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Cleaning: Wheels and tyres.

Wheels, rims, rolling stock, hoops....

Whatever you call them they are usually the most expensive or most striking part of any vehicle and once cleaned properly can really make a big difference to a good clean or detail.

Wheel cleaners come in a few guises. Acid, Alkaline, PH balanced shampoos and fallout remover variants.

The next few images are using the strong Alkaline cleaner Espuma Revolution- Avaliable via GKs stock or special order its mixed in a pump sprayer 1:10 (100ml to 1litre of water) and applied to both wheel and tyre.

Give your tyres a firm scrub to clean and brighten the sidewalls. This is best practice before applying any dressing aswell to ensure a good bond and no "sling" of product.

After 1 initial blast with the pressure washer a strong cleaner should leave your wheels and tyres like this. 90% free from loose or bonded dirt.

Wheel brushes will help agitate stubborn areas and a second application of cleaner may be needed in some cases.

If you have big brakes and tight wheel clearance don't try squeezing a brush behind the caliper...just move the car.

You can drag up copper grease, catch pad wear sensors or even ABS sensors if you go poking around with too many brushes.


These are used AFTER any wheel cleaner to lift and remove heavily bonded contaminants from wheel surfaces.

Using them before is absolutely pointless and a waste of expensive product. They are designed to remove iron filings not traffic film.

As with all cleaners avoid direct sunlight and work 1 wheel at a time. One the purple begins to fade after a few mins its done its job and is ready to rinse off.

Repeat as required until the surface is bare and contaminant free.

Now is the time to apply any specialists sealants or coatings you may have. This will be covered in depth at a later date.


Now, with your decontaminated tyre you can do 3 things.

Leave it.

Satin dress it.

High gloss dress it.

Each individual manufacturer had its own directions. I personally like a shiny tyre but that's just me. Best practice is to apply at least 1 coat once the vehicle is clean and dry so it bond's nicely while you work on the rest of the car.

And there you go. Wheels and tyres sorted the next blog update will be....

PRE-WASH: Snow foam, fallout remover, citrus prewash etc etc.

See you soon.

Damien @3D+ Detail

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