Homemade Tire Softener ideas?

I’m looking to find some more life (grip) out of 2-3 year old Bridgestone tires. I’m not racing and only wanting to run these tires on open track days for fun/practice.

Does anyone have a good, cheap, home-brew Tire Softener? The tires in question have decent rubber remaining – but have gone through a couple heat cycles and have sat in garage for 2+ years.


Try spraying them down with a decent amount of wd40 the. Then tightly wrap them in cling wrap for a couple days. Should soften them up a bit. Won’t be like new rubber but should help.

Thanks Bryan.

I’ve read WD40 on some of the dirt kart sites – it seems counter intuitive. Unless tires harden when the oils in rubber dry out – then it seems WD40 maybe could replenish some of those oils.

I also come across concoctions of acetone, mineral spirits, and transmission fluid.

I’m not looking for new grip levels – I’m just looking for some more grip (short of buying tires) when practicing.

That’s what your doing with the wd40, getting some oils back into the rubber. Won’t penetrate all the way but will help. Accetone will just break down the rubber, maybe even draw out any oil.

Just run em? At least they will be reasonably consistent. Usually treatments are temporary.

Irony is oil is not good for rubber, I don’t know how much oil can go back into rubber anyway.

someone told me simple green will soften a tire. There is nothing I see on the MSDS that would suggest that, but then I don’t know much at all on the chemistry.

A lot of suggestions for wintergreen oil.

My personal feeling is that I wouldn’t waste the time on it. I don’t do voodoo and tire prep seems like voodoo. Just a lot of effort dirt trackers go through. A lot of testing to see what works and only good for short term, Not worth it for the odd old set. You might be better getting a set of current take-offs.

Here is an article the might help you decide.

I would look at some MSDS on what is supposed to work. Or just don’t mess with it from a safety and consistency standpoint.

It has some effect but only in specific situations. Specifically, really low grip like running in the cold. I remember one kart I bought came with treated tires and I was using them for some club races. We ran a race in like 30 degree weather and my tires came in so much quicker than anyone else’s. Once it got warmer I couldn’t really tell a difference.

Personally, just for practice I wouldn’t bother treating tires. It’ll make them wear faster and if I just wanted to put laps down I’d try to make my tires last as long as possible.

Still in Florida Chris? Take a trip to the next SKUSA or FWT events and pick up a dozen sets with 1-3 heat cycles and throw the old junk away. It’s mind numbing to see how much good rubber is thrown away.

Will spend less in gas and time than what you’ll spend on chemicals and plastic wrap and they’ll actually be fresh. And your garage/trailer won’t smell like a dirt track paddock. Lol


Yes, and this is a great idea.

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