When you’ve out time and effort into maintaining your car, there’s nothing worse than having the effect spoiled by dirty alloys.
Our car wheels go through a lot, and they’re the hardest part of the vehicle to get and keep clean.
But a good wheel wax can make all the difference.
Not everyone sees the appeal of wheel wax, but this single product can do several things.
A good alloy wheel wax is easy to apply, makes cleaning the alloys quicker, lasts for a long time, and provides some shine to even well-used alloys.
With an alloy wheel wax, you can achieve that ‘fresh from the factory’ look, consistently.
You might think finding a good alloy wheel wax is easy, but there are plenty of products that just don’t deliver on their promise.
This guide covers the best alloy wheel waxes available, how to use them, and why you want to choose the best.
Read on for the ultimate guide to alloy wheel wax.
Table of Contents
Our Top 4 Alloy Wheel Wax
Our testing has found these four products to be the best waxes for alloy wheels.
Collinite No. 845 Insulator Wax is an iconic product, known for delivering classic and high quality shine.
A favorite of DIYers, Collinite No. 845 is made using carnauba wax, known as the “Queen of Waxes”.
Carnauba wax leaves a gleam and shine, plus a durable coating to protect against the elements.
Collinite No. 845 is a versatile choice, and is well known for its exceptional performance on black paint.
This isn’t just a wax for your alloys, but one that can be used to deliver an impressive shine to the car exterior (and even parts of the interior).
It works just as well on small areas as it does on large surfaces, and won’t require frequent reapplication.
As well as adding shine, No. 845 adds protection. The durable coating can guard against UV, rain, and snow, as well as the general dirt and grime that builds up on alloys. It also protects against salt build up.
A little of Collinite No. 845 goes a surprisingly long way. Apply by hand using a clean cloth, and leave to dry.
When the product is dry to the touch, buff with a microfiber towel. It doesn’t provide an intense shine on alloys, but the resulting gleam is still impressive.
A traditional product, but one that still passes the test, Collinite No. 845 is best if you want durability with added gleam.
Collinite No. 845 Pros And Cons
- Easy to apply.
- Extra durability.
- Handcrafted and poured in the USA.
- Not as high gloss as other waxes.
Strong and highly resistant, this guard wheel and rim wax from the Chemical Guys is an exceptional choice if your alloys suffer from a lot of use.
Chemical Guys have designed this rim wax for those who have to use their cars frequently, but want to keep them looking their best.
This wax repels brake dust, but also protects against the heat damage that can occur with frequent use.
When the brakes are hit hard, this generates heat, which burns the brake pads, and can end up throwing particles of carbon and steel across the wheels and rims.
As well as looking bad, this dirt is corrosive. Chemical Guys Wheel Guard has been designed specifically to repel this grime.
Wheel Guard is a synthetic wax, made from an acrylic formula that’s designed to bond with the pores of painted and polished surfaces.
Because it forms this close bond, dirt and grime are unable to stick to the wheels and rims.
You can then simply wipe away the dirt, and your alloys will look shiny and new again.
Designed for wheels, rims, and brakes, Chemical Guys is a versatile wheel guard. It’s suitable for use on any shiny wheel finish, such as chrome and aluminum, and can protect paint, vinyl wrapped, and carbon fiber surfaces as well.
Chemical Guys also recommend spreading the wax on painted brake calipers, to prevent the release of brake dust.
- Resistant to high temperatures.
- Bonded surface repels dirt and grime.
- Safe for various surfaces.
- Doesn’t give a high shine.
- Helps repel dirt, grime, water, brake dust, road salt, and more
- Safe for any shiny wheel finish, including chrome, polished aluminum,...
- Perfect for gloss painted, powder coated, chrome, or polished...
Sealing and protecting, WheelWax is designed to keep your wheels looking good after heavy use.
The easy to apply wax is simply rubbed onto the wheels, and it can start to dry and form a barrier of protection.
By the time you’ve finished all four wheels, you can gently buff the wax away, leaving behind a light shine, and a durable surface.
A little of WheelWax can go a long way, providing long-lasting protection for your alloys.
This doesn’t produce an incredible shine, but it does have an impressive durability.
One application of WheelWax can last for numerous trips, protecting your wheels against the corrosive heat and dirt from the brakes.
WheelWax is also simple to apply, and quick drying. It’s easy to work WheelWax into your cleaning routine.
Apply to your shiny alloys with a microfiber cloth, and give it time to dry on.
Then give it a buff to remove the excess and build a slight shine. And once the wax has dried on, the strong protection will make rinsing away dust the work of a moment.
WheelWax is well-priced, and you don’t need to use very much to see results. This might mean the WheelWax spends a long time sitting on the shelf. Some users have reported that the wax has split, but works just as well when mixed back together.
WheelWax Ultimate Protection Pros And Cons
- Easy to apply.
- Quick drying.
- Durable barrier protection.
- Short shelf life. Some users have found the product has ‘curdled’ if left too long.
- Simply rub Wheel Wax directly on each dirty wheel and let it dry to a...
- Usually by the time you have applied Wheel Wax to all four wheels you...
- Simply rub Wheel Wax directly on each dirty wheel and let it dry to a...
The cream consistency of Poorboy’s Wheel Sealant makes it easy to apply, and once it’s dried, your alloys will only need a quick burst of water to remove even the worst dirt.
For even better protection, the sealant can be layered to create a strong surface to the wheels, and easily repel the dirt and grime.
Poorboy’s Wheel Sealant has been designed for use on any type of wheel. It doesn’t just keep away dirt, but protects against tar, bugs, moisture, and brake dust.
Guarding against adverse weather conditions, Poorboy’s Sealant is a clear layer of protection that adds shine.
Thanks to the sealing properties, Poorboy’s bonds to the surface of the alloy. This means that dirt doesn’t have a chance to touch the surface. As well as being easier to clean, this can also prevent corrosion.
Poorboy’s Sealant has to be applied to the alloys using a clean cloth. Then, leave it to dry.
Once dry, you can buff away the wax, leaving your wheels shiny and protected.
It does take some extra effort to remove the sealant, but it does wipe away with applied pressure.
Thanks to the thicker cream texture, you can apply the sealant without drips. So, you won’t waste product on the floor.
Poorboy’s Wheel Sealant is a slightly more expensive option. However, it is very long-lasting, so you get good value for money.
- Seals for a long-lasting protection.
- Adaptable for any type of wheel.
- Thicker formula makes application easier.
- Tough to buff off.
Wheel Wax Buyer’s Guide
There are a few key characteristics that separate a good wax for alloys from a bad wax.
- Durability. A wax should last long enough for you to feel the benefits. If it’s worn away after just a week of use, then it isn’t worth the money (unless you’ve been driving in some seriously adverse conditions).
- Quick cleaning. One of the primary purposes of a wax is it makes cleaning quicker. With a good wax, you can wash away dirt and grime with just a passing of the hose. When the dirt is washed away, the alloy under the wax should be as shiny as ever.
- Easy application. Wax typically needs to be applied, left to dry, and then buffed away. A good wax should go on easily, with a consistency thick enough to prevent drips, but liquid enough to be easily rubbed into small areas. When it comes to buffing, a good wax will rub away without needing too much elbow grease.
- Reasonable price. Most good wheel waxes cost around $14 to $20. Some are a little more expensive, but you probably want to avoid paying more than $25. However, it’s worth remembering that a quality wax might cost more, but will last for a long time. A low-cost wax might seem like a saving upfront, but will probably need frequent reapplication.
- Nice shine. Wax protects shine rather than creates its own gleam, but a good wax will add to the glossy finish of your alloys. A bad wax will be difficult to buff, and leave behind a patina.
- Strong protection. Wax needs to protect against a variety of circumstances that might damage your alloys. Dirt, rain, heat, and bugs don’t just cause an unattractive surface. They can also lead to corrosion.
The products listed above might seem like expensive choices, but they meet these criteria better than any others.
What Is Wheel Wax?
Wheels spend all their time in contact with the ground, so they can accumulate lots of dirt.
Even if you’re driving along mostly clear roads, dust and bugs can ruin the shine of your wheels in no time at all.
The weather also plays a huge role in the quality of your wheels.
Although your wheels might accumulate dirt easily, cleaning it off is a difficult task. And by the time you’re back from your next trip, the wheels are likely to be covered in grime once again.
It isn’t just appearance that the dirt affects. When dust and dirt builds up on the wheels, it can start to corrode the metals.
Some of the most corrosive materials are the carbon and steel particles that fly off heated brakes when the car comes to a sudden stop.
This grime lands on the wheels, and eats away at the surface.
An application of wheel wax provides a protective barrier on the wheels. That way, when dust lands on the alloy, it doesn’t adhere to the surface. Instead, it sticks to the wax. You can then clean the alloys with water from a hose.
Because the dirt is only on the wax, it simply washes away. Your car should be shining in no time at all.
See The Difference
With a good wheel wax, you can actually see the difference it makes to the overall appearance of your wheels.
With consistent use, your alloys can remain shiny and clean, and free from corrosion.
Wheel Wax Or Sealant: Which Is Better?
Wheel wax and wheel sealant are traditionally different products, although the terms are slightly interchangeable.
With that said, sealants are waxes, but not all waxes are sealants.
Wheel waxes are made with natural materials, and provide a layer of protection to the surface of an alloy.
Overtime, these waxes will wear away, leaving the alloy surface exposed. The wheels will then need to be cleaned, and the wax reapplied.
Sealants work slightly differently. Instead of sitting on the surface, a sealant bonds with the molecules to form a long-lasting barrier.
Sealants are generally made of synthetic materials, and there are several different types.
Sealants do need to be reapplied, but a good sealant can last for several months, thanks to this bonding property.
So, which is better?
Wax is the more cost-effective option, and a little wax can go a long way. Wax is easy to use, and most waxes are suitable for a variety of surfaces.
Wax also has a higher shine than sealant, which can lead to a nicer finish.
However, wax lacks the incredible durability of sealant. An application of sealant is likely to last significantly longer than wax.
With sealant on your alloys, dirt and dust should slide off. Wax doesn’t offer quite the same protection.
Overall, sealant is the better choice. However, if your main concern is saving money., you can get a good wax for less than a similar quality sealant.
Finally, remember that some companies use the terms “wax” and “sealant” interchangeably.
If you want the higher shine of wax, be sure to check the packaging to be sure it isn’t actually a sealant.
How To Use Wheel Wax
Wheel wax is generally quite easy to apply, although some formulas go on (and off) easier than others.
The key to application is to start with a nice, clean surface. If you apply wheel wax to dirty alloys, it won’t be able to do its job.
Start by cleaning the wheels until they’re spotless. It’s a lot of work upfront, but doing this now will make future cleaning significantly easier.
Use proper wheel cleaner alongside a wheel woolie, so you can get into all the difficult bits. Remember, the wheel wax will be protecting the shiny surface underneath. It can’t do that if there isn’t a clean surface to start with.
Once you have your wheels clean, you can apply the wax. This is done in much the same way you would wax the car body.
Use a clean microfiber cloth or applicator, and a small amount of the wax. Thicker waxes tend to be easier to apply, and less likely to drip.
Apply the wax directly to the wheels.
Very little wax is needed to create a good shine and protect the surface. Too much wax won’t be able to dry properly, and won’t offer any extra protection.
Leave the wax to dry, until it has a hazy finish. This is likely to take around 5 minutes, but it will depend on the product itself, and the weather.
Avoid working on days that are too hot or too cold, or the wax might not dry properly.
Once the wax is dry, use another microfiber cloth to wipe away the haze on the surface of the wheel.
Then, use a clean section of the cloth to buff the wax to a shine. Sealants are typically less glossy than waxes, so keep this in mind as you buff.
A good wax will wipe away easily, but some might require elbow grease.
This should provide enough protection on its own, but you might want to add a second layer of wax.
Do this using the same method. A fresh coat of wax should be applied roughly once a month, or when the old wax has started to wear away.
How Long Does Wheel Wax Last?
It’s impossible to say how long wheel wax will last. It depends partly on the type of wax you used, and the quality of the product.
However, this isn’t the only factor. Weather and road conditions can also make a difference. A good wax should last for at least one month.
Sealant is expected to last even longer. You might not need to reapply sealant for several months.
Wheel Waxes To Avoid
Some wheel waxes contain a small amount of abrasive. These do have benefits in some circumstances, but can end up scratching at your wheels quite a bit. They aren’t recommended for alloys.
We hope this guide has taught you everything you need to know about wheel waxes, so your car can shine.