Best car wheel wax and sealant
Which is the best spray-on car wheel sealant treatment to keep brake dust and grime at bay?
Cleaning wheels is one of the trickier valeting jobs. When the grime is baked on, the cleaners used are often hazardous and the surfaces are complex and tricky to access, so any help has to be good. This used to be done by wheel waxes in much the same way as paintwork is protected, but the arrival of sealants has moved the game on.
The name is not the only similarity between this category and the waxes and sealants for paintwork, because the same fight between different formulas continues. On paint, traditional waxes have retained their advantage, but on wheels, where the coatings have to cope with heat from the brakes, new sealants have had the edge in our tests.
How we tested them
For our test we applied a range of products to a large wheel, and monitored grime build-up over six weeks. We took price into account, including the long-lasting nature of hard waxes, and how easy they were to apply.
- Wonder Wheels Wheel Sealant
- Autoglym Wheel Protector
- Turtle Wax Ceramic Spray Coating
Wonder Wheels Wheel Sealant
- Price: £6.90
- Size: 300ml
- Contact: www.tetrosyl.com
There was a period when the original Wonder Wheels alloy cleaner dominated our tests with repeated wins, and now its sealant is threatening to do the same. This is its third win on the bounce after a couple of podium finishes. It may have become the dominant force, but this was still a close-fought test, with all our top four very tightly matched on the wheel as the miles increased. While performance was at the heart of this test, Wonder Wheels had a price advantage over its rivals, which secured a clear win. You need to set aside a little time to apply the aerosol spray, because the wheels need to be thoroughly cleaned and dried before spraying on Wheel Sealant. It then needs to be left for at least an hour to cure,
but the wait is worth it.
Autoglym Wheel Protector
- Price: £11.50
- Size: 300ml
- Contact: www.autoglym.com
Former winner Autoglym has to settle for a commendation here. On the rim it was close to our winner, but it couldn’t match its price. The similarity extends to its application, because Wheel Protector also needs to go on to clean, cool, dry rims before being left untouched for at least an hour – the longer the better – to fully dry before using the car.
Its section of the rim was among the cleanest until the end, when it dropped a little behind.
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Turtle Wax Ceramic Spray Coating
- Price: £18
- Size: 500ml
- Contact: www.turtlewax.co.uk
While not specifically for wheels, this new coating can be used on rims as well as on paint, exterior glass and plastics. It is part of the Hybrid Solutions range from Turtle Wax, an enthusiastic adopter of ceramic tech. If you can’t wait for one of our top aerosol sprays to cure, this is the one to go for – you just apply, spread with a microfibre, then buff with a second cloth. After a slowish start, it came on strongly at the end of our test.
Angelwax Bilberry Protective Wheel Wax
- Price: £14.95
- Size: 150g
- Contact: www.angelwax.co.uk
A winner more than a decade ago, there’s something pleasingly old school about this hard wheel wax. It may have won in the past, but it has been up and down since then. Conditions obviously suited it this year, given that it was able to match our champion on the rim. Application is just like a bodywork wax: apply, and buff after five minutes. One for the wheel-wax purists.
Armor All Shield Brake Dust Repellent
- Price: Around £9
- Size: 300ml
- Contact: www.armorall.com
The US producer pioneered this form of sealant for wheel rims following the success of its Shield product for automotive body paint. As with all of Armor All’s competitors here, there’s a bit more effort required to apply Brake Dust Repellent, which again needs the wheel to be thoroughly cleaned first. Also, the treated item has to be left for at least an hour without being touched. Overnight is best if you can spare the time. Armor All claims that Brake Dust Repellent lasts only four weeks, yet we saw that it was still working after six, if not quite so effectively as our winning Wonder Wheels. The competition has caught up, but this is still a great product.