Car Maintenance

How to clean tires with household products

Of all the parts on your car, the wheels are perhaps the most difficult to clean. Since they touch the road the most, they are also exposed to different types of pollutants.

This includes mud, dirt and grease.

A car wash is the quickest way to fix this problem. But we know how expensive it is, and spending that kind of money every once in a while isn’t practical.

But what if you can clean your wheels for a fraction of the price? How to clean tires with household products that are as good as going to the store.

Why your tires turn brown

This is the main reason your tires turn brown antiozonant.

Antiozonant is a chemical added to rubber to prevent your tires from drying out (oxidizing). Tire browning is also known as blooming, which can be prevented by always cleaning your tires.

Blooming occurs when the antiozonant is slowly pushed to the outer edge of the rubber case. As soon as it comes into contact with oxygen, it leaves a brown residue on the tire surface.

Antiozonant is an organic chemical. It prolongs the life of tires by slowing down their wear due to oxidation.

That’s why it’s possible to make tires that can last 10 years!

To achieve this benefit, the rubber carcass is manufactured in such a way that the chemical moves forward on the surface of your tire. This keeps the tires UV/oxygen resistant and flexible for longer.

Myths about what causes tire bloom

Mold release agents are essentially non-stick lubricants. They are placed in tire molds so that the tires can be easily released.

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Those used in the manufacture of tires do not allow them to turn brown. But they still add to the risk because they keep the antiozonant on the surface of your tire.

And as mentioned earlier, the more antiozonant left on the edges, the more oxidation and browning will occur.

Some also believe that silicone makes tires bloom. However, this is not true as it is sticky – this allows dust and dirt to stick to the surface of the tire and turn the sidewalls brown.

This will get the tire dirty but not bloom.

In this case, simply use a brush and some water to clean the tyre. Meanwhile, special silicone-based bandages and some scrubbing also work.

How to deal with tire blooms

Regular cleaning of your tires is one step in preventing tire bloom. Use this guide to clean tires with household products:

  • First, make sure your car is not running. Turn it off and see if the rims are cool enough to touch.
  • Use a garden hose to hose off large pieces of dirt and grit from your rims and wheels. It helps a lot with scrubbing and is easier than just using a bucket and bucket.
  • Fill a bucket with a gallon of hot water and add a teaspoon of concentrated dish soap. Apply the solution and leave it on for a few minutes for it to bond.
  • Clean the outer edge of the rim with a sponge or rag. Scrub well until the metal surface is free of grease.
  • However, avoid scrubbing too hard as this can scratch the tire. Also avoid brushes with steel teeth as these can puncture the rubber and cause air leaks.
  • Proceed to the inner surface of the rim. You can use an old toothbrush for those hard-to-reach spots.
  • Rinse the wheels with clear water, starting from the top. This will remove all of the soap – any residue can leave a mark on anything your wheels come into contact with.
  • Again, using a garden hose makes it quicker and easier. Repeat the steps as necessary.
  • Take a clean towel and dry the wheels immediately.
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The second step in protecting your tires is to use a tire conditioner. It is the most popular type of protection to prevent tires from turning brown.

They fill in the pores of the tire surface, making them appear blacker or have a more intense color. They give a matte, satin or gloss finish and applying at least 2 coats can extend durability.

These can be solvent based or water based.

Solvent-based wound dressings usually have silicone and are a clear but sticky liquid. They are more concentrated and give your tires a shiny finish once applied.

However, they can also cause rubber to deteriorate quickly due to the petroleum distillate solvents they contain.

In the meantime, Water based dressings are usually a mixture of synthetic polymers and natural oils. That’s why they look like milky liquids and tend to be the most economical type of dressing.

They are also environmentally friendly and do not cause rubber to degrade over time.

Pros and cons of tire dressings


  • They help prevent cracking, oxidation and fading. This makes them one of the best solutions to prevent sidewall browning.
  • They make rubbers last longer by lubricating them. That is why they are also called rejuvenators.
  • Water-based wound dressings do not pollute the environment because they are biodegradable.
  • Most of them come in spray bottles so they are easy to apply.


  • Solvent-based dressings can penetrate your car’s bodywork. The petroleum distillate solvents it contains can ruin the finish.
  • Sprays, while convenient, can be difficult to control and can damage rims and brakes.
  • Since the layers can cause damage, they can promote the formation of cracks over time.
  • You are now ready to hit the road with clean tires!
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Tire cleaning tips

Always clean the rims and tires first

This is a must when washing your vehicle. They’re often the dirtiest part of your car, so it’s best to clean them first.

Have two different buckets of water

Make sure your tires have their own bucket if you’re not using a garden hose. Also use different sponges or if you only have one, rinse it well before using it on your car.

This is to prevent the car paint from being scratched with dust and dirt from the tire. Also, the things you use on your car can be too dirty for the wheels, which can then turn them brown.


Cleaning and protecting your tires can help prevent efflorescence and extend their life. So make sure to clean and protect them regularly to get the most out of their performance.

Chloe Rimmer
Tv geek. Content practitioner. Creator. Wannabe beer nerd. Thinker. Passionate explorer. Proud bacon trailblazer. Travel fanatic. Award-winning introvert.

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