How to Clean Your Car Tires
Here’s the secret to getting tires really black and looking showroom clean.
Most importantly, buy some automotive degreaser concentrate at your local home hardware or automotive supply store. Mix a solution with water in a spray bottle according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. You might want to experiment with the concentration level and test your solution in an inconspicuous area, as some rims can be sensitive to strong solutions.
If you are using a pressure washer:
Spray all tires liberally with the degreaser solution. Starting with the first wheel that received degreaser, spray each tire slowly, from about one to two feet away at a perpendicular angle, and continually move the spray around the wheel. Spray the inner part of the tire towards rim first and then the outer part of the tire towards the tread and finish with the rim. Remember, the pressure of wand must come in contact with the whole tire or when it dries, you will see dirty patches. Just rinsing will not clean them properly; the force of the water is needed to remove the dirt. When all wheels are done, move the car forward or back three feet and repeat the entire process.
If you are using a hose:
The procedure is the same except instead of using the pressure of the water to do the cleaning; you will need to scrub the tire with a stiff nylon brush and rub the rims with a wash mitt or small towel. Then rinse with the hose water.
Some people like the look of shiny tires and some prefer the dry black look. If you want to dress the tires, purchase a rubber or tire dressing from your automotive supply store. Warning, not all products are the same. Some are mostly alcohol or water and last about 20 minutes and some last for days. Generally, pay more and get a product that will last longer.
After washing, wipe the excess water from the tires so the product will be applied right to the rubber and not diluted with the water. If your dressing comes in a spray bottle, carefully mist the tire not the rims. Better still, spray or apply on to your applicator pad or small sponge and wipe it evenly on the tire. Work right up to the tread and even over the edge. Drive the vehicle a few feet and go over the missed part on the bottom. Be sure to wipe any of the dressing from the rims with a damp towel or dust will stick.