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How to Make Tire Lube

Updated July 20, 2017

Tire lubricant, used to mount and dismount tires, is crucial to successfully completing the job without damaging the tires. Professional tire stores won't work without a good supply at each tire machine. But it's not necessary to buy commercially manufactured lubricant when a homemade version will work just as well. This simple recipe will ensure that rips or tears to the tyre's rubber sealing surface won't happen.

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  1. Half-fill a one-gallon container with water. Add a bottle of inexpensive body-wash to the container. Select a bottle that contains at least 18 fluid ounces. Look for one that contains mineral oil or soybean oil--they contain emulsifiers to prevent the oil from separating in the water.

  2. Mix the body wash until it is thoroughly blended with the water. If the mix foams or bubbles, the additive was a bad choice. Do not use shampoo or soaps that will excessively foam. Hair conditioners that have a high oil content or lanolin can be used but they are more expensive. However, the foam will eventually settle and the mix can be used.

  3. Lubricate the tire and mount it. There is an added value to a proper mix--it can also be used to wash the protective coating covering the whitewall stripe on a new tire. After completing the mount and washing off the coating, wipe the tire stripe clean with a damp cloth.

  4. Warning

    It is important to clean the area after mounting the tire. Use only mineral oil- or vegetable oil-based mixes. Never use petroleum based products; serious damage can occur.

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Things You'll Need

  • 1 gallon container
  • Mixing stick

About the Author

Jack Hathcoat has been a technical writer since 1974. His work includes instruction manuals, lesson plans, technical brochures and service bulletins for the U.S. military, aerospace industries and research companies. Hathcoat is an accredited technical instructor through Kent State University and certified in automotive service excellence.

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