Have you noticed yellow or discoloration in your whitewall tires and wish to clean them? Then it’s your lucky day because here you’ll get to know multiple ways to clean whitewall tires.
Cleaning whitewall tires on a motorcycle will involve using a specialized cleaner to clean the tires. Alternatively, you can also whiten the tires to give them a cleaner and shinier look.
In this article, you’ll get to know all about cleaning whitewall tires, how to clean whitewall tires on a motorcycle, the alternative ways, and more. Continue reading to know more about these cleaning methods.
Clean whitewall tires to keep your Harley-Davidson bike looking clean and new
Whitewall tires are simply white-rimmed versions of a brand’s normal non-whitewall motorcycle tire. However, not every classic motorcycle tire is made with whitewall specifications. That distinction is only given to the ones that the manufacturers think will shut the sort of bikes where owners will customize them.
Nothing can make a Harley-Davidson motorcycle look sharp and neat more than a set of whitewall tires. Whitewall tires can even make old, vintage Harley-Davidson motorcycles look amazing. Despite the classy look of Harley-Davidson bikes, they take time and effort to keep clean and have a neat look. Cleaning the whitewall tires will play a big role in making your bike look classy.
Your choice of cleaning product will be incredibly important. One of the most common misconceptions about how to clean whitewall tires on a motorcycle is using harsh chemicals. Many feel that using chemicals like alcohol and bleach will clean your bike and make it shine. However, it has adverse effects and causes yellowing over time. This will also break down the UV absorbers and rubber conditioners in the tire. These can easily lead to dry rot while also causing sidewalls to crack. All these issues will not only make the tires look undesirable, but also make them unsafe for driving.
Commercial motorcycle tire cleaning products contain a mixture of ammonia-based chemicals, acids, solvents, and water. These might be able to get rid of road grime or brake dust, these will also dissolve clear coats, painted finishes, and powder finishes. On top of all these, such chemicals will also cause skin and eye irritation. They can be quite harmful if ingested or inhaled.
Instead of buying cheap tire cleaners or using chemicals, simply grab a brush and use a whitewall tire cleaner. The whitewall tire cleaner will keep the tires in your Harley-Davidson bike super clean. It’ll get rid of any oil, road grime, brake dust, dirt, and more without causing any damage to the bikes. Moreover, it is safe even if you spray it on aluminum, chrome, or any other substance. Regularly cleaning your tires every 2-3 weeks will help prevent or even eliminate discoloration from grime, dirt, dust, oils, and more.
How to clean whitewall tires on a motorcycle?
It is important to clean the whitewall tires on your Harley-Davidson bikes thoroughly. Not only will it give your bike a shinier, classier look, but it’ll also improve the lifespan of your bike. This will be possible as you’ll be cleaning and removing unnecessary dirt or grime that could have harmed the performance. Here, you’ll get to know the right way to clean the whitewall tires on your Harley-Davidson bike. As a bonus, there are a couple of alternative methods as well that you can go for.
Give your whitewall tires a premium cleaning with a specialized cleaner
Arrange a specialized cleaner
Look for a high-quality specialized whitewall tire cleaner in any hardware store or an online shop. Regular cleaners can work pretty well for removing dirt and discoloration on the motorcycle tires. However, they can also dry out the whitewall tires in the process. This will lead to early wear and tear.
Cleaning products that contain chlorine bleach and alcohol must be avoided at all costs. These harsh chemicals are harmful to the tires and will cause damage to them. To enjoy the best possible results, you can opt for natural whitewall tire cleaners. They’re not only easy on the environment, but they’ll be easy on your tires too.
Wet the whitewall tires and the cleaning pad
You will have to use an SOS pad for cleaning the whitewall tires in your Harley-Davidson bike. You can make use of a hose for wetting the whitewall tires. Further, you will have to wet the SOS pad too.
Apply the chosen cleaning product
Once you’ve arranged the specialized cleaner mentioned in step 1, now will be the time to use it. If you’ve chosen the tire cleaning product in spray form, you’ll have to spray it on the wet tires directly. In case you’ve chosen one in liquid form, you should mix the chosen product in a bucket with tap water. This should be done according to the directions mentioned on the label. Moreover, you will have to soak the SOS pad in the mixture as well.
Scrub the whitewall tires thoroughly
You will then need to put a bit of effort to clean the whitewall tires in your Harley-Davidson bike thoroughly. The effectiveness of your cleaning will be just as contingent on the intensity and duration of the scrubbing. As will be the product you’re using.
If the work you’re having to do is too intense to tackle by yourself, you can always ask for help. You could either enlist the help of family members or friends who have experience with bikes. Lastly, there is always the option to go to a bike expert and get help.
Rinse off the whitewall tires
Rinse the whitewall tires on your bike every few minutes when you’re washing. This will help you see properly how clean the tires have gotten. Reapply the cleaning products and continue cleaning until you’re satisfied with the results after you’ve rinsed the tires properly. Once you’ve scrubbed off the tires clean, simply use a water hose to rinse them off thoroughly.
Whitening the whitewall tires on your bike
Make use of baking soda
Simply sprinkle a bit of baking soda on a sponge or a damp cloth. Then, wipe the surface of the whitewall tires on your Harley-Davidson bike in small, circular motions. After that, rinse the tires clean with water. Then, you’ll need to rinse the cloth before reapplying the baking soda every few minutes. Do this until you are thoroughly satisfied with the results.
Use cleaning pads
For whitening the tires, you can use eraser cleaning pads as well. You can go for something like Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Pads. Wet both the pad and the tires and then wipe them in small, circular motions. To get the best results, simply rinse or replace the pads between tires.
Make use of sandpaper for removing stubborn yellowing
In case the tires remain yellow despite persistent cleaning, you should be looking to use sandpaper. Simply sand the top layer of the whitewall tires using fine, dry sandpaper. It’ll allow you to remove the yellowed layer in the tires gently and slowly until a white layer has emerged. Rinse the tires clean using a water hose.
Schedule regular tire clean-ups to avoid heavy-duty tire cleaning
Clean the tires once every 2-3 weeks
For keeping the whitewall tires clean and avoiding any heavy-duty cleaning, you should take the time to maintain them. Take out some time to wash the tires every 2-3 weeks. You should use water, a tire cleaner, and a sponge. If you’re doing cleaning frequently enough, a gentle soap will be effective enough to use. If there is discoloration or persistent dirt, which is unlikely to happen if the tires are cleaned regularly, you should use a strong Whitehall tire cleaner and a scrub pad.
Make use of tire dressing
After cleaning the whitewall tires, you should simply use a water-based dressing. This will give the tires a decent shine while protecting the tires from harmful UV rays. Purchase a foam applicator or a tire dressing for your tires in the automotive department of department stores or online. You can apply the foam applicator and wipe it on the tires evenly until the desired results have been reached.
Give your tires ample space in storage
When you’re storing the whitewall tires, ensure that you give them ample space. This way, they won’t be leaning against each other. This could get the black rubber of the tires to rub against the white rubber and smudge them. If you have the tires lean against each other, separate the tires using plastic sheeting. You can even store them in individual bags.
Why do whitewall tires eventually turn yellow and dirty?
Whitewall tires on a Harley-Davidson bike normally turn yellow because of the UV rays or the heat. Sometimes, the oil from black rubber leeching through to the surface of the tires can also turn it yellow. During such situations, you’ll need to clean up your whitewall tires and whiten them properly. Taking care of your whitewall tires will be a great option to not only make your bike look neat but to increase the lifespan of the paint.
Further, you should also have regular dusting sessions and wash your bike every 2-3 weeks. Clean your bike with a brush or a duster with long handles or the extension of the vacuum cleaner. If you’re using a long, fuzzy brush, ensure that you’re checking that it isn’t leaving any residue on the wall.
You can make use of diluted dishwashing soap or a whitewall tire cleaner to clean the frame of your bike and the whitewall tires. For thorough cleaning, you can also use a motorcycle degreaser as it’ll clean the gummy parts like the bike chain. Remember to use a solvent that is easy on the environment. Further, dispose of all the solvents safely and properly. White vinegar is another household favorite for cleaning whitewall tires. It will be up for the task of cleaning stains and grime from the tires. You can simply use a cup or two of white vinegar and have a bucket full of lukewarm water. Then, use a soft sponge for removing any rugged stains.
Thank you for reading. Hopefully, now you know a lot more about how to clean whitewall tires on a motorcycle, the alternative ways to clean them, why they need to be cleaned, and more. Cleaning the whitewall tires start with buying a high-quality whitewall tire cleaner and devoting time to scrubbing the tires. Use an SOS pad for cleaning them thoroughly. You can also use eraser cleaning pads or baking soda for whitening the tires, or even sand them if the yellowing is too tough to clean. Make sure that you’re cleaning the tires every couple of weeks for proper results.