You can spend time getting your car’s bodywork spotless, but if you neglect the wheels it will be wasted effort. Dirty rims are a turn-off – and you need to work at keeping them gleaming.
Apply a wheel polish after cleaning, and you’ll give them a super shine, yet also help stem the build-up of road grime and dreaded brake dust. The makers of these wheel waxes and barrier products claim your alloys will be easier to clean next time, too. But is it worth shelling out extra on a dedicated wheel polish? We put eight top sellers to the test to see which shone for us.
We applied all our waxes and polishes to sections of the front rims on our test car, after first cleaning it with our serial award winner Wonder Wheels. Also, we left an area untreated as a control. Over our three-week test we monitored brake dust build-up and noted ease of cleaning at the end. The varied range of pastes, solutions and kits meant factoring price was tricky, so it played a relatively small role in our verdict.
You have to be a perfectionist to justify not only the expense of using a wheel polish, but also the added time that getting your alloys gleaming takes! However, their benefits are clear to see.
Taking the top podium finish has to be Turtle Wax Extreme Nano-Tech Wax for Wheels. Once the solution was sprayed on and rubbed in, it clearly made it easier to get our alloys clean at the end of the test, repelling brake dust and grime superbly. Muc-Off’s Silica Wheel Seal, now tested on its own (instead of as part of an expensive kit), was a close second, and former test champ Autoglym Alloy Wheel Seal comes in a respectable third.