One of the many questions I’m asked is what products I use to clean tires, and how I do it. So many times one will take their car through a car wash, only to find the tires are still brown and dull due to the dirt that is still on the tires after the “wash.”
I have used and tested many different products over the years, and I believe I have finally found the best. The product I use is Meguiars All Purpose Cleaner D101. It’s a foaming product that simply CLEANS with minimal effort. Meguiars also makes a low foaming cleaner; Meguiars All Purpose Cleaner Plus D103. Many detailers have raved about how great the low foaming D103 version is, compared to D101. I, however, believe that the foaming aspect of D101 gives it a performance edge. The foaming effect of D101 simply pulls the dirt and grime up and away from the tire. This product can be diluted up to 10-1 when using it as a car interior cleaner. I, however, use it straight and do not dilute it for cleaning tires.
Simply spray the tires with the product, let it sit for about 30 seconds, and use a general-purpose scrub brush to agitate the tires and remove the built-up dirt and grime. Go over the tires a couple of rotations, then rinse the tire with a garden hose, or better yet, a power washer. Once the tire is rinsed, grab a towel and dry the tire. Once the tire is dry, make sure that there is no visible dirt left behind. If you are happy with the results, you may now apply your favorite tire dressing.
Having clean tires with a premium tire dressing helps the vehicle stand tall. There is nothing worse than having your car detailed, only to have dirty tires hidden with a tire dressing. This method only adds a couple of minutes to the detail, and really puts a star at the top of your grade card once finished.