New no stink Wheely Clean
Author: Dan Bowden Date Posted:12 April 2018
I’m pretty delighted to finally be able release our latest version of Wheely Clean! We are always seeking to make the products we create better, with constant and ongoing formula revisions from our chemists as they find amazing new ingredients available to the fast moving chemicals market. Some things they make don’t work, but a couple do and after much testing we will then release a new and improved product.
Our Wheely Clean is one such example and this is now the 6th update since we first began formulating it 7 years ago. This latest version is by far the biggest update, that uses an iron reactive way of cleaning, where any ferrous iron (brake dust) reacts and goes red/ purple to help release it from the surface to easily be washed away as a water-soluble complex. It’s just the way we formulated it for this job that has all changed.
Our chemists teamed up (thank you Wayne, Roger and Carla) to research new ways of creating this wheel cleaner through many months of lab tests and then real-world feedback from myself and a keen bunch of professional detailers. We have now built a totally unique product from 14 quality ingredients, all custom blended in our Queensland factory to be of a world class quality.
In short, here are the new, bigger changes:
• No longer smells like arse
• More effective on brake dust
• Deeper cleaning of grime
• Longer working time
• Slower drying and more hydrophilic
• Easier on porous or unsealed finishes
And for a slightly longer hand version:
No longer smells like arse.
First and most noticeable change is the smell. Wheely Clean has become quite infamous for its nose singeing smell that for no lack of better words smelt like arse (although I am no expert on this). For years the smell alone has been able to completely polarise people who have used it; some hate it, some like it, and most simply tolerate it as the product cleaned brake dust caked wheels so damn well.
The ingredients used to make the purple chemical reaction with ferrous iron/brake dust have been around since the late 1920’s where it was used as a chemistry test for iron. Versions of it are now used by many car care companies for wheel cleaning and iron decontamination from paint. It’s a complex and time-consuming job to stabilise all the ingredients into a final pH neutral formula we require and it was part of this balancing process as to why the previous formulas smelt so damn bad. But, we have a new way to do this with pharmaceutical grade low odour ingredients that are very new to the market. We are the only company using these new ingredients in Australia and consequently they are a bit more expensive, but as our focus is always on the final product quality, we think the slight rise in the product price is well worth it.
The chemists have done an outstanding job at removing the stench, mind you it still doesn’t smell of roses, but it’s night and day compared to the older formulas we had. A big thing to note, is DO NOT smell this by unscrewing the trigger to get a whiff direct from the bottle, as all you get is the head of its fumes and it’s not at all indicative to how it should smell. If you need to know what it smells like, the only real test it is by spraying it, so you smell the actual liquid product all mixed together correctly. Maybe best if you don’t do this inside your local Auto store though…
Better on brake dust.
The ingredients that create the iron reaction are an important part of this formula and the more brake dust you have, the more dramatic the colour change will be. Our extensive testing of multiple formulas we created and other highly regarded products already on the market showed some interesting things when it comes to the colour change and brake dust removal. Many that had an extreme colour change, did not really clean dirty wheels that well. Learning from this, we have made this version so it has the colour change effect people like to see if you have bad brake dust issues, but if you don't have bad brake dust, you will still get a reaction and be happy that we have put a stronger emphasis on the next item below.
Deeper cleaning of grime.
From feedback and our own personal experience, the grime aspect was a huge priority and is the most important difference between a true wheel cleaner and an iron decontamination product. As wheels cop a huge amount of oil, grease and all other matter of road grime, we focused on a better grouping of multiple surfactants and degreasing agents to target this. I would now say this new Wheely Clean is almost twice as good on grime as the previous versions and our tests confirmed this when used against many other highly regarded “not off the shelf” wheel or iron decontamination products as well.
Slower drying, a longer work time and hydrophilic.
The previous formula could dry too fast for some and if you were unfortunate to have the experience of not using it the way we say and it dried, you would be hand polishing away the white residue. So we have slowed down the drying and iron reaction time, so people can be more relaxed when using it and not be running around like a mad chook if they are doing multiple wheels at one time. We also made it more hydrophilic (the product hangs together and doesn't separate), with the same viscosity the older formula had, so it still hangs onto the side of the wheel, but will spread more evenly for an effective clean.
Easier on porous or unsealed finishes.
This was another item we targeted, as not all finishes on wheels or brake calipers are the same. Never an issue for anyone with good quality sealed or painted surfaces, but we have seen badly finished or unsealed finishes get a white residue if Wheely Clean was applied to a warm area or left for far too long or dried. These surfaces get this way as wheels and calipers go through many thousands of dramatic, long heat cycles, compounded when they are cleaned with harsh acid or stronger alkaline wheel cleaning formulas that all work to compromise the surface finish and create issues. After a lot of real world testing on LOTS of cars including a few HSV’s over the last 6 to 8 months, locally and at our many public demo nights as well. We are confident that this new formula has now addressed these issues. As always, follow the product directions and test it first if you have any concerns. The one thing we could not help was on the rare unsealed zinc callipers that have some iron content, it can make them darker as the formula reacts with the iron, so again be smart and check before use with a quick test in an inconspicuous area first.
And more updates coming…
Our excitement to finally release this new formula has been really tested this last year, as we still had to do long term stability tests to ensure our custom concoction stayed stable throughout multiple heat and cold cycles. While that was happening the chemists did further work on different versions of this formula, mainly to create a great iron decontamination variant, that has a total focus on iron removal with no degreasing or grime removal elements you need in a wheel cleaner. This work led us to another exciting discovery that will be incorporated into the coming batches of Wheely Clean, making for an even more dramatic iron reaction, while still getting awesome grime cleaning as well. We never sit still I can tell you!
The new Wheely Clean is currently filtering into our best supporting Autobarn and some independent stores and will be in other store chains in the coming months. You can visually identify it by the big New Formula on the right hand side of the label, as well as by the new part number to quote if it’s not there yet: BOWHC2.
It’s been a massive job to get this product done and our chemists have really excelled to create this all new product for us. We hope you enjoy using it, and the return of your nose hairs as much as we do.