My wheel cleaner test, comparison and evalutation

Discussion in 'Pre Wash, Wash, Decon, Claying, Engine, Wheels, an' started by JoeyV, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. JoeyV

    JoeyV Welcome to Detailing

    I didn't take any pictures for the simple reason that if someone really didn't want to believe me, pics wouldn't have done much more to convince them. The fact that I applied 4 products on different quadrants of the wheel, someone with butthurt could easily just say "you spun the wheel and you're saying sonax sux cuz yo hate them y0" or something like that.

    Yes, all products tested on the same wheel, each in their own corner.

    As for products mixing, I taped off the sections and put a towel over the rest of the wheel to keep most, if not all products from touching each other.

    Note: I will be trying Sonax again today vs. the Zep on regularly maintained wheels on a 2008 BMW 335xi. I will also report back. This SHOULD have pictures as I will not be "splitting" wheels for both products, each will get their own wheel.
  2. Emile

    Emile Welcome to Detailing

    You are correct, but the "Citrus" reference in Zep Citrus Degreaser is not referring to Citric acid. It is referring to the Citrus oil extract which is alkaline in nature.
  3. 604_Snooze

    604_Snooze Obsessive Detailer

    you should try brown royal next.
  4. Misha

    Misha Nuba Guru

    does sonax smell like rotten egs? i guess ill find out in few days
  5. JoeyV

    JoeyV Welcome to Detailing

    Since I've found (been shown) Zep Citrus Degreaser, I don't think I'll keep searching for another wheel cleaner. At it's price, it's my new favorite.

    Contrary to what people have been saying, no it doesn't smell like rotten eggs. It smells like hair perm products, x 10. It's closer to sewers than eggs.
  6. kyoshiro

    kyoshiro DB Forum Supporter

    dont forget theres a new smell for Sonax FE lol
  7. Kilo6_one

    Kilo6_one DB Forum Supporter

    Worse. It's very caustic
  8. corrswitch

    corrswitch Jedi Nuba

  9. Emile

    Emile Welcome to Detailing

    Yup, that's the one. Can't go wrong with Zep due to its unbelievable price tag and how effective it is.

    Sonax may smell bad, but it doesn't make me cough and the performance is amazing. I don't mind the smell anymore because when I'm using it, I know I'm about to get some amazing brake dust cleaning action. 100% pH neutral means it's as safe for your wheels as you can get. Of course, on my car it doesn't turn red so I just stick with Custom Wheel Cleaner or P21SG.
  10. Emile

    Emile Welcome to Detailing

    You know what? I am going to make another video using Zep Citrus 3:1 using the same car as my Sonax and P21SG videos, doing a touchless cleaning with the pressure washer and see how it does. I am curious how well it will clean and I will post up the video.
  11. JoeyV

    JoeyV Welcome to Detailing

    Okay, so after doing those Bimmer wheels, I have to stick to my guns because I got the same result. I'll explain as I go along with the pictures...

    Note the angle at which the air valve is pointed as that will be the only reference for further pictures
    This is the Sonax dedicated wheel before. Driver side REAR.



    This is the Zep Citrus dedicated wheel. Driver side FRONT.



    Sonax being sprayed on and dwelling:


    Once the product was sprayed on, agitated and rinsed off...




    Image was blurry...sorry bout that. It was almost as clean as the final product with a little scum left in the corners.

    While I did see some bleeding this time, the Sonax still didn't clean as well as the Zep (keep in mind the Sonax had the "easier" rear wheel)

    Final product after a second pas with Zep to finish off the job on both wheels properly.

    Sonax dedicated wheel finished with Zep:


    Zep dedicated wheel finished with another pass of Zep:


    I didn't take any pictures of the wheels once I sealed them and only put down one layer since I'll be doing these again soon, since the owner is selling this car.

    Second conclusion: The Sonax does an OK job, but for the price, the Zep is by far the best. It's my new go-to cleaner for wheels.
  12. Emile

    Emile Welcome to Detailing

    Nice pictures.

    I have a feeling you're either pre-rinsing the wheel or you're not giving the Sonax a true 3 to 5 minutes of dwell time because that much brake dust on the driver's rear wheel should have made the wheel turn DARK red. So why is the rear wheel almost clean after you just sprayed on the Sonax? Are you pre-rinsing the wheel with water?
  13. 911Fanatic

    911Fanatic DB Pro Supporter

    Thanks for the test Joey. Looks like you and I are the only ones that think Sonax is a good cleaner, but not great. I got the same results when testing Sonax against an APC we are trying. It got most most of the brake dust off, but couldn't remove some staining on the wheel. Sonax is good, but being a ph neutral, non acid wheel cleaner means it will have limitations.
  14. JoeyV

    JoeyV Welcome to Detailing


    I did pre-rinse, but I did a quick dry on the wheel as I've read that you're not supposed to pre-set the wheels to give Sonax the best workability. I actually gave it a little more than 5 minutes dwell time because I brushed the Zep wheel during the wait time for the Sonax. The wheel is "almost" clean because a lot of the dirt you see on the wheel is dirty salt and road grime, not just brake dust.

    Thank Ken. If it weren't for its smell and price, I'd use it, but compared to AG which smells nice, can be used on tires, leaves behind a slight protective shine and costs half the price, the choice is easy. I'm glad this sample was given to me and that I didn't have to pay for it.

    I have a little over half the spray bottle left if anyone is interested in trading for something BTW.
  15. Emile

    Emile Welcome to Detailing

    You used it wrong! Can't blame the cleaner if you're not going to use it correctly.
  16. kyoshiro

    kyoshiro DB Forum Supporter

    haha Emile be raging i see!

    AG CWC works well on my Mazda (doesnt work well in my mercedes wheel barrels)
    Sonax works well on my Mercedes (pitiful on my mazda)

    So I'll still have both because they got their fortes

  17. JoeyV

    JoeyV Welcome to Detailing

    I used it on dry wheels, like everyone says. I wouldn't call it much of a cleaner if a potential drop or 2 of water affect it THAT MUCH.

    Regardless, as stated in my first post, this is MY test with MY results, conclusions and opinions. You don't have to like them, respect them or even show the slightest bit of intrest in them. I posted this to save someone else the trouble of finding out what I did by spending money.
  18. Emile

    Emile Welcome to Detailing

    Do you understand what you did wrong? Do you even understand the point of Sonax R2000 Full Effect Wheel Cleaner?

    You lied in your posts. You made it look like you sprayed Sonax on, brushd, and rinsed off. But in reality, you pre-rinsed the wheel and wiped off 95% of the brake dust on your own. Only after I confronted you, then you admitted to taking this vital initial step. Sonax isn't gonna do jack if there's no iron brake dust on the wheel.
  19. JoeyV

    JoeyV Welcome to Detailing

    Please tell me where I lied, because I clearly stated here that most of what was on the wheel, was road grime and dirty salt, NOT brake dust. I also took the liberty of checking 3 different vendors site, as well as the Sonax site, and even read the bottle...and nowhere - and I mean NO WHERE - did it state not to pre-rinse the wheel.

    As for "understanding the point of Sonax R2000 Full Effect Wheel Cleaner" it's not complicated. Wheel cleaner = cleans wheels. No matter how you look at it, it didn't do it to my liking. I also did the same thing with the Zep Citrus(pre-rinse the wheel), but you're not "calling me out" on that one are you?

    You just sound like someone who's sold on Sonax and doesn't like conflicting opinions to your own.

    Now, grow up a little and stop being so defensive over something you didn't invent, and don't own even in the slightest share. I say I don't like it, let it go.

    BTW, you're arguing about the BMW wheel...what about what was said in the FIRST part of my review, where there was no pre-rinse? Thank you, good night.
  20. agpatel

    agpatel OD On Detailing

    Thanks for the tests, good results...

    I have a 5L jug of Sonax and think I made a mistake while back getting it have used it many many times and just does not work for me alot of times...used it past weekend when wheel was dirty but none of it was really break dust all was grime, sonax does nothing for it...wheel did not really turn redish at all, for the most part green, the only reason i cleaned the wheel was because of the brush.

    Now AG CWC I did fine helped break down the grime as it is a "soap" based cleaner vs a chemical like cleaner. Sonax is great for what it does (breaking down brake dust) but not that good at grime and dirt. Thus, always good to have options in one bag.

    You cant use a sniper for everything, sometimes you need a handgun....sometimes both will work equally well and sometimes only one will really work...

    Pre-wash vs. no pre-wash, have not seen a huge difference, if you needed 100% dry wheel should be on the bottle IMO, minor amounts of water should not cause the cleaner to work any less to a marginal difference or a great difference.

Share This Page