- Product Type:
- Concentrate Wheel Cleaner
- Product Code:
Take your rims from shameful to sparkling on every single detail with our powerful, acid-free alloy wheel cleaner.
The go-to product for many a detailing professional, Imperial Wheel Cleaner has been developed as a supremely potent aqueous cleaning agent, degreaser and brake dust remover - with the ability to shift the heaviest salt, road films and other potentially harmful contamination – while remaining completely free of acidic ingredients, making it gentle enough for regular use on all common alloy wheel finishes… even those with previously applied waxes, sealants or coatings.
By nature, car wheels have to stand up to some of the harshest soiling and the highest concentration of contaminants found anywhere on the road. To successfully rid surfaces of heavy grime and combat the onset of early corrosion, routine cleaning with a deep-cleansing solution will always remain the most effective method. Acid-based cleaning agents, while capable of removing heavy soiling, can cause serious degradation in lacquer and powdercoat layers when used on a regular basis. This itself can lead to corrosion, etching, staining, damage to specialist finishes and possible metal impairment, eventually leading to structural failure. This is why we’ve packed Imperial with a powerful blend of non-acidic surface active agents (surfactants) to quickly separate the worst contaminants from your standard or aftermarket wheels on contact, but to remain kind to the surfaces underneath. Whether it’s intense cleaning on in-depth details or routine maintenance washing, Imperial actively dissolves grime but will never degrade lacquer, paint or powdercoat… it won’t even strip away your protection layers!
This product chemically cleans by using an advanced mix of high-foaming anionic surfactants (organic cleaning agents) to lift and encapsulate organic particulate soils, and non-ionic surfactants (degreasing agents) to emulsify oil-based contamination directly into the solution. These specially-selected complementary surfactants are classed as ‘polar’ molecules which attract water at one end and grime at the other. Using this mechanism, they are able to latch onto heavy dirt particles, along with fatty grease and oils, actively pulling them from surfaces, surrounding them and effectively suspending them in the solution. Once safely extracted and encapsulated by these advanced cleaning molecules, the contamination isn’t allowed to return to surfaces and can be quickly rinsed away, without scratching or causing damage to sensitive finishes. Learn more about the science of surfactants in our article - All Car Cleaning Products Explained
Imperial acid-free wheel cleaner is safe for regular, risk-free use on all painted, powdercoated or clear-coated finishes, and can even be utilised as a first stage pre-cleaner or a simple ‘spray and rinse’ cleaner on light to medium soiling. For the best results on heavy contamination, Imperial can also be safely agitated with suitable scratch-free brushes - such as our Barrel Brush, Detailing Brushes or Hog Hair Brushes - for the most intense deep-cleaning. Here the agitation isn’t so much to scrub away contaminants by mechanical cleaning, but to ensure that the solution is worked into all areas, and that any spent product (Imperial solution already encapsulating particulates and grease) is moved away allowing the area to be replenished with fresh solution to work on any remaining contamination. For the full cleaning process, and for advice on a multitude of wheel types and finishes, take a look at our wheel cleaning guide – The Definitive Guide To Cleaning Alloy Wheels
Imperial 5-Litre is a dilute-to-suit concentrate that's also available in 1-Litre bottles. This product can be diluted at ratios between 1:2 for heavy duty deep cleaning and 1:20 for light cleaning on well-maintained wheels. Imperial Wheel Cleaner is also available and supplied ready-to-use for regular wheel cleaning duties in 500ml bottles (diluted from concentrate at a ratio of 1:10)
Imperial Concentrate is ideal for use with our Pro Mixing Bottle or Pressure Sprayer, and 1-Litre makes up to 20-litres of wheel cleaning solution. Our entire wheel cleaning range can be found here in our Wheels Category.
- Supplied as a dilute-to-suit concentrate.
- Non-acidic formula.
- Powerful cleaning agent to remove brake dust and road grime.
- Contains degreasing agents.
- Wheel sealant, wax and ceramic friendly.
- Safe for regular use on all wheel finishes.
Ensure wheels are cool to the touch before beginning the cleaning process. Any wheel cleaner will evaporate if sprayed on to a hot wheel and it could cause lacquer etching when cleaning chemicals are combined with heat. Always clean wheels one by one. First rinse down your wheel and tyre with your pressure washer, to remove any loose soiling, being sure to flush out your arches at the same time. This will ensure that your wheel cleaner will get to work where it’s most needed – on the stuck-on grime. When using Imperial Concentrate, mix up a suitable dilution according to the level of soiling. 1:2 for extremely heavy soiling, 1:10 for normal soiling and 1:20 for light soiling on protected wheels.
For heavily soiled wheels this product can be used as a pre-cleaner by applying liberally to all surfaces, allowing to dwell for a few minutes (never let any wheel cleaner dry in your wheels) and rinsing thoroughly. Imperial can then be re-applied liberally ready for agitation.
Agitate the solution into all wheel surfaces using a Barrel Brush (or Mini Barrel Brush) to clean in inners, a soft-bristle Detailing Brush or Hog’s Hair Brush for the recesses and around the lug nuts, and follow with a dedicated wash mitt to finish your wheel. For added cleaning power we recommend brushing in Imperial using a solution of Revolution Wheel Soap. Simply add 3-4 capfuls of Revolution to a bucket of plain water and whisk up using your pressure washer. This will also act as an added lubricant to help heavy particulates slip off surfaces without scratching. Agitation of Imperial is not solely in order to mechanically scrub surfaces, but to ensure that the solution reaches and gets to work in every awkward recess. It also refreshes the solution grimier areas – moving away ‘spent’ solution (product already encapsulating grease, grime and particulates) and replenishing with fresh solution to work on any remaining contamination. Ensure that you agitate the solution into every part of the wheel possible.
Now you can rinse away the contamination suspended in the Imperial solution, but we always recommend thoroughly cleaning your tyre sidewalls first. This will help to prevent fading and browning, and offer the perfect surface for the bonding of any tyre dressing. Apply Tread Tyre Cleaner (or a 1:5 dilution of Verso All Purpose Cleaner) liberally to the tyre wall and scrub in using a stiff brush, such as our Rubber Scrubber Tyre Brush. Rinse the whole wheel and tyre thoroughly.
What are the best brushes to use with my wheel cleaner?
This will always depend on the concentration of soiling, what protection has been previously applied and, perhaps most importantly, the design of the wheel. In some circumstances, on lighter soiling, Imperial or Reactive Wheel Cleaner can be simply sprayed on, left to dwell for a few minutes and rinsed away. If solely applying Revolution Wheel Soap to your wheels, or when it is necessary to agitate other cleaners into your wheels, remember that the often-forgotten inner barrels are just as susceptible to corrosive contamination as the faces of your wheels, if not more. For cleaning the inner wheels, we recommend our Barrel Brush or Mini Barrel Brush, depending on the wheel design. A Hog Hair or soft bristle Detailing Brush is also useful for tackling tighter areas around wheel lips and lug nuts. Finally, we like to use a dedicated wash-mitt to finish off the whole wheel before rinsing. For the best results on the heaviest soiling, we recommend brushing in Imperial or Reactive Wheel Cleaner using a bucket containing Revolution or Lather Car Shampoo. This will add to the cleaning power of the process and aid in lubricating any grease and grime. For cleaning tyres (which can be carried out after cleaning, but before final rinsing your wheels) we recommend using a stiff brush such as our Rubber Scrubber Tyre Brush, along with our ready-to-use Tread Tyre Cleaner, or a 1:5 dilution of Verso All Purpose Cleaner.
Can I use Imperial on diamond cut wheels?
Yes, as long as the ‘bare metal-look’ surfaces are lacquered and remain in good condition (with no lacquer peel or milky lacquer), you can simply spray away. The same can be said for the majority of chrome-look (most chrome wheels actually use a chrome paint, rather than a genuine chroming process), anodised and polished metal rims, even those with a metal lip. You’ll find that most of these are lacquered to help prevent corrosion. Some vintage and specialist aftermarket wheels do have genuine chrome, bare metal finishes and unlacquered polished lips, for these we’d recommend proceeding with caution and checking the manufacturer's cleaning recommendations. Alternatively, on these kind of specialist finishes, Revolution Wheel Soap or a mild exterior pre-cleaner, such as Citrus Power Bug & Grime Remover, or a suitable dilution of Verso All Purpose Cleaner may be used. If you’re unsure as to if your polished lips are bare or polished, a little Mercury Metal Polish can be applied to a small part of the lip, if the cloth turns black when the polish is worked in, it means the lips are unlacquered.