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The Best Tire Cleaner of 2018

Get Rid of Stubborn Road Grime With These Top 10 Tire Cleaners

Published October 5, 2018

Tire cleaner is an essential inclusion in any car detailing kit because tires are important (surprise!). We probably don’t have to tell you how important your tires are to the wellbeing and longevity of your car, but we’re going to do it anyway because it’s a public safety concern.

Tires that are not regularly cared for run the risk of a puncture and potentially dangerous blowout. For the good of your car, and even those riding in the car next to yours, it’s important to take good care of your tires.

Why Use Tire Cleaner?

Every car owner should use tire cleaner because it is the easiest and most effective way to increase and maintain the strength, durability, and longevity of your tires.

before and after tire

Tires are worn down with regular use, but even tires that have never driven a mile can lose structural integrity. In fact, the majority of tire manufacturers recommend a full tire replacement every five to six years, regardless of mileage.

Wheel cleaner can have a significant effect on your tires, but no amount of tire cleaner will restore a tire that is damaged beyond the point of no return. If you’re not sure a tire can be saved, the experts recommend replacing your tires when the depth of the tread is worn below 4/32 inches.

worn tires vs healthy tires

Tire Cleaner Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Tire Cleaner

Cleaning your tires is an important part of the car detailing process. When tires are properly detailed using wheel and tire cleaning products, they are not only cleaner but appear to be wet.

Car enthusiasts covet the wet tire look because it conceals unsightly cracks and fading within the surface of the tire that develops from regular use and exposure to damaging ultraviolet sunlight.

What is Tire Cleaner – Most tire cleaner products consist of a combination of cleaning agents and solvents that are designed to sink into the surface of the tire, remove dirt and dissolve brake dust and grime.

Wheel and tire cleaner products are found everywhere you buy your automotive cleaning products, but that is no indication of quality.

What determines whether a tire cleaner is high quality?

Professional grade wheel and tire cleaner will generally include rubber conditioners, sealants, and protectants that restore the tire to its factory state, then seal and protect it to provide a lasting finish.

Tire cleaner products are fairly simple, you spray them on and wipe away contaminants. You can even make your own if you have the right ingredients.

How to Make Tire Cleaner- To make homemade tire cleaner, combine the following ingredients and stir.

  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • Warm water
  • Castor Oil

Once the ingredients are combined, use a sponge, rag or microfiber cloth to apply your homemade tire cleaner to the surface of the tire.

Since homemade tire cleaner lacks any powerful cleaning agents or solvents, you may need to apply a little elbow grease to achieve the desired effect.

How To Use Tire Cleaner the Right Way

This article wouldn’t be much of a tire cleaning guide if it didn’t explain how to use tire cleaner.

Detailing your wheels and tires can be done in 4 easy steps, but it’s important to take your time.

Your wheels and tires include a lot of nooks, crannies, edges, and surfaces, and leaving tire cleaner to dry on the tire surface can damage it. Before you begin detailing your tires, be sure that you commit to the time it will take to detail your wheels properly.

Wheel and Tire Detail Guide

1.) Clean your wheels and tires with car wash soap- This step is all about prepping the surface of your tires and getting all of the excess dirt and road grime off of them – things you generally can’t see when simply looking at a tire. For our recommendations for the best car wash soaps available, the search ends here.

2.) Choose an appropriate tire cleaner for your wheel and tire combination- Some tire cleaner products are concentrated for maximum cleaning effect and can damage antique tires or stain rims and hubcaps.

If your wheels and tires are covered in unsightly brake dust, be sure to purchase a tire cleaner that includes solvents that dissolve brake dust or incorporate a brake dust cleaner into your tire detail.

If you don’t have a good brake dust cleaner on hand, we recommend anything from this selection.

3.) Clean one wheel and tire set at a time- To prevent the tire cleaner from drying to the surface, only clean one wheel at a time instead of trying to manage all four simultaneously.

4.) Dry your wheels- Use a microfiber cloth to remove excess tire cleaner.

Congratulations! You now know how to detail your car tires properly, just remember that your tires aren’t entirely clean unless you can nearly see your reflection in its wet and shiny surface.

The tire cleaning process is slightly different for cars with white wall tires. If you your car has whitewall tires, Duragloss Whitewall Tire Cleaner is a great way to restore them to a brilliant white.

10 Best Tire Cleaner Products

The best tire cleaner for cars, trucks and everything else with wheels is going to be the tire cleaner that removes the most stubborn traces of dirt, road grime, and contaminants while sealing and protecting the tire from harmful ultraviolet rays.

Tire and wheel cleaner products that contain a combination of solvents, sealers and conditioners will be the most effective at producing a squeaky-clean wheel free of contaminants and restored to a wet, deep black finish.

10. Black Magic Bleche-Wite Tire Cleaner

Black Magic Bleche-Wite Tire Cleaner is the number one best selling tire cleaner in America because few cleaning agents are more effective at removing grime and dirt deposits than its trademarked PRIMASCRUB formula.

Black Magic Bleche-Wite Tire Cleaner

PRIMASCRUB contains powerful cleaning agents that dissolve contaminants on contact and eat away at the dust and grime that cling to white walls and white lettering.

Black Magic Bleche-Wite Tire Cleaner is so powerful all it takes is a few sprays from the easy-to-use spray bottle to wipe away stubborn road grime, dirt, and brake dust.

Black Magic Bleche-Wite Tire Cleaner can be used with tire shine and tire wet products but works well all on its own. It’s also completely biodegradable and safe for use on all wheels and tires, even antique white walls.

What’s more, Black Magic Bleche-Wite Tire Cleaner is more affordable than the competition, which means you can provide your tires with a professional level clean for a fraction of the price.

9. Chemical Guys Diablo Gel Wheel & Rim Cleaner

The Diablo Gel Wheel & Rim Cleaner from Chemical Guys hardly needs a flashy name to grab everyone’s attention. We guess that consumers tend to pay attention when a product contains the word “Diablo.”

Chemical Guys Diablo Gel Wheel & Rim Cleaner

The Chemical Guys Diablo Gel Wheel & Rim Cleaner is a pH-neutral wheel cleaner designed to be highly effective against sticky road grime and stubborn brake dust.

The fast-acting formula breaks down the molecular bonds that allow dirt and grime to cling to your tires, enabling you to simply spray Chemical Guys Diablo Gel Wheel & Rim Cleaner on and wipe away dirt, dust, and other contaminants.

What distinguishes Chemical Guys Diablo Gel Wheel & Rim Cleaner from other tire cleaners, however, is the way it lifts contaminants away from the surface of the tire.

The tire cleaning gel clings to the tire surface so it can seep into the small cracks and crevices of your tire to lift and remove the contaminants other tire cleaners left behind and leave a spotless, wet shine.

Chemical Guys Diablo Gel Wheel & Rim Cleaner is safe for use on all wheel and tire types including carbon fiber and aluminum rims.

8. CarGuys Premium Wheel & Tire Cleaner

CarGuys Premium Wheel & Tire Cleaner is the most sold tire cleaner on Amazon, and car owners can’t stop raving about it.

CarGuys Premium Wheel & Tire Cleaner

CarGuys Premium Wheel & Tire Cleaner is the wheel and tire cleaner for the serious car enthusiast who is looking to restore a factory shine to their wheels.

CarGuys Premium Wheel & Tire Cleaner includes a highly concentrated, non-toxic and pH-balanced formula that is designed to dissolve road grime and grease with one simple application.

The fast-acting formula is safe for use on every type of wheel and tire surface, biodegradable and acid-free, so you can feel confident with its effect on your wheel and feel safe that you won’t hurt the environment.

The CarGuys Premium Wheel & Tire Cleaner also comes with a 100% money back guarantee should you not be totally satisfied with the product.

7. Stoner Car Care More Shine Tire Dressing

More shine is exactly what you get out of your tires when dressing them with Stoner Car Care More Shine Tire Dressing.

Stoner Car Care More Shine Tire Dressing

Stoner Car Care More Shine Tire Dressing is a fast and easy way to get the most out of your tires. The aerosol spray is easily applied and wiped away to leave only a spotless, shining tire surface.

The special formula included in Stoner Car Care More Shine Tire Dressing is designed to last longer and clean deeper than the rest of the wheel cleaners on the market today. The quick-acting formula digs deep into the tire’s surface to lift contaminants and restore faded tires to their factory shine.

Additionally, Stoner Car Care More Shine Tire Dressing is an aerosol which means it doesn’t drip or run when applied, unlike messy foams and soaps.

6. Griot’s Garage Long-Lasting Tire Dressing

Griot’s Garage Long-Lasting Tire Dressing is the wheel cleaner that auto-detailing professionals use on their wheels and tires because it provides professional results for a fraction of the cost of an auto detail.

Griot’s Garage Long-Lasting Tire Dressing

Griot’s Garage Long-Lasting Tire Dressing is truly impressive because it enables car owners to choose the finish they want to leave on their tire; high gloss or satin.

To adjust the finish simply apply and wipe away for a satin finish or apply extra coats to leave your tires shining like they just rolled off the factory floor. Regardless of the level of shine you choose for your tires, Griot’s Garage Long-Lasting Tire Dressing won’t leave streaks or greasy residue.

Griot’s Garage Long-Lasting Tire Dressing is specially designed to prevent slinging and to stay on the tire no matter the terrain or weather conditions.

We like Griot’s Garage Long-Lasting Tire Dressing because it includes a powerful rubber protectant that repels water and stays cleaner longer than the rest of the competition.  

Griot’s Garage Long-Lasting Tire Dressing even works amazing on rubber bumpers and plastic exterior components.

5. Meguiar’s Endurance Tire Dressing

Meguiar’s has been in the car care industry for decades, and they have certainly earned their reputation for producing high-quality wheel and tire cleaners.

Meguiar’s Endurance Tire Dressing

Meguiar’s Endurance Tire Dressing is designed with endurance in mind. Special polymers cling to the tire surface, preventing sling off and enabling a long-lasting high gloss shine that will stick around for weeks on end.

Meguiar’s Endurance Tire Dressing applies via an easy-to-use aerosol applicator that provides greater control and accuracy than standard spray bottle applicators.

The aerosol applicator is trigger-operated and sprays a thin layer of Meguiar’s Endurance Tire Dressing that drys to the touch to prevent any running or slinging.

Meguiar’s Endurance Tire Dressing cleans and shines as well as it protects. The advanced cleaning agents called macro polymers and copolymers leave tires looking rich and black without the messy residue or greasy streaking.

Macro polymers and copolymers provide long-lasting protection, restore tires to their factory shine, and prevent tire browning and fading.

The best feature of Meguiar’s Endurance Tire Dressing is that it is affordable. Well, that and the fact it smells like grapes.

4. Mothers Foam Wheel & Tire Cleaner

Like Meguiar’s, Mothers has been revolutionizing the car industry for decades. Where the two auto care supergiants diverge, however, is in the application of their tire cleaner products.

Mothers Foam Wheel & Tire Cleaner

Mothers Foam Wheel & Tire Cleaner is a foam cleaning agent that, unlike thin aerosols, goes on heavy to seep into the microcracks and crevasses of the tire surface.

Mothers Foam Wheel & Tire Cleaner is non-acidic, environmentally safe, and designed to restore wheels to their factory finish by dissolving grime and lifting it from the surface of the tire to be wiped away. The spot-free formula is applied via a convenient spray bottle and requires zero hand drying.

Though Mothers Foam Wheel & Tire Cleaner is not safe for use on motorcycles, polished or roughcast aluminum, or billet or anodized wheels, it will provide an exceptional, high gloss shine on chrome, clear-coated or color-coated, steel, modular, chrome, or factory-finished wheels and hubcaps.

3. Sonax Tire Gloss Gel

Sonax Tire Gloss Gel is the dual-action cleaner that is leaving hundreds of satisfied car enthusiasts in its wake. Evey application of Sonax Tire Gloss Gel lasts several weeks, which means that your wheels will have a rich black satin luster for longer.

Sonax Tire Gloss Gel

Sonax Tire Gloss Gel is designed to restore rubber and leave a long-lasting semi-gloss finish.

The fast-acting formula includes rubber conditioners that penetrate deep into the tire surface to release stubborn contaminants and dissolve road grime.

Additionally, Sonax Tire Gloss Gel includes silicone cleaning agents that amplify your tire’s brilliant shine and protect it from weather and harmful ultraviolet rays that can fade a tire’s factory finish.

Sonax Tire Gloss Gel also includes a special sponge for easy application and a more thorough clean than a spray-on applicator.

2. Armor All Extreme Wheel & Tire Cleaner

Armor All Extreme Wheel & Tire Cleaner is designed to dissolve grease and road grime with one simple application.

Armor All Extreme Wheel & Tire Cleaner

The powerful cleaning agents included in the Armor All Extreme Wheel & Tire Cleaner’s triple-action formula are engineered to cling to the tire’s surface and eat away at sticky road grime deposits and brake dust to leave a factory clean finish.

The triple-action formula quickly foams up to lift away stubborn contaminants, blankets the tire in a thick application of cleaning agents that seep into the small nooks and crannies of the tire to dissolve dirt, road grime, and brake dust.

Armor All Extreme Wheel & Tire Cleaner is applied via a convenient spray bottle and is an affordable replacement for expensive professional cleaners.

Though Armor All Extreme Wheel & Tire Cleaner is safe for use on most wheels and tires, we recommend that you double check with the manufacturer to be sure it won’t damage your rims.

1. TriNova Tire Shine Spray – Dressing for Wet & Slick Finish

TriNova Tire Shine Spray is the long-lasting solution to tire cleaners that clean but don’t protect. TriNova Tire Shine Spray is designed to not only clean dirt from wheels and tires but repel it and prevent it from clinging to the tire surface.

TriNova Tire Shine Spray - Dressing for Wet & Slick Finish

TriNova Tire Shine Spray protects from the elements and the terrain by clinging to the surface of the tire for longer than competing tire cleaners.

It includes powerful protectants that fight tire aging and restore tires to a like-new factory finish. TriNova Tire Shine Spray leaves no spots or stains on the tire finish and even prevents damaging road salt from fading your tires.

TriNova Tire Shine Spray enables you to control the shine and gloss of your tires. Simply apply more TriNova Tire Shine Spray and leave it on the tire surface for longer to provide a long-lasting high gloss shine. For low shine simply apply less and remove it sooner.

TriNova Tire Shine Spray provides a dark and reflective finish with advanced coating protection, which means you can say goodbye to faded, cracked and dusty tires.

Conclusion

Brake dust, road grime, mileage and old age can add a lot of stress to your tires. Regularly cleaning your wheels with tire cleaner is the best way to ensure that the stress of everyday life doesn’t decrease the lifespan of your wheels.

We think the tires cleaners presented here are the 10 best tire cleaner products on the market because they simply clean, protect, and shine better than the other tire cleaner products currently available.

Regardless of how they are applied, the tire cleaners here perform exceptionally well and remove even the most stubborn road grime with ease.

Any of the 10 best tire shine products featured here will provide an incredible clean, and some even enable you to choose the level of shine and gloss you wish to see from your tire’s finish. What’s more, all of the tire cleaners we reviewed restored faded tires and left them looking wet for much longer than the competition.

Whether you choose a foaming wheel tire cleaner, a spray-on formula or an aerosol application, the most important thing to do is regularly clean, shine, and protect your tires. You will not only be restoring a beautiful, deep rich black finish to your tires, you’ll also be protecting them against future damage.

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Jacob Doyle
About Jacob Doyle

I am a Chicago-born writer with a thirst for everything automotive. I live by a simple rule; travel far, work hard and never stop writing. If I am not writing away, you can find me wrenching on my 1989 Ram Charger or wrecking something with wheels.

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