With hundreds of different products thrust under your nose on a daily basis, we don’t blame you if you’re a little dubious when a new product hits the market, especially when you’re trusting it to be used on your pride and joy. 

Luckily, we’re here to put these products through the rigours of our ‘brofessional’ testing, so that you can make a more informed choice when you’re staring at the shelf in your local. 
This month’s product is Play Dead Wheel Cleaner, an acid-free aerosol foam. We put it to the test on a set of Work Wheels with painted centres and polished barrels, following a hard weekend of racing at the track. 

What we used 

Play Dead Wheel Cleaner comes in a 500ml aerosol, but you will also need some sort of cloth or brush. We like to use soft mitts over brushes, but it’s a personal preference; choose what will work best on your particular wheel style. However, we strongly advise against using the same cloth or brush for the car’s paintwork as you do for your wheels. We also had a bucket of water on hand with a small amount of Play Dead’s Wash and Wax added, as well as a hose for rinsing.

Step one

After shaking the shit out of the can, we applied a very liberal amount of cleaner to the dry and cool wheels. Avoid rinsing the wheel before applying the foam, and make sure that the wheels are cool, so that they don’t bake the cleaner on instantly. The nozzle spray was direct, and very little cleaner sprayed over onto our guards.

Step two

After allowing around a minute for the foam to soak in, it began to dissipate and run off the wheels, taking the majority of the grime with it. At this point, we got stuck-in with our mitt and copious amounts of the water/wash solution, cleaning the wheels as per normal washing technique: rinse, scrub, repeat.

Step three

It was instantly obvious just how well the foam had removed the thick layers of brake dust on both surfaces and brought back the shine. After doing all four, we rinsed the wheels with water and touched up any missed patches (the joys of three-piece wheels). 
The final step is one you can take or leave, but we like to use an old leather chamois to dry the wheels. It’s important not to leave water on the polished lips or spots that can stain the polish, especially where the water pools at the bottom of the barrels.

Step four

The final step is one you can take or leave, but we like to use an old leather chamois to dry the wheels. It’s important not to leave water on the polished lips or spots that can stain the polish, especially where the water pools at the bottom of the barrels.

Conclusion

We found the product easy to apply and very effective at removing typical wheel grime and brake dust. It restored the shine, and this was especially evident on the polished lips. All up, we used around a quarter of the can, although you could use way less and get six or seven cars worth of washes out of one can — not bad for $14.99.

As a side note and bonus feature, we also found it very good at removing the rubber spray from the widebody, which is not something that Play Dead advertises, but we gave it a try and were impressed with the results.

There is also Play Dead Pitch Black aerosol tyre shine. While you should avoid any tyre shine on racing slicks, you can use it to finish off your street tyres.

Play Dead Wheel Cleaner is available from all Repco stores or online at playdead.co.nz.

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