There is nothing like cruising down the road on a summer day in a car that looks showroom new. After a wash and wax, shining wheels and clean tires do a lot to enhance the appearance of any vehicle. Cleaning your wheels and tires is just good maintenance, too. Brake dust – including metal, adhesive, and carbon residue from your brake pads and rotor – collects on your wheels and tires. This dust is very corrosive, especially under intense heat and friction. Cleaning your wheels regularly will remove this abrasive grime and extend the life of your tires and wheels.
While it is convenient to have tire and wheel detailing done by a shop, it is by no means necessary to pay someone to get your tires and wheels looking great. If you have the time and a place to do it, it is easy to get the job done yourself.
You may have a lot of cleaning products on hand, but resist the temptation to just grab a cleanser from under your kitchen sink. All-purpose products may not necessarily be safe for cleaning wheels and tires. Choose non-petroleum based products for your tires, and an abrasive-free producst with no harsh acids for your wheels. To be sure you have the best option, pick up a product that is specially formulated for tires and wheels. There are a wide variety of effective and environmentally-friendly options.
When washing your car, it is best to start with the wheels and tires. Use a sturdy, soft-bristle brush to prevent scratching. Clean and then rinse each tire as you go, to avoid the cleaning product drying on the surface. Towel dry each wheel once you are done washing the entire car. Try to keep a separate towel just for wheels and tires in case any cleaning product residue is left on the towel. Your last step should be to apply a wheel wax and tire dressing.
Ask your tire dealer or mechanic to recommend the best product for your particular tires.