Wheels & Tires cleaning | protecting | dressing

The Intro

As brake dust is very corrosive, It is important to clean your wheels once a week to ensure the brake dust does not start to etch or corrode the surface of the wheel.

Using protection on your wheels can both protect them, and also makes the cleaning and maintaining a lot easier. You will not need to use any harmful. Or aggressive chemicals that with constant use can start to damage some parts of the wheel.


Firstly, always remove as much of the loose dirt as possible, using a hose or presser washer Then spray the wheels with your preferred cleaning product, carefully following the manufacturer's instructions. Fill a bucket of water with your favorite high-quality car shampoo. Dip the brush or sponge/ mitt into the bucket & clean the wheel, taking care not to miss any parts like, inside the wheel, in between the spokes and by the lug nuts. To get the best results clean the inside & the back face of the wheel as normal, using a wheel woollie or similar brush, then rinse well and for best results drive the car forward slightly, to identify any hidden parts of the wheel that you might have missed.

Please note that some black spots on the wheel may be tar rather than heavy brake dust so after cleaning we would recommend using a tar remover, before trying a stronger wheel cleaner.

For best results and to stop any water spots on the wheels you should dry using a clean damp micro fibre towel or use an air blower or compressed air to remove the water from the wheel.

Protecting the wheels

Before applying the wheel sealant, the surface must be free of brake dust, contaminants, tar, polish residue or oils, so use Iron X and tar remover follow by an IPA.

For the next step, you will have to follow the instructions on your chosen product regarding the application. We can offer you a few general tips. However, it is most important that you follow the manufacturers instructions.

Unless stated apply a few drops of the product onto the applicator pad,( included with your product) and wipe over the whole wheel, apply more product as needed. If the calipers are painted or smooth you can apply the product onto these as well, be sure not to miss any parts and wipe immediately with a clean, dry microfiber towel. Taking care not to allow the product to dry on the surface. Leave the products to cure for around 12 – 24 hours be for using the wheels or getting them wet.

If you have the expertise, it can be beneficial to remove the wheel from the car. As it ensures the whole wheel can be fully cleaned and protected. (It is also easier to access the calipers for cleaning as well).

Caring for Wheels with Protection

When you have protected your wheels, you will not want use any corrosive or acid based products as these will damage the coating. It's best to use a ph neutral wheel cleaner or just your usual weekly car shampoo.

Please note, you will still get tar and other contaminants on the wheel, but where the wheels have been protected these contaminants will be easier to remove.



The tyres are the only part of the vehicle that comes in direct contact with the road. Consequently, they attract a lot of stubborn dirt which is partially absorbed, due to the slightly porous quality of the rubber and requires removing. Many people are unsure of how to remove the dirt, so they either perform this step poorly or miss it out altogether, advancing straight to the tyre dressing. We will advise you how to clean the tyre before it can be dressed.

Dressing your tyre, whether to a high gloss or satin finish, will help to enhance the look of the tyre which can really improve the overall appearance of the car.

Cleaning the Tyre.

Start by rinsing the tyre with a hose or presser washer to remove as much as the loose dirt as possible. If the tyre is very dirty or it has not been cleaned for some time, use an all-purpose cleaner or degreaser. Spray over the tyre, leaving it to dwell if necessary. Otherwise use a medium stiff brush to scrub thoroughly over the wall of the tyre, ensuring you repeat the process until clean. Then rinse immediately with clean water.

You can use on old chami-leather, micro fibre towel or for the best results an air blower, or compressed air machine to dry the tyre, alternatively, you can just leave it to dry naturally.

Dressing the Tyre.

The surface of the tyre needs to be clean and dry be for applying the dressing. We find it's best to use, ‘Flexipads Split Blue Detail Foam Pads’ to apply the tyre dressing. Apply the product onto the foam applicator, how large the surface of the tyre is will help to dictate how much of the product you should use. It is best to use a small amount first, as it is easier to apply more, but harder to remove any excess. It's also a waste of the product. Wipe over the surface, ensuring a thin, even coat is applied to each tyre.

Some products will require an extra layer to be applied about ten mins later for a more glossy finish. Great if this is the finish you wish to achieve. Otherwise, you can leave it with just the one coat.

The Brown sludge.

If you don’t wash off all the old dressing during the washing process, and continually layer more and more of the product, over the weeks you will build up a brown sludge on the tyre. This is partly the dressing and partly the additional dirt from driving. It looks most unsightly and is likely to sling off the tyres and onto the wheels and bodywork.

To remove this, use the standard washing process as detailed above. Use a degreaser, to clean thoroughly, rinse and leave to dry. If a stubborn layer remains, remove with a solvent cleaner and wipe with an old cloth or micro fibre towel.

Additional Tips.

Ensure you clean the applicator pad using hot water to help flush out the dirt and old dressing. Otherwise, you will just put the sludge back onto the tyre when reapplying the tyre dressing.

Don’t apply a dressing to a motorbike or cycle tyres.

Move the car during the application process to ensure there you have cleaned and dressed all areas of the tyre.

Your wheels & tyres should be nice and clean now. we hope you found this guide helpful.

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Created By
Tom Robinson


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