Most Common Mistakes When Cleaning Tires and Wheels

Although driving is a standard part of your day, you might not think much about the importance of your wheels and tires. Interestingly, your wheels are arguably the most vital part of your vehicle, as they touch the ground and get you where you need to go. That said, many car owners don’t care for their wheels and tires properly; instead, they focus on the rest of the car. Follow along to learn more about some of the most common mistakes when cleaning tires and wheels.

Cleaning Them All at Once

Even though it might be tempting to run around the car to try to clean every wheel before the soap and water dries up, you shouldn’t clean them all at once. In fact, consider washing them one at a time—wet, scrub, and rinse each wheel entirely before moving on to the next. You won’t have to rush or worry about the soap and water drying before you get to the next tire.

Using the Wrong Tools

Using the wrong tools is one of the most common mistakes people make when cleaning their car at home, especially regarding wheels and tires. If you want to get them really clean and reach those narrow, hidden spots, you should always use the proper tools to do so. For instance, dish scrubbers, toothbrushes, steel wool, and other scrubbing pads can cause permanent damage to your rims.

With the ultimate guide to cleaning wheels and tires, you’ll know that you should use specialized wheel and tire brushes for these respective jobs. However, you should avoid using these tools on any other part of the car.

Pro Tip

Use a separate bucket for your wheels and the car body to prevent mixing cleaners and grime.

Washing the Body First

While it might seem like common sense to wash the car body first, you should think otherwise. Your wheels are the dirtiest part of the car; cleaning them often results in spraying dirt and grime in every direction. If you make a mess when cleaning the wheels, but you’ve already washed the rest of the car, you might have to rinse the body again. Fortunately, you can avoid this by cleaning the wheels first, then washing the rest of the vehicle.

Before cleaning the exterior at all, consider doing the interior first. If you need to clean your floormats, be sure to use the best floor mat cleaner and tools for the job.

Using the Wrong Soap

Using the wrong soap is a common issue when cleaning cars, as many people believe any soap will do. However, many household cleaners are too acidic for use on cars—they work to degrease, but they’re too harsh for your paint. With that in mind, you should use car-specific cleaners to ensure they’ll do the job without causing damage to your vehicle.

Now that you know the most common mistakes when cleaning tires and wheels, you can make the most of your at-home car wash. Like the exterior, your car’s interior also requires the best cleaners and methods to maintain it—check out the best steering wheel cleaner to protect the material and fight against bacteria. Cars are important possessions; be sure to take the best care of yours.