How to Clean Whitewall Tires? Easy Methods

Whitewall tires, as their name hints, have a white sidewall. Some varieties have a slim white line going around the tire’s circumference. They were popular in the 1950s and are making a comeback. You may sport them in restored classics and sports cars. You need to know how to clean whitewall tires if you own a set.

Cleaning is a critical part of tire maintenance, which, unfortunately, many car owners overlook. Standard black tires can hide much of the dirt. Whitewall tires turning brown or black are a sign that you need to bring out your cleaning utilities.

Stick on with us as we show you how to clean this tire type.

How to Clean Whitewall Tires

Before going onto the cleaning process, you need to know what makes your white sidewall tires dirty. There is the apparent soiling coming from mud, dust, and other agents on the roadside.

The other cause of a dirty sidewall is the effect of ultraviolet rays. Exposure to these rays will give the white part a yellowish hue. In severe situations, you may notice some minor cracks.

mr clean magic eraser white wall tires

Now to the cleaning part, listed below are some of the things you need.

  • A cleaning detergent and water.
  • SOS pads.
  • A cleaning brush.
  • Vinegar and baking soda.

If you have all these items, use the following steps to restore your tires.

Step 1: Give a Basic Clean

Start by cleaning the tires as you would typically. Wet the tires and apply a generous amount of detergent on them. Scrub the rubber surface with a cleaning brush or SOS pads, then focus on the rims. Make sure you get rid of all dirt, including grime and oil customarily found on the rims.

Your choice of detergent should be devoid of alcohol and chlorine. While these two elements do an excellent job of cleaning, they can dry out the rubber surface. This hastens the tires’ degradation rate.

Once done with cleaning, rinse the tires and let them dry.

Step 2: Focus On the White Sidewall

After drying, you now shift your attention to the white strip. Here, we look at how to clean whitewall tires that are yellow due to the effect of UV rays. To deal with a yellowing sidewall, you can go for dedicated whitewall tire cleaners. The downside is that they may be pretty costly.

A solution comes in the form of household items. Vinegar and baking soda will perform impeccably in restoring the white color to your tires. Make a paste of the two products and apply it generously around the white surface for all the tires.

Let it rest for a while before gently scrubbing it off with an SOS pad or brush. Rinse it with clean water, and you notice the change.

The other way of doing away with yellowed whitewall tires is by using eraser cleaning pads. You wet the pad and the tires and gently scrub the tire surface. For the best results, use at least one pad for each tire.

Optionally, cleaning whitewall tires with a magic eraser is also ideal in the restoration of your tires. This item will do away with grime and oil, which are stubborn stains.

Step 3: Apply a Tire Protectant

After seeing that the tires are in proper shape, apply a tire protectant over it. This product gives the tire a shiny look and an edge of protection against UV rays.

When cleaning white sidewall tires, there are several things to keep in mind for a smooth process. First of all, start by cleaning the tires before going to the rest of the vehicle. It prevents dirt from the tires from going to already cleaned surfaces.

Rinse both parts together, and apply the tire dressing when waxing the rest of the car. Additionally, check for any form of tire wear patterns and damage to arrange for necessary repairs if necessary. The highlighted steps also come in handy when looking at how to clean whitewall tires on a motorcycle.

You can check out this video for guidance on how to clean whitewall tires.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What Is The Best Thing To Use To Clean Whitewall Tires?

A clean white sidewall tire looks fantastic and can improve its life. Maintaining this tire type is straightforward, requiring regular detergent and a brush. However, for a satisfactory outcome, you can use cleaners dedicated to whitewall tires, which will make the white area shine. Also, you have the choice of using vinegar and baking soda to do away with yellowing.

Q: How Do I Get My Whitewalls White Again?

A problem that you are likely to encounter with whitewalls is yellowing or browning. Basic cleaning can rejuvenate the tire to its original color, though at times, it may fail. In this case, you can rely on whitewall tire cleaners that will get rid of the discoloration. The other solution is to apply a baking soda-vinegar paste on the sidewall. This mixture of household items will have your sidewalls white as they were initially.

Q: Can You Use Bleach To Clean Whitewall Tires?

There are several products to use to clean whitewalls. Can you use bleach on whitewall tires? While bleach does well in cleaning the tires, its chlorine component can act against your efforts. It is advisable to avoid chlorine and alcohol-based cleansers, as they can dry the rubber surface, leading to their degradation. In short, steer away from bleach when cleaning your white sidewalls.

Q: How Do You Clean Yellow Whitewall Tires?

A yellow whitewall tire looks unsightly, and it may be challenging to deal with. The good news is that there is a solution in the form of whitewall cleaners. They have components that will remove the yellow appearance.

Moreover, you can create vinegar and baking soda paste. It has reduction properties that will do away with the yellow oxidized tire surface.

Q: Why Do White Walls Turn Yellow?

There are many possible culprits behind your sidewalls turning yellow. The common one is the effect of UV rays, which cause their oxidation. Fluid spills, like those from oil and transmission fluid, can bring about this issue. At times, driving over plants can release their sap onto the surface. The sap may have chemical properties that cause oxidation.

A tire dressing or protectant will protect the sidewalls from turning yellow.

Q: Is Simple Green Safe On Tires?

Simple Green markets its products as green and biodegradable. Its products, such as the multipurpose cleaner, are safe for your vehicle and will do a great job for your tires. The cleaner does not have chlorine or alcohol, meaning the rubber surface will be in good shape after use.

best way to clean new white wall tires

Final Thought

Whitewall tires are suitable for your vehicle’s aesthetic factor, giving them a sporty or classic look. The problem with this type of tire comes when you want to clean them. You have to bring all you can to have it in proper shape.

For your convenience, we show you how to clean whitewall tires and rejuvenate them. Follow the highlighted instruction for good-looking tires.

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Hi there, I am R. Hasan Tito, a mechanic, and owner of this website. My friend and I created this website to share our knowledge, expertise, and experience with our fellow mechanics' community and car users. I am a specialist and certified automotive mechanic (Both Heavy Commercial and Private Cars). I worked as a Mechanic and Mechanic Supervisor for over fifteen years at Global Rebound Automotive companies - Toyota, TATA, BMW, Nissan, TVs, and Others. Now, I enjoy my new role of leading a team of automotive experts (in their respective fields) and publish new content on a regular basis on my website and social media.

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