Having dull, tired and grey looking tires is one of the easiest ways to ruin what would otherwise be a freshly detailed car. So how do you make your tires look brand new?
It’s actually pretty simple, and doesn’t take too long either. In this article, I’ll take you through the essential steps to make your tires look brand new in under 15 minutes. So let’s get started.
The Quick Answer
To make brown or dull looking tires look new again, clean them using an all-purpose cleaner or dedicated tire cleaner with a hard bristle brush, then rinse. Wipe with a damp microfiber towel and repeat the process until there is no transfer onto the towel. Dry, then apply a tire dressing.
1. Clean the Tires Using APC or a Tire Cleaner
If you’re tires and looking dirty and tired, then the first step to making them look new again, is to give them a good clean.
This can be pretty hard work, and if I’m honest, it’s one of my least favourite parts of detailing a car. But it is essential if you want your tires to look shiny, and the overall car look much newer.
If you can’t remember the last time you cleaned your tires, then this step make take a little longer than if you maintain them regularly. So here are the steps to deep clean your tires.
- Rinse the tires
- Apply an APC or Tire Cleaner
- Scrub using a stiff bristled brush
- Rinse again
- Wipe with a microfiber towel
- Repeat until there is no transfer from the tires to the towel
If you have a pressure washer , then now’s the time to dust it off and get it out of the garage. If you want to dramatically cut down the time it takes to clean your tires, then the wet wash can help a whole lot.
Use a fan-type nozzle and spray your tires down thoroughly. You can get away with using a pretty powerful setting, but use it at an angle and avoid hitting the paint or alloys to reduce the risk of damage.
2. Scrub the Tires with an APC or Dedicated Tire Cleaner
Next, you’ll need to give the tires a good scrub. I use a hard bristle brush to do this. Make sure it’s not too wide though that you’re touching the alloys because it will scratch them.
Car shampoo isn’t strong enough to remove the grease and grub on your tires that has built up over time. So I recommend using an all-purpose cleaner designed for cars or a dedicated tire cleaner. Make sure you wear nitrile gloves to protect your skin.
My favourite products for this are:
You’ll want to give each tire a good scrub and then rinse it down again using the pressure washer.
Use a Microfiber Towel
Another really great way of getting the grease and grime off your tires, is to use a microfiber towel.
This needs to be an old one that you have absolutely no intention of using for any other purpose. You cannot use the same microfiber towel anywhere else on your car after you’ve used it on your tires.
Give the tires a good wipe down using a damp microfiber towel and you’ll notice loads of extra dirt getting removed.
Rinse and Repeat
Unfortunately, this process can take a while because it needs repeating a few times. Unless your tires have been regularly cleaned, you’ll probably need to repeat this process at least 3 times on each tire before moving onto the next step.
Ideally, you want as little black transfer on your microfiber towel as possible before quitting.
Dress the Tires
Okay, so now your tires are squeaky clean, you can move onto the dressing step. This is essential to give your car the shiny, wet-look that makes them appear brand new, even when they may be years old. It also protects them from the elements to prevent drying and cracking over-time.
I personally use the Garage Therapy Tyre Serum which is more than just a dressing as it conditions the rubber as well. After the first few times of applying it, I noticed that the tires stayed much cleaner between washes and still repelled water.
Here is a link to the Garage Therapy /ONE: Tyre Serum.
You can also use a foam or microfiber applicator to apply the product.
Frequently Asked Questions
Okay, so now you know how to get your tires to look brand new again. Here are some FAQs you may still have about detailing your wheels.
How often should I clean my tires?
The tires should be deep cleaned using an all-purpose-cleaner or dedicated tires cleaner every 2-3 months on average. Maintenance cleaning is best performed every every two weeks, by using a softer brush and car shampoo, rinsing and wiping with a microfiber towel. Then the tires can be dried and a dressing applied.
How long does tire dressing last?
Unfortunately, these tire dressings don’t last as long as you might think. Although most tire dressings claim to last up to a month, I’ve found that they last around a week.
The Gtechniq T2 tire dressing lasts around 2 weeks when you prep the surface properly. Whereas the Meguiar’s dressing lasts around 1 week.
You can get the best durability by ensuring the tires are squeaky clean before applying the dressing. This dramatically increases the time they last for. If you apply a dressing to a dirty tire, you’ll be lucky to get a couple of days worth of shine.
Giving your tires a jet wash, and reapplying a small amount of tire dressing each week is generally going to get your tires looking pretty good most of the time though.
How do you clean brown looking tires?
The best way to revive tires that have browned, is by rinsing them and cleaning using an all-purpose-cleaner or dedicated tires cleaner and a hard bristle brush, wiping with a microfiber towel, and then repeating around 5 times.
Brown tires can be a pain, but if you follow the steps above, then you should get them looking pretty good again. It’s very hard to get them to look black again without a tire dressing though. Often the browning occurs over time, so if you have new tires, make sure you look after them!
So I always recommend a deep clean, followed by the Garage Therapy Tyre Serum which will help to condition the rubber and protect them from browning further.
Thanks for reading! I hope you’ve found this article helpful. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog to learn more about getting your car to look it’s best!