How can I whiten these whitewalls?

October 1, 2017 | By Staff


I bought new 13” whitewalls for my Corvair two months ago but the whitewalls quickly yellowed and got dark spots. Westley’s Bleche Wite, brass brushes, toluene, etc. will not whiten them. Any suggestions other than buying portawalls? At one time I read of whitewall paint to touch up tires. Is anything similar still on the market, and does it work?


Tire dealers will tell you not to use any kind of abrasive or even Westleys on whitewalls because they are gum dipped, and you will remove the gum by doing so. They recommend detergent and hot water only.

But since you have removed the gum dipping anyway by now, I would just use Comet household cleanser and a Brillo pad. Cleanser bleaches and cleans at the same time, and I have found Comet to work well on old whitewalls.

As for paint, I do not know of any such products and I wouldn’t try it anyway. You will find that there are a million shades of white and that any paint you put on will not likely match and will create spots that will look terrible.

My experience with portawalls has not been good either. They eventually dry out and rumple and they also turn yellow and get dirty, and chunks of them can break off and cause an imbalance in the wheel and a vibration at speed.