When you have a fleet of review vehicles cycling through your office, you end up driving a wide variety of cars with a wide variety of cleaning needs. For the performance cars, the biggest issue is typically brake dust. Recently, we had the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio in for review, with the standard — not carbon ceramic — brakes and noticed this car creates an epic amount of dust in a little time. We decided that this would be a great time to test the Meguiar’s Mirror Bright brand wheel cleaner.
For a little backgrounder; in order for brakes to work, they create friction between the pad and the rotor. When there’s friction, the brakes wear. In fact, if brake pads didn’t wear they probably wouldn’t be working effectively or safely. That wear creates dust, and on high-performance cars with high-performance brakes, that means a lot of dust. If you drive around a parking lot and see a car with really dirty front wheels but clean rear wheels — the fronts do the majority of stopping — you’ll see what we’re on about.
Using the wheel cleaner couldn’t be easier, which is great. Just spray a cool and dry wheel with copious amounts of the cleaner and let it set for 1 to 2 minutes. Do not let it dry.
Nearly immediately the dust starts running off of the wheel. A lot of the dust turns into a purple-like color. The directions state to use a lot of the stuff, so we did, but we do wonder if there’s “too much.” What we mean by that is our bottle was mostly full, but after tackling all four wheels we used a lot of the product and aren’t sure if we could clean all four wheels again on that bottle.
After letting it go for a couple of minutes, simply hose off the wheel.
Voilà, you’re done! The directions suggest you can “agitate” the solution on the wheel with a brush to work at loosening up the dust, and for really caked-on wheels we’d recommend doing that.
They also recommend drying the wheels afterwards. This gives you a chance to run a microfiber towel over the wheels and pick up any dirt that’s remaining. It wipes right off.
While in the picture above there’s still some dust we’d want to wipe off with the microfiber towel, getting a shiny clean wheel is relatively easy. There are a lot of solutions out there, and some work better than others. As always, you should try a variety and see what you like, but we’re happy with Meguiar’s Mirror Bright wheel cleaner.