Sounds like advice from Mom, doesn’t it? And as usual, Mom knows best. During normal use, tires accumulate brake dust, dirt, and road grime, and all that gunk can cause tire damage if it sits on your tires for a long time. Use soap, water, and a tire brush to clean your tires. If the tires are still mounted on the rims, it’s also a good time to clean the wheels (use an approved wheel cleaner). Wipe the tires and wheels down with a towel, then let them dry completely. Do not use tire dressing or tire gloss when storing tires.
Once your tires are clean and dry, put them into large, dark, airtight plastic bags like lawn and garden bags. Try to remove as much air from the bags as possible before sealing them securely with tape. This will help prevent the lubricating oil within the tire compounds from evaporating. If you really want to go crazy, you can even use your vacuum cleaner to draw out air before sealing the bags.
The best way to store tires is standing upright – it puts less stress on the car tires. If you have to stack your tires, try not to stack them too high. If your tire tower gets too tall, it could topple over and damage the tires.
However, if your tires are mounted on the rims, you should store them stacked, not upright.
If your tires are mounted on the rims, hanging them from hooks is a great storage option. But unmounted tires should never be hung – the stress can cause distortion and damage.
They do – some folks like to use “tire totes” to store and carry car tires. While these totes are convenient, tidy, and make carrying tires easier, they’re not airtight, so they don’t necessarily protect tires from the atmosphere. If you want to use tire totes, we recommend putting the tires in plastic bags (as described above) first, then putting them in the totes.