The best wheel face brushes for a scratch-free finish

Clean away grit and grime while protecting the look and finish of alloy wheels with the right brush.

A selection of colourful alloy wheels

by Ryan Gilmore |

The most important part of an alloy wheel is the face. The face is the visual part of an alloy wheel, the part that can tie a car together. It's also the part of an alloy you'll want to dedicate the most time to when it's time for a clean.

Mucky, grimy alloys not only look horrible on an otherwise clean car, but ignored grime can also eventually lead to pitted alloys and expensive repair costs.

A dedicated wheel face brush is designed to work alongside a wheel cleaner to effectively remove dirt without leaving behind any nasty scratches. As any scratches on the alloy face will be noticeable, it makes sense to find a good wheel face brush to keep those alloy wheels looking their best.

The best wheel face brushes

Meguiar's Vera Angle Wheel Cleaning Face Brush

The best wheel face brush
Meguiar's Vera Angle Wheel Cleaning Face Brush
Amazon

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The best wheel face brush currently on the market, the Meguiar's Vera Angle Wheel Cleaning Face Brush is easy to use, effective for scrubbing and won't leave behind any nasty scratches. The bristles are super-soft and flared out to offer better coverage and increase lathering. What makes it stand out for us is the detachable handle which means this brush is even more versatile.

MOTHERS Wheel/Rim Cleaning Brush

The best wheel face brush on a budget
MOTHERS WheelRim Cleaning Brush
Amazon

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Coming in cheaper than the Meguiar's wheel brush cleaner, the Mothers example is a similar design but a little more basic in its execution. The long soft bristles will effectively scrub without risking scratch damage but the face is more generic as opposed to styled for wheel faces. The handle may not be detachable but it's rubber coated and ergonomically designed. If you want a good wheel face cleaner without spending too much, this is our top choice.

Chemical Guys Gerbil Wheel And Rim Brush

The best sheepskin wheel face brush
Chemical Guys Gerbil Wheel And Rim Brush

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Using sheepskin instead of bristles, this wheel cleaner isn't as tough as other options but will still deliver solid cleaning results. The sheepskin is soft but thick and will lather up a wheel cleaner for deep cleaning all without the risk of causing scratches. If you have particularly fragile alloys (untreated aluminium or magnesium) then the softer touch of this brush will be your best option.

5 x Specialist Detailing Brushes for Car Cleaning

The best wheel face brush for intricate wheel designs
5 x Specialist Detailing Brushes for Car Cleaning
Amazon

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For really intricate alloy wheel designs you can't beat a set of standard detailing brushes. This five-pack from Detailer United are made with soft hog hair bristles for scratch-free cleaning and are worth having for any cleaning duty. These brushes are so versatile that they're equally useful on alloy wheels and engine bays as they would be for dusting seats and dashboards.

What you need to look for in a good wheel face brush:

Bristles - Alloy wheels may be tougher than paintwork but can still be a scratch risk if the brush uses super-tough bristles. The bristles you'd find on a tyre brush for example would be too harsh for the wheel face and pose a legitimate scratch risk.

Look for soft bristles to ensure the brush properly cleans away grime but won't leave small nicks in the finish. Make sure they're a decent length too so they can lather up cleaning products easier.

Ergonomics - Make sure the handle is comfortable to hold and is positioned to avoid scrapped knuckles. Wheel face brushes often don't need a proper knuckle protector because of where they're used (no poking around the inner barrels) but make sure there's something between your hand and the harsh, unforgiving alloy.

Extras - Look for rubber lined brushes as these will not damage the wheels if you accidentally clatter the brush into them. The ability to hang the brush when not in use can also be worth considering.

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