The best lug nut brushes

Call them lug nuts or wheel nuts, they need a little care from time to time. One of these brushes will do the job nicely.

An alloy wheel with lug nuts and a yellow brake caliper

by Ryan Gilmore |

Often overlooked, lug nuts can often be seen sporting a fair amount of surface rust or caked in muck and road film. Even people who enjoy car cleaning are probably guilty of skipping over wheel nuts to focus on other areas, they're mostly drab-looking even when freshly cleaned.

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It's not like there's any real mechanical bonus to keeping them clean, either. In extreme circumstances, there may be a chance that neglecting wheel nuts may lead to them seizing, but that can take decades and it's nothing a good impact wrench won't quickly deal with.

In reality, the worst part you'll face with a neglected wheel nut is an ugly coating of surface rust. As such, if you're current nut cleaning approach is to liberally spray them with a pressure washer, we're recommending investing in a wheel nut brush. Not as an essential part of wheel maintenance, but to make sure your entire wheel looks good.

The best lug nut brushes

Sonic Scrubber Pro Detailer

The best lug nut brush
Sonic Scrubber Pro Detailer
Amazon

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An effective way to effortless clean wheel nuts, the Sonic Scrubber Pro Detailer is an electric toothbrush for your car and our top pick for wheel nut cleaning. While it only has two settings (on and off) this brush is a versatile tool and can safely cut away grime and muck without risking damage. The fact one of the heads are specifically designed for wheel nuts makes it even more effective. Beyond lug nut cleaning, the Sonic Scrubber also features a soft head for upholstery, toughened head for exterior plastics and an angled head for reaching those awkward areas.

Autoglym Hi-Tech Wheel Brush

The best manual lug nut brush
Autoglym Hi-Tech Wheel Brush
Amazon

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While Autoglym's range of detailing brushes is limited to this singular brush, it's a good choice for cleaning lug nuts thanks to its soft bristles that are good for cleaning while also designed to not lose shape over time. Autoglym claims that it's suitable for cleaning a full alloy wheel, but the small surface area lends itself to the lug nuts better. Besides, there are bigger, better wheel face brushes on the market.

Griot's Garage Lug Nut Cleaning Brush

The best heavy-duty lug nut brush
Griot's Garage Lug Nut Cleaning Brush
Amazon

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Sporting much tougher bristles than the other lug nut brushes here, the little brush from Griot's Garage is ideal for cleaning older, neglected wheel nuts. Those nylon bristles aren't just tough, they're flagged for even more cleaning power. The handle is ribbed so it remains grippy and usable even when wet and while it's very expensive, it is really good for deep cleaning.

Valet Pro Wheel Brush & Dash Brush Kit

The best lug nut brush on a budget
Valet Pro Wheel Brush & Dash Brush Kit
Amazon

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You'll amass quite the collection of different brushes if you start taking car cleaning a little more seriously, and this kit from Valet Pro will provide you with two quality staples at a reasonable price. Both brushes make use of horsehair for the bristles which means they shouldn't scratch any surface. The wheel brush is a perfect size (24mm across) for lug nut cleaning while the smaller dash brush will help get dust out of even the smallest nooks.

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