Cleaning & Shining Your Bicycle Tires Back To New


One of the jobs are personally look forward to as a bicycle owner is cleaning my bicycle on a regular basis, there is something satisfying to cleaning off all of the dirt and residue and making my bicycle look like it just came out of the factory

However one troublesome area for many cyclists is how to effectively clean and shine the tires, as if they look brand new. There are several ways to achieve a  “straight out of the factory newness” to your bicycle tires and they are all pretty straightforward and inexpensive to do. Below I will talk about all of the options and methods available to you to effectively clean and shine your bicycle tires back to looking like their brand new 

What Items Will You Need To Clean Your Bicycle Tires?

The items you will need is a household/garden bucket (to store hot soapy water), dish washing soap (fairy liquid), a sponge, a hard floor brush, a non-lint cloth, a small amount of alcohol and a tire shiner of your choosing

I will go into detail on what tire shine products there are to choose from below. If your wanting your hands to remain dry and clean during the process of cleaning and shining your bicycle tires then consider wearing a pair of gloves as well

What Products Can I Use To Make My Bicycle Tires Shine

Household Tire Shine Products

There is a wide number of products that you can use to clean and make your bicycle tires shine like they just come out of the factory. Some of the most widely accessible products you can use is a household all purpose cleaner that contains lemon in its ingredients

A household all purpose kitchen or bathroom cleaner will work just fine if you want to spend less money. Other products that you can use is a commercial car tire cleaner, these are specifically designed for car tyres however can provide a great shine and newness to your bicycle tires with very little effort

Commercial Tire Shine Products

Commercial car tire cleaner can be picked up at any automotive store like Halfords, these tire cleaners products are quick and easy to use and requires no wiping or buffing to achieve a long lasting shine. As they tend to be specifically designed for cleaning and shining rubber they tend to be fast drying and longer lasting

Some common commercial car tire cleaners that you can use is Turtle Wax Wet ‘n’ Black or Meguiars Ultimate Wheel Cleaner, they generally tend to be a little more expensive than your all purpose household cleaner option. A commercial car tire cleaner is likely to cost between £5 to £15 maximum

The only snag with using a commercial car tire cleaner is the industrial chemicals used in the ingredients, substances include petroleum distillates, which makes it harmful to people (If  accidentally swallowed by children or adults or even skin irritation if accidentally you get it over you hands when cleaning your bicycle tires) and the environment. Make sure to look at the ingredients to see if it contains any silicone, silicone-based products actually can ‘moisten’ the rubber

Natural Tire Shine Products

Natural and homemade tire cleaners/shiners are a good and safer alternative to the costly, chemically-laden alternatives. if your looking to spend less on a bicycle tire cleaner and shiner then this a viable option as a natural and homemade tire cleaners/shiners can be made up using products lying around your kitchen, bathroom or garage shelves 

As far as cleaning your bicycle tyres, a bucket of hot soapy warm water with a touch of fairy liquid (Dish Soup) will do the job just fine. For shining your bicycle tires up, using a non-lint cloth and castor oil…, yes castor oil will work great for giving your bicycle tires that newness shine

How Do I Clean & Shine My Bicycle Tires Back To New

Items I Will Using:

  • Bucket of Warm Water
  • Fairy (Dish Soup)
  • Sponge & Hard Floor Brush
  • A non-lint cloth
  • Alcohol
  • Castor oil or Household Cleaner or Commercial Tire Shiner

Step 1: Cleaning The Bicycle Tires

Fill up a bucket of warm water, and then add a little bit of fairy liquid (Dish Soup) into it, mix well for a couple of minutes. Begin wetting the entire bicycle tire all over with a sponge before manually scrubbing the tires central tread/grooves with a hard floor brush

Scrubb the tires in a full circle motion ensuring that all of the dirt and other residue is removes that could hinder the shining process later on. Make sure the two bicycle tires are clean before rinsing down and letting them to fully dry before the shinning process

Step 2: Strip Off The Old Tire Polish/Shine

Spraying your bicycle tires with a little bit of alcohol is to effectively remove any of the old tire shine from previous times, the alcohol strength will depend on the condition of your bicycle tires. If your bicycle tires have a lot of old polish, then use a higher strength alcohol and a lower concentration of alcohol for less tire shine 

A good rule of thumb is to use 50% alcohol and 50% water (distilled water preferably) to just get started. Spray the alcohol mixture onto each section of the bicycle tire working around the bicycle tire at steady rate to make sure you do not miss any spots. Wipe the alcohol off with a microfiber cloth before allowing the bicycle tires to dry completely before moving on to the next stage

Step 3: Making The Tires Shine Again

Next you’ll want to grab your tire shine product of choice, this can be castor oil, a household cleaner or a commercial tire shiner that you got from a car automotive shop. Here I will be using castor oil however the same principle applies to whatever product you use

Castor oil is a great choice because if it’s easily accessible, cheap and if it gets on your hands or clothing, it will not stain or aggravate your skin. There are no chemically-laden ingredients that is harmful to you or the environment as well, it’s a healthy multi-purpose vegetable oil that has many applications 

Begin coating each section of the bicycle tire with the castor oil, using a non-lint cloth rub the castor oil into the bicycle tire working around the bicycle tire at steady rate to make sure you do not miss any spots. After that allow the bicycle tires to dry thoroughly and completely

You’ll bicycle tires will be left with a “straight out of the factory newness” that will leave every fellow cyclist in Awwwhhh…..

I hope you enjoyed this article and if you have anything to add, then leave a comment down below. All of the information has been thoroughly researched and I have plenty of real world experience on this issue to add as well. Thanks for reading and enjoy!

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