How to make stiff tires soft

Written by chelsea oliver
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How to make stiff tires soft
Tire softening has been banned by many race car driving organisations. (tire image by Orlando Florin Rosu from

The condition of a tire directly impacts how well it performs. It is necessary for tires to be soft, as stiff, dry tires can negatively impact performance, which is especially important when considering racing cars. While many pre-mixed tire softeners are available for purchase on the market, they can be quite expensive. You can make your own tire softener at home by combining a number of ingredients.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • White spirit
  • Transmission fluid
  • Acetone
  • Metal tray
  • Container
  • Rag or paint roller
  • Goggles
  • Chemical resistant rubber gloves

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  1. 1

    Protect your eyes and hands with the goggles and chemical resistant gloves.

  2. 2

    Mix equal amounts of the acetone, transmission fluid and white spirit in the container. Adjust the amount depending upon the number and size of the tires you are treating.

  3. 3

    Pour a small quantity of the mixture into the tray. Use small amounts at a time to avoid wasting the tire softener.

  4. 4

    Submerse the rag or roller lightly in the tire softener and apply the mixture to the whole surface area of the tire.

  5. 5

    Allow the tire to dry fully. Apply as many coats as desired, allowing the tire to dry between each coat. Repeat for each tire you wish to soften.

Tips and warnings

  • Always mix chemicals in well-ventilated areas.
  • If you retain any of your tire softening mixture, be sure to label it appropriately.
  • Experiment with other homemade tire softener recipes, such as white spirit and diesel fuel.
  • Always use protective clothing, as these chemicals can be harmful to the skin.

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