3 Easy Ways To Polish Tires Without Using Tire Shine

3 Easy Ways To Polish Tires Without Using Tire Shine


Glossy paintwork and flashy rims are not complete without shiny tires. No matter how sleek the paintwork and wheels are, if the tires are dull, people looking at it, including you, will be bummed. Their wow will die down real quick. 

And making your car appealing isn’t the sole reason why you’ll want to shine your tires. Dull-looking dry tires mean cracks are on their way. You’d be needing a replacement prematurely if this happens. 

But you want an affordable and eco-friendly alternative to tire shine. So in this post, we’re going to talk about:

  • 3 budget-friendly and eco-friendly ways to polish your tires without using harsh chemicals
  • Other homemade solutions you should avoid
  • And a brief comparison of homemade and store-bought tire shine

We included a comparison section so you can gauge for yourself if a homemade or a store-bought tire shine is best for you.

If you’re ready to make do-it-yourself solutions to shine your tires and bring your car’s appeal to the next level, this post is for you. 

Read on to discover simple and easy to shine your tires. 

Important Step Before Shining Tires

Before you start shining your tires, you first need to make sure it’s clean. Give it a quick wash using a car cleaning gun to get rid of all the contaminants, including clingy brake dust. 

You want to get rid of the contaminants so you can cover the tire’s surface with the shine solution thoroughly. 

Once done, let it dry and then you can start giving it back its polished look.

Let’s start with the first tire shine alternative. 

Recommended Reading: How To Set Up Your Car Cleaning Gun

Homemade Tire Shine Alternative Number 1: Baby Oil

Yep, you read that right. The slick mineral used to moisturize a baby’s skin can be used to shine your car’s tires. Being aloe-based makes it shine whatever it touches and with vitamin E infused in it, it can nourish drying and cracked surfaces, including tires. 

It’s the cheapest but also the slipperiest alternative on the list. To keep the shine but minimize the slipperiness, here’s a mixture you should make. 

For this you’ll need:

  • 1 cup - baby oil
  • ½ cup - water
  • 3 drops car shampoo
  • Tire brush
  • Clean microfiber towel
homemade tire shine baby oil solution


In a bucket, pour ½ cup water and add the baby oil, then add 3 drops of car shampoo. Mix the 3 and transfer them to a spray bottle. Once in the bottle, shake it up to mix it thoroughly. 

You can then spray the solution on the tires, cover it completely, use the brush if needed and let it sit for at least 2 minutes. After letting it sit, wipe the excess solution with a clean microfiber towel and let it dry. 

Now let’s check out your second option. 

Homemade Tire Shine Alternative Number 2: Castor Oil and Alcohol

This solution is almost similar to the first one, only with this one, you use castor oil together with alcohol instead of the baby oil and you don’t mix everything. 

What this mixture does is give the tire its natural shine. Modern tires have a synthetic material when mixed with the castor oil and alcohol solution creates a dazzling shine. 

For this you’ll need:

  • 75 ml - rubbing alcohol
  • 25 ml - castor oil
  • 10 ml - car shampoo
  • 2 liters - water
  • Tire brush
  • 2 clean microfiber towels


homemade tire shine castor oil solution


First, mix the water and car shampoo to wash the tires. Use the tire brush to scrub all the nooks of the tire.  

After this, use rubbing alcohol as the second phase for cleaning the tires. It helps get rid of remaining contaminants. But don’t use it too much because it will cause the rubber to dry. 

To limit the amount of alcohol you apply, use a clean microfiber towel to wipe the tire thoroughly.  

When it dries off from the car shampoo, water, and rubbing alcohol, use another clean microfiber towel to apply castor oil on the tires fully. 

Wipe it on in a circular motion until you can see starting to shine. 

Now for the third alternative. 

Homemade Tire Shine Alternative Number 3: Lemon Oil 

What’s great about this solution is that with its citrusy factor, it can overpower the pungent smell of burning rubber. Plus, it doesn’t just act as a tire shine but also as a cleaner.  

For the lemon oil solution you’ll need: 

  • 30 ml - car shampoo
  • 2 gallons - water
  • 15 ml - lemon oil
  • 50 ml - borax
  • Tire brush
  • Clean microfiber towel


homemade tire shine lemon oil solution


In a bucket, pour the car shampoo and water then add the borax. Mix the solution thoroughly and add the lemon oil afterward. 

After blending completely, use the brush to apply the mixture on the tires, rubbing it in the nooks and crannies. 

After completely covering the tires in the mixture using a clean microfiber towel to wipe the excess off. 

Don’t eyeball the ingredients. Follow the measurements to the dot so you can get the best mixture and results. Shiny, but not slippery.  

Other Alternative But Not Recommended: 

You might find other blogs or people recommending these other alternatives to you, here are brief reasons why you shouldn’t choose any of them. 

Shoe Polish

It’s solvent-based silicon which means it dries out tires and makes them crack. Plus it only gives a short shine.

Motor Oil

A cheap and readily available alternative, but not recommended. Its oil density level dirt and grime will easily stick and layer on the tires making it filthier than usual. It’s not eco-friendly either. 

Coconut Oil And Vegetable Oil

Just like the motor oil, the density levels of these oils attract more dirt than usual. The brief shine it gives will cause you to double-time on cleaning your wheel.

Recommended Reading: 6 Proven Steps To Get Rid Of Brake Dust And Get Wheels Looking New Again

Homemade Tire Shine vs Store-Bought Tire Shine

Store-bought isn’t all bad, using it also has advantages. In this section, you’ll see the pros and cons of homemade and store-bought tire shine to give you an idea about what works best for you. 

Let’s start with store-bought tire shine.

Store-bought Tire Shine Pros:

  • It’s easy to find
  • The shine lasts longer than homemade alternatives
  • Is water-based (doesn’t attract as much dirt)
  • Infused with UV protection (helps prevent cracking from too much heat)

Store-bought Tire Shine Cons:

  • Chemical components can damage other car parts
  • Has harmful chemicals (bad for the environment)
  • Flammable
  • Pricier than homemade solutions

Homemade Tire Shine Pros

  • Eco-friendly
  • Cheap
  • Doesn’t have damaging elements for other parts of the car

Homemade Tire Shine Cons

  • Doesn’t include UV protection
  • Shine doesn’t last as long as store-bought tire shine

Shining Your Tires Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive

Applying tire shine isn’t just about giving your tires a shiny look. It’s also about putting on added protection against drying and eventually cracks. For this, the lemon oil tire shine solution does a great job. 

It doesn’t just make your tires shiny and clean but also conditions them to counter the heat on the road, helping your tires last longer. 

Homemade tire shine mixtures allow you to save precious bucks so you can spend it on more important stuff but still allows your car to have an overall appeal that’ll make you confident to drive it around. 

Try them for yourself the next time you wash your car. 

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