How To Make Homemade Tire Shine? DIY Methods & Alternatives

Robert Herrera-COR-Wheels

By Robert Herrera

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For those looking for commercial tire shine alternatives, trust me; there is nothing better than homemade solutions. 

Their powerful performance has been proven time and time again with my Jeep, and now I’m delighted to share with you some of my secret formulas. Keep scrolling for more guidelines on how to make it. 

What Can I Use For Tire Shine Recipe?

Below are four simple homemade tire shines I have successfully made at home without anyone’s help. Check out these homemade tire shine recipes: 

1. Baby Oil

Baby oil is among the most effective tire shine that barely costs a dime.

Its natural ingredients are another lovely bonus, containing zero harsh chemicals that might dry out the rubber, erode the rim coat, or pose health risks to your family. 


  • Baby oil (1 cup)
  • Clean water (1/2 cup)
  • Dish soap (2-3 drops)
  • Clean towel

How to Make It:

  • Add dish soap and oil in the jar, then pour ½ cup of water into the mixture.
  • Stir hard to blend them well
  • Pour it into your spray bottle, then shake it up

To my delight, this solution can last more than five months, reducing the need to polish the tires more often than necessary. 

2. Alcohol and Castor Oil Tire Shine

Castor Oil

Castor oil can become the best tire shine ever when combined with alcohol. Your car will look glossy and (deceptively) luxurious more than ever.


  • Castor oil (100ml)
  • Dish soap (30ml)
  • Rubbing alcohol (300 ml)
  • Water (2 gallons)

How to Make It:

  • Mix dish soap and water in a spray bottle 
  • Apply rubbing alcohol on a dry, microfiber towel. Use this towel to clean the tire after the spray bottle runs out. 
  • Apply Castor oil on another dry towel. Rub each tire in circular motions.

3. Lemon Oil Tire Shine

Lemon Oil Tire Shine

Are you longing for a high-performance rubber conditioner to keep tear and wear away – while also removing UV-ray dry rots and other pollutants off the dirty tires. 

Nothing could do that more spectacularly than lemon oil. I use it like tire waxes to polish the tire’s sidewalls, too. 


  • Dish soap (30 ml)
  • Lemon oil (15 ml)
  • Borax (50 ml)
  • Water (2 gallons)

How to Make It: 

  • Put dish soap into a bucket, then add water and borax. Stir the ingredients up for about 5 minutes.
  • Add lemon oil, then stir further for another 5 minutes.

4. Dawn Dish Detergents

Dawn Dish Detergents

Here comes another ingredient for sparkly, squeaky tires that can also prevent UV rays or contaminants from touching the rubber sidewalls; you have my word for this. 


  • Dawn Dish detergents
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Warm water
  • Lint-free cloths 

How to Make It:

  • Put warm water in a bucket and wait for a few minutes. Then drop some Dawn Dish detergents into the water. Wash the tires with this mixture.
  • Apply alcohol to the cloth. Once you have used up the Dawn Dish mixture, rub the cloth over the tires. 

5. Other Ingredients

In fact, you can try tons of other alternatives, too, as long as there are no chemicals involved:

  • Cooking spray
  • Mayonnaise Mustard
  • Motor oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Vegetable oil

These are all cheap and super accessible; you can get them at any local shop with my eyes closed. So settle on your favorite choice before moving on to the next section of my article. 

How to Make Tires Shiny? Way to Apply Homemade Tire Shine Properly

“Washing the tires” does not just mean splashing some random liquid onto them and leaving them on their own. Let me further detail how to apply the tire shine properly – regardless of your chosen ingredients. 

Step One. Clean Your Tires Properly

wheel cleaner

Use proper cleaning equipment and solution to remove all grim, dirt, and dust from your tires first. Simple hose-off is not enough; the contaminants might have been deeply embedded in the sidewalls. Without getting rid of them, there’s no way the tire shine can exude its maximum effects. 

Step Two. Dry The Tires Off

Is there still excess water on the tires? Sponge it off, then wait at least 15 minutes for the tires to dry.

Dry a tire

Although certain tire shine can be used on both dry and wet tires, it would actually be much better to apply the solutions when your tires are dry. That way, the shine faces fewer risks of flicking, dripping, or slinging.

Step Three. Apply The Tire Shine

Now spread the tire shine gently yet consistently across the rubber with a spray bottle or a cloth. 

Apply The Tire Shine

You can let your hair down since all these homemade remedies are natural-ingredient mixtures with zero health risks. If you use commercial tire shine with high chemical proportions, tread with caution in this step. 

Step Four. Leave The Shine To Sit

Let the shine sit there for 10 to 20 minutes to stay on the safe side. Please do not get in the car and drive immediately; I did it once, and all my hard work was ruined. 

Step Five. Wipe Off Excess Shine

Use a dry cloth or sponge (applied in rubbing alcohol, if you want) to dab extra dressing off the tires. It helps prevent grime, dirt, and brake dust from lingering too long. 

Homemade Tire Shine vs. Commercial Tire Shine Products: Which Is Better? 

The ultimate choice boils down to your convenience and purposes (ex: you prioritize availability and affordability or longevity). 

I always go for homemade tire shine options, though. They are cheap, accessible (sometimes you can find them already in the kitchen cupboards; there’s no need to run to the store), and 100% safe. Unlike their commercial counterparts, you never have to wear protective clothing or be cautious of flammable materials/ burning accidents.

However, homemade tire shines are not meant to last long – the total opposite of commercial solutions. Sure, the latter can be much more expensive, yet their intricate and well-researched formulas ensure your tires do not need rubbing for at least another year. 

Extra Tips to Protect Your Tires

Aside from applying tire shine and protectants, remind yourself to keep track of the tire’s pressure and tread wear

Every week, take it out for a few minutes to inspect whether there are any abnormal symptoms, bulges, or cracks. If there are any, contact auto services to have the issues handled by experts as soon as possible. 


Homemade tire shines are easy to apply and bring about zero risks; still, keep in mind my guides above to ensure the tires are properly handled. If you struggle with anything, call me for help.

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Robert Herrera

President & Automotive Expert at COR Wheels

Robert Herrera has been with COR Wheels for 17 years and has a great passion for the automotive industry. During his time at COR Wheels, he has driven and test-driven a variety of vehicles.

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