Your tyres need to be in their best condition for maximum driving comfort, control and of course, to look nice and shiny. Regular tyre cleaning improves tyre performance, extends their life and keeps your car looking good. This blog covers the step-by-step process of how to clean car tyre at home the right way. If you follow these guidelines on essential tyre maintenance, you are on your way to a fresh and polished set of wheels with an easy DIY tyre care routine.
Tyre cleaning at home is easy when you have the right tyre care & cleaning products with accessories.
Ensure Safety and Performance With Regular Tyre Care
New tyres offer high levels of grip, superior handling and braking performance on a range of road surfaces. But as dirt and dust accumulate on tyres, the rubber starts to degrade and the tread wears out easily. Harmful debris, brake dust and contaminants could lead to damage to the tyre over time.
Regular car tyre cleaning is important for safety, optimal performance and improved fuel efficiency. Here are some of the benefits of taking care of your tyres.
Clean tyres offer better traction, particularly in wet and slippery conditions. When tyres are covered in dirt and dust, they lose their ability to maintain proper contact with the road surface which increases the risk of skidding and accidents. Clean tyres can significantly improve the car’s handling and overall safety.
Extended Tyre Life
Road chemicals, tar and grease can deteriorate the rubber compounds in your tyres to the point where they may wear out prematurely. Regular tyre care removes these harmful substances to prolong tyre life. This will save you a lot of money on tyre replacements and also reduces environmental impact by reducing tyre waste.
Acceleration, braking and cornering are improved with clean tyres. The car runs smoother and has precise handling, even in emergency situations. High-speed driving produces less noise with a clean set of wheels as there are reduced tyre vibrations.
Enhanced Fuel Efficiency
Dirt on tyres increases friction and leads to high rolling resistance. This forces the engine to work harder which effectively wastes fuel. Learn how to clean tyres at home to save money at the fuel station.
Your vehicle will have a new look with a clean set of tyres. Even if you just take pride in your car's looks and are not planning on reselling the vehicle, having spotless tyres is a win-win situation. Good-looking tyres go a long way in preserving the value of your car.
It’s not just tyres that need care. You can get your engine bay looking new with help from this detailing guide. Take care of your car’s exterior with a complete wash for the best driving experience.
Tyre Care Essentials: Safety Precautions and Tools
Before you start asking how to wash car tyre, keep safety as your top priority. Park the car on level ground and use the proper lifting jacks and safety gear for an accident-free cleaning process. The tyres should be cool before you attempt to clean them as the tyre care solution may evaporate and leave spots on hot surfaces. Wear a durable set of gloves to protect your hands and use safety goggles to shield yourself from splashes and debris. Once you have secured the vehicle, move on to gathering the essential tools.
You will need:
Soft Bristle Brush
A soft tyre cleaning brush can remove all kinds of dirt and grime on the tyre sidewalls and tread without scratching the rims.
A car washing sponge can be used on more delicate areas such as the tyre beading and tyre valves.
Clean and dry microfibre car cleaning cloths will be able to absorb water and remove all traces of moisture after cleaning. They can also be used to wipe away excess tyre dresser solution that could leave stains on the rim.
Mild Detergent or Tyre-Cleaning Solution
Soap and water are great for cleaning tyres at home, but you may need a specialised wheel and tyre cleaner for stubborn dirt and grease.
Tyre Shiner, Protectant or Tyre Dresser
After a good tyre wash, add some protection and shine to bring out the natural black colour of the tyres. A tyre dresser, polisher or shiner saves the rubber from environmental elements, wear and tear.
Water Hose or Pressure Washer
You’ll need a steady stream of water or even a high-pressure spray washer to rinse the cleaning solution completely. There are also benefits of foam washers vs bucket wash for covering tyres and wheels with a soapy solution.
Tyre Cleaning Preparation and Inspection
Conduct a pre-cleaning inspection to ensure optimum results and to identify any potential issues with your tyres.
Check tyre pressure and signs of bulges, wear, cuts or any other irregularities that may require your attention. The tyres should be inflated to the correct pressure for the best cleaning results.
Pro Tip: Learn about the differences between under and overinflated tyres in this informative article to understand why tyres should be at the correct pressure.
Remove debris and stones or any foreign objects that may hinder the tyre cleaning process. You can even take the tyres off the car and wash them separately if required.
Rinse off loose dirt using a hose or spray washer. Start from the top of the tyre and work your way down to ensure complete coverage. The pressure washer should dislodge dirt without damaging the tyre's surface. If there is any dirt still stuck on, use a soft-bristled brush and gently scrub the tyre.
Your tyres are now ready for the next step in the cleaning process.
Getting Into Car Tyre Cleaning
Select the right tyre-cleaning product or use a mild detergent (a mix of soap and water). This will not damage the rubber, alloy or chrome, but will be effective in dissolving dirt. Concentrated chemicals or cleaning solutions may harm the tyre surface and cause deterioration of the tyre surface or damage the metal alloy.
Apply the tyre cleaning solution or soap water and gently scrub the wheels and tyres using the soft-bristled brush. Use circular motions to lift dirt in an effective manner and clean the nooks and hard-to-reach places too. The treads tend to accumulate more dirt than the rest of the tyre, so pay attention to these areas.
If you learn how to clean car tyre in a meticulous manner, it will promote better tyre health and performance in the long run. Plus, you get a safer drive and smoother journeys.
The tire is the rubber compound while the wheel refers to the metal alloy or rim that holds the tyre structure. Use a separate brush for the wheels and tyres to prevent the transfer of contaminates or the risk of scratching the metal surface. Suitable wheel cleaners will not damage chrome, metal or painted surfaces.
Brake dust is a common culprit for dirt on wheels and tyres. Apply the wheel cleaner all over the tyres and allow it to work for a few minutes. This will eliminate all the brake dust and leave a clean surface to rinse off. Once you are sure that all the grime has been removed, rinse the wheels and tyres with plenty of water to remove all residues.
Ensure to dry the wheels with a clean microfibre cloth to prevent moisture from damaging the wheels. By following these techniques professional tyre cleaning techniques, you can achieve an outstanding shine that elevates the appearance of your vehicle and protects your wheels and tyres from damage, ensuring they remain in top condition.
Applying Tyre Dresser and Ensure Proper Tyre Maintenance
Tyre shiners and polishers serve the purpose of shielding your tyres from UV rays, extreme heat, moisture and other environmental elements. They also prevent the rubber from drying out and cracking which keeps them flexible and reduces the chances of punctures or blowouts. A soft tyre surface also provides a smooth ride.
Consider your tyre type and compound as well as the wheel material. Apply the product evenly on clean and dry tires and wipe off any excess solution to prevent splattering on the car body while driving.
Check tyre pressure regularly for the best fuel efficiency and reduced wear and tear on treads. A tyre pressure gauge and portable tyre inflator are useful accessories to carry in your car for this purpose.
Monitor the tread depth for maximum traction, road grip and cornering action. Once the tyre tread wears out, you will find the car is less responsive to steering input and braking distance will increase. Once tyres are past their limit, there is no point in keeping them clean to improve performance. Replace tyres and incorporate the mentioned techniques on how to clean tyre for the new set.
Empower yourself to take care of your tyres at home and enjoy a super-driving experience. Regular tyre care is a simple task that can have significant benefits. With a little elbow grease, you can enjoy a better-looking vehicle that performs well on the road.
Have a look at more tyre-related articles on the Carorbis Blog. You will find a host of tyre topics that will help you get the best driving experience.
If you are interested in improving the performance of your vehicle, you may be curious to know what low-profile tires are and how they are different from normal/high-profile tires. There are several pros and cons for each size of the tyre as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. How To Clean Car Tyres At Home?
Ans. Using a special tyre cleaning product can enhance results and provide lasting shine and protection for car tyres. After rinsing the tyres with cool water, apply the tyre cleaning solution, which usually comes in the form of a spray for easy application. Cover the sidewalls and tyre grooves and allow the solution to penetrate for a couple of minutes. Agitate the tyre cleaning solution with a brush or soft sponge to break down stubborn dirt and contaminants from the surface of the tyre. Finally, rinse off the tyres and dry them with a clean microfibre towel to prevent any water spots. Tyre cleaning products leave your wheels looking clean and rejuvenated.
Q2. How To Clean Car Tyre Rim?
Ans. Tyre rims are usually made of steel or a metal alloy such as magnesium and aluminium. You should use a wheel cleaner that can remove oxidation and signs of corrosion from the rims before the metal is weakened. If you are using soap and water, scrub gently to avoid scratching the rims, and remember to dry the wheels completely after washing. Moisture retention on metal can lead to rust and damage.
Q3. How To Wash Car Tyres?
Ans. Ensure that the car is parked on level ground and the tyres are cool. Rinse the tyres with a garden hose or a pressure washer to eliminate loose dirt and grime. Next, create a cleaning solution consisting of water and mild soap or detergent. With a soft-bristled brush, gently scrub the tyres to remove all traces of dirt and grease. Pay attention to the sidewalls and tyre treads. Rinse with water and repeat the process if there is still dirt left on the tyres. The tyres then need to be dried with a clean towel or allowed to air dry. For added shine and protection, use a tyre dresser to get that black glossy look of new tyres.
Q4. How To Clean Car Tyre Walls?
Ans. The tyre walls are the visible part of car tyres and need to look clean and shiny for a pleasant appearance. Although car wash shampoo, soap or detergent are suitable cleaning solutions for tyre walls, you should invest in a tyre cleaner that can break down stubborn dirt without damaging the tyre surface which is made mainly from rubber. After washing and drying the tyres, use a tyre polisher for added shine and gloss. Tyre shiners restore the natural black colour of tyres to give them a radiant appearance.
Q5. How To Clean Car Tire Bead?
Ans. The tyre bead refers to the edge of the tyre that rests on the periphery of the rim. The air pressure within the car tyre pushes against the tyre bead and keeps it inflated. Use a soft brush to remove dirt that has accumulated on the tyre bead. For grime that has caked on the tyre surface, you may need soap and water to break down the dirt particles.
Q6. How To Clean A Car Tyre Valve?
Ans. The valve is the part of the tyre through which air pressure is filled. If it gets damaged, there are chances that the tyre will lose its air pressure and go flat. Inspect the tyre valve and keep the areas surrounding it clean. Use a microfiber cloth dipped in soapy water and gently wipe the valve. Be careful not to use too much force as this may cause the valve to lose air pressure. Also Read How To Change A Flat Tire