After you spend time cleaning your bus, a bright, shiny set of tires will complete your work. Knowing how to keep them clean and fresh will also prolong their life. Certain products you use can either help or hinder the life of your tires.
Products come in two varieties: Solvent based and water based. Solvent based products, which are clear and greasy, contain a compound known as Dimethyl which can leech the elasticity from the tire causing it to harden prematurely and cause browning. These products will last longer. Water based products, which are milky, contain a silicone based organic polymer called PDMS. It is used in everyday products such as shampoo, that leaves hair smooth and silky. They often contain UV blocking ingredients. They won’t last as long as solvent based products, but the benefits are worth their use. They can be diluted to save on cost.
The steps to cleaning your tires are:
1. Wet all tires. Let them sit with water on them while you are cleaning each one to loosen dirt.
2. Use a degreaser and a stiff brush to clean the tires.
3. Rinse the tire and let dry thoroughly while you are cleaning the other tires.
4. Finish with a dressing such as the solvents discussed above. Spray on solvent and let it sit for at least 10 minutes – the longer the better. Wipe excessive solvent off wheels with glass cleaner.
5. This is also a good time to check the tire’s air pressure.
Armor All is a brand name that manufactures a line of products for your vehicles. Their products include a water-based cleaner that can be used as a protective dressing for clean tires. They come in sprays, gels, liquids, and wipes.
To be safe, always check the manufacturers guidelines for using products on wheels and rims.