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Monday, February 19, 2007

Armor All Wheel Cleaner – Does it work?

Today when I took my second test of Armor All’s Wheel Cleaner with 100% satisfaction guaranteed, that was my question. Does this product really work? As you might recall, I initially attempted to use it 4 weeks ago. The results were, in a single word – disappointing.

To be fair to Armor All, there had been a couple of months of build-up of brake dust and road grime on my 16 spoke Audi A4 wheels. With that in mind, I set out to try it again with approximately 4 weeks of build-up from the brake dust and road grime given a couple of recent storms in Southern California. I knew that at the end of today’s test, this product would either stay in the cabinet or be thrown away. There were no more second chances for the Armor All Tire Cleaner.

Here is the condition of the wheel for today’s test. As always, click on the pictures for larger images.

Let’s see how it performed.

As a review, here is the description and the instructions from Armor All.
Armor All® Wheel Cleaner Keeps wheels looking like new Spray on, hose off Removes brake dust.


  • Saturate cool wheel with cleaner.
  • Allow to soak for 60 seconds.
  • Rinse wheel thoroughly with a strong water spray.
  • Dry with a soft, clean towel to prevent water spots.
  • Repeat if necessary.

NOTE: Prior to use on motorcycles or uncoated polished aluminum, check with manufacturer. Before use, test on an inconspicuous area. If hazing or spots appear, discontinue use. Do not apply to brake parts or other zinc and cadmium-plated surfaces. Do not use on wheels with damaged clear coats.

Here is the first application of the Armor All Tire Cleaner.

After rinsing the wheel, it is much cleaner than before. It is very possible that with a wiping-off, the wheel will look clean. There are a couple of places where there is still a little build up and I want to see if Armor All Tire Cleaner can complete the job.

Here is the wheel (rim) after the second application.

Now, after rinsing the wheel the second time, the results are rather impressive. While there are a couple of places with some brake dust left, they simply wipe off.

Here is the final, wiped off rim.

The Armor All Wheel Cleaner made it through the test with flying colors this second time. Rather than tossing it in the dumpster, I am going to keep it as part of my auto care kit. Overall, I give the product an 8.5 out of 10. The product works great as part of routine cleaning and wheel maintenance. However, if you have a big job with a lot of build-up – you are best suited to bring out the soap, water, and wash mitt to get the job properly as Armor All Wheel Cleaner may not stand up to the test.