How to Clean your Wheels and Tires

Regularly cleaning your wheels and tires is important to keeping them looking great. It is also a very important practice for the preventative maintenance of your vehicle. Allowing break dust to build up on your wheels can be highly corrosive to your vehicle. Additionally, the long-term effects of UV rays on your tires can cause cracking and discoloration. Follow these simple steps to keep your wheels and tires clean and give them a longer lifespan.

First, choose a wheel cleaner that is compatible with your wheels and tires. If there is several months’ worth of break dust build-up, consider a more powerful wheel cleaner. Many wheel cleaners will change colors, indicating that they are dissolving break dust.

Begin by spraying your wheels and tires with water from top to bottom. Then, apply your wheel cleaner with a brush. You’d be surprised how many brush options are available for vehicle maintenance. Consider a stiffer brush for your tires and an easy brush or microfiber cloth for better detailing on your wheels. Clean your wheel wells with an all-purpose cleaner and a long handle brush to get a deeper clean without straining yourself. Make sure to clean your wheels one at a time to prevent your wheel cleaner from drying before rinsing with a strong jet of water.

Next, it’s time to dry your wheels. Using a microfiber cloth or a terry cloth towel, thoroughly dry every part of wheel to prevent water spots and remove any remaining break dust. For the best results, consider using a blower to finish off the drying process.

After drying your wheels, you’ll want to seal them with a quality wheel protectant. Similar to waxing your car, apply your wheel protectant to an applicator pad and begin buffing the wheel. This will keep your wheels looking shiny while also preventing break dust and grime from building up on your tires. Wheel protectants and wax applications usually last about a week. If you wax your wheels weekly, you will only need to use water to clean your wheels.

Now that your wheels are waxed, apply tire dressing or tire shine to give your tires that wet look, preventing UV rays from causing cracks and other tire damage. After your tires have been washed and dried, apply your dressing by spraying or manually brushing it on and let it sit for 10-20 minutes. Next, use a sponge to dry off any extra dressing that may catch dirt and grime. Note that properly cleaned tires will absorb your tire dressing very easily so there will be less dressing to dab off.

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