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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think toxiclows had some thoughts on this, with his dad having some mad recipe combining 3 different dressings to get the best of each -- maybe a dedicated thread will help highlight our combined wisdom in this area.

First of all, I'd like to say that, overwhelmingly, tires are one of the most often neglected or least appreciated aspect of a clean car for most people. No matter how clean and shiny the rest of your car is, those big dull gray sidewalls are sabotaging the rest of your hard work.

On the other hand, a slightly dirty car can look cleaner than it is with deep black sidewalls and shiny alloys.

Personally, I've been through 3 off-the-shelf products, each one having given better results than the last.

Formula 2000 (by Turtle Wax)
Meguiars Vinyl and Rubber Treatment
303 Aerospace Protectant

and currently

Meguiars Gold Class Endurance Tire Gel

While I still swear by 303 for everything else made of vinyl, rubber or plastic, the Meguiars tire gel is easily giving me a good deep black for 6 weeks or more, whereas I'd lose that deep matte-gloss black of the other products after 3.

I wouldn't say that the Meguiars is the least effort, but if you want foam-on-and-walk-away you're probably not the type to bother with this thread.

My regimen for tires has been the same for all products I've used:

1 - dish soap (at least a half cup to a bucket) old mitt and nylon brush (never ever use dish soap on your painted surfaces ... I use it to break up oils and grime and maintain lather when brake dust and road grim killed the suds of normal car wash soap)

2 - mitt off as much dirt and brake dust as possible from the sidewalls overlapping your actual tread, leaving lots of standing suds

3 - scrub the bejeezus out of the sidewalls with nylon brush, scooping new suds as needed

4 - rinse and let dry fully (should now have dull gray sidewalls you can eat off of, ready to soak up the good stuff)

5 - pour tire product into a small bowl and use a foam paintbrush to apply a thick coat of product to sidewall (foam paintbrush eliminates overspray and allows you to apply a thick coat and you can pour any unused product back in the bottle provided dirt didn't transfer back to it from the brush)

6 - work on something else on the car for a couple hours while it soaks in

7 - check wetness of sidewalls, if any parts have gone dry (absorbed their coat fully) top them up with another thin coat

8 - with a lint-free terry towel, buff the bejeezus out of the sidewalls until you cannot get any product on your fingers -- so that the sidewalls are not sticky and trap grit and dust later.

9 - enjoy deep black low-gloss tires for up to two months. (The grape smell of the Meguiars only lasts a few days, sorry.)

The Meguiars comes with an applicator pad, and while the thought is nice, I like the basic foam paintbrushes you can find in any store for cheap, plus thus foam brushes take up a lot less product so you waste less.
The stuff might seem pretty expensive, but I use a lot less given how long it lasts and find the paintbrush tactic really reduces waste while giving best coverage.

The foam paintbrush trick is even better for the rest of the trim on your car, especially given that you can find brushes of all widths, allowing you to do trim you'd normally never bother with because you'd get too much on places you don't want to remove it from later ... like the trim around the windscreen. Good luck with a rag or direct spray there.

I'm only going from my own experience, so this post is anecdotal at best. If you've got tried-and-true methods that work, I'd love to hear 'em.
 

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I would be careful about which silicone based product to put on tires. Most products use an inexpensive silicone that can actually dry out the tires. Pick a natural product or a product that is made of a higher grade silicone.

I would also be careful with which soap you use to clean the tires.

Dish detergent has a very high ph. The higher the ph the higher the acid. The best ph should be between 6 and 8. Dish detergent is probably somewhere in the teens.

Dish detergent is designed to cut through grease and can dry out rubber. It is also design to break down in warm water. If you use cold water you may not be getting all of it off of your tires. It may feel like it but it stil lmay be there.
 

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What about POR's Boss Gloss, anyone tried that?
 

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I personally like the wet look for a night of crusing... but thats about all you get with the greasy stuff still on the tires you usually end up with crap allover the vehicle as well this way... but if i do not have any of dads mist i just put some armour all on the tires and let it soak in untill its about dry to give the all week shine and then hit them with some pro-shine for the top gloss.. using a rag i clean the overspray off of my wheels and it seems to take away any left over watermarks that I might have missed.. . I usually give the top coat a while to soak in before driving as to avoid spray onto the paint.. . thats about it... I am going to have to try tyhe long soak method for the multiple week shine : )

Later all.. ..
Chris
 

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Just throwing this out there for anyone. I have some hot rod people in my family, show quality cars, and they always tell me to never use armor all. It apparently attacks rubbers and actually dries out petrolium based materials or something like that. These people are the same people that will laugh at you if you get a hose out to wash your car, and will disown you basically if you say that you have power sprayed your car. I have heard the armor all thing from other people as well, after they ended up with a rotted pad on the dash.

oh what the heck I have to throw something else out there as well that they are in the "know" about. Waxing with carnuba wax, there are only like 3 or 5 companies that make real pure carnuba wax that are untainted. This industry came about like this, people were getting new cars and noticing scratches and blemishes on their nice new paint. So they waxed their car to get it out. Well it didn't get it out and they still noticed the scratche. Wax companies were getting letters saying that their products weren't working, they could still see the scratches and blemishes. So the wax companies started putting a nice fine grit in with the wax so when you swirl it on in small circles all over your car it evenly sands the surface layer and therefore it all looks the same. People then started saying that it worked better with the "new" formula. So they put even more compounds and grit in it. And here we are today with a very select few companies that make pure carnuba wax. And they are expensive. Sorry for the rant, they made me do it.
 

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How do they wash their cars without a hose? :?:

I do agree with you on every one of your points though! :)b
 

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Probably any car that you see at a car show that is a true show car never sees a hose it's whole life. The always spot clean it from front to back. Taking little sections at a time and doing tedious cleaning all over the car all day long. Basically the cars never get dirty enough to need a full hose bath. And hoses make all the dirt and grime on your car flow into the water channels of your car and make the muck sit there until the water evaporates and you are left with dirt in your channeling. You will lose points in a car show if you have this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
akirarex said:
Just throwing this out there for anyone. I have some hot rod people in my family, show quality cars, and they always tell me to never use armor all. It apparently attacks rubbers and actually dries out petrolium based materials or something like that. These people are the same people that will laugh at you if you get a hose out to wash your car, and will disown you basically if you say that you have power sprayed your car. I have heard the armor all thing from other people as well, after they ended up with a rotted pad on the dash.
I've heard the Armor-All thing as well, and have seen the evidence on my step-dad's motorcycle. It appears to have dried out and/or hardened the leather seats, making them brittle and easily cracked. The plastics he used it on look way older than the rest of the bike now.

This was early 90s though, so maybe the company has changed the product by now, especially since the story seems to have gotten around.
 

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Armor All hasn't changed a thing. Most of the major companies don't change their formulas. I know a chemist that says that maguires hasn't change his formula in 20+ years. Same stuff different package.

These companies consistently use cheaper materials in their products. They don't seem committed to quality just making a buck. (quietly putting away his soap box)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Is long-lasting even compatible with quality?

Is there a balance between something that may degrade surfaces in the long term but last a long time and something thats neutral and benign but you have to apply frequently?

For something like tires, is the natural life of the tread is going to be a lot shorter than the time period it takes to appreciably degrade the sidewall due to the pH of the soap used, or the quality of the silicone compounds in the dressing?

My car isn't a show car ... I don't carry detailing products in the hatch for spot cleaning ... but it does get hand-washed at least every other week. I spend a lot more effort on my car than most people I know, but I have a life -- so I am looking for a sustainable compromise between what a detailing fanatic would swear by but re-apply frequently and the apply-once-and-ignore-for-the-year product a far less interested or concerned owner would.

If I talk to the landscaping experts and gardening elite, they'd have me believe the most desirable plants were the ones requiring the most maintenance and care ... the ones that give them job security. Some haughty old gardening matron, obviously retired, actually stopped me at the nursery checkout once to ask me if I realized I was buying IVY. "Yes, as someone with a career and a family, I like low-maintenance and attractive ground cover that chokes out other weeds and grows quickly to create greenspace." If I was bored and/or retired, I might eventually get-off on gardening for gardening's sake, but no.

The guy who'll look down his nose at me for using a hose or for not carrying spot-detailer for emergency road-side bird fallout removal ... might as well be chiding me for using ivy in my landscaping.

I really care, but I'm looking for a healthy place to draw the line.

For both camps, its a fallacy. Just because something required hard work and effort, doesn't necessary make it more valued and desirable. Just because you scaled the mountain to bring back the edelweiss, doesn't mean the flower is special to everyone ... but you'd like to think your hard work was for something right?

Similarly, something that was easy doesn't necessarily mean the result is worthless or the product or method suspicious.

Where's the balance? Talking to people on the extreme ends isn't going to give you that answer -- but if you're derided from both ends you're probably doing something right.
 

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Jeff said:
Wow. I am glad that the stuff I use lasts a very long time, is very good for the tires and is incredibly easy to use.
And what's the stuff that you use? :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Jeff said:
Wow. I am glad that the stuff I use lasts a very long time, is very good for the tires and is incredibly easy to use.
Wicked. What did you say you used again?

Don't worry if its a product you sell, we won't hold it against you.

(provided you don't hold back on a discount for CRXCommunity.com members :wink:)
 

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LOL. It IS a product we are going to carry. (':oops:') It is made of very high grade silicone. It wipes on and dries. It gives it a great shine. We won't have it available for another month or so.I will definitely give you guys the community love. (That's sounds bad, huh)
 
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