It's a pretty unanimous conclusion that sponges can't compete with wash mitts when it comes to car cleaning. Sponges are ungainly, prone to leaving scratches and harder to clean afterwards compared to an equivalent wash mitt. Wash mitts are also ergonomic, last longer and will help lather up shampoos better. It's a clearly better bodywork cleaner, but what about when it comes to wheel cleaning?
Using a wash mitt on your alloys may seem a little leftfield in a world of excellent wheel brushes but it makes a lot of sense, especially if your alloys are painted or require gentler cleaning to avoid scratching. Microfibre wash mitts will be much softer than even the softest wheel face brush and so will offer greater protection against damage. While they won't be as effective on mud and other baked-in contaminants, a couple of applications of a good wheel cleaner should still leave your wheels looking clean and scratch-free.
Just don't forget that because your wheels are so dirty, a wheel wash mitt shouldn't ever be used on bodywork because any left-over contaminants may leave nasty scratches on bodywork.
The best wheel mitts for wheel cleaning
Streetwize Premium Grade Microfiber Monkey Mitt
The best wheel wash mitt
For alloy wheel cleaning, this microfibre mitt from Streetwize gets our pick. Made from soft microfibre and machine washable, it's an easy way of cleaning wheels without leaving scratches. The independent fingers will make spoke-scrubbing a lot easier, especially as each finger has soft chenille microfibres on one side and a diamond stitch on the other for a more thorough scrubbing.
Microfiber Madness Incrediflair Wheel Wash Mitt
The best premium wheel wash mitt
An American offering, the Microfiber Madness Incrediflair is a purpose-made wheel mitt that will deliver excellent cleaning results, later up wheel cleaner and prevent any scratches from occurring. It features a thumb grip that allows a user to grasp an alloy spoke and clean it properly. The large mitt will also be excellent for cleaning the wheel face.
Glart Microfibre Alloy Wheel Cleaning Mitt
The best wheel mitt for extra-gentle cleaning
For an even gentler approach to wheel mitts, this super-soft wheel mitt from Glart feels fleece-like and so should be ultra-soft on alloy wheels. Designed primarily for aluminium alloys this mitt features a thumb grip for spoke cleaning and can be machine washed.
Kent Car Care Microfibre Noodle Wash Mitt
The best wheel wash mitt for really dirty wheels
Wheels are the dirtiest part of your car so it's entirely reasonable to go for a cheap wash mitt thinking there's no point in spending a lot on a mitt that's going to spend its life covered in mud. This chenille microfibre wash mitt is basic but will still be shift baked-in muck and shouldn't leave any scratches.
When would you use a wheel mitt?
A wheel mitt makes sense as a replacement for a wheel face brush because the face of an alloy wheel is the part that's most likely to scratch, especially if it's painted, polished or bare metal.
A wheel mitt won't reach the inner barrel of alloys and will struggle with cleaning intricate wheel designs (like cross spokes) which means it's probably best not to view a wheel mitt as a blanket replacement for wheel brushes. We recommend teaming a wheel mitt with a couple of other wheel brushes to reach every part of your wheel.