10 Best Paint Remover for Rims [Reviewed in 2023]

One of the most important parts of your car is the rim. This is because these are what people see when they look at your car.

best paint stripper for rim

If your automobile rims have rusted and faded paints, it doesn’t speak well of you. It shows irresponsibility. So, it’s sensible to ensure your vehicle rims are always in good shape.

There are three ways you can maintain the appearance of your car rims. The first is to remove damaged and faded paint with paint removers. The second is using paint cleaners to thoroughly clean rims with good paint but stained with brake oil. The third option is to use rust stain removers on rims with good paint, but a few rust patches.

Luckily for you, we’ve spiced up this 10 best paint remover for rims review article with paint cleaners and paint rust stains remover.

We did this so you can have a variety of alternatives for your automobile tire rims maintenance, based on the condition of your car rims. Have a read!

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Our 10 Best Paint Remover for Rims Picks:

1. Sunnyside Corporation 65664 Hi-Speed Ready-Strip Citrus Paint & Varnish Remover

Sunnyside Corporation HI-SPEED ready-strip citrus paint and varnish remover offers a fast and easy way of removing up to three layers of oil or water-based coatings from your tire rims. This paint remover has a citrus, water-based formula that contains no harmful or harsh chemicals like methylene-chloride, caustic, to mention a few. So, using it won’t affect your health or skin.

Furthermore, it is a no-drip formula, meaning it has the potential to stay wet and sticky on surfaces longer for effective paint remover. This paint and varnish remover starts working after 30 minutes of applying it on the rim. In about four hours, it will remove all the oil or water-based paint in your rims.

The HI-SPEED ready-strip citrus paint and varnish remover come in different sizes, but this version is the ½ gallon size. Application of this paint remover is easy. You can either use a brush or roll. However, only use it in a well-ventilated area shielded from direct sunlight but warm, preferably more humid conditions. You can also cover the treated surface with plastic wrap to keep the paint remover moist while it works on the surface.

Note, to ensure complete removal of paint from the treated surface, sprinkle water on the surface before scraping out the paint. After lifting the paint, if you don’t get the desired outcome, add more of the paint remover and let it stay on the surface longer.


  • This paint remover contains no harmful chemicals, so it’s safe for your health.
  • It is very easy to clean, all you need is water.
  • It can stay wet for long, ensuring deep penetration into multi-layers of oil or water-based paints for complete removal.


  • It doesn’t work on all paint types. Only oil or water-based paints.

2. CARPRO IronX Iron Remover

Most times, tire rims paint gets dull due to the metallic contamination caused by iron deposits and brake dust. Unless you want a completely new color for your rims, only then will you need a paint remover. However, if you want to maintain & improve the paint on the rims or remove corrosion buildup, then you need a paint cleaner like the CARPRO ironX iron remover.

The CARPRO ironX iron remover is made from an ironX advanced pH-balance acid-free formula that degrades ferrous metallic contamination. It ensures that painted surfaces have an anti-scratch and anti-static film that repels dirt, dust, and grim.

The CARPRO ironX iron formula begins to turn purple or crimson as it penetrates deep into the grime on the rim surface. It then bonds with the sintered iron on the rim, converting it to a water-soluble complex that is easy to wash off. The ironX iron remover takes two to five minutes, which makes it time-efficient.

You can use it on all kinds of rims, including those with gloss paint, clear coat finishes, polished metal, and chrome. It is, however, pricey and stinks like rotten eggs. Plus, it doesn’t work on anodized surfaces.

The CARPRO ironX iron remover comes in a 500ml spray bottle for easy use. But, the sprayer is substandard which tends to spoil easily.


  • It is straightforward to use and works within two to five minutes.
  • It forms an anti-scratch and anti-static film that repels dirt, dust, and grim.
  • This ironX iron remover doesn’t hurt paints.


  • It smells like rotten eggs.
  • It is expensive.
  • It comes with a substandard sprayer.

3. Super Remover Automotive Stripper

Super Remover is a Canadian car care brand that has been manufacturing high-quality stripping products for over 40 years. This automotive stripper is their newest, most innovative paint remover. It features a gel formula that works similarly to methylene chloride-based solutions but with safer chemicals instead of methylene chloride. This stripper doesn’t contain NMP or any other highly toxic chemicals, so it’s very safe to use on metals and doesn’t pose any danger to your health. You can even clean it with water.

One of the best perks of this paint removal is its ultra-fast activation time. It works within 15 minutes from applying it on surfaces for any automotive paint stripping projects. Plus, it can penetrate deep into five layers of paint. Another thing to note is its ability to cling to vertical surfaces, which comes in handy when removing paint from tire rims. Be informed that this paint remover only removes oil-based paints and will not work for water-based paints.

The Super remover automotive stripper comes in a quart – 32oz container. Applying it is easy. All you need is either a brush or a roll to spread it evenly on the desired surface. However, ensure you wear gloves before using this product. You should leave the paint remover on the surface until the paint has softened or blistered. Using a plastic film to cover the treated surface can help the paint remover function more effectively. After the paint has become softened, use a spatula to scrape out the excess paint. Then, clean the surface with any metal cleaning solvent.


  • It doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals.
  • This paint remover can penetrate deep into up to five layers of paint.
  • It is very easy to use.
  • You can rinse it with water.


  • It doesn’t work for water-based paints, only oil-based paints.

4. Chemical Guys SPI21516 DeCon Pro Iron Remover and Wheel Cleaner

Shards of iron and steel from the braking system, brake pad friction material, and burnt carbon left over after heavy braking make up brake dust. This corrosive brake dust creates a chemical reaction that results in permanent rust damage to the rims and lower body panels. The Chemical Guys spi21516 decon pro iron remover and wheel cleaner is a gel that helps remove tenacious brake dust, iron deposits, and other embedded metallic impurities from rims.

Its pH-balanced solution dissolves iron deposits and other ferrous metal contaminants from surfaces before neutralizing the destructive chemical reaction that causes rust and paints deterioration. This product is suitable for use on all types of rim paint, including gloss paint, clear coat finishes, etc. Note that it is a clear liquid but turns purple after it has neutralized iron deposits.

The Chemical Guys spi21516 decon pro iron remover and wheel cleaner come in a 16 fl oz container with a high-quality sprayer for easy application. After applying it on the desired surface, wait about 5-10 minutes till you see it turn purple, then brush the surface before washing it off with water. The only downside it has is that it smells like burnt plastic with a hint of skunk. Be informed that it is not a rust remover, so, will not work if the wheel has been highly oxidized and rust has already formed. Its sole aim is to clean brake dust from the rims.


  • It removes iron deposits and neutralizes the destructive chemical reaction that causes rust and paints deterioration.
  • The sprayer it comes with is of a high-quality.
  • It cleans wheels exceptionally well.


  • It has a bad smell.
  • It doesn’t remove rust

5. Star Brite Rust Stain Remover

Suppose your rims paint is still decent but covered with rust stains, the Star Brite rust stain remover is what you need. It is made to clean corrosion stains caused by metal hardware, nuts, and bolts used to fasten your rims to your vehicle hub. This rust stain formula is so powerful that you may not need to rub or scrub the surface you apply it on to work effectively. For deep stains, apply it multiple times and scrub to get the desired results.

The Star Brite rust stain remover contains no harsh acids, so it’s safe for you. It comes in a 22 oz container with a sprayer. However, the sprayer gets spoilt easily. Immediately it contacts the surface, it starts working, dissolving the oxidation that causes these stains. Ensure you let it stay for 3 minutes before washing it off with fresh water.

This rust stain remover actually dulls paint, so you may need to pair it with the Star Brite polish to add shine back to treated surfaces. Note that it doesn’t remove the actual rust, only rust stains. Plus, it is more effective on fresh rust stains than on rust stains of a few months old.


  • It removes rust stains from painted rims, which makes the painting look new.
  • It has a fast working time.
  • It doesn’t contain harsh acids or chemicals that could endanger your health.


  • The sprayer gets defective easily.
  • The rust stain remover doesn’t work well on stains that are a few months old.
  • It dull paints.

6. Turtle Wax T-280RA Chrome Polish & Rust Remover

Unlike the Star Brite rust stain remover that dulls paint, this Turtle Wax T-280RA chrome polish & rust remover is a two in one formula that removes rust stains and at the same time, polishes the surface to maintain the shine on it. However, it’s ideal for chrome surfaces rather than general metals. So, if your rims are made from chrome and have rust stains, this product is worth your consideration.

The Turtle Wax T-280RA chrome polish & rust remover restores tarnished chrome to its original look. It also provides a protective coating on the chrome surface to stop future oxidation. It comes in a 12 oz container and can be applied on surfaces using cotton, microfiber, or foam pads. This polish & rust remover is also very affordable. As a rust remover, it doesn’t completely clear out rusts that have stayed for months. However, as a polish, it gives chrome surfaces a mirror-like appearance.


  • It is a 2-in-1 chrome polish & rust remover.
  • It is very affordable and works exceptionally well.
  • You can use cotton, microfiber, or foam pads to apply it on your rim surface.


  • It doesn’t work on months-old rust stains.

7. Citristrip QCSG801 Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel

The Citristrip QCSG801 paint & varnish stripping gel offers one of the safest ways to strip paints off your rims without being exposed to harmful chemicals like methylene chloride or NMP. It doesn’t give off any odor or fumes. Plus, it has a pleasant citrus scent. This paint remover can stay wet and active for up to 24 hours to effectively penetrate into five layers of paint for easy removal. And it cleans off with water only.

Furthermore, the Citristrip QCSG801 paint & varnish stripping gel removes dried latex, oil-based paint, varnish, lacquer, polyurethane, and shellac. This paint remover will strip paint off your rims that you’ll wonder if there was ever any paint on them! It comes in a one-quart container.

The Citristrip QCSG801 paint & varnish stripping gel is straightforward to use. Simply apply it to the desired surface away from direct sunlight and leave it on for 24-hour covered with thick plastic to keep it moist on the surface. After which, you should have little trouble scraping the damaged paint off your rims. Then rinse with water and use mineral spirit to prepare the surface for a new painting.

However, ensure you protect your hands with chemical-resistant gloves and eye goggles when using this product. For the best result, use it only when the surrounding temperature is between 65°F to 85°F.


  • This paint remover doesn’t contain hazardous chemicals such as methylene chloride or NMP.
  • It has a citrus scent and removes paint from rims completely.
  • It can stay wet for up to 24 hours, allowing it to reach multiple layers of paint.
  • Its application is straightforward.


  • It doesn’t remove water-based paint.

8. Sunnyside Corporation 63432 Paint & Varnish Remover Advanced Gel

Sunnyside Corporation makes our list again this time around with their 63432 paint & varnish remover advanced gel. This paint remover works like the 65664 Hi-speed paint & varnish remover earlier reviewed. However, it is cheaper and has a faster working time of 2 to 10 minutes. That said, it is a gel with no methylene chloride that adheres to rounded and vertical surfaces for multi-layer paint removal.

The Sunnyside Corporation 63432 paint & varnish remover advanced gel comes in a 32 fl oz, covering about 25 sq ft. Be informed that it removes oil-based lacquer, varnish, polyurethane coatings, and paint for rims. However, it won’t remove water-based paints.


  • It is cheap and offers excellent value for money.
  • It has a working time of 2 to 10 minutes.
  • It has no methylene chloride.


  • It doesn’t work for water-based paint.

9. MAX Strip Paint & Varnish Stripper

The MAX Strip paint & varnish stripper removes interior and outdoor paints and varnishes from a variety of surfaces, especially rims. It safely removes paints and varnishes without causing harm to the surface being stripped. Moreso, it features a low-odor water-based formula made with a non-caustic, low volatile organic compound containing no hazardous chemicals like methylene chloride and NMP. So, it is very safe to use.

The MAX Strip paint & varnish stripper also strip multiple layers of paint in one use. It comes in a 1-quart container that can cover 30 to 47.5 sq ft. Application is relatively easy. All you need is a brush or roll. The only downside to this paint & varnish stripper is that it takes a lot of time to work. Also, keep in mind that it is not intended to remove automotive or factory-applied paints.


  • It has a low odor and doesn’t contain harmful chemicals.
  • This paint & varnish stripper can strip multiple layers of paint.


  • It takes a long time to work.
  • It doesn’t remove automotive or factory-applied paints.

10. Confined Space Paint Strip Gel

The Confined Space paint strip gel removes up to 20 layers of high-performance paints and coatings in about 30 minutes. It has a water-based formula that doesn’t contain methylene chloride, NMP (N-Methyl pyrrolidone), and caustic ingredients. Plus, it has a citrus lime aroma and doesn’t give off harsh fumes.

The Confined Space paint strip gel can adhere to surfaces to work effectively. Confined Space sells it in two container sizes (½ gallon and 1 gallon). The ½ gallon container is for DIYers, while the 1 gallon is for professional detailers. You can apply this paint stripper on surfaces using a brush or handheld sprayer. After applying it, don’t allow it to dry because it only works effectively in its wet state. To keep it wet, you’ll need to cover it up with a plastic film.


  • It is safe to use.
  • Scents like citrus lime and don’t give off harsh fumes.
  • This stripper can strip up to 20 layers of paint.


  • None.

Best Paint Remover for Rims Buying Guide

No matter what type of paint or varnish you want to remove, the best product for the job is one that can work on many different types of surfaces safely. In this buying guide, we’ll share with you the exact process that you need to follow to pick up a product to remove paint from rims-

Type of Paint Remover

You’ll find lots of paint removers on the market, each having its advantages and disadvantages. You need to pick the right one that fits your needs. Among many types, solvent-based and biochemical paint strippers are most popular.

Solvent Based Paint Stripper

Solvent-based paint strippers are made of petroleum distillates, mineral spirits, and heavy aromatic naphtha solvents. They work by dissolving the paint or varnish on your surface. However, they only work well with old paint finishes that contain oils or resins.


  • They remove tough paints quickly and evenly even on vertical surfaces.
  • They don’t cause damage to your surface when removed carefully.
  • Solvent-based paint strippers are readily available in spray or brush on type.
  • They evaporate very quickly, leaving the work undone.
  • Solvent-based paint removers need to spray different times on different surfaces to remove paint effectively.

Biochemical Paint Stripper

Unlike solvent-based paint strippers, biochemical paint removers don’t contain any harmful chemicals like methylene chloride. They also don’t leave behind any toxic residues. However, it is very challenging to find a good quality biochemical paint stripper that can effectively remove paint from metal surfaces in one go.


  • They don’t harm the user, the environment, and the painted surface in any way.
  • These chemical removers don’t leave behind toxic residues.

Quality of the Remover

The Best paint remover for rims should completely remove the paint from your metal surface. If you do not remove all the layers of paint, it will cause corrosion or rust on your metal surface. You need to pick a product that can easily lift off the paint from every nook and cranny of your car’s rim.

Ease of Use

No matter how well a paint remover works, if you find it difficult to apply on the surface then there is no point in buying that type of stripping product. You need to be very cautious while using these chemicals. Wear protective gear so that it doesn’t bring harm to you or your car’s rims.


You should buy a paint remover that is environmentally friendly. It minimizes the amount of harmful solvents, chemicals, and toxins released into the environment. Moreover, it leaves behind less or no harmful residue on your surface after use.

Safety Tips

Paint thinner should not harm the user. Some paints and solvents can cause health problems if they come in contact with skin, eyes, or lungs. It is important to wear protective gear while working on such projects so that it doesn’t bring harm to you or your car’s rims. We recommend picking a product that won’t cause harm to your aluminum wheels, nor to your body.

Be cautious even if you have picked a safe product. Always avoid contact and wear a mask to protect yourself from strong chemicals. Prolonged exposure to mild chemicals can also lead to health issues.

Paint Remover Price

Many manufacturers sell paint removers at a very high price, however, nothing good comes without a cost. If you have ever used these chemicals to remove paint from metal then you know that it can leave behind a big hole in your pocket. Always look out for the price of the product before making a purchase. We recommend picking up a product which is reasonable and affordable.

Final Thoughts

Car rims usually take a few years for the paint to wear off. However, most times, corrosion stains start to show on the paint before the paint even wears off. So, it’s either you choose to remove the rust stain and protect the paint or remove the paint then apply a new one.

Whichever path you choose to take in maintaining your car rims, our article has got you covered. We have thoroughly reviewed some of the best rim paint removers, paint cleaners, and paint rust stains removers for you. Good luck in maintaining your automobile rims appearance!

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