How to Clean Wheel & Tyres

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How to Clean Wheel & Tyres

What is the best way to clean wheels and tyres on a car, truck or motorcycle?

Dirt, grime, water, salt, brake dust, grease and other road debris are just some of the nasty things you subject your wheels and tires to on a daily basis. And while they might be one of the dirtiest parts of your car, properly cared for wheels & tires complete the look of a well-detailed vehicle and add significantly to the overall appearance.

View our range of premium Wheel & Tyre Cleaning products here.

In today’s article we’ll walk you through some of the tips and tricks you can use when cleaning your wheels to help you save time & effort.
When working on a full-detail, we typically tackle the wheels & tires first. Not only are they the dirtiest, but working on them first allows enough time for the tires to dry for a dressing application while you’re detailing the rest of the car.

How to clean dirty offroad tyres and wheels

Browning of the tire’s surface can be caused by a number of factors, but often times old tire dressing will attract dirt & brake dust and cause it to stick to the tire’s surface, which in turn can cause the tire to discolor. We find the best way to clean the tire is with a good All Purpose Cleaner. Spray it on, let it soak for a few seconds, then scrub the heck out of it!

All Purpose Cleaner washing wheels | Jay Leno's Garage Australia

Pro Tip: Using a long-handled Fender Brush to scrub the side walls can help make a dirty job much easier. You want to make sure and get all of the nooks and crannies of the tire. Once you’re finished, rinse with clean water, and remember, try to avoid letting cleaners dry on the surface.

20" Long-Handled Wheel Cleaning Brush | Jay Leno's Garage Australia

Once you’re done cleaning the tires & wheel wells, you can move on to the wheels (or rims) themselves. Brake dust can really make this a tough job and a high-quality Wheel Cleaner will be your best friend for this step. Cheap cleaners have a tough time effectively breaking down brake dust, and will require lots of extra scrubbing. A quality wheel cleaner will make quick work of even the most stubborn brake dust. It’s worth noting that you should pay close attention when choosing a wheel cleaner, they often contain very strong chemicals and can sometimes be unsafe for specific wheel finishes. We suggest reading all appropriate warning labels before choosing a product. 

Using Wheel Cleaner to remove brake dust | Jay Leno's Garage Australia

If you do need to scrub the wheel face to agitate stubborn dirt, we suggest using a soft-bristled brush like a Nylon Wheel Brush. The nylon bristles are tough enough to scrub away stubborn dirt, but soft enough that they wont harm sensitive finishes.

Cleaning Wheel with Wheel Cleaning Brush

When you’re finished scrubbing, make sure and rinse the wheel, tire and wheel well thoroughly with clean water.

Washing Off Road Tyres with Jay Leno's Garage products

Don't forget to rinse your brushes too. This will help ensure they last a very long time and help with many detailing sessions in the near future.

Wheel Cleaning Brush from Jay Leno's Garage Australia

Once it's all said and done, make sure and use your favourite Tyre Shine for dressing the tires and restoring that beautiful, deep black look.

Tyre Shine dressing from Jay Leno's Garage Australia

Detailing wheels and tires is certainly low on the list on fun things to do. Hopefully, we've saved you some time and heartache with these tips & tricks.

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