5 Best Aluminum Wheel Polishes
5 Best Aluminum Wheel Polishes
5 (100%) 2 vote[s]
Mothers 05101
Leaves A Brilliant Shine
Gentle Enough To Use On A Regular Basis
Easy To Use
Chemical Guys 10616
Water-Based, Body Shop Safe
For All Clear Coat Or Single Stage Paints
One-step High Gloss Polish
Rolite Metal Polish Paste
Minimum Slinging Formula
Safe For All Painted Metal Surfaces
Non-Toxic
3M 09020 Restorer
Double-Duty Formula
Formulated Specifically For Aluminum
Enhances Luster
Adam's Metal Polish
Restores All Metal Surfaces
Argets, Polishes Metal Surfaces And Finishes
For Chrome And Stainless Steel

Choose the Best Aluminum Wheel Polish

Customer’s Choice: the Best Rated Aluminum Wheel Polishes

42 users answered this survey. Please help us improve this review!

59.52% of users selected Mothers 05101, 16.67% selected Chemical Guys 10616, 4.76% selected Rolite Metal Polish Paste, 19.05% selected 3M 09020 Restorer and 0% selected Adam's Metal Polish. Every month we analyze your answers and change our rating.

An aluminum wheel polish is a product that will restore your wheels to an as-new condition after they have been exposed to the elements over time. It removes brake dust, rust, and corrosion from the surface of your alloy rims which improves their appearance dramatically. There are different options for you such as using strong chemicals on them or polishing with abrasives in order to get rid of all marks left by oxidation.

Aluminum wheels are the standard type of wheel on many modern cars, but they have a tendency to tarnish quickly. Regular polishing is necessary for keeping them looking shiny and new. It’s not just about looks either – aluminum wheels that aren’t regularly polished can become corroded and start to rot, leading to expensive repairs. To help you out with all your questions about aluminum wheel care, the experts have put together this guide!

Mothers 05101 Mag & Aluminum Polish – the Editor’s choice!

Mothers 05101 Mag & Aluminum Polish is a miraculous product that can turn your nasty car into a brand new one in just seconds. It is so easy to use and will provide you with the perfect protection during any weather condition, from harsh cold or brutal heat alike.

This product has been tested against abrasive surfaces and found to have little effect on the original paint. Mothers 05101 Mag & Aluminum Polish will also protect your paint job while washing dirt off it.

Made with quality ingredients, this car care product along with a cleaning cloth and easy-to-use applicator brush can be safe to use on both clear coats and paint surfaces.

Pros
  • Quick action;
  • Protects the car’s exterior paint;
  • Easy maintenance;
  • Gentle yet effective;
  • Easy to use;
  • Long-term effect;

Cons
  • Small volume;
  • Not recommended for chrome plating;
  • Not sealed properly;

Mothers 05101 Mag & Aluminum Polish is an easy-to-use polish that can help keep your car looking gorgeous. Use it every other day or so to keep your car shiny without overdoing it.


Chemical Guys Gap All-in-One Polish – the best universal remedy!

Chemical Guys Gap All-In-One polish is an easy-to-use car polish that quickly removes light scratches, key scratches, and most imperfections. It’s so effective in restoring shine or color it works great as a hand polish. You can get the job done with this universal remedy because it comes with heat shrunk to minimize any spilling.

Chemical Guy’s personal formula for polishing works on all car surfaces including paintwork, powder-coated metal, glass-fiber reinforced plastic (PFR) panels of all types, chrome trim molding of all types without scratching or pitting of clear coat!

This polish also protects your vehicle’s surface from dirt and pet hair that can degrade its quality. You can count on this polish for its ease of use as well: just apply with a microfiber cloth or sponge pad and watch as swirls disappear in less than two minutes!

Pros
  • Good for removing light scratches;
  • Resorts original color and shine;
  • Decent volume;
  • Easy to apply;
  • Works as a polisher and sealant;
  • Heat shrunk for minimum spilling;

Cons
  • May not cope with some key scratches;
  • The directions are written in Spanish;
  • Too runny for some users;

The Chemical Guys Gap All-in-One Polish is a product for those of you who also want the absolute perfect shine and sealant on their aluminum wheels.


Rolite RMP1# Metal Polish Paste – the best for odor-free formula!

This Rolite metal polish can clean and protect your metal objects from tarnishing, oxidation stains, and light scratches. This acid-free formula will leave a protective coating that prevents the metal from brightening or oxidizing over time.

Designed for this exact purpose, Rolite METAL Polish’ non-toxic and neutral pH formula can be used on aluminum, brass, bronze (plus other metals), bringing out their original luster without fear of any discolorations.

Quickly delivering professional finishes but formulated to be odor-, silicone-, and acid-free, meaning you won’t damage painted surfaces like those found in kitchens, etc., this polish doesn’t cause any ill effects such as yellowing or loss of shine as abrasives polishes

Pros
  • Doesn’t produce any toxic smell;
  • Safe to use on any painted surfaces;
  • Removes light scratches;
  • Acid-free and silicone-free;
  • Besides aluminum it can be used on brass, bronze, chrome, gold, nickel;

Cons
  • Won’t cope with some scratches on stainless steel;
  • Food safe;
  • Not a good remedy to be a rim polisher;
  • Not recommended for plated metals;

Rolite RMP-1# Metal Polish Paste is a product with an end mission – to protect your metals from tarnish. The benefits of this one-stop-shop protective coating are apparent upon first use – with only a light amount applied you’ll immediately notice the shine!


3M Marine Aluminum Restorer and Polish – the best for removing heavy oxidation!

This product is formulated specifically for aluminum so rest assured this won’t scratch it. Restore and polish boat hardware, trim, or hulls! This will remove heavy oxidation and chalking from water, sun, and weather to reveal a manufactured fresh-like shine.

DAn economical formula means you don’t have to use as much material as other brands, but it still leaves a brilliant gleam. It’s a great investment because the same bottle can also be used on boats or fishing gear since they both use metal components.

Pros
  • Good to remove heavy oxidation and chalking from the sun, water, and weather;
  • Can be recommended to restore and polish marine hardware;
  • Improves original luster;
  • Concentrated 2-in-1 formula;

Cons
  • Not recommended for matter or anodized aluminum;
  • Won’t cope with black streaks;

With some 3M Marine Aluminum Restorer & Polish, you can clean away rust stains from trails of saltwater while restoring a wet appearance to your aluminum fishing or pontoon boats.


Adam’s Metal Polish Complete Kit – the best for the finish polishing!

Specializing in chrome and stainless steel, this Adam’s Metal Polish complete kit contains everything you need to keep all of your shiny bits shining bright! Whether it’s surface imperfections or light stains from oxidation, we’ve got you covered with Alumnae Oxide micro-scale abrasives paired with gentle cleaners for safe use on any metal.

It is the best metal polish for when you need to remove surface oxidation, stains, and the occasional fingerprint. This rust-resistant formula is truly impressive on surfaces of stainless steel and brass while protecting chrome and raw aluminum from further attack.

Pros
  • Good for restoration of all metal surfaces;
  • Exceptionally great for stainless steel and chrome finishes;
  • Removes oxidation and light stains;
  • Can be used for raw aluminum surfaces;

Cons
  • Not recommended for any stained aluminum;
  • Won’t always remove “water spots”;

This two-part system uses micro-scale abrasives and specially formulated solutions to clean, polish, and protect metals surfaces against future oxidation and stains.


The Buyer’s Guide

An aluminum wheel polish is used to remove any swirls, scratches, or oxidation that may have occurred over time and prepare your wheels for their coatings of protection usually contained within a paste or liquid form. 

Cream polish uses abrasives such as aluminum oxide powder while gel polish also contains oils to moisturize these hard-worked surfaces after they are sanded down by hand using only pure carnauba wax. 

A good rule when applying both types of polishes is “less is more” and go easy on the pressure you apply when buffing in circular motions.

Main Features:

  1. Formula Strength

The best aluminum wheel polishes should have a high concentration of abrasive particles, meaning it has the potential to remove material from your wheels. However, too much abrasive strength can damage the clear coat finish on your wheels and leave them looking dull or even corroded in some cases. 

Some products contain oils that don’t cut very well but do help protect against corrosion while still providing good shine. These are usually marketed as “wheel sealants” or sometimes called a “wheel wax”. 

The best aluminum wheel polishes should be able to get rid of light oxidation, water spots, and small scratches on your wheels. 

These products generally work in the same way: a little abrasive cuts through some material from your wheel while an oily residue helps protect against corrosion. However, not all “wheel cleaners” are strong enough for this task!

One more thing to keep in mind is that you need a special kind of polish if you want to remove severe swirl marks or deep scratches. There are even different types of compounds used with buffers depending on what type of scratch they’re trying to remove (fine vs linear). 

Just as important as how well an aluminum wheel polish works is how long it lasts before needing to be re-applied – especially if you live in a place where acid rain or polluted air might damage your finish over time. 

The product descriptions should contain some detail about this but keep in mind that even the best aluminum wheel polishes don’t last forever. Some sealants claim to last up to a year before needing reapplication but most users found that it’s more like six months and even then only under ideal conditions.

Don’t forget: if you’re planning on polishing, don’t put any wax or sealant over the top because this can interfere with how well an aluminum wheel polish works!

  1. Compatible Metals

Aluminum wheels are very common, but not all polishes work on them. Aluminum alloy is a combination of aluminum and other metals like magnesium or copper that determine its properties. Polishing alloyed metal can be tricky because it often corrodes instead of becoming smooth. 

For example, the only product that works well with anodized aluminum (aluminum oxide) is Mothers Mag & Aluminum Polish

The best way to find out what polish works for your particular type of wheel is to call the manufacturer’s customer service line or read user reviews online. 

Aluminum wheel polishing is not very demanding. Regular car waxes often work well with aluminum alloy wheels, like Meguiar’s Gold Class Liquid Wax. Polished metal does not repel water as much as paint, so there is no need to use a special sealant or topcoat after applying your favorite polish. Always test the product on an inconspicuous spot first and wait for it to dry completely before driving.

Another thing worth mentioning about polished metals is that they are highly reflective surfaces that tend to attract scratches over time (especially when exposed to UV). Keep this in mind during washing; never rub too hard or you risk removing most of the protective layer along with dirt particles stuck below it! Use microfiber towels or mitts instead.

  1. Oxidation Removal and Protection

Aluminum alloy wheels are great because they look nice. However, if left untreated, these shiny surfaces will turn into a dull gray color that is unattractive and can even be dangerous to drive within wet conditions without good visibility. The wheels will rust and corrode, which is not only bad for the appearance of your car but also unsafe.

The best way to get rid of this oxidization completely from aluminum alloy wheels is with a special kind of product that you have probably heard about before: an aluminum wheel polish. These products are designed specifically to remove oxidation from surfaces by using chemicals instead of mechanical means like sandpaper or other abrasives. 

This results in a much smoother surface than any tool can produce so it’s important to choose carefully when looking for a good aluminum wheel polish. The right chemical formulation should be part of what makes one product better than another because there isn’t anything else different between them besides their cleaning power.

  1. Ease of Application

Aluminum wheel polishes are very easy to use. They come in a variety of packages, from aerosol cans to jars and tubs with applicators included. Some brands even sell complete wheel care kits that include all the necessary products, tools, and accessories to take proper care of your wheels.

As for the application process, you should always follow the instructions on the label. Most of these products are pretty straightforward though and can be applied with a damp microfiber cloth or foam applicator by hand.  

Also, some brands recommend using an electric drill with soft buffing pads to apply their product but this is not necessary in most cases. You just have to make sure that your wheels are cool before applying any polish so it doesn’t get too hot while being handled.

How to Use Aluminum Wheel Polish?

  • You can use a plastic or microfiber applicator pad, but the best way to apply aluminum wheel polish is with your bare hands. Make sure they are clean and dry before you start applying the product. The heat from your hand will warm up the metal surface so it’s easier for any compound in the polish to adhere to its texture. If there is dirt stuck on top of your wheels, brush all that off first since it may scratch them later if not removed entirely;
  • If your wheel’s surface is really dirty, then you may need to use a metal polish first. This product should be used on wheels that have no grease and oil residue left – it would work best for chrome alloy metals since it also contains abrasive agents like aluminum oxide;
  • The key here is not to apply too much pressure while using the mixture so as not to damage the wheel or cause any unwanted scratches. Apply in circular motions with light strength until there are small bubbles forming on top of the product; these indicate its effectiveness at removing dirt particles stuck deep inside crevices and grooves where water might get trapped if ever exposed to rain or snowfall. You can even let it sit overnight before washing away all excess chemicals from your wheel;
  • Once the polish is already dry, lift an edge of your cloth or towel and gradually wipe it off with a circular motion to remove all residues that are left on top of your aluminum wheels. Wipe again in downward motions so any excess product won’t drip down onto other parts underneath where you might not want them to go;

FAQ

How to select a polish suitable for me?

If the wheel is brand new, it may not need any polishing. Just a gentle cleaning to remove any dust from storage will do. For wheels that have been driven for some time and are well used, you can try an aluminum polish product first before resorting to other stronger cleaners or abrasives as this might quickly wear out your alloy coatings – just remember always to test in a small inconspicuous spot first! 

It is possible to use a wheel cleaner on alloy wheels. However, please note that the applied product must be specifically stated as safe for aluminum. A good idea would also be to read online reviews of said wheel cleaners before making your final decision about which one to purchase.

What can be used to polish aluminum?

Many chemicals can be used to polish aluminum. The best aluminum wheel polishes will include a list of ingredients and instructions for using the product safely. These products can help you to achieve professional results with your aluminum wheels. 

Some of the best aluminum wheel polishes include these components:

  • Aluminum wheel cleaning abrasives;
  • Synthetic carnauba wax;
  • Spray-on paint sealant and protectant;  
  • Metal polish particles;

Aluminum is also softer than steel, which means it takes more work to make it look shiny or new again. In fact, this process usually involves removing oxidation from scratches on the surface of your alloy rim first before applying any polish at all ─ that’s why experts recommend following up with metal cleaner afterward too! 

Also worth noting is that some chemicals may damage clear coats or paint jobs around where you’ve applied them, so be sure to protect nearby surfaces if required (and read warning labels carefully).

How do you keep polished aluminum shiny?

There are two main ways to keep polished aluminum shiny: regular cleaning and buffing. Regular cleanings can be done with a microfiber cloth, while good old-fashioned elbow grease is required for the second option. Buffs need to be repeated regularly because they do not provide long-term protection from oxidation or environmental contaminants like rainwater. 

Don’t forget to clean your wheels with a microfiber cloth after every drive! Regular cleaning can help prevent corrosion or environmental contaminants from ruining the shine of your wheels. 

A metal polish helps maintain shiny aluminum by removing oxidation or other surface imperfections that could hinder the look of your polished alloy rims. What’s more, some products come with an added benefit such as sealant technology that provides extra protection against chipping damage caused by rocks and road hazards during driving.

Can you use steel wool, toothpaste, or vinegar to clean aluminum?

Some of these products can cause damage to the metal if used incorrectly.

Are all aluminum wheel polishes suitable for all metals?

The answer is no. Aluminum wheel polishes are different from standard iron-based metal polishes and they should not be used on any other type of metal than aluminum rims, wheels, or fenders. Remember that your car’s paint can also be damaged by using the wrong product so it is important to select an aluminum wheel polish specially designed for the material you want to clean up.

How to store the aluminum wheel polish?

It is recommended to store your aluminum wheel polish in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Some products may require being stored in the fridge. If you are not using your aluminum wheel polish for a long time, it is best to ensure that there will be no contact between the product and water or other fluids – this can affect its quality over time.

Is Simple Green safe on aluminum?

Yes, Simple Green is safe on aluminum wheels. It will not damage the wheel in any way.  However, you should not use it on wheels with clear coat finishes or any rubber parts.

You can also choose to go with an aluminum wheel cleaner like the Mothers PowerBall Mini instead of using a household cleaner. This has protective polymers in its formula that leave behind a shine and help prevent corrosion. The PowerBall is safe for all types of wheels including chrome, painted surfaces, bare metal hanging from your car’s frame without touching anything else, etc.

It would be best if you made sure that whichever product you used was designed specifically to work safely on aluminum before deciding what to buy. However, this will usually mean buying something professional grade rather than just going down to Walmart and grabbing some cleaning supplies off the shelf there.

Does WD40 clean aluminum?

No. In fact, it can actually do more harm than good when used on aluminum because the chemicals in WD40 are corrosive and will eat away at your metal!

Does toothpaste clean aluminum?

Toothpaste is not a good option for cleaning aluminum, as it can actually leave stains. It’s best to use an actual aluminum polish or product specifically designed to clean and restore the shine of this metal.

Does Coca-Cola clean aluminum?

Not only does Coca-Cola clean aluminum, but also it removes rust stains and cleans chrome.  The acid in the drink does all of this and more. If you want to remove tarnish from metals, then go ahead and soak them overnight or until they are clean. It is wise not to use Coca-Cola on aluminum that has been painted but soaking kitchenware for a few hours can be beneficial as it removes stains from food preparation.

Will baking soda clean aluminum?

Baking soda is a mild abrasive that can be used to clean aluminum. However, it’s not very effective and you’ll need to use more elbow grease than with the best products on the market. It may work for some light cleaning jobs but we recommend using specific wheel cleaners instead of baking soda.

Does vinegar remove oxidation from aluminum?

Vinegar is an acid so it does remove oxidation from aluminum. However, this process could be very time-consuming and corrosive to your wheels as well as the vinegar will not go deep into the metal surface like modern wheel polishes do today. This type of old-school home remedy works great on light oxidized surfaces but for more serious cases you need something that penetrates deeper than just dissolving rust particles at the surface level.

How do you restore aluminum wheels?

Restoring aluminum wheels is much the same as restoring paint. You have to remove oxidation, clean them well and apply a new layer of clear coat for protection. However, if you are worried about scratching your wheel while removing corrosion or applying an additional layer of paint then this guide should help you out. 

Do not use any products containing harsh abrasives on aluminum wheels. They will scratch the surface and leave a pockmark. If you have some light corrosion then it is possible to clean them with soap, water, and elbow grease but if your wheel looks really rough then we recommend that you take them into a professional detailer for polishing or look at one of our top options below which also includes tips about how to restore oxidized aluminum rims yourself.

How do you polish aluminum rims?

To polish aluminum alloy rims, start by removing any dirt or road grime with soap and water first before using an abrasive cleaner on the surface of the rim itself. It helps if you’re able to work in small sections at a time rather than trying to cover too much ground all at once here, as this will help prevent your product from drying out prematurely while also giving you better results in the end.

What kind of waxes should you use?

The best waxes will have carnauba or beeswax as their primary ingredient. For cleaning purposes, using a paste with pumice powder works better than spray-on formulas because these products also contain solvents that help lift dirt away from the surface of the metal wheel making its removal easier later on during washing procedures. Washing will be covered in detail later on.

What kind of tools should you use for cleaning and polishing aluminum?

Cleaning: A soft-bristled brush like a toothbrush will work well for cleaning smaller areas whereas larger surfaces require stiffer brushes that may damage your wheels due to their edges being too sharp or abrasive. 

Polishing: When using polishes, always think “less is more” and take it slow when applying them to avoid creating swirl marks which can be very difficult if not impossible to remove so do this step last after washing off any excess polish residue with water. 

For best results, experts recommend using two towels – one soft cotton towel meant only for wiping away lubricants such as waxes, polishes, and oils. And one microfiber towel for drying your wheels after you’re done with the cleaning step since these towels are lint-free making them ideal to use on surfaces that may be very sensitive or easily scratched such as glass, paintwork, chrome, etc.

What kind of applicators should you use?

First off, it is important to note here that not all-wheel polishes and cleaners are created equal. Before buying any product out there in stores or online ask yourself what’s inside their ingredient list because some have abrasive chemicals which can remove layers upon layers of protective coatings found on aluminum alloy metal wheels over time thus requiring more frequent reapplication. 

Preferably look for natural ingredients like citric acid powder instead which is biodegradable and free of sulfates, acids, or bleach.

What kind of rags should you use?

There are so many choices out there when it comes to microfiber towels but you want the quality ones that don’t leave lint all over your wheels. The best way to clean them is by washing with a load of laundry using either hot or cold water on their own without adding any detergents. 

These residues can be harmful to the special coatings found on alloy wheels which may cause streaking after they’re dried up at room temperature away from sunlight thus requiring more frequent cleaning afterward in order to avoid this problem altogether.

Useful Video: Mothers VS Black Magic! Which Aluminum polish works better?

Final thoughts

Polishing your car’s aluminum wheels regularly is important for appearance and longevity. It will also save you money in the long run when it comes to repairs! Whether you’re looking for a quick DIY guide on how to polish an aluminum wheel, need help deciding which products are best suited for this job, or just want some general tips about maintenance, the experts have what you need here.


Hello! I'm a James Miller, and I'm an expert in materials science. I learned different metal properties in the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and I know everything about all kinds of metal. That's why I want to share my experience with you.

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