Writings On The Wall

It’s not often I get an idea late at night and remember it the next morning. Last week was one of those days where I picked up my phone in the middle of the night, and made a note of it. In the process I managed to keep myself awake for ages and regretted it the next day at work. So what was my idea?

I have been looking around for literally years now trying to find a cleaner for my BF Goodrich white lettered tyres. To be exact it’s not the tyres, but the actual raised white lettering on the tyres. I have tried all sorts of cleaners and even read about using a fine grade sandpaper to rub the surface of the letters to remove the old dirty coat and leave the clean underneath. Then I thought of “toothpaste.” I have seen people clean old plastic headlight lenses with toothpaste to bring them back to life. After all up to fifty percent of toothpaste is in fact abrasives, all be it in a mild form of course. My thought was around the “whitening” sort of paste. My tyres are pretty clean and protected, but the tops of the letters and some of the letters have gone a brown tinge over time and not the sparkly white that they once were.

As my toothbrush was wearing out I decided to have a go and see what happened. I used Meguiar’s degreaser first to remove the old tyre gel and treatments. After that it was a wipe over with some Auto Finesse “Citrus Power” Bug and Grime Remover. No I’m not on commission before you ask!

As the toothpaste was almost empty I took it out to the garage before the wife noticed it had gone along with my toothbrush.

With most of the dirt and grime removed I sprayed some more citrus on and used that as the lather agent for the paste and got to work scrubbing.

It made a nice little mess but nothing some more Citrus Power couldn’t cope with. Once messy mixture was removed I found that it had actually worked and brought some white back to the letters. The final step was to re-coat the tyres with some AutoGlym Instant Tyre Dressing and allowed it to dry.

The other wheels followed a similar technique and used a tiny splash of water to activate the toothpaste and seemed to work a little better.

Before shots of the dirty letters than can clearly be seen:

The cleaning process:

The after shots:

I am well chuffed with the results. I suspect that next time I will use a white toothpaste which is a little more coarse. As this is still a working idea in progress I will tweak and modify the process until I am fully happy with the results. The best part of all this is that a tube of unbranded toothpaste is cheap and will last forever and a day. I’m not sure that I will need to carry a tube with me to a car show though. Only when I need to clean the writings on the (side) wall of the tyres. Let me know if you have tried similar ideas or have a better idea for the white letters, or indeed the full white wall tyres themselves.

In case you are wondering; yes the wife did notice the toothbrush and paste had gone and asked me where it was. Once I had explained that I cleaned my car tyres with it, she didn’t speak, instead I got another one of those “looks” of disbelief. You know the sort of “look” that women have perfected when a man does something daft. Me on the other hand, I know that I have done something pretty cool using just a little outside the box thinking.

Remember before this goes viral all over the internet – you read it here first. 🙂

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