How Do You Clean White Wall Tyres?
Simply wash your white wall tyres with soap and water.
White Wall Tyre Cleaning
These fantastic photos of Mamie Van Doren with her Jaguar XK120 with white wall tyres shows her simply using soap and water and a bit of elbow grease. Worth noting, we do also sell Race Glaze as a slightly more bespoke detergent for Cleaning Whitewall Tyres. However, in the most part it is unnecessary, simply do as Mamie did, get down on your hands and knees and scrub it with soap and water. In cases of extreme staining, we have found the use of Scotch-Brite, possibly with an abrasive kitchen cleaner such as Cif can clean white tyres worst stains without damaging the structure. We would say if you can’t clean your white wall using these then your white wall may be stained beyond repair.
It may seem strange, but the white wall rubber that is built into the side of white wall tyres is fragile in that the colour can easily be badly affected or stained. Rubbing against other tyres, oils and a variety of substances can easily damage a white rubber. This is just one of the reasons why at Longstone Tyres we are not really fans of white wall tyres. Another one is the fact that on a lot of European sports cars they simply look vulgar. The main reason is that for the most part the white wall tyres available often have a carcass structure that doesn’t handle very well specially on a European sports car. Can you imagine a white wall tyre on a 250 Ferrari?
High Quality White Wall Tyres
We are very please however to be in a position to be distributors for the Michelin Collection range of tyres. For some time we have been big advocates of the Michelin Collection range because of the exceptional quality of its carcass structure, which helps these cars have better directional stability than any of the other classic tyre ranges on the market; equaled only by the Pirelli Collezione range.
With in the range Michelin make an excellent range of Classic Mercedes White Wall Tyres. They make the 7.25 R13 Michelin X White Wall for Mercedes 220 and 230S of the late 1950s and 1960s The 6.40R13 ZX White Wall was also the tyre for the fabulous little Mercedes 190SL. Moving into the late 1960s and 1970s there is also the 185R14 Michelin MXV Whitewall for a huge range of Classic Mercedes such as 230, 250, 280 and 300 SEL.
Citroen white wall tyres have until now been difficult to find, because of Citroen's close association with Michelin so many of these cars had special tyres made just for them, but now we have the 165SR400 Michelin X White Wall for the Citroen Traction Avant and the early Citroen DS. Michelin also developed the first asymmetric radial tyre for the Citroen DS the 180HR15 XAS White Wall and the 185HR15 XVS Whitewall which also fits lots of classic Jaguar. Of course Michelin also make the 125 SR 15 Michelin X white wall for the fabulous Citroen 2CV.
White wall tyres don’t really suit British cars, However there is a big call for white wall Rolls Royce tyres; and now Michelin also make the perfect Asymetric 235/70R15 XVS White Wall tyres to improve the handling of Rolls Royce cars from the early 1970s to the 1980s.
How Not to Clean White Wall Tyres
We have come across a variety of techniques of cleaning white walls that we don’t think is really suitable:
Do not Clean white wall tyres with sand paper. We have come across people who claim to have had good results when cleaning the white wall tyres using wet or dry sand paper or Emery paper however we do not feel that any form of sand paper is a suitable way of cleaning a white wall tyre.
Do not clean tyres using a steam cleaner. This is a common mistake. Pressure washers and steam cleaners are so easy to use. You are probably cleaning the rest of your car with them so why not pressure wash your tyres too? Well a steam cleaner or pressure washer when uses too close to the tyre washes all the essential oils out of the rubber of your side wall, and leads to faster perishing of the rubber and cracking of the side wall. You don’t want perished white walls. However if you are washing your car with a pressure washer or steam cleaner, a gentle wag over from a distance away is OK. This way the pressure or heat don’t extract those important oils from your tyres.
Do not use chemicals on white wall tyres. There are many chemicals out there for washing cars that again are overly strong for the side walls of any tyres, specially white wall tyres. It is important to be cautious the materials that are being used to make your tyre have probably changed since some of the cleaning products were developed. It is important to remember a lot of these products development are driven by the need for immediate results on every day cars, where the tyre probably will be bald and scrapped with 2 years of fitting.
Who is washing your white wall tyres?
When you simply take your beloved classic car to the cleaners, don’t take it for granted that they understand the chemicals or equipment they are using. Many of these car cleaners also don’t bring into consideration that the white wall tyres on your car may well be there for 5 years, under which circumstances a bit more care about using pressure washes and strong chemicals on your white wall tyres is needed.