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Car tires, just like the other parts of your vehicle, need to be cleaned regularly. If you don't clean them, they will get gross, and they will wear prematurely. You must know the right way to clean your tires, though, or you'll only make things worse. Learn how to perform an everyday tire clean to maintain your tires, and find out how to deal with things like road tar and how to handle specialty white wall tires as well for the ultimate cleaning knowledge. 

How to Clean Car Tires: A Step-By-Step Process

Learn this easy step-by-step process of how to clean car tires, and you'll keep your ride looking good over time while slowing tire wear. If you clean your vehicle tires, you'll help it stand apart from the other vehicles on the road today. 

Fully Rinse the Wheel and Tire

Begin by spraying down your wheel and tire with a powerful stream of clean water. You're rinsing the surfaces down thoroughly to remove all the loose gunk that's stuck to your tires. This will make your job easier when you start scrubbing your tires and wheels. 

Get the Cleaning Order Right

Whenever you clean your tires, you must also clean your wheels. Start with your tires first, and then move on to your wheels. Going in this order helps you avoid contaminating your car's body with grime and having to remove it a second time. It also helps you avoid getting your wheel dirty again and having to wash it off fully. Instead, you get a little grime on your tire again and can rinse it right off. Following this order makes everything easier. 

Scrub Every Surface With a Proper Automotive Soap

Obtain a high-quality automotive soap that has good reviews. Using an automotive soap is the best way to clean tires because it cuts through dirt and brake dust but won't remove wax and other protective finishes on your wheels and other surrounding surfaces. You should use a special scrub brush for cleaning your tire, as well as a sponge or microfiber cloth when cleaning each wheel. 

Fine Clean Any Crevices

Carefully inspect your tire and your wheel and clean in-between any cracks and crevices as you wash these parts down. You can use a toothbrush or a fine-tipped brush to remove most debris. It's also worth getting a fine-tipped putty knife or another plastic scraping tool to remove rocks and other tough particles before scrubbing an area. 

Fully Rinse the Tire and Wheel

Use a high-pressure spray nozzle or a pressure washer with clean water to fully rinse away every bit of soap and grime on your tire and wheel. Be thorough with this process because you don't want to leave behind any muck on your tire or your wheel. 

Wash Again if Necessary

When you've finished rinsing off your tire and wheel, look closely for any remaining grime. If you see any spots that didn't get cleaned, carefully spot-clean them to achieve a full clean before you finish. If you clean any section of it, you must thoroughly rinse the tire off again.

Apply A Tire Protectant

Invest in a high-quality tire protectant you can use to safeguard your vehicle. The best protectants help prevent dirt from adhering to your tires and block UV rays from aging your tires. Spray the protectant over every surface of your tire and rub it in using a microfiber cloth to get an even application that offers long-term protection. 

How to Clean Whitewall Tires

Whitewall tires are somewhat rare these days, but they provide a luxurious look and a charm that you won't get from vehicles with black tires. If you choose to have these specialized tires, you need to know the best way to clean whitewall tires to keep them looking fresh. If you don't understand how to clean whitewall tires, you'll end up with grimy tires that look much worse than black tires would. 

Begin by getting the following tools and cleaners together:

  • SOS scrubbing pads
  • Whitewall tire cleaner
  • Tire scrub brush
  • Baking soda
  • Tire protectant
     

The Best Way to Clean Whitewall Tires

whitewall tire

Now that you have the necessary supplies, it's time to clean your tires. 

  1. Rinse - Begin by rinsing the tires thoroughly to remove loose debris. While rinsing, give each tire a gentle wipe-down using an SOS pad to free up dirt and gunk. 
  2. Scrub - Prepare a whitewall cleaning solution for use on your tires. Apply the solution using a fresh SOS pad to cover every surface of your tire with the cleaner liberally. Now scrub the sidewall using your tire scrub brush to free all the grime up. 
  3. 2nd Rinse - Rinse away the soap and dirt to see if any spots are remaining on your tire. 
  4. Detail Scrub - Use an SOS pad dipped in your cleaning solution to scrub any remaining spots that didn't come clean with your standard tire brush. 
  5. Final Rinse - Rinse the fully cleaned tire off once again to fully remove any remaining grime along with the soap you just applied in the fine-cleaning stage. 
  6. Protect Your Tires - Apply your tire protectant liberally over every surface of your whitewalls and rub it in gently using a microfiber cloth. Coat your tire with the protectant completely, and it will remain bright and white for longer.
     

Extra Whitening -  If you finish with the standard cleaning steps and want your tires to be whiter, mix a solution of water and baking soda and scrub your tire wall with an SOS pad and the mix. This whitens and scrubs away every last bit of grime and staining that's remaining. You should only do this procedure occasionally, or you risk wearing your tire walls out and causing serious damage to them. 

If you follow the steps above, you can maintain stunning white tires that hold up well over time. You'll prolong their lifespan by cleaning and protecting them, and more importantly, you'll keep them looking good. 

How to Get Tar off Tires

One part of knowing how to clean tires is understanding how to deal with tar stuck to the treads. Tar from freshly paved roads will accumulate in your tires and lead to long-term damage. To keep your tires in top condition, you should remove this tar while cleaning the rest of your tire. To do so, scrape any fresh tar out using a plastic knife. If you can manually remove all the tar this way, you're ready to clean the tire using the normal technique that's described above. If the tar is stuck, you can soak a rag in linseed oil and rest it on the tar to loosen it before removing it. Allow the rag to remain in place for several minutes before trying to remove the tar. Use a large rag to clean big sections of your tire at once.
 

how to deal with tar stuck to the treads

Knowing how to clean tires is an important part of caring for your vehicle. When shopping for a used car, you should look for properly maintained vehicles whenever you can. That means looking at the cleanliness of the wheels and tires as well as the rest of the ride and checking things like tread wear, oil health, and more. You can get more information about a used vehicle with a vehicle history report, and you should research any vehicle before you make your final purchase. Care for your ride with regular cleans, and you'll enjoy long-term performance and health as a result. 

 

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