How to Make Homemade Tire Shine

by Cricket Webber
SONY DSC image by Tim Osborn from

You can find plenty of commercial tire shine products, but they usually use chemicals that dry your tires or that you just do not want to breathe in. Making your own tire shine is economical and you know exactly what ingredients are going onto your car and into your yard. Shining your tires not only makes your whole car look polished, but it protects your tires from drying.

Step 1

Mix 2 tbsp. mild dish soap and 1/4 cup soap flakes or borax in a large bucket with 2 gallons of warm water. Borax is easier to find in some areas than soap flakes, and it works just as well.

Step 2

Add 1 tsp. lemon oil to the bucket of cleaning solution. You can find lemon oil at health food stores or at home and garden retailers. Lemon oil is used to clean and polish wood as well. For your tires, lemon oil removes grease and conditions the rubber.

Step 3

Scrub the tires with your tire shine solution and a stiff-bristled brush. You should see some suds from the dish soap, but not many. Scrub the tires, rims and hub cap. Be sure to scrub the tire shine solution into as much of the tire and wheel area as possible.

Step 4

Rinse each tire with fresh water immediately after you scrub it.

Dry and buff each tire with a clean towel.


  • Use tire shine on your tires after you have cleaned the rest of your car so you do not dirty or dull the tires by rinsing the car's dirt over them.


  • Be careful not to splash any of the tire shine solution into your eyes or mouth and keep the solution away from children and pets.

Items you will need

  • 2 tbsp. mild dish soap
  • 1/4 cup soap flakes or borax
  • Bucket
  • 1 tsp. lemon oil
  • Stiff-bristled brush
  • Clean towels

More Articles