How to remove tire rubber from car paint

A number of car owners who have driven their cars on roads that are covered in snow or ice may notice that upon removing their wheels, they find black streaks around the rims. These black streaks are composed mostly of dirt and brake dust, but can also include tire rubber. Tire rubber is persistent and difficult to remove for this reason; however, using the right products one should be able to remove all traces of tire rubber from their car’s paint.

How To Remove Rubber From Paint

Prepare for Cleaning

Although spray cleaners work better than liquid cleaners when considering ease-of-use, liquid cleaners will work just fine if you plan ahead. You should pour some liquid cleaner into a bucket before you get started cleaning your car so that you can dip your cloth in the bucket when it becomes dirty. It is generally a good idea to use plenty of cleaner since this will make the process easier and quicker.

Cleaning Time

Take your first, clean cloth and soak it in some liquid cleaner; then wipe down the tire rubber that has run onto your car’s paint. If you are using this method on thin strips of tire rubber, like those found at the end of wheels, you should spray some cleaner directly onto the rubber before wiping it with your cloth to avoid missing any areas. Once the area is thoroughly cleaned, replace your cloth with a dry one and move down to the next section of tire rubber that has run onto car’s paint.

Finish up with Dry Cloth

After completely cleaning the tire rubber from your car’s paint, you should then wipe down the area with a clean cloth. This will remove any excess liquid cleaner which could cause damage to other parts of your car and it will also dry out the newly cleaned areas so you can proceed to waxing or polishing them.

Wax or Polish your Clean Paint Job

Now that all traces of dirt and tire rubber have been eliminated from your car’s paint job, you must apply a coat of wax, polish, or both. Doing this evens out the paint on your vehicle as well as making it easier for future substances such as dirt and brake dust to be removed from its surface.

Final Touches before Reinstalling Wheels

After applying a coat of wax or polish you should treat your newly cleaned paint job by using a microfiber towel and buffing the area with strong, circular motions. This allows any wax or polish left on the surface of the paint to be distributed evenly over it and it will also increase its shine. You may then proceed to reinstall your wheels onto your vehicle and enjoy driving on clean roads that don’t cover your car in dirt and tire rubber!


After following these steps, you should now know how to remove tire rubber from car paint. Please note that this method only works if you have access to a bucket and some liquid cleaner.

Steven Hatman
Steven Hatman

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