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How-To Detail Your Wheels & Tires using Meguiar’s Products


I cannot count how many times I have seen a car with shiny paint but horrific looking wheels and tires while driving. A few weeks ago when the team at Detailed Image starting supplying Meguiar’s products I knew we were all in for a treat. Meguiar’s is possibly the most known manufacture of detailing products. They have everything from OTC (over the counter) products, to professional detailing supplies which makes them a go-to for many.

One thing you won’t find in stores is Meguiar’s Super Degreaser and Meguiar’s Wheel Brightener. Using these two products will time and time again get you great results on most wheels and tires in little time.

A little bit of information about the products.

Meguiar’s Super Degreaser is an extremely concentrated formula that is effective on wheels, tires, wheel wells, engine bays, and other contaminated surfaces. With this concentrated formula you can dilute 4:1 (water/product) for heavy cleaning or 10:1 (water/product) for mild cleaning. Talk about a money saver!

Now let’s talk about proper usage. Make sure the surface you are working on is cool and preferably out of direct sunlight. Soak the area you will be working on to first loosen the dirt and grime. Spray onto the affected areas and allow 30-45 seconds for the product to penetrate the dirt and grime to help loosen and to make your job easier. Take a designated brush and agitate until desired results are achieved. Rinse clean and watch the dirt just fall out.

Meguiar’s Wheel Brightener is a strong acid based wheel cleaner that is only used for wheels that are caked with brake dust and grime. I recommend wearing gloves while using this product. Like the degreaser this product comes in a concentrated formula as well. I mix my wheel brightener 4:1 (water/product) whenever I use it. This product IS A MUST for cars that produce a great amount of brake dust (Audi’s, BMW’s, Porsche, Mercedes, Aston Martin, Volkswagen). Although if you maintain your wheels properly, you will not have the need to use Wheel Brightener every time.

Here is how I use Wheel Brightener. First, I make sure the surface is cool and wet. I soak the wheel as much as possible. I lightly mist the chemical onto the wheel surface being careful not to allow too much onto the brake components. I allow to product to sit for 15-20 seconds to help loosen, then I use my wheel brush for the face of the wheels while I use my EZ-Detail Brush to make sure behind the spokes and the barrel of the wheels are clean. Having the right product and tools and knowing how to properly use them is the key.

Here is a 2006 Audi A4 with neglected wheels. I did a small photo shoot for you guys to help you get a better understanding of what needs to be done. Here you can see the wheel is covered in hard brake dust deposit that has sat for quite some time. The wheels have no shine to it and takes away from the vehicles appearance.

Dirty 2006 Audi A4 wheels

The first thing you need to do is spray a liberal amount of water onto the surface. This will help loosen the brake dust.

Dirty 2006 Audi A4 wheel pre-rinse

Next, take you Super Degreaser and make sure to cover the tire, wheel well and some of the wheel.
Degreasing 2006 Audi A4 wheels

Next, grab the Wheel Brightener and spray the wheel and behind onto the barrel.

Meguiar's Wheel Brightner sprayed on 2006 Audi A4 wheels

Next you want to use your wheel/tire brush and scrub the tire and the face of the wheel. Give a quick rinse before moving onto the barell.

Scrubbing 2006 Audi A4 wheels with wheel/tire scrub brush

After the tire and face of the wheel are complete, take you EZ Detail Brush and scrub the barrel of the wheel and behind the spokes.

Rinse EZ Detail Brush

This next step is just as important. Because of the severity of brake dust on these wheels, I rinsed my brush after each section before going onto the next. This keeps your brush clean and allows it to work much better. This will also keep your wash bucket/media cleaner, longer so your doing no cross contamination within the wheels.


Note : Two pics above where I was, now look where I’m at after cleaning my EZ Detail Brush.

EZ Detail Brush wheel and spoke cleaning

You can see here how clean the wheel bucket water is once I’m complete. This was after all 4 wheels, I started on the driver front side and worked my way around. Not only is it safer to for your wheels, but it keeps your tools and supplies in great shape by keeping them clean.

Wheel cleaning tools

Finished product!

Clean 2006 Audi A4 wheels

Then you can dress your tire with you favorite product and protect your wheels. For these I use and recommend Opti-Bond Tire Gel and I protect wheels with Opti-Seal.

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DJ Mayo Reflections Detailing
DJ Mayo
DJ Mayo Studios
Gainesville, VA

11 comments on How-To Detail Your Wheels & Tires using Meguiar’s Products

  1. Jason says:

    Now in your other article “wash and wax in 60 minutes” shows that you ONRed the car first and then the last paragraph you state to go grab your wheel and tire supplies. When your ONR would you wash paint first or do the wheels first because I noticed when I ONR after my wheels I get my wheels wet again because of it dripping off the quarter panel. Which then makes me go get my wheel towels and have to dry it once again. Just seems like extra work that does not need to be done. Does that make sense? So contrary to popular believe I would rather clean the paint first then move onto the wheels. That was a bit long winded.

  2. Jason says:


  3. Jon says:

    Hi DJ,

    Happy New Year!

    Just curious, any reason to use Meg’s Super De-greaser (duluted) instead of Meg’s APC Plus (diluted say, 10:1)?

    On another train of thought – I have a 2011 BMW and am thinking of using either Meg’s WB (discussed here),or perhaps Flash Brown Royal. Have you tried Brown Royal and, if so, how would you rate it versus MWB?


  4. DJ Mayo says:


    No reason really. Both products would do the job I just happen to reach for the Degreaser this go around. I’ve never heard of Brown Royal before so I would say stick with the Wheel Brightener.

  5. Jon says:

    DJ –

    Thanks for the quick reply. Back to the Wheel Brightener, any risk or words of caution with regards to damaged areas? I did a bonehead move backing into a narrow driveway and took a small chunk in my clearcoated aluminum wheel.

    Btw, I have read a lot of your online material (along with Todd’s, Eric’s and Ivan’s). Thanks very much!


  6. DJ Mayo says:


    The only precaution I would really say would be don’t allow it to sit on the wheels too long or when it’s hot out. Also, try to avoid spraying directly on the rotors, Spray on, agitate, and rinse. Another thing you could do is have a bucket with water, pour in a few ounces of WB, dip your wheel brush into the bucket, then clean the wheels that way. Won’t likely be as effective, but would save you from spraying onto anything.

  7. Jon says:

    Much appreciated, DJ. Thank you.

  8. Jon says:


    When spraying a wheel with a chemical product, does it make sense to work your way from the bottom of the wheel to the top and, if so, why? I saw this in a detailing video (youtube?), but didnt’ really get the reasoning.



  9. […] with the exterior nearly completed, grab your glass cleaner and your wheel and tire supplies and complete the finishing touches. Once you get this process down, you will wonder how you ever […]

  10. Nicolas says:

    Hi, i am about to buy this product but when they say mix with 4:1 what does it mean.

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