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Vendor PART 3/3 - 'Wheel, Wheel Well and Tire Care' - How to clean and dress tires


Local Vendor - Southeast
Feb 3, 2015
Atlanta, GA.
Part 3 of 3 of a Wheel, Wheel Well & Tire Care[DIY]

-How to clean and dress tires (without getting sling)-

Like just about anything in life, dressing tires can be an incredibly brief process or it can be more in depth. For some, spraying some liquid gelatin on the tires over the course of 20 seconds will be more than enough. But for those of us that want tires that have a deeper luster without a greasy look that does not sling spots of dressing all over the side of your Tesla will be worth the extra effort.
The idea of this 3 part DIY series is to give folks the ability to get amazing results that pay off immediately as well as in the long term. Properly cared for wheels, tires and wheel wells is the icing on the cake to a well maintained painted finish.

-Cleaning your tires-
Over time and multiple occasions of having tires dressed, they build up a layer of bonded grime. The first step in having tires that look rich with dressing on them and allowing optimal bond of the products use is to get the tires as clean as possible.

Dirty tires with browning spots from bonded filth

(Ensure the surfaces are cool before proceeding & follow all directions on your cleaning products)
Spray an appropriate automotive all-purpose-cleaner directly to the tire and use a short bristle brush to agitate the surface.


Scrub with a short bristle brush in multiple directions to agitate and break up the contaminants/dirt.


Flush off the slurry from the tires with a pressure washer if available. If you do not have a pressure washer, use whatever medium of water flow that’s available. A pressure washer will provide you with the best results. Use caution while using a pressure washer not to bump the wheel, tire or the body with the wand. With about 1400psi or less it will be practically impossible to cause damage to the tire with the water pressure.


Repeat those steps as necessary until the tires are free from previous dressing and no darker colors are showing in the APC slurry.

-Application of the dressing-
After the wheels/tires have been thoroughly cleaned and allowed to dry(either air dry or use an electric leaf blower), and all detailing has been performed, the tires will be ready for the dressing.
Everyone likes something a little different everyone else, or so it seems. I am a fan of a deep color with a semi-gloss finish that does not sling. For my personal needs, I like Ultima Tire and Trim Guard Plus.


Using the supplied applicator pad, add a few small drops of UTTG+ and then apply to the tires in multiple directions(to gain access to all grooves).


Using your finger, compress the applicator pad into the smooth groove between the sidewall and the rim of the wheel.


Your first application of the dressing will look inconsistent. This is normal. Wait about 10 minutes and then use a towel to knock down the finish and smooth it out. The tires will have a deeper but flat look at this point.


If you wish for a deeper and/or glossier finish, repeat the previous steps as many times as necessary to acquire the desired look. We typically will perform 3 applications. The tire will require a final wipe down to address any inconsistency.


After a final wipedown the tires should have a very nice sheen. Give the tires another 10-30 minutes, depending on the temperature, until driving on the road. If you’re using a quality product for the dressing, you should have no sling find its way onto the paint.


-Thank you!-

All of us at Detailed Designs Auto Spa are glad you’ve taken the time to learn more about proper wheel, wheel well and tire care from us. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a message here on the forum, shoot us a PM, call us or send an email.

I look forward to sharing our next article that will discuss a proper and safe way to clean and condition the leather in your Tesla Model S.

Last edited:
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Reactions: MC408 and ArtInCT
Very Nice Job Jean-Claude!

On my S, the wheel well material is somewhat fibrous.
During the winter, I see that distinct lines of salt and dirt are deposited on the wheel wells.
the only way I have been able to remove these is either with a brush and soap or a wide fan tipped power washer.
Any suggestions as to something better?

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