Brake dust, salt and road grime – all the mucky stuff that you don’t want on your wheels for any length of time, and the very reason we’ve tested a gazillion wheel cleaners in FC over the years. Yep, wheels are expensive, for many they’re THE biggest aftermarket investment, and most of us think we keep ours in tip-top condition… but do we really?
Aside from looking good, there’s a certain safety aspect to it all too. If left unchecked, brake dust will eat into your wheels like nothing else on the planet, and this sort of corrosion not only damages the finish but can eventually compromise structural integrity too. When you look at it like that, it’s actually pretty surprising that we only tend to clean off the part of the wheel that people actually see. Often leaving the insides to bubble away like a good ‘un. I mean, when was the last time you looked at the back of your wheels? I’d bet my last jelly bean that they’re not as spotless as the faces! And that’s my whole point.
Of course, there are the hardcore detailers who swear by taking all their wheels off to give them a proper clean, but who’s got time or energy for all that? Here in the real world we need an easy solution, but can it really be as simple as a longer brush?
Simplicity is and art form in itself, who said that? (Er, you did, just now – Jules.) But it’s still a mistake to assume that this new ‘Barrel Brush’ from Auto Finesse is nothing more than 10-inches of bristlely goodness. When you delve a little deeper, you’ll see it’s actually very well thought out.
Granted, this one is a tad more lengthily than most, and that’s what enables it to get in there deep, so to speak. But, as it’s a product for enthusiasts made by enthusiasts, there’s a few nice touches that make this one safer to use. Obviously, this automatically makes it a godsend for those running seriously expensive rims.
For a start the scratchless bristles are designed for tough cleaning without marring your wheels. In fact, they’re so soft, it’s more like something you’d used to dust your Nan’s antique knick-knacks rather than scrubbing away hardcore grime.
It’s practical too, the rod can be easily bent to get around brake calipers and behind spokes. There’s also a rubber safety cap on the rod and a rubber disc before the wooden handle to prevent accidental scratching, all small details, but ones that make all the difference. Like I said, being enthusiasts, they’ve thought of everything.
Admittedly it’s bloody a simple test this month, but that just goes to show the genius of the product. To be honest, it works really well, it’s easy and it makes me wonder why all wheel brushes aren’t like this. Suddenly it seems like a bit of a no-brainer and, now I’ve seen it, I know nothing else is going to compare.
Of course, I understand that not everyone is a die-hard detailing freak, but surely it makes sense to everyone that any part of your wheel you don’t clean properly will eventually be susceptible to corrosion. Spending 20-quid here isn’t about showing off in the local show ‘n’ shine, it’s simply an investment in the future of your hoops. Oh yeah, and it’s just in time for winter too!
In a nutshell: Great for everyone, not just the detailing obsessed.
For more info see Auto Finesse