How To Clean Your Car Tires

You want your car to look like a new car but even when you clean your car usually, it still looks like without cleaning. So you may forget to clean the important part of your car which most people forget. That is car tire. Or you intended to clean the car tires but they still look bad even though you already cleaned them. So how to clean car tires properly? Let’s find out how to clean tires here!

how to clean tires
There are some method to clean dirty car tires. Source: Getjerry

There are several methods that you can apply. And they are actually not difficult to do, just be patient and follow the instructions, your car tires will look like new right away.

Method 1: Using Tire Cleaner

This method requires your patient since you may repeat the same action several times but it is considered the best way to clean tires.

Step 1: Applying designed tire cleaner

You can find a thousand products in the market which are used to clean the tire. It is better to choose the sprayer, read carefully the instructions and follow it regarding how long to leave it on. Car cleaner is designed to clean the tire but maintain the paint and clear coat at the same time. Its function is leaving a film over your tires or preventing them from shining.

Step 2: Allowing the cleaner to sit for a minute

What you need to do is apply the sprayer to the tires and allow the cleaner to sit for a minute. It is difficult to get the grime and brake dust off of your tires because the rubber is a fairly porous surface. You should wait a few minutes to let the cleaner do its job.

Remember to read the instructions because each type of cleaner needs different time for sitting on the tire for optimal effect. Important note is wipe any overspray on the wheels or paint off immediately with a clean rag. Or you can cover the other parts which do not need to be cleaned by paper or plastic.


Step 3: Using a stiff brush to clean tires

A stiff brush with fairly stiff bristles and scrub your tires. Do not be afraid that the brush damages your tires, you can apply a lot of pressure when scrubbing. Only plastic or wooden bristle brush are recommended, the steel brush will penetrate the rubber and lead to leaks.

Step 4: Rinsing the tire with pressure hose

After scrubbing as much grime off of the tire as you can, use a high pressure hose if possible to remove the dust as much as possible. Make sure that you wear glasses before washing the tires. The high pressure hose may injure your eyes if you do not use any protection.

best way to clean tires
Using a high pressure hose to rinse the tires after scrubbing. Source: Youtube

Step 5: Repeating the process

After cleaning the tires, it is possible to see the white or brown film left on the tire. Redo this process until you are satisfied with it. You can scrub and rinse the tire a second time to remove completely the dust and road grime on the tires. Some sprayer may require the tires to be dry when applying, if that, let your tires be dry before applying the sprayer again.

Step 6: Using tire gel for browned tires

The best car tires color will last for a long time but some tires, even after a few times of cleaning process, are still brown. This time, you should use the tire gel to return the tires back to the original color.There are many types of tire gel and also many ways to apply the tire gel. You should read the instruction to know which tool you can use to apply it perfectly. 

how to clean car tires
Applying tire gel to return the black color for the tires. Source: YouTube

It is better to apply the tire gel when the tires are cleaned and dry already. Watch the video below to see how to clean car tires!

Method 2: Clean Tire Meanwhile Washing Your Car

With this method, you will know how to clean tires with household products since most of the tools and stuff you can find in your kitchen such as sponge, brushes, buckets… 

1. Cleaning the wheels and tires first

The wheels and tires are considered as the dirtiest parts of a car. Therefore cleaning the wheels and tires first will prevent you from splattering dirt and grime on a clean car as you wash and rinse the tires. Washing the car after the tires give you a chance to clean off any tire or wheel cleaner you accidentally get onto the paint layer of the car.

how to clean tires with household products
Cleaning the tires before washing the car to avoid damage the paint. Source: Swirl Free Car Valeting

2. Separating the bucket for wheels and tires

As you know, the wheels and tires are not only covered by dirt, but also brake dust caused by the wearing of your brake pads when you stop. That dust can create the scratches in the paint if you use the same bucket of water or same tools when washing the car. Therefore keep the brush, sponge, towel you use on the wheels and tires away from those you use on your paint by a separated bucket. Keep in mind that never use a sponge or towel you used on your wheels and tires on the body of the car.

how to clean tires with household products
Keep the brushes, sponges, towels… in separated bucket when cleaning tires. Source: Gold Eagle Co

3. Avoiding getting tire cleaner on the wheels or paint

As you are going to use the sprayer for wheels and tires, avoid getting tire cleaner on the wheels or paint by covering the unrelated parts by plastic or paper. The tires cleaner is designed to eat through stuck on grime and the chemicals can even be harsh enough to damage painted or powder coated wheels. Carefully apply the tire cleaner and immediately wipe any overspray off and it is one of maintenance tips for your car and also saves your wallet.

how to clean tires
Avoiding spraying the tire cleaner to the other parts.

One more note is many types of sprayer require the tires are dry before applying. So that even if you clean the tire while washing the car, you may clean the tires and let it be dry and apply the cleaner. Tire cleaners are designed to be environmentally safe, so it is fine to allow the tire cleaner and water to drain or run off into your yard.


Someone said you can use coca cola to clean the dirty tires but we do not recommend it since there is no scientific evidence that it will not harm your tires.

These 2 methods above are the answers for the question of how to clean car tires as they are used the most by people at home. They are easy to prepare the tool, stuff and easy to follow at the same time. What you need is buying the sprayer for tires, getting some sponges, brushes, towels… then everything will be done soon. As your car may have some problems in its lifetime, follow our blog to read more about car maintenance tips.