It's not uncommon these days to have two seasonal sets of wheels and tires. Some drivers even have a third and fourth set for track use. Most sets are used seasonally which means the unused sets need to be stored properly. Below are some tips for storing your off-season tires, as well as storage solutions.
- Keep the tires out of direct sunlight whenever possible. The sun's ultraviolet rays and radiant heat are detrimental to rubber.
- Before storing, use a tire brush to clean each tire with soap and water to remove brake dust, dirt and grime. If the tires are still mounted on wheels, use a wheel brush to clean the wheels with an approved cleaner. Dry with a towel and let any remaining moisture thoroughly evaporate. Do not apply any tire dressing or shine as those chemicals pull oils out of the tire prematurely and age them.
- Place each clean and dry tire in its own large, opaque, airtight plastic bag (such as lawn and garden bags) for storing. Avoid allowing any moisture to remain and remove as much air as practical (some drivers even use a vacuum cleaner to draw out as much as possible). Close the bag tightly and tape it shut. This places the tire in its own personal mini-atmosphere to help reduce oil evaporation.
- If you choose not to store white letter/white stripe tires in plastic bags, it's important they be stored or stacked white-to-white and black-to-black to prevent staining the white rubber.
- Place the tires in a cool, dry location. It is better to store tires in a dry basement or climate-controlled workshop than in a standard garage, storage shed, hot attic or outdoors.
- Keep the tires away from sources of ozone. Electric motors that use contact brushes generate ozone. Keep your tires away from the furnace, sump pump, etc.