Homemade Tire Dressing

Updated July 19, 2017

Brand new tires look brand new and old, dirty tires look old and dirty. Even before a tire's treads are worn, the look of the tire can degrade the appearance of the vehicle. Expensive chemical tire dressings are just that, expensive and chemical. You can prepare a homemade tire dressing that looks just as good and lasts longer without chemical damage to your tires.

Remove all dirt from the surface of the tire you want to dress. Put soap and water in a bucket and wipe the tire, being generous with the soap solution. Knock any dirt stuck to the tire away before cleaning and preparing it for a shiny new dressing.

Wipe the clean tire with a lint-free cloth making sure that the surface is dirt free. Be sure not to leave out any tire surface by rolling the tire forward and backward to ensure you have not missed any area resting on the ground. Let the tire dry completely.

Mix 1 cup of vinegar and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice In a bowl large enough to hold a quart of liquid per tire. Wet a soft bristled hand brush with the solution and wipe it on the surface of the tire in a circular motion, moving around the tire and coating the front surface from top to bottom and from outside into the wheel. The solution should coat the rubber completely and even run off the side. Let the tire air-dry.

Pour a can of Cola into a bowl and with a lint-free cloth coat the cleaned tire with it. Move in a circular motion, top to bottom and outside into the wheel. Coat completely once and do not coat again. Let dry.


You can use show polish after cleaning the tire with vinegar and lemon juice. Shine the polish with a soft rotary polishing cloth and drill. Castor oil can be wiped onto a prepared tire to give it an extra wet look.


Cola uses sugar for shine; ants love sugar. Lemon juice can be an eye irritant. Wear protective eye wear when cleaning with natural or chemical solutions. Oil on the treads of tires can result in loss of traction when driving. Tire dressings must remain off the treads to prevent a potentially dangerous driving hazard.

Things You'll Need

  • Undressed tires
  • Bucket
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Bowl
  • Lemon juice
  • Vinegar
  • Brush (soft bristle)
  • Rags
  • Cloth (lint-free)
  • Cola
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About the Author

Francis Walsh has been working as a freelance writer since 2003. He has contributed to websites such as Shave, Autogeek and Torque & Chromeas, as well as provided content for private clients. Walsh has worked as a performance part-packer and classic car show promoter, now serving as crew chief for Nitrousfitz Racing.