There are many specialized car detailing products that I often swear by. Certain waxes, quick detailers and wheel cleaners can be very specialized and indispensable in your quest for a perfectly clean car. What about a solution to clean car tires?
There are some detailing products that are not all that specialized – in fact they are pretty common – yet work marvels for car cleaning. Such is the case when it comes to car tire cleaning.
How to clean car tires? What product to use for car tire cleaning? Simple.
No, really. Literally… Simple Green all-purpose cleaner for tire cleaning.
Yup. The green stuff we use to clean things around the home works perfectly for cleaning car tires. I’m not taking about half-assed cleaning for old cars either. I’m talking about genuine cleaning that’s good for any high-end car.
Simple Green does make all kinds of different variations of their original product. They even make a number of products for car cleaning such as a wheel cleaner and even a wash & wax. But as of this writing they don’t have a specific car tire cleaning solution. This whole write-up revolves around using their tried, true and classic Simple Green all-purpose cleaner.
Simple Green is perfect for cleaning truck tires too. Those tend to get even more dirty. The low cost of this common detergent makes it a specially good product for cleaning big truck tires since you have to use more detergent. Specialized tire cleaning products will make it all get really expensive, fast.
How to clean car tires with Simple Green
You simply spray the tire wall with water and quickly follow up with Simple Green all-purpose cleaner spray. Let the liquid sit on the tire wall for a bit until you see it bubbling and lifting off this sort of brownish tint. With a medium stiffness brush, scrub the tire well. Then rinse.
More often than not, you want to perform this process twice. This helps avoid scrubbing the tires with a very dirty solution that will never allow the tire to be completely clean. The second time around, the grime coming off the tire should be much less. Rinse it off and you’re done.
If you’ve got yourself a mess of a tire, as can often be the case when cleaning off-road truck tires, you might even have to do this a third time. Again, that’s when Simple Green really gets appealing. Even if you were using a very expensive high-end tire cleaning product, you’d still have to do this two or three times to clean very dirty tires. Just imagine how much you’d be saving over the glorified tire cleaning products.
Make sure you don’t use too stiff a brush. The idea with the medium brush is if you accidentally overshoot and run the brush onto a wheel while cleaning your tires, you won’t scratch it. Way too stiff and it can also leave funny looking scratch marks on the tire itself. Too soft a brush and it won’t be effective enough at cleaning your tires. Remember, what separates a job well done from a mediocre one is often the nuances.
Unlike tires which are all made of the same stuff, there are tons of different wheels on the market – painted, polished, chrome, powder-coated, etc. I’ve never heard of a wheel being ill-affected by Simple Green. That said, it’s wise to do a quick spot-check using the inside of a wheel for example.
After you’re done your tires should look clean, dark and satiny. A yellow tinge on the sidewall indicates you can still get more grime off the tire. In which case you might want to clean some more. Once satisfied, you can follow up with your favorite tire dressing product. This is where you want to splurge. For car tire cleaning however, simple and cheap is just fine. Use Simple Green to clean car tires and you’ll wonder why you ever used anything else.
As I said earlier, I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to car detailing and I love high-end car detailing products. Having said that, I love to use Simple Green to clean the tires on my truck as well as my cars. I also know of a number of reputable shops that swear by Simple Green all-purpose cleaner for cleaning car tires on their customers’ cars – Not to mention a number of exotic car owners that use Simple Green to clean the tires on their Ferraris and Lambos.
Where to buy
While Simple Green can easily be bought at most department stores and even local grocery stores, you can order yourself a bottle right now without even leaving your seat by ordering from Amazon by clicking on the link below. Another side benefit is that if you purchase the products we use, from our partners, you help RallyWays continue to bring you the best car enthusiast content out there.
For all RallyWays car detailing articles see our DETAILER department. There’s always more to learn.