How to Clean White Walls
How to Clean White Walls


Nothing can make a car look sharp more than a nice set of white wall tires, especially on an older car. Did you know tires, including treads, used to be completely white? Despite the classier look, they're more work to keep clean than the standard black wall tires we see today.

Your choice of cleaning product is critically important. A common misconception about the best way to clean white wall tires is to use harsh chemicals like bleach and alcohol, but these can cause yellowing over time. This can break down rubber conditioners and UV absorbers in the tire, which can then lead to dry rot and cause sidewalls to crack. This process ultimately makes the tires not only ugly but unsafe for driving.

Commercial tire cleaning products tend to contain a mixture of acids, ammonia-based chemicals, solvents, and water. These may get rid of brake dust and road grime, but they can also dissolve clear coats, powder finishes, and painted finishes. On top of that, these chemicals can cause skin and eye irritation and can be extremely harmful if inhaled or ingested.

Rather than going out to buy a special whitewall tire cleaner or using up your baking soda, grab your scrub brush and a bottle of Simple Green All Wheel & Tire Cleaner. The powerful cleaner keeps white wall tires clean by removing road grime, brake dust, oil, dirt, and more without damaging your tires. It's safe for overspray on chrome, aluminum, and more.

Regular cleaning every two weeks can help eliminate and prevent discoloration from dirt, grime, brake dust, and oils.

Directions for Cleaning White Wall Tires:

Spot test a small, hidden area before use.

  1. Clean your tires before the rest of your car. Washing them first will prevent you from splattering any gunk on a clean car.
  2. Apply cleaner to one tire. Spray Simple Green All Wheel & Tire Cleaner on cool, dry wheels one at a time. Make sure to saturate the whole tire. Let it sit for 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Scrub. For heavy grime or brake dust, agitate with a soft-bristled brush, scrubbing pad or sponge.
  4. Rinse. Rinse clean with water.
  5. Repeat for the other 3 tires.
  6. Wash the rest of your car. For specific directions on how to do this, click here.
  7. Wipe dry. Dry your entire car, including the tires. Use a terry cloth or microfiber towel for optimum shine.
  8. Apply protectant. After cleaning, we recommend applying a tire dressing to protect your white walls from UV discoloration. Be sure to follow the directions listed on the product.
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