Even if you don’t have the flashiest car, it can still steal attention when it gleams and shines. That’s why if you have chrome rims and wheels, you also need to have the best chrome wheel cleaner (and polish).
Chrome is a reflector, a mirror surface. This means dirt, dents and scratches are easily visible. A very good set of spray-on cleaner and wax will solve that, plus add a coat of protection to make the surface more impervious to dust and scratches.
Chrome Wheel Cleaner (and polish) Reviews
Mothers 05824 Pro-Strength Chrome Wheel Cleaner
The Pro-Strength Chrome Wheel Cleaner by Mothers is suitable for those who want an easy-to-use polish. Its spray-on, hose-off design eliminates the need to scrub the car yourself. The spray covers and penetrates any chrome surface to remove all dirt.
Wheel Cleaner by CarGuys
The CarGuys Wheel Cleaner is made in the USA with environmentally-friendly materials – all of which are acid-free and non-toxic. It works on any kind of wheel there is and thoroughly sloughs off dirt and road salts. It also protects your wheels.
BLUE MAGIC 400 7Oz Mtl Polish Cream
The Blue Magic Polish Cream eliminates the need to own different polish creams. It works with chrome, brass, copper, sterling, silver, gold, and aluminum. It’s ideal for those who want one polish, which works with everything.
Turtle Wax T-284 Premium Grade Chrome & Metal Polish
The Turtle Wax T-284 Premium Grade Chrome & Metal Polish is ideal for those whose cars have rusty or tarnished surfaces. The Turtle Wax can restore the shine and it provides a protective layer to all metals.
Turtle Wax T-280RA Chrome Polish & Rust Remover
The Turtle Wax T-280RA can restore the shine to tarnished chrome surfaces. It’s ideal for those who want a simple chrome polish for their car’s bumpers, wheels, and other chrome accessories.
Simichrome Metal Polish
The Simichrome Metal Polish is a versatile polish, which restores shine and gives a clean mirror finish to aluminum, chrome or any metal. You can use it in restoring cars, antique silverware, heirloom jewelry and other metal surfaces.
Dremel 421 Polishing Compound
The Dremel 421 Polishing Compound adds luster not only to car wheels, but also to other metals and plastics. It’s ideal for those who only need to fix dull spots and restore shine to other small areas in their car.
3M 39527 Chrome and Metal Polish
The 3M 39527 Chrome and Metal Polish restores chrome, brass, bronze, and copper to “like-new” condition, making it ideal for those who want to revitalize their favorite car, display it in a showroom, or boost its value for resale.
Meguiar’s G15308 All Metal Polish
Meguiar’s G15308 All Metal Polish can restore a bright, mirror-like finish to any kind of uncoated metal. It’s suitable for those who need a polish that they can use for their car and other items.
Barrett-Jackson Chrome & Metal Polish
The Barret-Jackson Chrome & Metal Polish protects and adds shine to chrome, aluminum and metal. It’s a good option for those who want to clean and remove small scratches from various surfaces in their car.
Types of chrome wheel cleaner
Acid chrome wheel cleaner: This is used either diluted weak (up to 10 parts water: 1 part cleaner) or strong (4 parts water: 1 part chrome wheel cleaner).
This wheel cleaner is effective in removing brake dust. Best use is on cool to warm chrome wheels. Semi-hot wheels would require faster action to prevent cleaner from drying.
Some people are hesitant about using acid chrome cleaners because they think it is too harsh for chrome. Remember, this type works best in brake dust removal. Dilute to weaker concentration if desired.
Non-acid chrome wheel cleaner:These do not contain any acids and need not be diluted before use. These are generally safe to apply directly on chrome.
You can spray it directly on the chrome wheels. A few scrubs/wipes/brushes is enough then hose off to remove all traces of the chrome wheel cleaner.
This is widely believed to be safer on chrome wheels. However, it is not strong enough to remove brake dust effectively.
What to look for in chrome cleaner and polish
Acid content: Check if the chrome cleaner contains acid or not. Use acid-containing cleaner if visible brake dust damage and/or rust is on the chrome wheels.
Non-acid chrome cleaner and polisher can be a good choice for regular cleaning. That is, if the chrome does not show signs or corrosion or rusting.
Dilution: This factor will give you an idea how concentrated the cleaner is. If the manufacturer’s instructions require greater dilution, the cleaner is most likely very potent.
Eco-friendly: Some people prefer to use eco-friendly products- those that contain organic compounds. These cleaners are safe to use on all types of wheels.
Foam or paste: This choice depends on the amount of cleaning and polishing needed. Foam can get into the deep-seated brake dust and remove these better.
Clay or paste is the choice for spot removal of stubborn dirt and brake dust. This is also the choice for removing serious rusting on the chrome.
How to use chrome wheel cleaner
Dilute before use: This is especially true about acid chrome cleaners. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on proper dilution ratio. Non-acid cleaners may be applied directly without diluting.
Check wheel temperature: The wheel should be cool to warm before using the cleaner and polish. Hot wheels will instantly dry the cleaner and inactivate it.
Clean first: Wash the wheel first before using chrome wheel cleaner. This will remove larger particles that can otherwise scratch the chrome as you apply the cleaner.
Clean with brush of rag: check for amount of brake dust that needs to be removed. A soft rag is enough for cleaning a light layer of dust.
Rinse immediately: Never wait for the chrome wheel cleaner to dry on the chrome before rinsing. Reapply the chrome cleaner if it dries to reactivate it then rinse.
Apply polish: This will seal the chrome wheel and protect it from damage due to brake dust. Apply with a soft rag and work slowly with light pressure.
Advantages of using chrome wheel cleaner and polish
Ideal for thorough cleaning: Chrome wheel cleaner is more effective in removing brake dust, grease, grime and grit from the wheel compared to regular soap.
Effective in removing road residue: Chrome wheel cleaners contain unique foaming agents that are highly effective in dissolving tough road residue clinging to the chrome.
Restores and protects shine: Chrome wheels are great when they are sparkly. Chrome cleaners and polishes are the best for this job. Special formulations are designed specifically for chrome care.
Effective against rust: this is the number 1 enemy of chrome. Remove rust and protect against further oxidation by removing rust-attracting elements and polishing to protect against damage.
Protect against brake dust: This is another serious enemy of chrome. These can penetrate the surface and damage the inner chrome layers. Chrome cleaner and polish protects the wheel from brake dust damage.
Prolongs good look of chrome: With all the protective and restorative effects of the cleaner and polish, chrome wheels will look good and last longer.