Turtle Wax Redline Wheel Cleaner, promising a pH-neutral formula that melts away brake dust with a color-changing spectacle. But does this red hot contender truly deliver results, or leave you with a lukewarm cleaning experience? Buckle up, car care enthusiasts, as we delve into the heart of this wheel cleaner’s performance, dissecting its cleaning power, ease of use and value for money. So, grab your wheel brushes and prepare to see if Turtle Wax Redline lives up to the hype, or if another contender steals the spotlight in the battle for gleaming wheels.
Key take aways
- More gel like, this really helps for the product to adhere to vertical or inverted surfaces. This means that the product wont run down as easily and will spend more time on the brake dust
- Ideal for cleaning heavy brake dust build up or neglected rims
- In my experience this performed better than other wheel cleaners in hard to reach locations
- Not the least expensive wheel cleaner out there, but it does perform very well
- Can be used on all rim types, it is pH balanced
- A bit smelly, probably because it has iron remover added to it. Hence the color changing properties. It does not say on the bottle if this can also be used as a iron remover like Turtle Wax Rapid Decon does.
Before cleaning with Turtle Wax Redline wheel cleaner
As you can see from the photos below this is a mess. Much like we did for the Turtle wax Rapid Decon review, this product was used on the same car but jus the other front tire. The below rims and calipers had 3 years and 6 track days worth of brake dust build up. It was so caked on that regular soapy water and scrubbing would not improve anything. So a perfect starting point for a wheel cleaner product test and review.
How to use Turtle Wax Redline wheel cleaner
The process is pretty straight forward:
- wet the area you want to clean down, consider this a pre-soak to improve the chemical interactions
- Spray the Turtle Wax Redline wheel cleaner on the rim and general area you want to clean
- Let it soak for 3-5 min, the gel like substance does a great job clinging to vertical / inverted surfaces
- Towards the end of those 3-5 min, I recommend using a tire brush to agitate the surfaces. This improves removal on very heavy brake dust build up.
- Rinse the product off with plenty of water
- Repeat steps 2-5 if there is still more to be cleaned off
- After the final rinse, dry and wax the rim (not the caliper since it can get very very hot). This will help with cleaning the rim in the future.
You can see from the below images that the product does change color. They don’t advertise it, but I think this is the iron remover chemistry since it smells about the same. From a chemistry standpoint I think it is good feature to have this added to their formula. Most brake pads have metal compounds added to the friction surface and this does shed off and redeposit where the brake dust goes. These metal bits can initiate rust spots over time.
Results from using the Turtle Wax Redline Wheel cleaner
Ok, so the calipers took 3 rounds of cleaning and the rims took 2 rounds. Considering the amount of build up I would consider that a win. I really like how the product was able to cling and stay in place on vertical / inverted surfaces. That was a nice feature. The smell was not great, much like a normal iron remover. Having it be pH balanced brought peace of mind to the deep cleaning. Some other products might concern you if you leave them on too long. For a deep clean application like this, it was very effective.
How did it do in hard to reach places?
This is one of the better performing wheel cleaners for areas that cannot be reached with a brush. The pictures below are an example of the rim that has a bit between the spoke and the main rim portion. A brush cannot easily fit in this area to agitate the brake dust. However, this wheel cleaner was able to get some of it out without much work. A few more cleaning cycles would have removed more of it.
Value for the money?
Here is where I waiver on the product. The price point is a bit higher than is younger brother Rapid Decon. In another test, Rapid Decon performed about the same, but did not have the gel like consistency to stick to inverted surfaces. However it does double as a paint iron decontamination product, a 2 in 1. This Redline wheel cleaner does not. Also something to consider for the user experience is the smell. Rapid Decon seems to have solved that issue where Redline is a bit smellier.
Conclusion and opinions on the Turtle Wax Redline Wheel cleaner
Turtle Wax Redline Wheel Cleaner shines (literally!) in other reviews for its ease of use and convenience, with its color-changing gel formula tackling brake dust effectively for most users. However, one can question its value compared to the new hybrid solutions Rapid Decon. While generally safe for various wheel types, caution is advised for chrome finishes. Ultimately, Redline wheel cleaner is a good fit for those seeking a user-friendly cleaner, but weigh its effectiveness and price point against your individual needs before making a decision. If you are tackling severe brake dust and find it on sale then I would go for it.