Why Do My Tires Turn Brown? [And What To Do About It]

When you are using tires for a long time, you start observing that they have turned brownish in color. While this situation is not that bad for the durability of the tires, it can create a dull appearance. This is often a hindrance when you try to maintain the overall look of your car. Let us share with you some important details about tires and how you can prevent tire discoloration.

Tires turn brown due to chemicals added to them that protect against damage. In the industry, this browning is referred to as "blooming."

Regularly cleaning and scrubbing your tires can slow down blooming.

In this article, we'll take a closer look at what blooming is. We will also share with you how you can control tire blooming, products you can use to keep your tires strong and beautiful, and much more. Read on to learn more!

Car mechanic using a Vernier Caliper to measure the car tire depth, Why Do My Tires Turn Brown? [And What To Do About It]

Why Tires Turn Brown

Antiozonant is an element added to the rubber which protects the tire from cracking and drying out from exposure to the elements.

However, antiozonant can also cause browning in the tires. Tire browning is often called tire blooming. This can be prevented when you thoroughly clean and protect the tires.

Mold release agents and silicone may contribute to the tire problem, but neither are the primary cause.

Mold Release Agents

Mold release agents that are used in tire manufacturing do not directly cause browning. However, they can worsen the problem because they keep the antiozonant on the tire surface. The more that is left on the outer tire surface, the more oxidation takes place leaving brown deposits.

Mold release agents are the non-stick lubricants in tire molds. These may remain on tires, contributing to the blooming effect after weeks of a long drive.


Browning caused by silicone is different from blooming. Silicone is a sticky element that can allow dirt and dust to hold on to the tire surface. It turns brown in color eventually.

In this case, regular cleaning using a clean cloth, brush, and water. You may also remove the dressing with scrubs and special degreasers.

What is the real cause of tire blooming?

Before we deal with the main problem, let us first understand its cause.

The myth: Tire blooming occurs because of tire products or the tire dressing. Some people suggested that tire products can degrade the quality of tires over time and leave a brown color.

This makes sense but it is not quite true.

The actual cause is really the tire itself. Tires may seem like rubber lumps, but they are highly specialized pieces of equipment. Manufacturers have multiple compounds which are added during tire production, and one of these is the antiozonant.

Unfortunately, antiozonants can also respond to outside elements such as air and water. They combine and work to disintegrate the antiozonant. That breakdown leads to the brown discoloration of the tires.

Quality tire products and dressing stop the process by creating a barrier between the tire and the antiozonant including the outside elements.

Having a barrier means slowing down the degradation process and may completely prevent it with consistent application. Tire dressing not only gives you a fresh black color but prevents the tire from decaying over time.

The Pros and Cons of Tire Cleaning


Automobile sellers and car manufacturers recommend that tires should be cleaned at least once a month. Regular cleaning increases the life and longevity of your tires. Therefore, this is a job that is well worth the effort.

Better performance contributes to your safety

Car cruising down a country road

A clean tire is a safe tire. Clean tires enhance the brakes and grips, thus, preventing possible accidents or loss of car control. If you will allow dirt and dust on your tires, they can damage the coating of the metal.

Cleaning also protects the tires from cracking and shields the rim’s finish and eliminates all the harmful substances from many contaminants.

Regular maintenance of the tires helps ensure that destructive elements won’t have a chance to accumulate.

Aesthetic Pleasure

A clean tire makes the car look good and feel good. Having clean tires creates a pleasing aesthetic look which makes the car look shiny and brand new. Nobody would love to see a car with all the dirt and mud all over the tires.

Easy cleaning

Applying tire black solution the tire wall

Cleaning the tires becomes easy when you maintain them regularly. It keeps the car in good driving condition. Once it is clean, you do not have to spend extra time and effort cleaning your vehicle.

The car will have a long life and better driving experience compared to some other cars without being cleaned regularly.

Prevent breakdowns

Blown out tire of a car on the side of the road

One of the most important benefits of cleaning your tires is that it prevents breakdowns. Those materials that stick on to the tires can cause rust and weakens the quality of the tires. They reduce the amount of grip and control while you drive.

Hence, proper cleaning and maintenance can protect against these problems. It will also help your car withstand any type of weather condition.

Productive driving

Blue colored Tesla Model S traveliing fast at the highway

Having clean tires means will help your car drive better, whether it is on a rough road or on smooth ground. On the other hand, a car that has not been cleaned for a long time will be more likely to have problems.


Getting your tires to look glossy, black, and shiny is your ultimate goal, but is there a price to pay for using those shine tire products? Probably not, as long as you apply them in the right way.

Tips for Correct Tire Cleaning

Do not wash the tires and leave the vehicle under the heat of the sun.

When you use special products, be sure to read and follow the directions carefully and fully.

Some people are against aerosol sprays which are petroleum-based. The most important thing you need to do is to remove the dressing on the tires every after washing before you reapply again the product.

Some products are easy to remove but some are not. There are a lot of products that you can put on tires to achieve that shine you want, but not all are the same. There are water-based products and oil-based products.

Water-based products

These products are easy to wash off. You do not have to worry if you overspray it accidentally on the fender.

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Oil and solvent-based

Choosing these products makes your car looks shiny for a longer time. They also offer protection from rain and mud.

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These products contain harsh chemicals that could damage your tire. It can also damage the painted wheels if applied inappropriately.


These compounds provide protection to your tires in between car washes. They should also be applied following the manufacturer's instructions.

Importance of Tire Cleaning and Dressing 

Man washing the car rims

As the tire sidewalls continuously turn brown, you can’t completely get rid of it. However, once you start cleaning and having regular maintenance will protect your tire from blooming. Perform such cleaning procedures once or twice a week to get the best result.

Every tire has a chance to get weak. However, it depends on many factors such as the type of tire, how well you drive, where you usually drive, and more. Regular cleaning and protection help prolong the life of your tires and prevents blooming.

In Conclusion 

Car mechanic using a Vernier Caliper to measure the car tire depth

Tires also need regular cleaning and maintenance to prevent them from turning brown.

With any shine products that you want to apply, make sure you read the label and product reviews and follow instructions carefully. This will make it less likely that you damage your tires.

When you use it appropriately, the tires should not easily rot, crack, and create brown discoloration. Protect your tires from rot, clean them regularly, and you will extend the lifespan of your tires.

Did you find this article helpful? You may want to read other related posts. 

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