I always seem to own cars that have issues with excessive brake dust accumulation on the wheels. Because of this I’ve spent my fair share of time squatted down scrubbing wheels, this is part of the reason I like wheels with 5 or 6 spokes as opposed to 20! I had resigned myself to the fact that this squatting is just part of keeping my cars clean until I saw some guys talking about wheel cleaners in a Facebook group that I belong to. They were actually talking about a BMW wheel cleaner but based on reviews and the fact that I could get .9 oz (27 ml) more for a dollar less I decided to give the Sonax brand a go.
Sonax Wheel Cleaner – Full Effect
While I was putting this post together I found that Sonax makes a new version that is supposedly 30% stronger. It’s more expensive but I will probably give it a try the next time I order wheel cleaner
I was a little skeptical about this because any product that I have ever used that claims you simply spray it on, wait a bit then rinse it off, doesn’t work. This product is really no different in that regard but I will say it does a great job at breaking down the brake dust and making it easy to remove with just a light wipe down with a brush. The cleaner goes on green and then turns purplish-red when it is working its magic on the dust and grime.
The first 3 photos show the wheel before, during and after the first rinse and as you can see the wheel is cleaner after the rinse but nowhere near where it should be. I took a soft wheel brush that I have and gave the wheel a good once over and then rinsed it again with much better results. When I’ve cleaned wheels in the past using whatever product I have around it involves a bit more scrubbing of the areas with build up so there is a definite benefit to using this product.
The next time I use this stuff I will use the brush before the first rinse so that I will have more of the cleaner there to help with the scrub down. I will also make sure to spray and brush down the brake calipers as good as I can with the wheel on.
Update: August 21, 2015 Last night I was in the garage and noticed that the rear wheels on my wife’s Jaguar were getting pretty coated with brake dust and grime. I was just going to wipe them down but decided to do a more thorough wash instead. I backed the car out of the garage and did a quick spray and rinse with Sonax and then wiped down with a rag. I still love this stuff but I don’t believe there is a cleaner that works 100% without having to add a little elbow grease.
Here are some pictures I took during last nights fun…