How to Clean Car Tires (w/ Pictures) BEST Shine 2023

  1. Home
  2. DIY Car Detailing Blog
  3. Car Detailing

Car tires are the most neglected part of a vehicle—they’re like the middle child of a family of five.

Mom and dad prefer to spend all their money spoiling their interior dashboard and upholstery, since the youngest always brings the most joy to their hearts. They likewise shower affection on the exterior paneling by sparing no expense, making sure that the oldest has that sleek candy-like Ceramic Spray to show off to the neighbors.

Meanwhile, guess who’s left with nothing but the crap on the road?

Deep rich jet black tire shine that lasts

Quit applying cheap tire products week after week! Graphene Tire Shine uses graphene; a mineral 200X stronger than steel for the longest lasting shine & protection on the market.
★★★★★ "Graphene Burst BLOWS ME AWAY! Applied a month or more ago. Still sparkles like a diamond in bright sunshine!" - Mike J.

Table of Contents

Battle Plan: The Torque Detail Method For Long-Lasting Shiny Tires

Now that you’re sufficiently shamed for potential car abuse, you can take measures to fix your poor tires and help them not only survive but even thrive in any rugged environment.

It’s not enough to simply hose down your wheels and leave them to dry. While this crude method is certainly better than nothing, water just doesn’t have the capability of dislodging all the debris that has penetrated or seeped into the grooves of the rubber. It also cannot protect your tires from future damage on the road, nor can it restore their original appearance that made bystanders turn their heads.

There has to be a better, more efficient, and more permanent way of doing this.

A lot of car detailers have been busy trying to come up with a solution to the tire problem, and we at Torque Detail have made it our mission to formulate an all-in-one tire protection product that can give you all the features you need at a fraction of the time and cost - without having to go to a car wash and do it all on your own!

Graphene Tire Shine Spray has the following features at a glance:

  • Gives your tires a black matte sheen that’s aesthetically pleasing to look at.
  • Creates a protective layer over the tires that shield it from harmful ultraviolet rays.
  • Makes your tires water-resistant.
  • Contains sealant properties that close any gaps or imperfections that your tires may have sustained.
  • Combats dry rotting, which is what happens when tires are exposed to the sun for a long time.

All this is bottled in a handy 16 oz. easy-spray container. Simply pump the handle and watch your wheels come back to life!

Detailer Pro Tip: Letting Your Tire Shine Soak In Vs. Wiping It Off Right Away

There’s a lot of debate as to the best way of applying Torque Detail’s Graphene Tire Shine Spray (or any other spray for that matter). Most arguments belong to one of three camps:

Option 1: Apply and wipe off as soon as possible.

This option means that you spray the product on the tire and wipe it off as soon as possible, probably after a few seconds. Proponents argue that it doesn’t take long for the chemicals to do their work, and any unnecessary waiting is just a waste of time.

Option 2: Apply and wait for a while before wiping off.

This middle-ground option means that you spray the product on the tire, but then wait a few minutes before wiping it off. Advocates claim that it takes up to 5 to 7 minutes for the product to completely soak in.

Option 3: Apply and never wipe.

This last camp applies the product and just lets it dry by itself. The thought is that the more product, the better the shine and protection, which means wiping it off is completely unnecessary.

Obviously, the best way is always to do what the manufacturer suggests, which may differ from one brand to another. As far as Torque Detail’s High-Gloss Tire Shine Spray is concerned, we don’t recommend wiping everything off, nor do we recommend leaving it all on. The reason for this is that any excess liquid left on the tire will sling off once you drive away, and this could land on your paint or other parts of your vehicle.

In a nutshell, spray on Torque Detail’s High-Gloss Tire Shine, wait for around 5 to 7 minutes, and then gently dab off any surplus formula without disturbing the rest.

What’s The Difference Between Tire Cleaner And Tire Dressing?

A tire cleaner is, just as the name suggests, a product that’s designed to clean your tires. The wheels in your vehicle are always in contact with the road. This means that dust, debris, mud, grime, pebbles, rocks, and practically anything else found under your feet is constantly assaulting the black rubber. Tire cleaners are more specialized than your typical car soap, since they not only wash off all the gunk but also deal with metal contaminants from the brakes.

On the other hand, a tire dressing is something that rejuvenates the rubber and makes it look brand new, giving off that sleek black finish that’s so pleasing to look at. Tires will naturally degrade and fade over time, especially when they’re exposed to the heat of the sun for long periods. A tire dressing won’t clean the tire, but instead will penetrate through and rehydrate the parts that have dried out, giving it back its deep and rich appearance.

Torque Detail’s Graphene Tire Shine is primarily a tire dressing. If you’re looking for a tire cleaner, we have a corresponding product called Decon Wash Pack, which contains an 8 oz. decontamination soap as well as a free wash mitt. This soap strips off all the gunk on the wheels and leaves them spotless and unsoiled so that you can then apply the dressing. Both Torque Detail’s High-Gloss Tire Shine and Decon Wash Pack work well together and are all you need for perfect-looking tires!

Materials Needed To Clean Tires

Phase 1.) The Basic Wash

Since the tire is most likely the dirtiest part of your vehicle, it needs to be thoroughly washed prior to shining it. Brake dust in particular is a common problem—this is a black powdery residue that forms from the friction every time you hit your brakes. While it’s a normal occurrence, failure to clean it can lead to build-up over time, making it harder to remove. It’s also been known to cause cancer, so be sure to take this off your wheels before it gets out of hand.

Plain water cannot get rid of all these bad elements, so be sure to use Torque Detail’s Decon Wash Pack. First, hose down your wheels as a preliminary cleaning to take care of all the large contaminants like mud and grime. Next, take a 5-gallon bucket of water and mix it with 4 oz. of Torque Detail’s Decontamination Soap. Then, use the free microfiber mitt (or a towel/sponge if you don’t have one) to wash and scrub the tires with the soap solution. This will effectively remove any remaining impurities, especially brake dust. Finally, hose down the tires again to rinse off the suds.

If you’re detailing the wheels at the same time, at this point, you can even use a tire brush. It will make it a lot easier to get into all of the nooks and crannies of the wheel. Decon Soap will help remove a lot of the grime stuck on the wheel.

Phase 2.) Applying Tire Shine

Once the tire has been thoroughly cleaned, spray a moderate amount of Torque Detail’s High-Gloss Tire Shine on the rubber portion of your wheels (obviously, this refers to the sidewall facing towards you—you aren’t expected to apply the solution on the part that comes in contact with the ground). Let the formula sit for a few minutes, and afterward, dab away any excess with a clean cloth if necessary.

Done? Step back and admire the showroom finish!

Testing The Odd Methods: Household Wheel Cleaners To Shine Your Car Tires

Some of you out there may be on a tight budget and want to know if there are cheaper alternatives to use when washing and shining your tires. Thankfully, here are a few household items that, while not as good as a professionally formulated tire dresser and cleaner, will do in a pinch.

Cleaning With Simple Green, The Natural Degreaser

Simple Green All Wheel & Tire Cleaner is an inexpensive alternative that can get rid of brake dust and other debris from your wheels. They particularly pride themselves on being eco-friendly, making them widely appealing for those involved in the green movement. However, the major downside is that one bottle of Simple Green is consumed fairly quickly, since it has to be sprayed on directly and cannot be diluted with water.

Cleaning With Coke And Dishwashing Soap

Coke has a lot of functions (and is delicious to boot), but using it to wash your tires is more of an urban legend than actual science. While carbonated beverages have been proven to be effective in removing rust from the chrome on your wheels, it’s not advisable to pour it on the rubber itself (or any part of the car for that matter), because the acidic nature can dissolve the clear coat or finish. The same goes for dishwashing soap, which will strip off any protective lining along with the dirt.

Both of these items may be cheap, but their unwanted side-effects could cost you an arm and a leg!

Scrubbing With Baking Soda And Vinegar

The idea with baking soda and vinegar is that either is an excellent cleaning product on its own, and when mixed together, their basic and acidic pH levels neutralize each other, making them safe for tires. Simply grab a container and pour some vinegar on it, then add baking soda. This solution can then be used to clean brake rust and other dust on your wheels using either a cloth or a brush, although you may need something stronger for tougher stains.

One downside is that there’s going to be a lot of foaming due to the chemical reaction, so you might have a mess on your hands afterward. It also takes a lot more work than a pre-packaged professional solution, which means that while you may save money, you end up losing time in the process.

Shining With Furniture Cleaner

As far as tire dressings are concerned, some people have recommended furniture cleaner. After all, if it’s good for your EZ chair, it must be good for your wheels, right? This is true to a certain extent—furniture polish will definitely make your tires exude that glossy, satin finish (not to mention leave it smelling great if you’re using a scented solution).

The problem is that this is only a superficial result. Furniture polish does not have any UV barriers or other protective elements, since it’s not primarily formulated for rubber. It also tends to wash off in about a week, forcing you to have to re-apply it constantly, which is bad for both your wallet and your back.

Shining With Olive Oil

The good thing with olive oil is that it works just as well as furniture polish in giving off that amazing shine, with the added bonus that it’s much cheaper. Theoretically, this implies that you can keep reapplying it without any heavy burden on your budget. On the other hand, olive oil is sticky, which means that dust and dirt will be clinging to your sidewall after a while.

This isn’t exactly a good tradeoff in terms of aesthetics!

In the end, while some of these household items are excellent workarounds if you’re in a hurry, they are primarily meant for other purposes. Tires are a completely different beast, which means you’ll have to rely on specially-formulated products that are exclusively designed for them.

Summary: Clean, Shiny, And Long-Lasting Car Tires!

Deep rich jet black tire shine that lasts

Quit applying cheap tire products week after week! Graphene Tire Shine uses graphene; a mineral 200X stronger than steel for the longest lasting shine & protection on the market.
★★★★★ "Graphene Burst BLOWS ME AWAY! Applied a month or more ago. Still sparkles like a diamond in bright sunshine!" - Mike J.


A complete car means taking care of every aspect of your vehicle, including the much-neglected tires. On a safety level, the wheels are probably the most important part of your ride, since you’ll be relying on them to be robust enough to handle hazardous road conditions and work with the brake system to make sure you can stop on a dime. Keeping them in great condition is therefore essential.

With Torque Detail’s High-Gloss Tire Shine and Decon Wash Pack, you’ll have everything you need to keep your tires clean and free from dirt and brake dust, as well as rejuvenated enough to combat dry rotting so that you can bring out that dark showroom finish that always impresses.

The next time you're planning to give your car a makeover, pay more attention to the middle child this time. After all, he’s still part of the family!

Published on May 16, 2021