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Cleaning White Sidewall Writing

White Side Walls (WSW) and Raised White Lettering (RWL) have been popular since the advent of tyres themselves but users quickly discovered that white rubber is considerably harder than black rubber to keep clean. Join Joel from The Jurs Adventures for some handy tips on how you can keep your white sidewall lettering or whitewalls looking their best.


Being able to maintain pristine white on tyre sidewalls has always been a chore, and there is an abundance of ways to do it, but it’s way too much effort for most. Those of us that like the look of white rubber sidewall elements generally would be those who spend a bit of time and effort to maintain and clean our vehicles too. For me, I dabble in both worlds; the fanatical owner that wants showroom shine all the time and the average 4WDer who considers wet to be clean. One thing I cannot stand though is the ‘W’ being dirty on my RWL!

Dirty Letters Close

Paint pens are a popular fix but they fade out and get dirty, so what is my secret? Cheap wheel cleaner spray, the type you get from the dollar store in a can. I have been using this stuff for ages and while there are plenty of other brands out there, I use any cheap brand that is clearly labelled as ‘wheel cleaner’ that you spray on and hose off. Why cheap? Because I go through quite a lot of it, and I find that if I use anything else in the same way, it’s either too expensive or takes too much effort.

Sidewall Text Cleaner

My quick method gets about eight tyre applications out of a can, which I use in between the weekly or fortnightly exterior clean. Before you even get the car wet and soapy, spray a generous amount all over the facing surface of the tyre and wheel, and move around to each, repeating the process. Once you are back to the start, go get your hose, giving the cleaner 5-minutes to do its thing before hosing your tyre and wheel off in the order you sprayed them. This quick method is good for lightly soiled wheels and tyres but using a high-pressure cleaner to spray down instead of a hose will yield the best results, even on the dirtiest of tyres and wheels.

Sidewall Cleaning

I use the quick method regularly as I like to give all of my cars a quick detail as often as I can just in case I can’t get to them to do a proper clean down. The longer method includes a full detail of the car and consumes about two or three cans depending on your ride and whether you’re keen to use it on surfaces besides the tyres and wheels. I start off by spraying a generous amount around the inner wheel arches, the back of the tyre and wheel before moving to the outer part of the tyre and wheel. I continue this with the others and then move to the front, spraying down the entire front of the car from the bonnet down. Then I move on to the rear bumper area, spraying everything under the tailgate, including the spare tyre. By the time I’m done with the back of the car, its ready to spray off, but at this point, I give the whole car a high-pressure rinse and then move on to a heavy duty car wash foam soak.

Clean Sidewall Writing

That’s the amount of effort I put into keeping the ‘W’ in my RWL tyres. Sometimes, I’ll go so far as dressing them with tyre shine so that they look their best… before we hit the dirt next!

Sunset on Dirt

So, next time you’re on the hunt for some fresh round rubbery things and they offer RWL in your tyre choice but keeping them clean seems like a chore, just remember that it doesn’t have to be. Grab yourself a cheap can of hose-off wheel cleaner spray and as soon as you see the RWL looking a little shabby, just spray on and hose off.

Catch you on the next adventure.

Joel J

The Jurs Adventures (Facebook, Instagram and YouTube)