How to Remove Paint from Tires

How to Remove Paint from Tires

While spraying your car, you might mistakenly get some paint on your tires. Does this mean that you have to throw them away?

Paint affects the way your tires look and will also make them wear faster. This is why it’s always recommended to cover the wheels before spraying your car. 

But if you forgot to do this, you can still clean the tires and make them look as good as new. The simple process of cleaning wheels and rims doesn’t work here.

So, if you’re wondering how to remove paint from tires, you’ve come to the right place. Keep on reading to find out how to do it. 

The Short Answer

There are several methods that you can use to clean tires and remove paint spots. If the paint is still fresh, you can use water to wipe it clean. You can also use rubbing alcohol or vegetable oil to loosen the paint particles. 

Things can become a little bit more challenging if the paint has dried for a while. In this case, you can use baking soda and lemon juice. A nylon-bristled brush or scrubber will also be necessary to make sure that all the paint has been properly removed. While it might take more time, the results will always be satisfactory. 

How to Remove Paint From Tires

Removing paint from tires can be an easy task that takes a few minutes or a little bit more time until all the paint has been removed. 

Using Water and Alcohol

how to get spray paint off tires

This method works if you have just applied paint to the tires. You can get rid of fresh paint stains in a few minutes. 

What You’ll Need:

  • A water hose
  • Isopropyl alcohol or any rubbing alcohol
  • A piece of cloth


  1. Start with rinsing the tires to see if the paint will come off. 
  2. Pour a generous amount of rubbing alcohol on a piece of cloth.
  3. Start scrubbing the paint stains and apply more alcohol when needed.
  4. Rinse the tires with water and check if there are any paint stains left.
  5. Repeat if necessary. 

Using Baking Soda and Lemon Juice

how to remove paint from rubber tires

The chemical reaction between baking soda and lemon juice creates carbon dioxide and sodium citrate. Together they produce fizz and bubbles that you can use to dissolve older paint stains. 

What You’ll Need:

  • Baking Soda
  • Lemon juice
  • Nylon- bristled brush or scrubber


  1. Wash the tires to remove any dust or dirt that might be covering them.
  2. Start to vigorously rub the tires using the nylon-bristled brush or scrubber. This will help loosen the paint particles and make them easier to remove. 
  3. Pour a generous amount of lemon juice on the tires.
  4. Add the baking soda and wait until the bubbles form.
  5. Let this solution work for a few minutes.
  6. Use the nylon-bristled brush or scrubber to remove the stains. 
  7. Rinse the tires one more time and reapply the lemon juice and baking soda if necessary.

Using Vegetable Oil

how to remove paint from tires

This method will help you remove the paint, but cleaning the tires afterward is essential. 

What You’ll Need:

  • Vegetable oil
  • Nylon-bristled scrubber


  1. Rinse the tires to remove any dirt.
  2. Apply a generous amount of vegetable oil to coat the tires.
  3. Let the oil sit for a few hours.
  4. Use the nylon-bristled scrubber to clean the paint stains. 
  5. Clean the tires using water and soap.
  6. Rinse well and towel dry.

How to Remove Road Paint

You might accidentally get road paint on your tires while you’re driving. This type of paint soaks into the rubber and becomes more difficult to remove using the traditional methods. However, if it has stained the treads, the stains will be rubbed off when you drive your car for long distances.

In case the paint has stained the sides of the tires, you need to use a special remover to get rid of it.

What You’ll Need:

  • Soft sponge
  • Bug and tar remover
  • Nylon-bristled brush


  1. Start with washing the tires. Use a soft sponge and soap to clean off the stuck debris.
  2. Use a tar remover. Hold the bottle at the recommended distance and spray it directly onto the paint stains or apply the liquid as recommended. 
  3. Let the solution sit for the recommended time until it has broken the paint particles.
  4. Gently scrub the paint stains until it has all come off. 
  5. Rinse the tires one more time and repeat the process if necessary. 

Should You Use a Paint Thinner?

Paint thinners are specifically designed to break down paint and make it easy to remove. However, it shouldn’t be applied to tires because it affects the rubber. 

Other chemical substances you use for removing dirt from brakes without taking a wheel is not recommended here since they can easily damage rubber and other plastic parts. These chemicals are often used to get rust from wheel rims, some also use them to remove tire tracks from a concrete driveway, and

The chemicals in these solvents will get rid of the paint stains in no time. At the same time, they make the tires more brittle, so they will wear faster. Driving with bad tires is one of the main reasons for accidents that can subject your life to danger. 

Although some users claim that using a thinner for a few minutes won’t be a problem because it won’t sit long enough to damage the tires, it’s not a good idea to take the risk. There are safe methods that you can use to remove paint stains, and they have no side effects. As a matter of fact, they’re perfectly safe and can be used multiple times until you’ve got rid of all the paint.

You might be interested in our next articles:

How to Remove Tar from Car Tires

How to Remove Plasti Dip from Car Wheels

How to Clean White Lettering on Car Tires

Bottom Line

Accidental paint stains on your tires are easy to remove. If you have fresh paint stains, you can simply wash them off or use rubbing alcohol. Older paint stains are a little more difficult to remove, but you can still get rid of them. All the ingredients that you need to get rid of paint stains are already found in your home or garage, and the results are guaranteed.