3 November 2014

Griot’s Car Care Tip: Whitewall tire cleaning

Whitewalls are all about contrast, so keeping the white bright and the overall finish shiny and uniform will dramatically enhance the impact of your rolling stock.

For general cleaning of whitewalls and the tire itself, Rubber Prep is the way to go, especially if the tires are the last stop on your detailing journey and you wish to avoid using water. Rubber Cleaner is sufficient if you prefer cleaning with water, however Rubber Prep is recommend for cleaning the actual whitewall or white lettering.

For application on wide whitewalls, a 3-inch Yellow Scrub Pad works well. For narrower whitewalls or white lettering, the Ergo Wave Foam Scrubber does a great job. You can also use an old toothbrush — the cheap ones with stiff bristles work well. Apply Rubber Prep directly to your applicator or brush and scrub the whitewall or lettering thoroughly. Don’t be afraid to use pressure and aggressive agitation if the situation warrants it.

After cleaning a small section wipe dry with a clean micro fiber or cotton cloth. Repeat until you are satisfied with the cleanliness then apply a dressing of your choice to safeguard your hard work. Thick, silicon-based Long-Lasting Tire Dressing produces a nice, satin finish for a natural rubber look. If you like more luster, simply apply additional coats. Vinyl & Rubber Dressing also creates a satin sheen and its added UV protection makes it great for interior plastics, trim, and door seals as well as tires. Or go for big-time shine with High-Gloss Dressing.

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2 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Stephen Annapolis, Md November 5, 2014 at 13:36
    No real ground breaking info here, For Everyone's Information... BF Goodrich tires, specificly the BF Goodrich Radial T/A's, have an issue with the white lettering. My tires have a light tan/dirty look, I have tried everything, even sandpaper. I have purchase many sets of TA's, and never had this problem. The BF Goodrich Customer service group was no help, at all, they said, not their problem, deal with it. They don't consider it a defect in workmanship. So if you like the look of white letters on your classic car, stay away from BF Goodrich.
  • 2
    Michael Central, CT April 23, 2016 at 07:32
    Stephen, you are SO correct. I had an initial pair of BFG's on my car for 8 years and the letterings never faded. Last year I replaced them and within no time the RWL has turned yellow and dingy. I too had them replaced once and still the same problem. It is obvious they change how they applied the white and/or have gone to a different "paint". Its sad that BFG will not admit to this problem and stand by their product.

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