If you’ve noticed that your Michelin tires are turning brown, it can be rather alarming, but what’s causing them to change their color?
Michelin tires turn brown due to a process called “tire blooming”. Michelin adds antiozonants to its rubber compound to increase the mileage and longevity of tires. As the tires get broken in, the antiozonants make their way to the surface, changing the color of the tire sidewall to brown.
After extensively researching tire rubber compounds, I have gathered enough information to determine why Michelin tires turn brown. In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at what causes Michelin tires to turn brown and what you can do to return the original color.
Why Do Michelin Tires Turn Brown?
Michelin tires turn brown because the manufacturer adds antiozonants to the rubber compound. By adding antiozonants to their rubber, Michelin is able to increase the tread life of its tires, which is a huge boost for maximizing longevity.
The browning of tires is commonly referred to as “tire blooming”. Many drivers often mistake tire blooming for dirt when they first notice it, but then realize that the color is coming from the actual tires.
While the browning effect of antiozonants may not be very aesthetically pleasing, adding it to the rubber compound helps with the following issues:
- Tire drying
- Tire cracking
Are Michelin Tires Safe for Driving After They Turn Brown?
Yes, you can safely drive with Michelin tires once you notice the browning effect. The antiozonants that cause the Michelin tires to turn brown are actually a sign of quality and longevity.
Tire blooming implies that the manufacturer designed a high-quality rubber compound with antiozonants that will protect the tire from premature wear and tear. The browning effect caused by antiozonants by no means implies that the tires are not safe to drive.
Can You Prevent Michelin Tires from Turning Brown?
Unfortunately, preventing tire blooming on a Michelin tire is impossible. The antiozonants in the rubber compound are bound to surface sooner or later, which means that simply driving your car will result in inevitable tire blooming.
This can be quite frustrating for a lot of drivers who appreciate the look of their solid black tires. While the browning effect caused by antiozonants cannot be completely prevented, you can implement tactics to slow down the process.
I’ve found the best way to avoid tire blooming is to properly maintain your tires. Thorough cleaning combined with a tire shine product can make a huge difference in how quickly blooming becomes apparent.
How to Remove “Tire Blooming” from Michelin Tires
While tire blooming may be a natural effect caused by antiozonants making their way to the surface of the rubber, many drivers still feel this browning effect is not pleasant to look at.
Brown stains on tires usually indicate they are not looked after and have been neglected for routine cleaning. Given that this is not the case with tire blooming, drivers instinctively want to remove the brown stains as soon as they notice them.
To remove brown stains caused by tire blooming, you need to thoroughly clean your tires. This will remove all discoloration and bring back the sharp black color.
However, you should also consider applying a tire shine to your Michelin tires. Shines can be great products for enhancing the color and aesthetic of your rubber, but they can also add a protective layer over the tire, which will mitigate the effects of tire blooming.
Clean Your Tires
Many drivers neglect their tires and then wonder why they become cracked and worn out quickly.
This is an important aspect of maintaining your vehicle and you should make sure to clean your tires every time you wash your car. Follow these steps to remove tire blooming from your Michelin tires.
Step 1: Dry Clean
The first thing you want to do is dry-clean your tires to remove dirt and debris.
Immediately spraying with water will just create mud, which is even harder to remove. Use a dry brush and go around each tire to get rid of any loose dirt and debris.
Step 2: Spray with a Hose or Pressure Washer
A pressure washer is the fastest way to clean tires, but if you don’t have one available, a simple garden hose will do.
Spray water on each of your tires to remove any remaining dust and dirt.
Step 3: Apply Tire Cleaner
If you have a favorite tire cleaning product, you can use it to thoroughly wash the rubber. However, you can always make a tire cleaning product DIY by adding a teaspoon of dish soap to a gallon of water.
Apply the tire cleaner and go around the surface of each tire with a brush. Scrub the sidewalls, in particular, to remove the browning stains.
Step 4: Rinse the Tire
Once you’ve scrubbed your tires, all you need to do is rinse them off one last time with a hose or pressure washer.
If you’ve noticed that some tire blooming is still visible, repeat the above steps and target only those specific areas.
Apply Tire Shine
There are a lot of tire-shining products that you can apply to your tires after you’ve finished washing them thoroughly. Make sure to only apply a tire shine once the tires are clean. Using a tire shining product on a dirty tire will get very messy and have an undesirable effect on the rubber.
Although tire shines will not prevent tire blooming, they will slow down how quickly it develops. Each tire-shining product has specific instructions for how it needs to be used, so read carefully before applying.
Consider one of the following tire-shining products to mitigate the effects of tire blooming:
- Meguiar’s Endurance Tire Gel
- Chemical Guys TVD
- CAR GUYS Tire Shine Spray
- PROTECTS AND SHINES TIRES: One 16 oz bottle of Meguiar’s Endurance Tire Gel and tire dressing with advanced macropolymers and copolymers that endure through washing and rain for a high-gloss car tire…
- RICH GEL FORMULA: Gel eliminates runs, drips and overspray for an even, consistent shine
- UV PROTECTANT: Meguiar’s car tire shine protects tires against UV damage and browning to keep them looking like new
- TO USE: Apply a medium amount of tire shine to clean, cool tires using a soft cloth or foam applicator, then wipe off excess
- HIGH OR LOW SHINE: Apply a second coat of tire dressing for higher shine, or wipe off immediately for less shine
- THE ULTIMATE PROTECTION – VRP is an easy-to-use protectant that restores a deep black look, enhances shine, and protects vinyl, rubber, and plastic surfaces against harmful weather conditions and…
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- ✅ CAR GUYS Tire Shine is a non-greasy, dry to the touch formula that is super quick & easy to use! Lets you decide your desired level of tire shine, provides long lasting UV protection, and like all…
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- Michelin tires turn brown due to a process called “tire blooming” caused by antiozonants in the rubber compound.
- As the tires start to get broken in, the antiozonants make their way to the surface, changing the color of the tire sidewall to brown.
- You can mitigate the effects of tire blooming/browning by thoroughly cleaning your tires and applyng a tire shine.