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Thread: anyone found cheap, dilutable maintenance wheel cleaner?

  1. #1
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    anyone found cheap, dilutable maintenance wheel cleaner?

    Still on the hunt for a wheel cleaner that fits the following criteria

    -dilutable
    -SAFE
    -good price

    Don't really need sonax or iron x or a wheel cleaner causing a wheel to "bleed" the iron deposits out. My car is cleaned 2-3 times a week. I like easy wheel cleaners that spray on, cling to the face, dissolve grime and with agitation from my various brushes wash away very simple and clean. PH neutral or balanced is somewhat important as my wheels may not always be icy cold before I start to clean them.

    Recently used CG Diablo which is a pretty famous dilutable maintenance cleaner but honestly I am not very impressed.

    Some people out there I am sure would tell me use an APC or regular car wash soap. That is probably the best thing, however I am still on a goose chase to find my golden wheel cleaner that can stick to my wheel faces and break away grime before I start agitating.

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Certified Finest Installer Dr_Pain's Avatar
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    Well, let me answer your question a little differently than what you posed. If I understand your question correctly, you want to have an easy time cleaning your "well maintained" wheels. In a nutshell the least expensive option you have is to COAT THEM!!!!

    Personally I would take them off the car, clean and decontaminate them, give them a light polish and coat them with CQuartz DLUX CQuartz DLUX kit link here. This way you are protecting your investment, have a super-hydrophobic surface, provide great chemical protection and cleaning them is as easy as using your regular car shampoo and rinsing off. Because it is a coating, it is chemically resistant, so cleaning your tires with a dilution of APC won't be harming them (as it would a wax or sealant). Once in a while you can use IronX Snow soap IronX snow soap link here and that way you are cleaning and decontaminating the ferrous "stuff" gripping to your wheel. Tar and other contaminants won't have a chance on a coated surface.

    As they say: " An ounce of prevention = a pound of cure " I think your question was the pound of cure

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  3. #3
    Senior Member DARK HORSE's Avatar
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    ^^ This! Great answer Doc, I couldn't agree more!
    Tad
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  4. #4
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    I use reset and wheel woolies,no need for a cleaner if you keep up on them!

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    anyone found cheap, dilutable maintenance wheel cleaner?

    I use a light mist of APC with wheel woolies and a bucket with a rich mix of soap and water.
    Last edited by Rick; 09-23-2014 at 10:57 PM.

  6. #6
    Certified Finest Installer KMG's Avatar
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    I use Megs APC @ 4:1 on my wheels for regular cleaning. If you don't let them get real dirty this will work just fine, and is dirt cheap

    But I agree with Claude also about coating your wheels, will make keeping them clean a lot easier.

  7. #7
    Certified Finest Installer Dr_Pain's Avatar
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    My only concern with using APC, even diluted, on sealed or waxed rims is that the APC will speed the degradation of the LSP used, so you end up having to reapply more often. APC undiluted is pH 12ish and even diluted you are above the pH 8 mark which will exponentially affect the integrity of the product used to protect the rim (if any is used). If not is used, then go at it LOL!

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  8. #8
    Junior Member Swanicyouth's Avatar
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    Your not going to find a "safe", diluteable, non - acid wheel cleaner much better than Diablo. However, I like Sticky Wheel Cleaner by CG better with a foaming sprayer.

    The thing is, all of these are high pH / APC type wheel cleaners. The higher the pH - the better they will likely work.

    Of course, there is always Wheel Brite by Megs. It's cheap, diluteable, and works awesome. But, it can damage some wheels, will strip most wheel protection, and may damage brake components finishes. Brown Royal is another alternative - but on the the other side of the pH scale.

    But if I was detailing for dollars, I'd be using WB.

  9. #9
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    I am not a Scientist so call me out if I am wrong, but I believe I am accurate in saying the PH of the cleaner is really irrelevant. If the surface of the wheel is say at a PH of even 13.5 for a period of X minutes, it is really unimportant. Rather, it is the PH of the surface post-neutralization that is imperative to be neutral upon completion of whatever it is one is doing to clean said surface. The same tenants would apply to an acidic PH as well. Truly, if you really wanted to maximize the surface of a wheel one would spray, dwell, rinse, and then assuming the cleaner was alkaline we would then lightly mist a mild acidic liquid, say Citric Acid diluted with water, then rinse once more to leave an absolutely neutralized surface.

    Anticipating a comment is that my example above with 13.5 would degrade a protective coat. My thoughts on that are that the coating isn't worth applying unless it can handle highly variable PH environments without significant degradation. As an example, the wheel surely is constantly changing its surface PH while driving in different environments and I thus is why my opinion heretofore is what it is.

    Then again, I could be totally wrong...but I doubt it ;-)

  10. #10
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    P21S Gel Wheel Cleaner, if you want to dilute it, should do the trick. It's the only wheel cleaner we've used for about 5 years now.

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