If you need a ready to use, spray-on, color changing wheel cleaner then Stjärnagloss have you covered. Their three-in-one Stjärnagloss Hjul Wheel Cleaner contains detergents for cleaning, solvents to soften tar spots and fallout remover to dissolve brake dust. In this review, we put the scandinavian inspired brand’s active wheel cleaner to the test.
Stjarnagloss Hjul Wheel Cleaner Product Description
You may have seen color change wheel cleaners before, but Stjärnagloss claim that Hjul is different.
Hjul a ready to use, color change wheel cleaner with a thicker formulation giving a longer dwell time. It contains soaps to help remove general road grime, as well as an active ingredient that removes ferrous brake debris. Hjul also contains solvents to help soften tar spots, which can often be mistaken for stubborn brake dust deposits.
This active wheel cleaner is pH neutral too, so you can use it on some of the more sensitive wheel materials and finishes. Hjul can also be used as a general ‘iron fallout remover’, dissolving iron particle deposits which are embedded on paintwork.
About the Stjärnagloss Brand
In 2010, Stjärnagloss, pronounced ‘Ste-Yarna-Gloss’, was a little known UK based brand, sold exclusively by the now defunct reseller, Shinearama. Nearly ten years later, in November 2019, the Scandinavian inspired brand was ‘Björn Again’.
Headed by experienced detailing industry brand manager Jack Cavanagh, the company was resurrected with an entirely reformulated, repackaged and rebranded product range. Stjärnagloss state that their aim is to offer great performing products, honest pricing and a simple range. Their ‘Core Four’ products cover the wash, polish, protection and maintenance stages of vehicle detailing.
The Stjärnagloss product range is now sold around the world, with the Rag Company being the main distributor in the USA.
How to Use Stjärnagloss Hjul Wheel Cleaner
For an in-depth guide on how to safely clean your alloy wheels, check out our PRO Detailer Tips article on the subject.
When to use Stjärnagloss Hjul
Firstly, it’s never a good idea to clean hot wheels. With an un-gloved hand hold the back of your hand about an inch from the face of the alloy wheel. If you feel a noticeable increase in temperature, leave the wheels and brakes to cool down to the ambient air temperature. If you detect no increase in temperature, it’s safe to clean your wheels.
Ease of use of Stjärnagloss Hjul
With your wheels cool, Stjärnagloss Hjul ready to use active wheel cleaner is super easy to use. Simply spray on to your dirty alloy wheel and alloy the product to dwell for a few minutes. As the product dwells on the wheel, you should notice it change color from a clear liquid to a purple liquid. This indicates that the active chemical, thioglycolic acid, is reacting with the embedded iron particles, dissolving them.
When the wheel cleaner changes color, agitate the product and begin the contact clean. Make sure to clean both the wheel face and inner barrel. Use appropriate wheel woollies, brushes and microfiber mitts for the contact clean stage.
Stjärnagloss Hjul as a Tire Cleaner
Hjul can also be used as a tire cleaner when layered with a pH neutral snow foam. For a full, detailed explanation on tire cleaning, why not check out our in-depth guide on the best way to clean your car tires in 8 easy steps with photos.
Finally, rinse the wheel thoroughly before applying suitable protection. Never let Hjul wheel cleaner dry on the wheel or bodywork.
Benefits of Using Stjärnagloss Hjul Wheel Cleaner
The main benefit of using Hjul Wheel Cleaner is its ability to both clean dirt and grime, and dissolve iron particles and brake dust at the same time.
The typical way to thoroughly clean wheels would be to use a citrus degreaser or pre-wash first, then undertake a contact wash using a dedicated wheel cleaner or special wheel soap. Finally, the wheel would be decontaminated with an iron fallout remover and then rinsed clean.
Hjul from Stjärnagloss combines all of these stages into one process, with one chemical and no dilution ratios to consider. Spray, dwell, contact clean and rinse!
Value for Money of Stjärnagloss Hjul
A 500ml bottle of Stjärnagloss Hjul costs $17.00. To clean four large alloy wheels (faces and inner barrels) takes approximately 80-100ml of product. This puts the cost per application at around $2.80 which is quite a high cost per use. But considering this one bottle is doing the job of several standalone chemical products, it could be seen as good value.
The current range of Stjärnagloss car care products come in fairly typical, 500ml or 1,000ml white plastic or clear plastic Boston Round type bottles.
The labelling is clean, crisp, includes clear instructions and is printed on chemically resistant foil type labels. These foil labels feature instructions and warnings in multiple languages which is noteworthy.
The Stjärnagloss branding plays heavily on their Scandinavian theme with all the products having ‘Scandi’ inspired names. Hjul is Norwegian and Swedish for ‘Wheel’.
I’ve used Stjärnagloss Hjul Wheel Cleaner on a number of different designs of alloy wheels, on different types of vehicles. I like the fact that it’s convenient to use and clings well to all facets of all wheel designs. It’s a little slow to ‘light-up’ (change color) which could be due to its complex blend of detergents, solvents and active ingredients.
Like many other active fallout remover products containing thioglycolic acid, it smells awful. Hjul smells like a mixture of dish soap and rotten eggs. But it does clean dirty, contaminated wheels and it cleans them well.
Is an all-in-one active wheel cleaner the safest way to clean delicate alloy wheels? Personally I prefer using three separate chemicals in the correct order – pre-wash, then contact wash, finally an iron fallout remover. In the long run it’s more cost effective and far safer.
But if you’re tight on time or struggling for shelf space in your garage, then this ‘triple header’ Hjul wheel cleaner hits the mark.