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Old 12-08-2019, 01:50 PM   #1
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Simple Green for wheel cleaning?

Has anyone ever tried Simple Green for cleaning wheels? I've been using the Sonax Plus, and it works great! However, having 5 cars to maintain and at $25 a bottle, I wouldn't mind saving a few bucks when I can. I love that the Sonax does the majority of the work in its own with minimal brushing needed. My 987 has 19" Porsche wheels with lots of spoke, the Sonax does a great job helping to clean these hard to clean wheels. If the Simple Green or any other product can do similar that would be great. If not then Sonax Plus it is. Anyone have any good results with Simple Green or something similar?

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Old 12-09-2019, 05:19 AM   #2
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I haven't done it myself, but I've seen guys use Simple Green at the track to keep their wheels clean. I think it'd be worth buying a bottle and giving it a try.
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Old 12-09-2019, 06:07 AM   #3
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My 1 experience wasn't successful. In June 2014 I spent $250 to have my CSS detailed before I went to Parade in Monterey. This was before I did my own detailing. For fun, I'd entered in the concours. I didn't even bring a bucket of cleaners and micro fiber towels on the trip (total rookie move). I also put a new set of Ferodo brake pads on before I left in prep for the 2 day DE at Laguna Seca after Parade, so by the time I got to Monterey, I had a nice new batch of brake dust covering my 15 spoke wheels. Pulled into Monterey late Sun afternoon only to find everything in Monterey closes early on Sun except a Home Depot. The only thing they had that might clean brake dust was Simple Green. Took my CSS to a hand wash place and liberally sprayed the Simple Green on the wheels before washing. Maybe knocked 50% of it off but defn not all of it.

The next day 'on the lawn', I did my best cleaning my CSS. The guy next to me had a super clean silver / blk Cayman S with a crew of 4 ppl working on every minute detail. I knew I was in over my head. When the judges came around, I explained my brake dust situation. They looked over my car and only docked me a .5 pt for the brake dust but docked me a full pt for finding a crumb in the passenger seat (duh, I was eating pretzels on the 1700 mi trip out so I'm not surprised they found 1 crumb). However, I finished 8th out of 12, so there were 4 dirtier cars than mine. The guy next to me finished 2nd, so I guess he needed 5 guys.

But I had the last laugh. After the judges had been by, I left to look at the other cars and unbeknownst to me, Hans Peter Porsche stopped by my car and had his picture taken next to it. Guess he liked it and it matched his green pants. Bet HPP didn't stop by the CS next to me. I got an email with the pic link a few wks after I got home.



And I don't remember seeing my neighbor at the DE on the weekend.



Sorry for the lengthy comment, but that's my exp with Simple Green & brake dust. Maybe it would work better with a brush.
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Old 12-09-2019, 07:19 AM   #4
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Nice story,.

Griots has a nice wheel cleaner that works really well and also smells good. Not too $$ on amazon in gallons
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Old 12-09-2019, 09:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
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Nice story,.

Griots has a nice wheel cleaner that works really well and also smells good. Not too $$ on amazon in gallons
Following up on this...

I've had pretty good luck with the P21S wheel cleaner product in the past, but I'm currently out and am always open to trying new products. You use the 'regular' version of the Griot's or the 'heavy duty' stuff?
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Old 12-09-2019, 11:12 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Frodo View Post
Following up on this...

I've had pretty good luck with the P21S wheel cleaner product in the past, but I'm currently out and am always open to trying new products. You use the 'regular' version of the Griot's or the 'heavy duty' stuff?
Heavy Duty. It works great!
I tried P21 and Sonax and they small awful and didn't seem to work any better than the Griot's
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Old 12-09-2019, 12:12 PM   #7
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That's a great story and pictures Husker!

Simple Green will dull aluminum and anodized metals if left on too long, and won't do too much if you don't leave it on long or dilute it a lot with water. That's been my experience with cleaning bicycle components. Always be sure to rinse with a lot of water if you do use it. I have had some Hondas and an Audi that had wheels where the brake dust literally became part of the wheel finish and nothing would take it off. For whatever reason, I've been very lucky with 2 sets of wheels on my Boxster, Lt. Alloy Carrera and Boxster S II wheels - all the brake dust comes off with regular car wash soap and water. Maybe I clean this car more often?
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Old 12-09-2019, 12:31 PM   #8
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Heavy Duty. It works great!
I tried P21 and Sonax and they small awful and didn't seam to work any better than the Griot's
That's funny.
I'll believe your recommendation, but after posting my question here I went to Amazon and did some reading on the Griot's. One of the common criticisms cited by the One-Star group was that not only did it not work that great, but that the Heavy Duty version smelled awful.

I've about decided reading those ratings is pretty much a waste of time—the One-Stars and the Five-Stars say the exact opposite about a product, so who does one believe??
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Old 12-09-2019, 05:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Frodo View Post
That's funny.
I'll believe your recommendation, but after posting my question here I went to Amazon and did some reading on the Griot's. One of the common criticisms cited by the One-Star group was that not only did it not work that great, but that the Heavy Duty version smelled awful.

I've about decided reading those ratings is pretty much a waste of time—the One-Stars and the Five-Stars say the exact opposite about a product, so who does one believe??
LOL

All I know is the Griots Heavy Duty, smells good. Often a lot of reviews are not for the correct product, but a similar product

Another tip.......
After you get them clean, apply Rejex. it is a polymer coating that makes it easy to keep clean
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Old 12-09-2019, 08:06 PM   #10
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So would it be safe to say that putting cost and smell aside, Sonax works best?
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Old 12-09-2019, 09:22 PM   #11
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Couldn't answer that—have only used the P21S (and plain ol' car wash suds) on my wheels.

I remember reading good things about Rejex years ago, proceeded to forget all about it. Maybe I'll get myself some for Christmas!
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:24 AM   #12
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So would it be safe to say that putting cost and smell aside, Sonax works best?
No not at all

Opinions are like buttholes. Everyone has one, some are just stinky and smelly LOL
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Old 12-10-2019, 08:44 AM   #13
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When I was rebuilding my engine I used Simple Green to clean it not wanting to discolor it. (case & heads)

It does discolor the engine. Later found Aviation grade Simple Green that does not discolor the engine, but it is more expensive & hard to find locally.

So depending on what the wheels are made of you might not want to use S. G. on wheels, or any soft grade aluminum.

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