How To Make Homemade Tire Shine – The Ultimate Guide

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Along with a vibrant high-quality paint and clean glasses, your car or truck must also have shiny tires to have a striking appearance.

Although many ignore them, tires actually require consistent care to last a long time. One way to enhance their lifespan is to take care of them with homemade tire shine. Homemade tire shine is basically a dressing that gives the tires a brand new shiny appearance while contrarresting the effects of wear and tear.

There are quite a few options for the best homemade tire shine in the market. However, you can also make them on your own in the comfort of your home! You just need to learn how to make homemade tire shine.

How To Make Homemade Tire Shine

There are actually several ways to make your hown tire shine. The difference lies in the ingredients used. You can choose from different types of oil-based mixes, from castor oil, coconut or even baby oil!

Castor Oil And Alcohol

Alcohol and castor oil are good cleaning agents since they also get rid of any germs from the surface. On the other hand, castor oil is a great moisturizer.

Combining castor oil and alcohol in adequate proportions, you can prepare the perfect concoction for shining your tires. Castor oil can work as well as waxing the tires!

Clean the whole area with 300ml alcohol or castor oil. Now mix 30 ml of drops of dish soap in 100 ml warm water. Now clean it again with this soapy water.

Soak a towel with alcohol or castor oil and wipe off the remaining soapy water using it. Now add another layer of shine by putting castor oil on another clean towel.

A man with a rack of tires

Baby Oil

Baby oil is one of the most effective solutions for shining tires. Baby oil gives them the required glow while also keeping them safe from rotting away.

You can make this simple lubricant by combining a cup of baby oil, half a cup of water and 2-3 drops of dish soap. Stir this baby oil mixture thoroughly to get the desired consistency. Put this in a spray bottle and give it a good shake.

Now spray a little bit of baby oil on the tire and then another bit on a clean towel. Wipe the area gently with this towel to finish up.

Lemon Oil

Lemon oil is a frequently used component for degreasing purposes. Similar to dishwashing liquids, lemon oil also helps out in cleaning the tires. Lemon oil is one of the rare homemade dressings which clean out dirt, remove oily texture and add glaze at the same time.

To prepare this, combine 30 ml of drops of dish soap and 50 ml borax in 2 gallons of warm water. When they have mixed well enough, add 15 ml lemon oil and stir again. Apply this lemon oil mixture on the tire with a brush to clean it up.

Now soak up another towel in the same lemon oil mixture. Squeeze out the excess lemon oil and wipe the entire area with this wet towel.

Motor Oil

Even motor oil can add shine to your tires. Unfortunately, it could probably make all the dirt on the road stick to the tires.

As a result, they will be greasy and filthy again in no time. Besides, using it continuously can cause environmental damages. That’s why, even if it’s an option to make your own homemade tire shine, we strongly recommend you avoid it.

Vegetable or Coconut Oil

These oils are great and can give shine to the tires and nourish them naturally. These options for tire shine do not pose threats to the environment either.

However, both of these tire shine oils can draw in more dirt and need repeated coatings. Since they give no protection against UV rays, using this for a long time may cause the tires to crack up. We also recommend you avoid these oils to make homemade tire shine.

Two piles of car tires

Sugar and Water

An unlikely solution to make tire shine is this old-school homemade dressing. The preparation is pretty straight-forward which only requires you to mix the two ingredients: water and sugar. Just spray this mixture on the tires and you’re done!

The catch is that the sugar will definitely attract insects. Although this eco-friendly homemade tire shine gives racers and other adventurous individuals extra traction on drag strips, it can ultimately give only a subtle shine to your tires.

Preparing And Applying Homemade Tire Shine

Now that we’ve talked about different combinations for your own homemade tire shine, let’s talk about the best ways to prepare and apply your homemade tire shine.

Clean First

Never start the shining method by directly applying your homemade tire shine solution first. Always clean up the tire to remove any dirt on it. Otherwise, you will just be giving the accumulated dirt a new shine which will make the whole situation much worse.

Avoid Applying Oil On the Tread

Oils can make the tires slippery and cause accidents. So avoid applying homemade or even commercial shines containing oil on the tread portion of a tire.

Measure Carefully

Measure the ingredients correctly. Inaccurate portions of homemade tire shine ingredients can lead to a harmful mixture instead of a useful one. Not following the instructed amount or ratio and still applying it on tires may render them unusable.

Apply Only a Thin Coating

It is a common mistake to apply the homemade tire shine heavily on tires to attain the maximum possible shine. However, this actually does more harm than good to your tires.

Heavy coats allow the excess product to pool up somewhere which can turn into a big concern later. So apply the shine in thin coatings.

Clean Up Soon

When you are done with applying the last coat of your dressing, don’t leave it on for too long. Being in contact with or exposed to oil for too long can cause the rubber to degrade. So as soon as you finish its application, take a microfiber towel and wipe it off.

Wait Before Next Use

Always give your tires enough time to dry off. Don’t plan on shining them minutes before you are about to go out with the car. You must wait at least half an hour for the newly shined tires to get ready for use again.

A close up shot of a tire of a gray car

Advantages of Using Homemade Tire Shine

If you’re still not convinced whether you should make your own tire shine or not, let’s talk about the benefits and perks or using homemade tire shine.

They Offer Natural Glow and Protection

Homemade tire shine can give your tires the same glaze of those commercial options. In fact, they are better for your tire’s longevity. Oils like lemon and castor manage to make the tires glow without drying them. So they look glossy and maintain their vigor at the same time.

They Are Environment-Friendly

Compared to commercial alternatives, homemade shines are better for the environment. Most of them are basically oils whose production or use doesn’t harm the environment in any way.

So if maintaining an organic lifestyle is of importance to you, make the environment-friendly shines in the comfort of your home.

They are Friendly on your Wallet

Since homemade tire shines are made from easily available oils, you can continue nourishing them. You can find these oils everywhere – a local store or an e-commerce platform. Both the amount of these natural shines are favorable.

Disadvantages of Homemade Tire Shine

While they’re great alternatives, most homemade tire shines come with their own drawbacks, and we wouldn’t be responsible if we weren’t to go over them before recommending them.

  • They attract more dirt: While oil is the more organic option for shining your tires, they also make the tires quite sticky. Since they do not dry out over time, they tend to draw in more dirt once you set off with the vehicle. As a result, things turn quite messy. But worry not! There is an easy way out of this inconvenience. When you are done with the shining task, just use a towel or a piece of cloth to wipe off the excess oil sitting on the tires.
  • They don’t provide UV protection: Homemade shines are not capable of protecting your tires against the harmful ultraviolet rays. These rays damage anything made out of rubber, plastic or fiberglass. Since tires usually contain most of these elements, UV rays can attack them and cause a condition called dry rot.
  • They only provide temporary shine: Since most homemade tire dressings are greasy, they don’t tend to last long. Dirt, dust and other debris on road stick to the tires once you use the vehicle. As a result, you may need to re-shine the tires more frequently by using a homemade solution.

Advantages of Store-Bought Tire Shine

Finally, let’s talk about the benefits a store-bought tire shine offer so you can make more of an educated choice.

  • They last longer: A store-bought tire shine is carefully made from the best ingredients available. As a result, they are capable of producing the shine which will last much longer than homemade ones. Water-based shines show better performance in this aspect. They are non-greasy and therefore, do not attract dirt on the way.
  • They block UV Rays: The ready-made shines you buy from stores come with the elements necessary to keep your tires safe from the UV rays. Long-term exposure to these rays can cut down the lifespan or performance of your tires.

A close up shot of a black tire

Disadvantages of Store-Bought Tire Shines

That being said, there are plenty of drawbacks that come with store-bought tire shines.

Health Hazards

Unfortunately, store-bought tire dressings can cause your health to degrade over time. They contain harsh chemicals with the potential to damage your skin. Besides, the fume emerging from them can cause respiratory problems.

So, putting on rubber gloves and gas masks are absolutely non-negotiable while using these products.


Since they are commercially manufactured, these shines contain highly flammable ingredients. That is why you must take your safety precautions up a few notches while working with them. Remove any empty bottles or cans from the area before starting the process.


Of course, any commercially produced items are more than the usual household oils we use. So it is no surprise that these store-bought shines come at a much higher rate than homemade shines.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Tire Shine Cause Tires To Crack?

There are some tire shines that can cause tires to crack if you keep applying them again and again. Vegetable oil and coconut oil are both responsible for such issues.

On the other hand, water-based solutions provide tires the necessary protection against such cracks. So by choosing the right kind of tire shine, you can keep them safe from cracking.

How Do I Stop My Shine From Slinging?

If your tire is suffering from slinging, it is most likely suffering from the excess shine residing on its surface. Sling occurs when you don’t give the tires enough time to dry off the applied dressing. To stop it from happening again, wait for 30 minutes or longer before you take out the vehicle for driving again.

Can I Use Tire Shine On Rims?

You can’t use tire shine on rims. Doing so will lead to more trouble and no benefit. Putting gel-like substances like tire shine on rims will encourage dust from the brake to stick and make this grimy combination harder. To make the rims shiny, use products with wax instead for the best results.

How Long Does It Take For The Shine To Dry?

It usually takes at least half an hour for a lubricant like tire shine to dry up properly. So remember to maintain this interval period between your last coating application and using the vehicle next time. Making it longer than 30 minutes would be a much better option to ensure the best outcome.

Does Tire Shine Ruin Tires?

There are some tire shine products in the market whose contents can damage your tires instead of making them any better. Such shines usually contain silicones and do not wipe off easily. That is why, homemade dressings are a safer choice for shining the tires.

A gray car with a shiny tire


Wheels have already been a thing for a long time. Tires take the most toil of a bumpy, jarring ride. They need to be in pristine condition. Otherwise, they might not live up to the expectation.

Just as you customize the color of your car, as you can see, what really happens to your tire depends on what kind of choice you make for it. The wrong homemade tire shine can cause it to crack or dry rot, while the right dressing will protect it from exactly those conditions.

Since you know which oils make the finest homemade tire shine, you can now go on polishing them up without worrying about any negative outcome.

Doing so, you will also be saving, as all the ingredients and components are easily available. It will also be a favor to nature since these shines are environment-friendly.