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​Proper Tire Cleaning & Dressing

Posted by Derek Sirois on

Your Car’s tires are important to the overall appearance of your vehicle, but also their overall performance and wearability. People often neglect their tires because they are consumable. Meaning that we replace them often enough that people may feel that there’s not a good reason to invest in their care. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Your tires not only wear away from regular use, but they are subject to degradation from inactivity, tar, dirt, snow salt, brake dust, UV light, oxygen, ozone and even cheap tire dressings. Over time, these elements slowly wear away both your tire’s physical integrity as well as their healthy appearance.

When tires are made, an additive called Antiozonant is used to help prevent oxidizing, cracking and splitting. Part of why our tires degrade is due to the Ozone in our earth’s atmosphere, which is why the Antiozonant is used when they are manufactured. The problem is that the antiozonant quickly oxidizes and turns brown once it comes in contact with air. This Browning or Blooming can have a lasting effect on your tire’s appearance. Properly cleaning and dressing will not only help keep your tires looking new and clean, but also functioning safely.

Cleaning Your tires

Before you can apply a tire dressing, you’ll need to make sure that you properly and thoroughly clean your tires. On newer and well maintained tires you can simply use a quality all purpose degreaser such as Polishing System’s Super Red,or a quality Car wash soap , but you’ll need something stronger like Polishing System’s Brake Dust Buster if there is a substantial amount of blooming present on your tire.

  1. Using a hose, spray off any loose dirt and dust particles from the sidewall of your tire
  2. Using either car wash soap or degreaser scrub the sidewalls with a plastic brush or a dedicated wash mitt or sponge using a back and forth motion until you have removed all of the visible browning
  3. Rinse your tire with your hose, and make sure you’ve washed away all traces of soaps or degreasers.
  4. Allow time for your tire to dry. You may also pat the tire dry with a towel.
  5. If your tire is still showing a lot of grime and browning, you may want to try something a little stronger such as our brake dust buster mentioned above.
  6. Rinse your tire one last time and allow to dry.

Dressing Your Tire

Your tire should be thoroughly cleaned and dry before you apply a tire dressing. Tire dressings adhere better to clean and dry surfaces. If you have white lettering or white wall tires, they will pop much better as well.

As far as tire dressings go, we recommend using something similar to our Platinum Dressing Not all tire dressings are created equal. Choose carefully, and as always feel free to consult with us here at polishing systems if you need some guidance.

  1. Apply dressing directly to a microfiber towel or sponge
  2. Work your way back and forth from the rim to the outside of the tire in a back and fourth motion to ensure you’ve covered all of the sidewall area
  3. In a circular motion, even out the dressing around the wheel to smooth out the appearance of the dressing.
  4. Wait at least 20 to 30 mins before driving. This will prevent slinging the product off the tire and onto your paint. You may also consider patting any dripping or running product with your microfiber towel.