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tires stored in a garage the right way

How to Store Tires in Garage:  The Definitive Guide

Are you wondering how to store tires in a garage? Maybe you have a few extra tires lying around and you’re not sure what to do with them. Or maybe you just bought some new tires online to save money and need to figure out how to store them for a while. No matter the reason, this guide will teach you everything you need to know about how to store tires in a garage easily and effectively.

Reasons for Storing Tires in Your Garage

There are a few reasons why people might want to store tires in their garage. Maybe they have spare tires that they need to keep somewhere safe. Or maybe they have off-season tires that they don’t need right now but will need in a few months.

Whatever the reason, if you’re going to store your tires in a garage, there are a few things you need to know. These include things like how to stack them, how tire storage differs if they are mounted or unmounted, and how you can protect them from dry rotting.

properly stored tires in garage

4 General Tips for Tire Storage

Tires are made of rubber, which is a material that will age and degrade over time, especially when exposed to the sun or weather and temperature shifts. No matter where you store your tires, here are a few guidelines that will help extend a tire’s life and slow down the aging process. By not following these, you run the risk of compromising their safety on the road in the future.

1. Store in a Cool and Dry Location

Store tires in a cool, dry place. This will help to slow down the aging process and keep them in good condition for longer.

It’s best to keep your tires where the temperature and humidity levels are either climate-controlled or are at least fairly consistent. Extreme temperatures at either end of the spectrum can result in a premature decline of the rubber’s integrity.

2. Clean Tires Before Storage

If your tires aren’t brand new, you should clean them before storing them, making sure to remove any brake dust and road grime on the rubber before you put the tires away for a while. According to Life Storage, the best way to clean your tires is to just use mild dish soap and water.

Mix it thoroughly in a bucket and use it to scrub your tires with a tire brush. Don’t use tire gloss, tire dressings, or any abrasive tire cleaners that can cause a breaking down of the rubber compounds over the long term during storage. Make sure they are completely dry before you place the tires in storage. 3 – Store Tires Indoors

tire being cleaned for storage

3. Store Tires Indoors

Direct sunlight and weather can also speed up the aging process of tires, so it’s best to avoid exposing them to these elements as much as possible. For these reasons, it’s advisable to keep tires inside whenever possible.

This will ensure they aren’t damaged by the sun’s ultraviolet rays, precipitation and humidity, and other outdoor or moisture-related deterioration.

4. Avoid Storage Near Electric Motors

Tri-oxygen, more commonly known as ozone, breaks down rubber compounds and causes tires to deteriorate quickly. Ozone is common with any electrical motor, so make sure to keep tires away from motors in your garage.

Some examples you might need to avoid are things like air compressors, garage vacuum systems, and sump pumps. These could all put off ozone, and if nearby your stored tires might cause them to deteriorate prematurely. Don’t ruin your tires and waste your money!

Should I Store Tires Horizontally or Vertically

One of the most common questions people have about how to store tires in a garage is whether they should be stored horizontally or vertically.

The answer is that it depends. The best way to stack tires depends mostly on if they are unmounted tires or tires mounted on rims. This will dictate exactly how they should be stacked and we’ll explain why.

detailed infographic that shows how to store tires in garage, both tires mounted on rims and unmounted tires

How to Store Unmounted Tires Without Rims

If you have unmounted tires without rims, the best way to store them is to stand them up vertically. This will help prevent them from being damaged or flat spots forming. This can happen if you lay them horizontally and stack them on top of one another. Do not stack unmounted tires!

Use a Tire Rack

The best option is to purchase a tire rack that’s made specifically for storing tires. This will keep your tires standing for extended periods of time, reducing stress and tire distortion. It’s best if you remember to rotate the tires once every four to six weeks to avoid any concerns for flat spots to form.

SafeRack Garage Tire Rack

Product Recommendation!

SafeRacks Tire Rack

The SafeRacks tire rack is made of heavy duty steel and can hold up to 400lbs.  It’s a great option for saving space when storing tires. 

You also shouldn’t hang them as the rubber can deform over time and cause your tires to become ruined. When unmounted, the sidewall is the weakest part of the tire, and this is the first to be damaged if you stack them horizontally or hang them from a hook or chain too.

Tire Storage Bags

An airtight plastic bag will not only help keep your tires clean and dry but will also help protect them from ozone. This can be any airtight bag that you have laying around such as leaf bags or giant trash bags. The best tire storage bags are anything that easily fits your tire and gives you an airtight seal. For not much money, you can purchase a roll of 100 tire storage bags, perfect for keeping moisture and dirt out.

Tire Storage Bag Garage

Product Recommendation!

JohnDow Industries Tire Storage Bag

JohnDow offers protective tire storage bags in multiple sizes to ensure the right fit.  Each pack includes 100 bags.

How to Store Tires on Rims

If you have tires mounted on rims, there are two options for storing them. The first way is to hang them with a tire hook through the hook, which is a good way to save floor space in your garage. Since the wheel is made of metal, you won’t put weight or pressure on the tire’s sidewall. Just be careful when you hang it up so you don’t scratch your wheel.

Garage Tire Hooks

Product Recommendation!

Wallmaster Heavy Duty Garage Tire Hooks

Wallmaster heavy duty garage tire hooks can hold up to 50lbs and have a rubber coating to prevent scratching or slipping.  The double hook provides added stability and helps save space in your garage.

If this isn’t an option, the best way to store tires mounted on rims is to stack them horizontally. This will help keep the air in the tire and prevent them from developing flat spots. You can either put them in a tire rack or lay them down on some boards.

If you’re going to lay them down, make sure to put something between them so your wheels don’t get scratched. It’s also very important to make sure you don’t stack them too high as they could topple and hurt someone, so that’s a safety concern to keep in mind.

When storing a tire mounted on a wheel, you can remove as much air as possible while it still retains its shape. This takes the pressure off the tire compounds while they’re being stored. Since there is no weight on the tire, there is no reason for them to be at full pressure. Let them relax to about 1/3rd or half of the normal tire pressure.

Note: If you have white-wall tires, stock them white rubber to white rubber and black rubber to black rubber instead of top to bottom like you normally might. This will prevent staining from the black rubber into the white walls.

How Long Can You Store Tires in a Garage?

One of the most common questions people have about how to store tires in a garage is how long they can be stored for. If they’re stored properly, we’ve heard about people successfully storing tires for 6 or more years.

Their lifespan in storage depends on how well they are cared for. Did you store them properly and were they rotated once a month during that time, etc? Without this, they will last much less, maybe only a few months.

How to Store Tires Without Dry Rotting

Dry rotting occurs when the rubber in your tires drys out and becomes brittle. Once this happens past a certain point, they are no longer safe to be driven on as the elasticity is lost. This happens most often to tires that are stationary and not being used. For this reason, it’s an important topic when preparing to store your tires for an extended period.

We’ve covered most of these already in the above text, but to reiterate, there are a handful of tips and tricks that will help prevent dry rot in your stored tires.

  • Find space out of direct sunlight
  • Climate controlled location (or at least no large swings in temperature & humidity)
  • Clean and dry tires before storage
  • Store loose tires in airtight plastic bags

Things like moisture fluctuations, extreme temperature swings, and ultraviolet rays can all lead to dry rotting and tire degradation. It’s not difficult to do as long as you heed the valuable advice that can be found on this page.