How to Clean, Shine & Protect your Wheels & Tires with 3D Products

Posted by on September 27, 2012 in Detailing Made Simple | 0 comments

This is another Detailing Made Simple instruction on how to clean, shine & protect your wheels/tires on your favorite vehicle with 3D products. As long as you have the right tools, you can dramatically reduce your touch time and increase your effectiveness to achieve a great end result. You certainly don’t need complicated tools or expensive products, just a little ingenuity and some common sense thinking to get the job done. Here’s basically what you need:

Let’s start by mixing up the proper dilution of 3D’s Yellow Degreaser. 1st and foremost, this is an alkaline based cleaner and should only be used on chrome & clearcoated wheels. Using it on polished or uncoated wheels could cause blushing of the finish, so it is important to know what surface you’re working with before starting. In this case, we are working with a Corvette ZR-1 and this car is equipped with both clearcoated (powdercoated to be specific) wheels with carbon ceramic brake rotors. Even though the directions state this product can be diluted all the way up to 10 to 1, I’ve decided to select a 4 to 1 mixture for this application due to this vehicle’s tires having a heavy buildup of dressing and soiling.

Simply mark off a line on your bottle to exemplify a 4 to 1 mixture and add the appropriate amount of straight product to your bottle of choice.

Then fill with water:


Then give it a light shaking to stir up the contents:

Here’s what I was referring to as far as old dressing build up on the tire:

Next, prepare your wash bucket by cleaning it thoroughly to remove any dirt or loose debris that could cause scratches to your car’s finish.

Now, I selected 3D’s Wash N Wax concentrate shampoo. According to the directions, it states that for every 1 once of water, you should add 1 once of product.

Because I chose to mix approximately 3 gallons of water, I added 3 ounces of product.

Simply pour the contents into your water filled bucket and flush all contents from the mixing cup:


Next, mix thoroughly by hand and then give it a good blast with your water hose to get the foam extremely thick.




Next, give the surface you are going to clean a thorough rinsing to loosen and remove any potential topical dirt that could cause marring to the finish. This not only makes your job of cleaning the surface easier, but allows the chemical cleaner to attack the surface quicker as there is less dirt to break through.

And don’t forget about the wheel wells too:

Next, coat the entire wheel, tire and wheel well with product and allow to dwell.

Because of my personal preference (yours might vary), I like to scrub the tire 1st:

I then clean the inside barrels of the wheel with the tool of your choice:

And then next is the most time consuming part…..cleaning the outside face of the wheel and back behind the spokes. For this chore, I like to use a retired Micro Fiber towel that no long gets used for paint duty:



A MF towel is an excellent and inexpensive tool to use for cleaning the inside lug recesses of the wheel:

And then lastly, take you MF towel and clean your wheel well:

Rinse the entire wheel, tire & wheel well:


IMPORTANT: even though your wash solution may appear dirty, it doesn’t mean that it’s still not effective to keep cleaning your wheels:

Just simply shoot your water hose into your bucket to rejuvenate the suds:


After the cleaning is done, I like to use my leaf blower or compressed air to dry out all the cracks and crevices of the wheel:

Once the wheels are cleaned and dried, I apply a quality paint sealant like HD POXY to the wheel faces. HD POXY is an excellent choice due to its ability to bond incredibly to the wheel and withstand high temperatures all while still protecting the surface and providing a barrier for ease of cleaning at later times:

Apply to soft applicator and work it in to thoroughy coat the pad:



Then wipe on entire wheel:


Once the sealant is removed, we will lastly be dressing the tires. For this, I like 3D’s Ultra Protectant.



IMPORTANT TIP: I like to consciously NOT dress the area of the tire between the 5 and 7 o’clock position of the tire. This way, when you move the car forward/backwards it will noticeably stick out as being bare compared to the surrounding wet looking surface.

Then, reverse or move your car forward a few feet and finish dressing the entire wheel:

Lastly, with a retired MF towel, final clean and inspect the wheel for any missed spots of wax or soiling:

FINAL OUTCOME: Perfectly cleaned, shine & protected wheels and tires:

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