The proper procedure to clean and dress any type of tire

by Richard C. Weichand

Properly cleaning your tires is the most important step before applying any type of tire dressing. Whether you are applying a solvent based dressing, a water based dressing or a non-silicone based tire dressing, using the right tire and whitewall cleaner along with the proper tire brush will determine the final results. This method will allow the tire dressing to properly adhere to the tire, apply evenly onto the tire and help avoid any tire dressing sling.

Many of you are guilty of using a car wash shampoo in order to clean your tires. While car shampoo is very effective in removing dirt from the clear coat, car wash shampoo is not supposed to remove any polish or wax from the vehicle. How can a properly pH balanced shampoo remove all the road grime off your tires? It simply cannot! It is obvious that the tires are one of the dirtiest components on your vehicle. They are exposed to all kind of elements such as grease, mud, road paint and tar. Do not forget at all the times we never really scrubbed the tires properly and then added another layer of tire dressing on top of the old dressing. We are all guilty of this but we need to start paying closer attention when it comes to tire and wheel well detailing.

How to check if your tires are ready to be dressed? Take your fingers and run them along the sidewall of the tire. If you see any dirt on your fingertips, your tires are still dirty and are not ready to be dressed. To properly clean a tire you need to start with a quality tire and whitewall cleaner. Greenway's Tire and Whitewall Cleaner and Degreaser will quickly remove that nasty grime and old tire dressing without “graying” the tire. Once you apply Greenway's Tire and Whitewall Cleaner and Degreaser, you will quickly see the embedded dirt and grime start to lift off the tire. Take a stiff tire brush and begin to scrub the sidewall. It helps to have a wheel and tire bucket by your side that is filled with a wash shampoo solution along with all your other tire, wheel well and rim brushes inside.

By dipping your brush into the wheel bucket, you can rinse some of the dirt off of the brush and continue to scrub the tire until it becomes clean. Once you complete the scrubbing phase, simply rinse off the tire with water from your garden hose or pressure washer. Continue this method until all the tires are cleaned. Once you finish the last tire, most of the other tires will be dry and ready for inspection. Rub your fingertips over the tire again and you should notice little to no dirt on your fingertips. If there is still a layer of grime on the sidewall, simply repeat the process until all the dirt is removed.

While tire cleaning might be one of your least favorite detailing steps, having a clean tire affects the overall appearance, durability and longevity of any type of tire shine applied. Next time you are ready to apply your favorite Greenway's Car Care tire dressing, remember to check the tire before proceeding to apply any type of dressing. I have cleaned thousands of tires during my detailing career and I learned a few things about this stage of the detailing process. Whether the tire looks dirty or not, it should properly be cleaned before proceeding to the dressing stage.