How To Make Homemade Tire Shine – The Ultimate Guide

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Everyone wants their beastly vehicles to shine the brightest. Along with a vibrant high-quality paint and clean glasses, your car or truck must also need shiny tires to complete the striking appearance.

Although many ignore them, tires actually require consistent care to last a long time and combat against the rough roads. One way to enhance their lifespan is to take care of them with tire shine. These are basically dressings that give the tires a brand new shiny appearance while preventing possible wear and tear.

There are quite a few options for such dressings in the market. However, you can also make them on your own in the comfort of your home! But how to make homemade tire shine? Let’s get to know all the details!

How To Make Homemade Tire Dressing In Different Ways

Highly Recommended Dressings

Castor Oil And Alcohol

Alcohol is a good cleaning agent since it also gets rid of germs from the surface. On the other hand, castor oil is a great moisturizer.

Combining these two in adequate proportions, you can prepare the perfect concoction for shining your tires. This can work as well as waxing the tires!

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

Soak a towel with alcohol 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

This is one of the cheapest and most effective solutions for shining tires. It 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 mixture thoroughly to get the desired consistency. Put this in a spray bottle and give it a good shake.

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

Lemon Oil

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

To prepare this amazing dressing, combine 30 ml 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 mixture on the tire with a brush to clean it up.

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

Optional Dressings

Motor Oil

The cheap motor oil can add the required glaze to your tires. Unfortunately, it will also inspire all the dirty elements present on the road to 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.

Vegetable or Coconut Oil

Both these oils are great for our dietary habits. It also provides shine to the tires by nourishing them naturally. They do not pose threats to the environment either.

However, both of these affordable oils can draw in more dirt and thus need repeated coatings. Since they give no protection against UV rays, using this for a long time may cause the tires to crack up.

Two piles of car tires

Sugar Water Mix

An unlikely solution to tire shines 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 here is its sweetness will definitely attract insects. Although this eco-friendly dressing gives racers and other adventurous individuals extra traction on drag strips, it can ultimately give only a subtle shine to your tires.

Tips For Preparing And Applying Homemade Tire Shine

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

No Oil On Tread: Oils can make the tires slippery and cause accidents. So avoid applying homemade dressings or even the commercial shines containing oil on the tread portion of a tire.

Measure Carefully: Measure the ingredients correctly. The inaccurate portions of dressing 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.

Thin Coating: It is a common mistake to apply the dressing 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

Natural Glow

The homemade products 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.


Compared to the alternative, 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.


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

Disadvantages of Homemade Tire Shine

Attracts 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.

No 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, the UV rays can attack them and cause a condition called dry rot.

Temporary Shine

Since most homemade tire dressings are greasy, they don’t tend to last long. Dirt, dust and other such 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 Shine

Lasts Longer

Commercial shines are 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.

Blocks 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 Shine

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 item costs more than the usual household oils we use. So it is no surprise that these store-bought shines come at a much higher price point than homemade shines.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Tire Shine Cause Tires To Crack?

Answer: There are some dressings 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?

Answer: 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 Shine On Rims?

Answer: It is not recommended to 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?

Answer: 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?

Answer: 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 dressing 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 dressing and how to make homemade tire shine, you can now go on polishing them up without worrying about any negative outcome.

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