Aluminum is an excellent metal that is naturally available in the earth’s crust (1.59% of the earth’s mass is aluminum) with significant applications in multiple industries.
It is soft, rugged, malleable, and very light in weight. The natural resistance to corrosion makes it a very versatile metal in metallurgical and automotive industries.
One of the best uses of aluminum is its use in the automobile industry. Although it has a natural resistance to corrosion, it is no exception for oxidation.
In today’s piece, we enumerated the 10 best aluminum polish for wheels which prevent oxidation and keep the aluminum wheels shiny, bright, intact, and functional.
Since bare aluminum tends to get oxidized, the aluminum wheel polish keeps this process at bay. It also prevents the carbon dust that usually gets accumulated on the aluminum wheel from brake pads. This brake dust combined with heat (due to friction by driving) becomes highly corrosive.
Say whatever you want, regular polishing is the only way to enhance the life and function of the wheel.
The Best Aluminum Polish for Wheels
Aluminum polish is suitable for bare aluminum wheels which do not have a protective covering. The polish prevents the wheel from oxidizing and removes the brake dust. Here we reviewed our top 10 picks suitable for various needs and purposes.
Best Aluminum Polish 2021
1. Mothers 05101 Mag & Aluminum Polish
Mothers 0501 Mag & Aluminum polish is our first pick on the list of aluminum polish for wheels. This polish has multiple applications and is not only for the aluminum wheels. It can be used for various corroded metals (ex: brass), mags, headlights, and even guns.
The polish is suitable for all metals except for chrome. You can also use it for clearing foggy headlights of your vehicle. If your alloy wheel is not coated with chrome, use this polish to make them shine without a second thought.
You can use it even on stainless steel metal for removing scratches. Apply this polish with little elbow grease, and you will get excellent results. Note that this polish is strictly for bare metals. If you use it on polished surfaces such as on car paints, it will damage the paint.
The polish is designed for use on various vehicles but make a note that it is for bare aluminum or any bare metal only. You can use this for cleaning boats, cars, bikes, and other household appliances.
Mothers 05101 Mag & Aluminum polish is available in various volumes (sizes) starting from as low as 5 oz to one gallon. You can select any variant depending on your requirement. Nevertheless, it is advisable to start with smaller ones if you are a beginner.
- Excellent for polishing bare metals
- Highly efficient in cleaning and polishing
- Can be used on a regular basis
- Availability in different sizes/volumes
Best metal polish 2021
2. Rolite Metal Polish Paste
If you are looking for a metal polish that can be applied to various metals, Rolite metal polish paste is the best choice. This paste can be used on various metals such as aluminum, chrome, brass, stainless steel, copper, and gold.
Rolite metal polish paste protects, cleans, and polishes surfaces of marine boats, automotive vehicles, recreational vehicles (RV), guns, knives, and sports items. With countless applications and uses, it is one of the best polish paste available in its class.
The paste removes any dirt from most surfaces. It also eliminates the tarnish and corrosion (oxidized layer) and makes your equipment shine and sparkle. Given enough time for it to act, you will find the surface of any equipment free of dirt and oxidation.
Note that you must clean all the dust present on the surface before applying the paste. Never use water and wipe off the polish before it becomes dry. Use a dry cloth or a premium finisher to remove any excess polish present on the surface.
Additional precautions include the use of gloves before applying them on any surface or instrument so that your hands don’t have the stench of the paste. It is available from 1 lb. to 10 lb. size in the form of 1, 2, 6, and 12 packs. You can select any form of it depending on your choice.
- Multipurpose polish; can be used on a wide range of metals
- Ability to use on chrome
- Can be used for polishing household equipment
- Availability in different sizes/volumes
3. Sonax Wheel Cleaner
Sonax wheel cleaner is a perfectly blended wheel wash with balanced pH. It can be used on both bare aluminum wheels as well as on OEM coated or anodized alloys. Available in a spray system, the cleaner can easily reach crevices and corners which are not accessible by the manual application.
Once the cleaner begins to act, the color changes from green to red. It indicates that the polish is dissolving the clogged dirt. You must wait for a minimum of 10 minutes to see the action. If you feel that the cleaner is drying up, you can always add additional amounts of it.
The wheels which are massively dry or have vast amounts of carbon dust may require an extra measure of cleanser. Use it in a cool, dry, and ventilated area for cleaning the wheel or any other metal. Then, get a high-speed or high-power water cleaning system to remove the cleaner after the job is done.
For some users, the smell of the cleaner might not be appealing. In fact, it may smell awful. The polish will keep the luster of your painted wheel without causing any harm. Available in 16.9 FL OZ and 169.1 FL OZ sizes, you can buy whichever suits you the best.
Suitable for all alloy wheels and finishes, it is a versatile polish making it one of the top aluminum wheel polishes.
- Acid-free and balanced pH formula
- Changes color from red to green indicating its action
- Can be used on clear coated and anodized wheels
- Spray system penetrates small crevices and corners
4. Chemical Guys Heavy Metal Wheel Polish
With an intimidating name, the Chemical guy’s heavy metal polish is an absolute beast in eliminating tarnish and corrosion. It can be used in all metals such as aluminum, brass, chrome, and stainless steel. This polish can also be used to clean diamond plates and other precious metals.
Chemical guys metal polish is formulated to remove all kinds of contaminations and pollutes from the metal surfaces. It will restore the lost shine and gloss. After the application of this polish, you will quickly see the change and can see the original shine of your metal framework.
With its ability to clean parts of cars, boats, knives, trucks, or motorcycles, it has a multitude of applications in various automotive and household departments. You can apply the polish with a dry towel, microfiber pad, or with a premium finisher.
It removes the stains, oxidized layers, and tarnishes with ease from any metal you name it. This another best metal polish not only cleans the dirt and tarnish, but also restores the shine and gloss of the metal surfaces.
Furthermore, the price is cheap compared to its competitors making it one of the best aluminum cleaners. The minor noticeable flaw here is the difficulty in cleaning the cloth or microfiber pad you used for applying this polish paste.
If you feel this is not a concerning factor, then this is the ideal product for you. Available in two size variants, i.e., 4 and 16 ounces respectively, you can choose any one of them according to the need.
- Excellent for chrome bumpers, aluminum metal, and stainless steel
- Easy to dispense
- Can be used with a microfiber pad or a machine
- Great in restoring the lost shine
5. Zephyr Metal Wheel Polish
A company that is popularly known to manufacture the maintenance parts for popular brands such as Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury, steps its foot into the polish industry. Zephyr Pro-40 metal polish is worth the hype and lives up to it.
Zephyr Metal Wheel Polish is perfectly suitable for aluminum wheels. It is not ideal for all metal surfaces, and can also be used on chrome metal surfaces. The polish does its job by removing the tarnish and dust from metal surfaces very effectively.
Uncoated/coated wheels can be cleaned with Zephyr pro-40 without any hassle. You can use a dry cloth or a microfiber pad to apply the polish on the surface of the metal. Beware that if you use this on polished or painted aluminum wheels, it will fog out (dark or dull) the surface.
Zephyr pro-40 is available in a single size (volume) of 32 oz. But if you are looking for a pure aluminum wheel polish that has better results, Mother mag & aluminum can be a better option than Zephyr. The selection always depends on personal choice. You can always experiment and select a suitable polish paste.
- Formulated exclusively for bare aluminum polishing
- Used by renowned companies like Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury
- Easy to dispense
- Can also be used for cleaning chrome
Best water-based stainless steel cleaner
6. Chemical Guys All-in-One Wheel Polish
Making it to the 6th spot is another product from the Chemical Guys. The Chemical guys all-in-one is not just a polish to make your metal surfaces shine. It also forms a protective covering to prevent the tarnish and corrosion from forming back again.
The polish being silicone-free gives a high glossy final finish. It provides a beautiful new shine in just one application. Also known as V4 all-in-one polish, shine & sealant, it performs as it says and will not disappoint you.
Chemical Guys V4 is the best water-based polish and can be used in OEM coated wheels and metal surfaces. For better results, use it on a rotary polisher or a dual action polisher. With volatile organic compliance (VOC), this polish is very safe to use and does not produce any harmful vapors.
It is one of the best aluminum polishes for vehicles with light to moderate scratches, swirls, and defects. You will get outstanding results with a single application.
Some users may find a waxy layer that can be difficult to remove after using this product. Use a high-speed water jet system to remove the smooth coat. You may not see any sealant or protective coating over the metal surface then. Available in two sizes; 4 ounces, and 16 ounces, you can select accordingly.
- Forms a protective layer over the metal to enhance the shine for a longer period
- Silicone free
- Can be used to clean chrome
- Ideal for removing light scratches
7. California Custom Metal Polish/deoxidizer Combo
Unlike the traditional aluminum polishes, California custom products are specially designed to abide the California Proposition 65 (1986). It is also unique in that it comes in a combo pack that includes a deoxidizer and polish.
This particular polish is designed only for aluminum metals. It is best suited for diamond-plated tools and non-OEM coated aluminum wheels. The process includes the application of deoxidizer first and then the polish.
Here, the deoxidizer is aimed to remove the rust or any oxidative layer present on the surface of the metal. Apply the deoxidizer and leave it for few minutes. The time depends on the amount of rust present on the surface of the metal as well as how big the metal is.
Use any microfiber pad and scrub it to increase the activity of the deoxidizer. A rotary buffer would give great results after polishing.
Some metals need deoxidizer only without the use of polish. Also, note that this product is for bare metals only. Do not use it on paintings or any OEM coated wheels. It would remove all the paint, and the non-bare metal will look dull and cloudy.
This product is purely for deoxidizing and polishing aluminum rims. So, use it with extra care. The combo pack weighs 14.1 ounces, and there is no variant in its size.
- Combo pack containing deoxidizer and the polish
- Highly effective for removing oxidized layer (rust)
- Excellent for aluminum deoxidizing and polishing
- Ideal polish for diamond plated toolbox
8. Adam’s Wheel Polish – Rim Cleaner & Brake Dust Remover
Adam’s metal polish is another product in our list which comes in a combo pack. The pack can be used on every metal such as aluminum, chrome, brass, and OEM coated metal surfaces. If you want a combination pack, Adam’s metal polish is the best aluminum polish among combo packs.
Follow step 1 to remove any scratches, rusty surfaces, or any other stains. It will remove all flaws very effectively. After finishing the first step, you can apply the second formula, i.e., the polish. Some metals such as diamond plated tools may not require polish at all.
The application duration of polish #1 may depend on the number of stains or rust. It acts as a deoxidizer and removes the stains by a chemical reaction and restores the luster of the metal.
While some metals require effective polishing, you can apply the polish mentioned as step 2 on the bottle. Use any microfiber pad or a premium rotary finisher to apply the polish. Because premium rotating finisher gives better results than manual fiber pad. Wipe off any residue present on the surface, and you can see the glossy metal.
This combo is highly effective on other metals such as chrome and brass. It is available in a single-weight variant, and both packs weigh 1. 36 lbs.
- Combo pack with 2-stage cleaning and polishing
- Excellent for removing an oxidized layer from various metals other than aluminum
- Great polish for chrome
- VOC compliant
9. 3M Marine Aluminum Polish
The 3M company manufactures a wide variety of products ranging from adhesives to medical and dental materials. From this company, comes the marine aluminum restorer and polish. It is designed primarily for bare aluminum only.
This polish removes the oxidized layer from the surface of the aluminum. It is handy for aluminum that gets rusted by chlorides (hence marine aluminum restorer & polish). That means it is best suited for restoring and polishing aluminum boats and rafts.
Aluminum boats are subjected to heavy chalking by the chlorides present in the seawater. 3M marine aluminum restorer & polish effectively removes this chalking and also the rusty layer formed by oxidation.
A small amount of polish is enough to clean larger areas as it is very active. Use it with any microfiber pad and rub it onto the stains and oxidized layers. It restores the lost luster and glosses very effectively.
Make sure that you use this polish only on bare aluminum. This polish is not suitable for other metals and non-OEM coated aluminum wheels. It is available in a single weigh variant of 18 oz.
- Best polish for aluminum marine boats and pontoons
- Ability to clean and polish with a small quantity of application
- Excellent for removing the chalking formed by chlorides
- Formulated exclusively for bare aluminum
10. Mothers Aluminum Wheel Cleaner
The final product in our list is the Mothers polished aluminum wheel cleaner. Formulated for bare aluminum metal and anodized wheels, it is beneficial in removing all types of stains and scratches.
It can also be used for other metals such as chrome, painted wheels, steel, modular, and custom/factory coated wheels. This means you can use it on any metal without hesitation. The spray hose helps the polish to penetrate all corners that are unreachable through a manual application.
It may smell awful for some users. The spray hose may sometimes make it difficult to deliver the thick polish out of the bottle. Use a scrub pad if you feel the nozzle is not working for you.
Unlike Mothers 05101 Mag & Aluminum Polish which is designed only for aluminum and bare metals, this polish can be used for all metal surfaces.
The product is available in two weight variants. A single pack of 24 oz and another package which includes six-packs of 24 oz bottles. You can choose any item according to your need.
- Ability to clean both bare and clear coated metal surfaces
- Can be used with chrome
- Spray system helps penetrate manually unreachable areas
- Excellent for removing carbon dust (brake dust)
Best Aluminum Polish for Wheels Buyer’s Guide
Aluminum polish is very useful in removing stains, scratches, and oxidized layers. A perfect aluminum polish for wheels must remove most of the stains and restore the luster of the metal. An ideal polish should be easy to apply and easy to wash.
The ideal properties of a perfect aluminum polish are:
- Ease of application
- Ability to use on various metals such as aluminum, brass, modular and stainless steel
- Flow ability
- Ease of cleaning
- Not smelling bad
- Ability to remove stubborn stains
- Ability to remove carbon dust which is one of the worst enemies of aluminum wheels
- Silicone free
- Cost efficiency
For some stubborn stains, you may need an additional deoxidizer which is available in combo packs. The polish must not leave any waxy coating on the surfaces where it is applied.
To identify a good polish, the wheel must respond very well to the application.
The response can be identified by effervescence or a change in the color of the polish. While using the polish on bare aluminum, you will see black discoloration.
Don’t be alarmed; it is the oxidized aluminum layer (aluminum oxide) that is wiped off by the polish.
Aluminum polish must be able to clean even with small applications. This quality determines how much quantity you should purchase. Some polishes can smell awful, and you must avoid them if you are sensitive to strong smells.
If you are a beginner, it is advisable to start with starter packs and apply them on smaller metal surfaces. The polish also depends on your requirement. In case you are looking for polishing a bare metal, it is advisable to avoid polishes that are strong in action and formulated for multiple metals.
An ideal polish must be hydrophilic and washable with water. A water jet spray or simple wiping with a damp cloth must suffice. Periodic application of scrub or water must agitate the polish and increase the cleaning or polishing action.
Your polish must have the ability to apply with any premium rotary scrub or finisher or all-purpose cleaner brush. Avoid brake cleaner while using the aluminum wheel polish as it will remove all the gloss and luster.
Avoid classic polishes which have silicone. The silicone forms a smooth layer over the wheels and will turn brown over the course of time. Sometimes, the silicone will age the wheels or metal surfaces prematurely.
1. How to select a polish suitable for me?
It depends on the type of metal you want to polish and sometimes it is purely a personal choice.
2. Are all aluminum wheel polishes suitable for all metals?
No. Some polishes are specially designed to clean/polish bare metals while some aren’t. Choose accordingly.
3. Are these polishes suitable for household appliances?
Bare metal polishes are suitable for household appliances if they are made of aluminum only. Multipurpose polishes can be used on all appliances.
4. How to clean the polish after using it?
Most of the polishes are cleaned by wiping with a damp cloth or a high-speed water hose.
5. How to store the aluminum wheel polish?
Store it in a cool and dry place. Avoid direct sunlight when not in use.
Aluminum wheel polishes keep your wheels and metal surfaces shiny and new. They also protect them from corrosion, wear and tear. Although you may not need to use these polishes very frequently, an occasional application will retain the wheel’s functionality.
Just make sure to read the manufacturer’s label before using the product. Some polishes aren’t suitable for coated and anodized metals while some are useful for a wide range.
Lastly, it’s time for you to choose the best aluminum polish for wheels according to your requirement and the type of metal you want to polish.
A few years back, it all started with my first blog website. It was about to deal and heal with automotive hand tools. Well, it brought me a good audience base for sure, which then dragged me out of my major and got me to sit and write, and be a blogger. Read more