Homemade Tire Shine: Get This Old Tire to Shine!

Tire shine helps your old tires look brand new again, and it keeps you safe on the road. If you haven’t used it yet, I recommend you start straight away. You can choose between a store-bought or homemade tire shine.

If you want to take care of your car properly, you have to think about tire maintenance. In addition to getting a beautiful outward appearance, it also keeps you safe by preventing your tires from cracking. By taking care of your tires, you ensure their reliability for years to come.

Homemade tire shine. Make your tires shine again.

When it comes to choosing the best product for your tires, you can opt for homemade or store-bought tire shine. In this article, will talk about some of the most commonly used tire shine products and whether you should use them. Additionally, I will tell how to make your own tire shine — so buckle up!

Commonly Used Tire Shine Products


WD-40 is a multi-purpose product that is used as penetrative oil, lubricant, and cleaner. It’s safe to use on rubber, so you can use it to both clean and get your tires to shine.

WD-40 used as tire shine.

Additionally, it is great for your tires because it cleans and lubricates them at the same time. WD-40 is an easy, quick solution, it’s also water-based and therefore, environment-friendly. Water-based products also contain agents that block UV rays — this will ensure your tires’ longevity by protecting them from sun damage.

When it comes to the visual appearance of your tires, WD-40  gives you great results, leaving them with a nice, clean finish. As far as store-bought products go, you might consider trying this one out — even if it doesn’t work on your tires, you can use it to cover scratches on your car or clean and polish anything else around the house.

Shoe Polish

Shoe polish is really not a good option for your tires; it contains solvent-based silicone that removes elasticity from rubber. Because of this property, it will likely dry out your tires — eventually causing them to crack.

Shoe polish just doesn’t work on car tires. Best you can hope is for a bit of shine that lasts only a short period of time.

I would definitely advise you to keep the shoe polish away from your tires and stick to using it on your shoes only.

Motor Oil

Using motor oil has its pros and cons. It can be a cheaper alternative to other products on the market, and it really does add shine to your tires. However, if you take your car out on the open road, due to the properties of the oil, dirt, and grime will stick to your tires.

Motor oil used as tire shine.

Additionally, it is not eco-friendly, and since you have to keep reapplying it all the time you could cause significant damage to the environment.

Personally, I would stay away from it.

Motor oil could be a good option for a show car, but unless you plan on cleaning and reapplying it quite frequently — maybe just skip this one.

Vegetable and Coconut Oil

Both vegetable and coconut oil are healthy, environmentally friendly options for tire shine — they won’t harm you, your car, or anything else around you. These oils tend to nourish and bring life to everything they touch, so they could be a good option when making tire shine.

However, this type of oil does tend to attract a lot of dirt — you might need to clean your tires more often than you usually would. Additionally, it doesn’t protect your tires from UV exposure. That basically means it will do more harm than good over time, as sunlight will dry them, and probably cause them to crack eventually.

Nonetheless, this is a cheap alternative that you probably have at home anyway. So you could try it out, but only for a short period of time.

Sugar Water Mix

Sugar water mix is an old-school recipe your grandpa might have used back in the day. It’s fairly simple to make as the only two ingredients are sugar and water — and all you need to do is mix and spray them on your tires. Nowadays car racers are using this compound to gain traction on a drag strip.

Nevertheless, don’t hold your breath waiting for mind-blowing results — they will be subtle at best. Still, this is a great, eco-friendly option, and a very cheap one at that, so you might want to give it a try.

However, whether it will attract bees — that’s something to think about.

Best Homemade Tire Shines

By properly taking care of your tires, you can ensure they will stay reliable for years to come. You can use homemade tire shine to protect your tires, and give them a fresh, shiny look at the same time.

Additionally, you can protect yourself and the environment from harmful substances that most commercial tire shines contain.

An important thing to note is that you should always start with a clean tire before applying a homemade tire shine — just wash it with water.

Next, I will show you some of the best homemade shines you can make with everyday household items — and explain to you how to make them, step-by-step.

Castor Oil and Alcohol

Castor oil is great for moisturizing dry skin. This property comes in handy for giving your tires a great shine, and it is also keeps your tires safe. Alcohol, on the other hand, is a great disinfectant and is good for your tires cleanliness.

You will need:

  • Castor oil – 100 ml
  • Dish soap – 30 ml
  • Alcohol – 300 ml
  • Water – 2 gallons
  • Clean towels

How to make it:

First clean the tire with alcohol. Always make sure you’re starting with a clean tire so all of your hard work isn’t going to waste. Next, add soap to some warm water and clean the tire with this mix. After that, wet a towel with alcohol and apply it to the tire. Lastly, put castor oil on a separate towel, and add shine by moving your hand in a circular motion.

Baby Oil

When looking for the most inexpensive, safe, and efficient ingredient for homemade tire shine, baby oil is one of the best things you can use. It doesn’t just pamper your tires — it spoils them rotten. This mixture will lubricate and preserve your tires in an exceptional, environment-friendly way.

You will need:

  • Baby oil – one cup
  • Water – half a cup
  • Dish soap – 2 to 3 drops
  • Clean towels
Homemade tire shine with baby oil.

How to make it:

First, pour half a cup of water into a jar, add a cup of oil, and add three drops of dish soap. Once you’ve added everything, thoroughly stir the ingredients. Next, pour everything into a spray bottle and shake it. After that, spray a part of the mixture on the tire, and then on a clean towel. Lastly, wipe your tire using the towel.

This method also works with lemon or castor oil.

Lemon oil

Lemon oil is often used as an ingredient for DIY cleaning solutions. Additionally, it is commonly used for degreasing surfaces. Therefore, lemon oil will help clean, degrease, and add shine to your tires at the same time — all that while leaving a great scent behind.

You will need:

  • Dish soap – 30 ml
  • Lemon oil – 15 ml
  • Borax – 50 ml
  • Warm water – 2 gallons
  • A brush

How to make it:

First,pour dish soap, then add borax and water into a bucket and stir. After a while, add lemon oil and keep stirring. Next, dip a brush in the mixture and clean the tire. Lastly, Immerse a towel in the mixture you have created, then squeeze it dry and wipe the tire.

If you can’t quite understand these instructions perfectly, I’ve provided a video that will hopefully help you out:

Homemade vs. Store-Bought Tire Shine

You want your tire shine to give you long-lasting results, and not damage your tires in the process. The question is which one you should choose — homemade or store-bought?

Store-Bought Tire Shine

Store-bought tire shine products certainly are the easy way out — you just go out and pick them up. However, that doesn’t mean they are necessarily the best option for your car. These products often contain ingredients that can be harmful to you, your car, and the environment. The chemicals used in store-bought products have been proven to be dangerous, especially if you don’t handle them with special care and dispose of them correctly.

Moreover, if you are a typical consumer, you won’t be able to tell the difference between the good and the bad ones. Unless you’re a chemist, you probably won’t be able to fully understand the chemical components that go into making these products. However, one thing to take into consideration is sun damage. Water-based products will protect your tires from UV lights — while the homemade ones just can’t do that.

Pros of store-bought tire shine:

  • Easy to find and use
  • Water-based tire shine has UV protection
  • Lasts longer

Cons of store-bought tire shine:

  • Can contain harmful chemicals
  • Bad for the environment
  • May cause damage to the car
  • Expensive
  • Flammable

Homemade Tire Shine

Homemade tire shine, on the other hand, contains everyday products so you know that all the ingredients you’re using are safe. Additionally, you can usually find all of the necessary ingredients in your own home, and even if you can’t — almost every store has them.

While you might not want to do any extra work, homemade tire shine can benefit your tires in the long run. Cost-efficiency is just one of the things to keep in mind — you will save a lot of money over time if you use a homemade option. Additionally, the environment will be grateful to you. Even if you use it every three days, it won’t cause any damage to you, your car, or the environment.

However, some of the DIY solutions may last for as little as three days. Therefore, it’s debatable whether they will prove to be more cost-effective then the store bought ones in the long run.

Pros of homemade tire shine:

  • Cheap
  • Environment-friendly
  • Won’t cause damage
  • Environment-friendly

Cons of homemade tire shine:

  • No UV protection
  • Doesn’t last as long as store-bought products

General Tips for Applying Homemade Tire Shine

As I mentioned before, always make sure to clean your tires first. I cannot stress this point enough, if you don’t clean them — you are just piling ingredients on top of dirty tires.

Additionally, be sure you are using the product in the correct quantity. When making your homemade tire shine, you shouldn’t eyeball the ingredients. Always make sure to measure them and use the recommended amount.

Furthermore, do everything in order. Just like math, if you skip a step, or reverse the order — you will end up with the wrong result. Make sure to follow the instructions thoroughly to ensure the best results.

Let the tires dry off completely and don’t rush it, take your time and let the tires dry off before taking your car out on the road.

Final Thoughts

Is there anything greater than a well-maintained car that still looks magnificent even after years of use? I personally think that a car should look and feel great even after thousands of miles.

If you love your car enough to thoroughly take care of it, a quality tire shine is something you should invest in. If you opt for a store-bought solution, you will be investing money.




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