The tire softener available in the market can be quite expensive. Thankfully you can make tire softeners at home using a simple method. 

But how can you make homemade tire softener?

Well, you will need to make a solution of Acetone, transmission fluid, and Mineral Spirit. You can also use Kerosene, WD-40 spray, and penetrating oil to soften up your tire as well. Even cleaning solutions like Simple Green can be used as a tire softener as well. But you need to be very precise about the amount you are using in each case.

Want to know more about the clear instructions for making homemade tire softeners and how to use them? Well then keep on reading our article-

How to Make Homemade Tire Softener

Tire softener is one of the best ways to improve your tires’ traction on the racetrack. But these softeners are banned in many racing contests and stadiums.

Commercially available tire softeners are quite expensive, for example, the new Pro-blend Premium Hot Lap Undetectable Tire Softener is on the market for $169. So it’s quite natural to think about whether buying these tire softeners is worth it or not. Just like when you debate about whether K1 speed is worth it or not.

In such cases, the next best thing to do for the racers is to make a tire softener at home. Thankfully, the procedure is quite simple and it only requires a couple of the ingredients in small amounts.

Precautions: Always use these chemicals in an open space. This is to avoid any harmful intake of these chemicals.

Things You Need:

First things first, here are the ingredients requirement along with the small tools you will be needing-

  1. 1/3 Acetone
  2. 1/3 Transmission Fluid
  3. 1/3 Mineral Spirits
  4. Mask And Gloves
  5. Mixing Bowl
  6. Small spoon/ladle
  7. Paint roller or a rag

Tire Softener-Making Process:

  • Put on your gloves and mask before adding and making any solution. Try to avoid contact with the solution and the ingredients.
  • Add ⅓ Acetone, ⅓ transmission fluid, and ⅓ Mineral Spirits in the bowl and stir it with a small spoon/ ladle.
  • Next, take the rag or the paint roller and soak it in the Solution. Now apply the solution onto the tire evenly with the rag or the paint roller.
  • Once the solution has been applied evenly on the tires, let it soak for 30-35 minutes.

The tires will soften up during this time and will have better grip during the race. It’s best to use this homemade tire softener just before the race starts. This will keep the product in the tires and the grip will be stronger.

Other Things You Can Use For Softening Tires

The homemade tire softener-making process is quick and simple, but what to do if the ingredients are now available at hand? Well, you can also try the following things which have been proven to soften up the tire successfully-

WD-40 Spray:

Racers frequently use WD-40 spray to soften their tires. This widely accessible spray is non-reactive on surfaces and is often sold for $20 to $25.You can apply it even on the day of the race as it’s non-reactive. 
But make sure the competition authority allows the use of such a technique. Otherwise, you might get disqualified for tire doping.

WD-40 Spray
Source: Amazon

Simply soak the tires for 10 minutes in WD-40 spray and you’re ready to go. In addition to softening your tires, this spray will help in keeping your tires grip on the track.


You can even use Kerosene to soften the tires for a more cost-effective solution. However, keep in mind to employ this two to three day prior to the race.

For this, you’ll require foil paper, two rags, and kerosene. First, you need to soak the tire in water completely by using a rag. Next, take a dry rag and soak it in Kerosene and then wrap it around your tire. This will make it easier for the Kerosene to evenly soak the tire.

Remove the rag after it has fully soaked up the kerosene, then wrap the tire with foil paper. You must keep the tires covered in foil paper like this until the day of the race.

This will give the tires adequate time to soften and retain moisture. If you notice any part hardening again, then you can try the same method on the tires.

Cleaning Solution:

Cleaners like Simple Green can also be used to soften up your tire. Although not as effective as WD-40, this cleaning solution can also help in softening up your tires.

You can apply these cleaners in two ways. You can either spritz and soak your tires in a liquid cleaner, or you can rub the cleaner into the tire seams with a toothbrush.

Cleaning Solution
Source: Amazon

In either case, ensure that the cleaner has completely covered every part of the tire. After that, let the tire soak in the cleaner for a minimum of 15 to 30 minutes. 

Tire conditioners can also be used in this way. These conditioners typically contain moisturizing agents and UV inhibitors that help to prevent dry rot and cracking. They also contain ingredients that enhance the shine of your tire and can help soften them as well. 

Penetrating Oil:

This is another quick and simple method for softening your tires before a race. Surfaces can be made more pliable by penetrating oil. This oil can easily enter even the smallest fissures and cracks. 

All you have to do is use a sponge to evenly apply this oil to your tires, then let it sit for 30 minutes. But be careful about the amount you use on your tires. Too much oil can create a slippery surface on the tire. And it can reduce traction and grip on the road. So be aware of your go-karts gear ratio and apply such liquids accordingly.

These are all the alternatives you have for softening your tires other than using homemade tire softeners. Always be careful of the chemicals you are using and the amount you are applying to your tires. If any confusion arises on the amount you need to apply, always consult with a professional.

Cautions While Using Tire Softener

Here are a few points to follow while making or using homemade tire softener-

  • Avoid getting the softener on any metal parts of the go-kart or car, as it can cause rusting.
  • Allow the tire softener to sit on the tire for the recommended amount of time according to the instructions. After the recommended time, wipe off any excess tire softener with a clean cloth.
  • Test the tires on a safe surface, such as a closed course or track, to see how they perform. You may need to adjust the amount of tire softener used or the application method to achieve the desired level of grip and traction.
  • Be aware that using homemade tire softeners may affect the durability and lifespan of the tire. So use it sparingly and only when necessary.
  • Store any leftover tire softener in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and heat sources. Make sure to dispose of it properly according to local regulations.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Which Chemical Can Be Used To Soften Tires?

Initially, people used Sulfur for softening tires. But now you can easily soften them by using a solution of 1-part Methyl Salicylate and 3-part Isopropyl Alcohol. You need to soak your tire in this particular solution for 24 hours at a stretch.

Is It Safe To Use Vinegar For Cleaning Tires?

No, Vinegar is not safe for cleaning tires. Vinegar is an acidic substance that can potentially damage the rubber and cause premature wear or cracking. It may also strip away any protective coatings on the tire, leaving it vulnerable to damage from UV rays and other environmental factors. 

Is it OK to Use Oils on Tires?

No, don’t put any oil on your tires. Some people use household products to shine their tires, such as baby oil or olive oil. While this may be adequate for giving your tire a gleaming appearance, the problem with this “home treatment” is that the oils collect dirt. 

End Words

That’s the end of our discussion about homemade tire softener. With the instruction given above, we believe you will be able to soften your tire in no time.

If the homemade way seems a bit of a hassle then you can also try buying commercially available tire softener. But the things we mentioned above might be a more cost-effective option than a tire softener product.

Until Next time!

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