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Depends on what type of wheels you have.... aluminum, clear coated alloy, etc.

Get a good brush and use it with each washing of the vehicle. Use a synthetic sealer on the wheels. You may need to clay them first in order to get a good bond.
 

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I use a toilet scrubber. The bristles are sturdy enough to scrub with but it won't harm the finish. This was bought new BTW. Don't use old ones - you don't want toilet cleaner chemicals on your wheels.
Question... would you use one of these to scrub the paint on the rest of your car? If so, I'm worried.

If not, consider this... many wheels are clear coated just like the paint on your car. So you'd be doing the same kind of damage to the wheel.

Honestly, they all seem to be the same. I have yet to come across a single wheel cleaner that didn't require some type of manual interaction to get the wheels clean.
Certainly wheels _are_ easy to damage if the wrong cleaner is used. One type of wheel that fits this area is non-coated aluminum. Using an acid based cleaner can etch the aluminum very easily. If nothing else the aluminum can be dulled over time.
 
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