighing a full pound. It includes a long arm and grip, so you don’t have to bend down as far to reach the wheels, thus saving your back from pain.
But the best feature is its design: It doesn’t include any metal so that it won’t scratch the wheels. The sponge is made out of a heavy-duty microfiber that captures dirt and debris more easily. It also flexes and bends to reach through the wheel spokes and gaps without getting caught up on anything.
However, the microfiber is thicker than you would think, interfering with how much it can bend in certain situations. There have also been reports that it can slide off the handle if it gets stuck or trapped in tight areas.
The Chemical Guys Wheel & Tire Brush features rigid bristles with feathered ends, making it much more capable of picking up grime and filth.
It is available in two different sizes: One includes a shorter handle for close up spot checks, while the other has a longer handle so you can reach between wheel wells and arches. It’s also quite universal and can be used on tires, fenders, spoilers, and undercarriages. Another great aspect is that the handle is made with a non-slip grip so that it won’t fly out of your hand easily.
While not a huge drawback, the bright green bristles can get stained after picking up grime—you may want to clean the brush quickly after washing off your car with it. You also will want to be careful with the brush on your wheels since too much pressure may leave scratch marks on the surface.
If you need to clean in between the spokes, this wheel cleaning brush is a great choice. It's cheaper and includes a sturdy and grippy handle that gives you more strength and power behind each stroke.
The brush is made out of thick wool strands rated to hold up to eight ounces of water. It is designed to be used on alloy, chrome, anodized, and polished wheels, and is also a great tool for cleaning out the engine compartment. The handle also includes a hole so you can hang it up to dry after using it.
However, it may be too thick to fit into smaller spokes or gaps. It may also require a bit more scrubbing power from you. Also, the handle is by far the weakest thing about it since it isn't that long, so you may have to bend over or kneel to get a proper clean.
The TAKAVU Master Wheel Brush's round shape makes it much easier to fit into wheel spokes, so you get a nice even clean. It's also set at a relatively comfortable price and includes an easy-grip handle for a firmer grip.
The brush is also highly flexible and can be bent and formed into certain positions to reach more difficult-to-reach spots. The head measures 9.5 inches wide and is plenty long enough, so you don't bash your knuckles or fingers on the wheels. The bristles are designed so that they won't scratch any part of the wheel.
Keep in mind the brush's bristles can cause a bit of a mess if they are wet or coated with mud or gunk—you might have to spend more time cleaning yourself after washing down the car. The brush may also leave scratch marks on powder-coated wheels or wheels that have been painted.
- The material is the most important component of the wheel cleaning brush. Consider PVC or nylon to prevent scratches on your car’s paint.
- To reach all areas of your wheels, choose a cleaning brush with a long handle, preferably one that’s flexible.
- Opt for a product that has a handle you can easily grip onto. The handle should be comfortable to hold for long periods of time and not cause your hand and arm to fatigue.
Q: Do I need a special product to clean my vehicle’s wheels?
Fortunately, a wheel cleaning brush works effectively with just warm soapy water. There’s no need to spend additional money on wheel cleaning solutions.
Q: How often should I clean my wheels?
You don’t have to clean your vehicle’s wheels as often as you clean and wax its body. A spritz of water is usually enough to remove any loose dirt and particles. We recommend giving your wheels a good scrub every six weeks.
Q: What size wheel cleaning brush do I need?
For large surface areas, choose a brush with lengthy bristles to quicken the process. If you want to clean inside your wheels, you’ll require a smaller brush to target these areas. Fortunately, some brushes come with multiple heads, so you can adjust the size to suit.
If you’re looking for the best wheel cleaning brush that offers a scratch-free cleaning and can power through tough surfaces, we recommend the Drillbrush Automotive Soft White Drill Brush.
Alternatively, you can purchase the less expensive Mothers Wheel Brush to thoroughly clean all areas on your vehicle without leaving any damage.