One trick I learned from my sailing days - never use steel wool. Use bronze wool. It's softer and won't scratch, and if you happen to leave behind a small fiber or two, it won't rust and make the problem worse. The downside is that it's rather pricey compared to steel wool. Marine supply stores will have it.
The other thing I use is a small brass brush. You can find these little brushes in the plumbing section of your local hardware. You can ruin a couple of them in cleaning the whole bike, but they're cheap and come in packs. You can get down in the corners quite well with them. I've had good success cleaning bolt heads with them.
'99 Shadow VT1100C Spirit - daily driver
'99 Rebel CMX250C2 - Sold!
'83 Shadow 750 - goodbye and good luck
'72 CL350 - You never forget your first