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Old 10-26-2003, 11:43 AM   #1
RKT BMR
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Griots wheel cleaner rocks!

Let's start out by acknowleging that there are a variety of good wheel cleaners out there -- this is not meant to be a "mine's better than yours" thread.

That said, I've tried about a half dozen different products over the two year life of the RKT. Included in this bunch is Simple Green, and some sort of caustic crap from PepBoys that is supposed to be a spray on, rinse off affair that I later learned was bad bad bad for painted wheels (thanfully before I did any apparent damage).

I won't list everything in my detailing graveyard for cleaning wheels. I wanted to talk about the Griots product.

I was skeptical shen I first got a bottle (35 oz, with sprayer). Looked to me like a variation on Simple Green. Same color. Similar (although not the same) odor. Same claim of environmental friendliness. Blah blah blah.

Well, it's not Simple Green. SG was lousy at helping loosen the stubborn brakedust deposits on my wheels when I have been particularly neglectful, and let them go for weeks without care. In fact, as far as I can tell, SG does no more than plain rinsing with water -- knocks off the loose, recent dust, leaves behind stuff that takes a fair amount of manual effort to remove.

Griots wheel cleaner, OTOH, is superb! I did a full wash and detail a week ago, after neglecting the wheels for probably six weeks. They were, well, almost black with brakedust.

Much to my surprise, after generous dousing with Griots wheel cleaner, letting it sit for just a few minutes, most of the crap rinsed off. What was left behind wiped off easily with a three-finger sponge -- no rubbing/scrubbing neccesary. A real surprise and delight!

But that wasn't the best part: This weekend, vowing to keep the wheels in better shape, I resolved to clean them before they got bad. I'm planning to try and hit them once a week. So, yesterday I filled the wash bucket with soapy water, got my other stuff ready (towels, 3-finger sponge, creeper, etc.) and got started. Sprayed the first wheel with Griots cleaner. Gave it two minutes, then rinsed it off.

WHAT? All the brakedust rinsed off!! Never had this happen with any other product I've tried (although some have come close). What a joy! I then just had to dry the wheel -- no scrubbing, sponging, etc. necessary. Did all 4 wheels, and dumped out some perfectly good soapy wash water, unused.

Griots does it again! :smile:
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Old 10-26-2003, 08:01 PM   #2
GimpyMcFarlan
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I agree that the Griots wheel cleaner is superb, however I've whiched to the BMW wheel cleaner. The Griots freight charges were just to expensive for me to continuously purchase it. I can swing by either of the BMW dealers in Columbus and pick up a bottle of the BMW cleaners anytime. :P
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Old 10-27-2003, 10:41 AM   #3
RKT BMR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GimpyMcFarlan
I agree that the Griots wheel cleaner is superb, however I've whiched to the BMW wheel cleaner. The Griots freight charges were just to expensive for me to continuously purchase it. I can swing by either of the BMW dealers in Columbus and pick up a bottle of the BMW cleaners anytime. :P
Hmmm... I'll have to check that out, and compare prices. Did you consider purchasing a gallon of the stuff? That's what I do with the Griots products I like, which helps with the shipping charges. I go through gobs of SpeedShine, and usually order two gallons at a time. I added a gallon of wheel cleaner and rubber cleaner in my last SpeedShine refresh after I had purchased the 35 ounce sprayer version, and determined that I liked 'em.
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Old 10-27-2003, 01:33 PM   #4
Masskrug
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Re: Griots wheel cleaner rocks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RKT BMR

Much to my surprise, after generous dousing with Griots wheel cleaner, letting it sit for just a few minutes, most of the crap rinsed off. What was left behind wiped off easily with a three-finger sponge -- no rubbing/scrubbing neccesary. A real surprise and delight!

But that wasn't the best part: This weekend, vowing to keep the wheels in better shape, I resolved to clean them before they got bad. I'm planning to try and hit them once a week. So, yesterday I filled the wash bucket with soapy water, got my other stuff ready (towels, 3-finger sponge, creeper, etc.) and got started. Sprayed the first wheel with Griots cleaner. Gave it two minutes, then rinsed it off.

WHAT? All the brakedust rinsed off!! Never had this happen with any other product I've tried (although some have come close). What a joy! I then just had to dry the wheel -- no scrubbing, sponging, etc. necessary. Did all 4 wheels, and dumped out some perfectly good soapy wash water, unused.

Griots does it again! :smile:
I can't say I've had the same experience with the stuff. Maybe I'm using it wrong?
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Old 11-02-2003, 10:06 AM   #5
RKT BMR
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Well, it rocks a little less after rain.

Water seems to glue brake dust to the wheels. I did the same treatment yesterday that I had the week before, and the grime just didn't rinse off as thoroughly. The only difference is that the wheels had gotten wet Friday in a very light drizzle. So, I had to resort to bucket, soapy water, and three-finger sponge.

Still, the wheel cleaner took most of it off, and what was left required no more than a wipe with the sponge.

I suppose I could have just burned through a few drying towels and gotten them a little dirty wiping down the wheels after the cleaner and rinsing (I may try that next week), as it would save a lot of time. There's something very satisfying, though, about drying a clean wheel and only getting that white terry towel damp -- not dirty.
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Old 11-02-2003, 02:31 PM   #6
Masskrug
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKT BMR
Well, it rocks a little less after rain.

Water seems to glue brake dust to the wheels. I did the same treatment yesterday that I had the week before, and the grime just didn't rinse off as thoroughly. The only difference is that the wheels had gotten wet Friday in a very light drizzle. So, I had to resort to bucket, soapy water, and three-finger sponge.

Still, the wheel cleaner took most of it off, and what was left required no more than a wipe with the sponge.

I suppose I could have just burned through a few drying towels and gotten them a little dirty wiping down the wheels after the cleaner and rinsing (I may try that next week), as it would save a lot of time. There's something very satisfying, though, about drying a clean wheel and only getting that white terry towel damp -- not dirty.


That's it. Rain. That's why the Wheel Cleaner doesn't work so great for me here.

Whew. Thought I was going crazy.
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Old 11-03-2003, 01:08 PM   #7
Rob
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Wow. I am a more than a bit surprised. I was not impressed with the wheel cleaner (and I use a lot of Griot's stuff). Come to think of it, I am not impressed with any wheel cleaner that I have tried, including the spray on wash off versions.

But I am basing that opinion from when I used it in Chicago. Maybe I should try it again here - where it never rains, much less snows and salts.

I don't like any of them. I use a pressure washer to spray the loose stuff off followed by soap and water.
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Old 11-03-2003, 01:59 PM   #8
RKT BMR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwg
Wow. I am a more than a bit surprised. I was not impressed with the wheel cleaner (and I use a lot of Griot's stuff). Come to think of it, I am not impressed with any wheel cleaner that I have tried, including the spray on wash off versions.

But I am basing that opinion from when I used it in Chicago. Maybe I should try it again here - where it never rains, much less snows and salts.

I don't like any of them. I use a pressure washer to spray the loose stuff off followed by soap and water.
I don't think your experiences are unusual. Spray-on, rinse-off wheel cleaner is for the most part a chimerical pursuit.

That said, having tried Simple Green, some other mass-market products at Pepboys, and the Griots, the latter has worked the best for me in two regards:
  • does a nice job of loosening the brake dust and other grime when I have neglected the wheels (sometimes for many weeks!), so that I can get them clean very easily with brushes, sponge, and soapy water. Without the Griots cleaner pre-treat, getting the wheels clean with said tools is much more difficult.<br /><br />
  • If I'm diligent and clean the wheels once a week, the Griots seems to work for spray-on wash off (avoiding the brushes, sponge, and soapy water) as long as conditions have been dry since the last cleaning.
I'm going to try also doing a speedshine pass on the wheels after next weekend's cleaning to see if that helps even more -- I suspect it will. :smile:
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Old 11-03-2003, 04:30 PM   #9
lemming
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKT BMR
Quote:
Originally Posted by rwg
Wow. I am a more than a bit surprised. I was not impressed with the wheel cleaner (and I use a lot of Griot's stuff). Come to think of it, I am not impressed with any wheel cleaner that I have tried, including the spray on wash off versions.

But I am basing that opinion from when I used it in Chicago. Maybe I should try it again here - where it never rains, much less snows and salts.

I don't like any of them. I use a pressure washer to spray the loose stuff off followed by soap and water.
I don't think your experiences are unusual. Spray-on, rinse-off wheel cleaner is for the most part a chimerical pursuit.

That said, having tried Simple Green, some other mass-market products at Pepboys, and the Griots, the latter has worked the best for me in two regards:
  • does a nice job of loosening the brake dust and other grime when I have neglected the wheels (sometimes for many weeks!), so that I can get them clean very easily with brushes, sponge, and soapy water. Without the Griots cleaner pre-treat, getting the wheels clean with said tools is much more difficult.<br /><br />
  • If I'm diligent and clean the wheels once a week, the Griots seems to work for spray-on wash off (avoiding the brushes, sponge, and soapy water) as long as conditions have been dry since the last cleaning.
I'm going to try also doing a speedshine pass on the wheels after next weekend's cleaning to see if that helps even more -- I suspect it will. :smile:
waxing the wheels either with carnuba or a polymer really helps. things come right off with soap and water.
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Old 11-03-2003, 04:47 PM   #10
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What PDZ said...wax really helps
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