To make a basic homemade tire cleaner, mix 2 teaspoons of mild dish soap with 1 teaspoon of lemon oil, 2 gallons of warm water and 1/4 cup of soap flakes or borax. Mix the ingredients in a bucket to create the cleaning solution. Depending on your location, Borax may be easier to find than soap flakes. To find lemon oil, visit a local health food store or home and garden retailer. Lemon oil removes grease and conditions tire rubber.
To use the homemade tire cleaner solution, apply the cleaning solution generously to all tire surfaces, and scrub with a stiff-bristled brush. Scrub the tires, hub caps and rims. Scrub the homemade tire cleaner into the entire tire area. Rinse each tire with fresh water immediately after scrubbing. To finish with the homemade cleaning solution, dry and buff each tire with a clean towel.
Another recipe for homemade tire cleaner is to mix 1 cup of baby oil with 1/3 cup of water and 3 drops of dish soap. Shake the mixture together, and then apply it to the tires. Wipe the area with a clean towel for best results. This multipurpose homemade cleaner also works for automotive interiors and dashboards.