Step-By-Step Guide For Stubborn Tire Mark Removal

Vehicle maintenance is one of the most important things to you, as a car owner. 

You need to check different parts of your vehicle every now and then because safety depends on it.

With the tires being one of the significant parts, there is no need to slack at all. 

A likely problem you could encounter from its use is tire marks on your car or on concrete.

The purpose of this article is to describe what tire marks are and give comprehensive information on how to remove them from your vehicle.

Why tire marks are so tough to get rid of?

Tire marks are formed when you spin your wheels on a driveway (or road) when pulling out, OR when your tires rest on hot surfaces for a long time. 

They often leave tread marks on a surface, and can sometimes stick to the paint of your car.

This phenomenon is called “Plasticizer Migration.” 

It is because it involves the migration of polymer compounds (plasticizer) on rubber, glue, and plastic which are responsible for flexibility, to another surface. 

This plasticizer helps in improving tire traction for different surfaces. 

So, when tires heat up, the plasticizer leaches out of the tire and the sealer discolors.

Unfortunately, tire marks are difficult to remove because tires generally are made from petroleum and are water-resistant

It then becomes impossible to remove them without using harsh solvents or cleaners.

Top How To’s for Tire Marks 

Black rubber marks are inevitable from your car’s tires. 

They may take different forms depending on how they occur – for instance, they may rub off on car paint, concrete, driveway, garage floor, or epoxy surfaces. With these different forms come various ways to tackle them.

Below are descriptions of ways to remove tire marks from different surfaces.

How do you get rubber marks off car paint?

No one wants to see their car paint stained with rubber marks – it is an eyesore. 

However, getting them off your car isn’t difficult and you don’t also have to worry about scratches or marks

The reason is that rubber is a soft material that doesn’t damage the paint; instead, it leaves a mark on the exterior.

An effective substance to use for removing tire marks on car paint is a clay bar.

Step-by-step guide

Chemical Guys Clay Bar & Lubber Synthetic Lubricant Kit

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Step 1: The first step is to wash your car with mild soap and rinse thoroughly with water. Then leave your car for some minutes so the water could dry off.

Step 2: Apply a few veils of the mist of the clay bar on the affected area, and keep wiping the marks off until you are left with a clear surface. Rubbing alcohol might also work.

Step 3: Finally, clean the work area with a microfiber towel or cloth. By now, you should have your painted area back.

Another substance to use for tire mark removal on paint is a WD-40 lubricant.

Step-by-step guide

WD-40 490043 Multi-Use Lubricant Spray

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Step 1: Wash the car thoroughly with mild detergent and rinse with water using a light pressure nozzle.

Step 2: Apply WD-40 lubricant either on the paint or on a rag/piece of cloth.

Step 3: Wipe the tire mark with the rag subsequently until you can hardly see the mark.

Step 4: Apply automotive spray wax to the scrubbed area and buff it into the paint until the paint area is clear.

How to get tire marks off of concrete?

If you have a concrete floor, there is also a good chance that tire marks would be on it when cars are parked on it. Concrete is one of the surfaces that gets heated up easily, making it cause plasticizer migration.

Nonetheless, there is a simple way to remove tire marks from concrete.

Step-by-step guide

Zep Heavy-Duty Citrus Cleaner

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Step 1: Apply a cleaner like Elbow Grease, SunSpot, Automotive Brake Cleaner, or Citrus Cleaner to the concrete.

Step 2: Leave the cleaner on the concrete for some minutes to soak in.

Step 3: With a stiff-bristled brush, scrub the tire marks on the concrete thoroughly.

Step 4: Rinse the scrubbed area with water using a nozzle.

Step 5: Continue the process subsequently until you have a clear concrete floor.

How to remove tire marks from the driveway?

The driveway is another place very much likely to have tire marks. There are different reasons why that could happen because the area also gets heated up, affecting car tires.

If you would have to remove marks from a driveway, the best substance to go for is any of the best tar removers.

Step-by-step guide

Chemical Guys Concentrated Bug and Tar Remover

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Step 1: Apply the tar remover on the driveway spot.

Step 2: Let this solvent soak in for some minutes before doing anything else.

Step 3: Use a stiff-bristled brush to scrub the affected area soaked in the tar-removing substance.

Step 4: Use a light pressure nozzle to rinse the area thoroughly until there are no tire marks.

How to remove tire marks from an epoxy garage floor?

If your garage floor is covered in the epoxy finish, you might also need to look out for tire marks because they are not spared.

An epoxy floor might need a little more effort because of the quality of the surface.

In this case, what you would need is a magic eraser.

Step-by-step guide

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

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Step 1: Apply the magic eraser to the affected spot on the epoxy floor. The magic eraser could be a non-filming detergent like 409, SunKleen, or Fantastic.

Step 2: For some minutes, let the solution soak into the affected area.

Step 3: With a soft bristle brush, scrub the soaked epoxy spot.

Step 4: Use a high-pressure nozzle to rinse the spot with water.

Step 5: Repeat the process until you have a clean spot.

Due to the quality/texture of the epoxy finish, you should avoid using harsh substances trying to get rid of tire marks.

What to do if the marks won’t go away?

If you’ve tried out the various methods above and considered oil lubrication or rubbing alcohol and the marks remain stubborn, that leaves you with only two options.

You can either strip and reseal the affected area on your concrete or driveway, or resurface with a coat. Polishing the area might help cover the marks.

Best ways to prevent tire rubber marks

If you are wondering what you can do to prevent tire marks, the truth is: they are inevitable. Your car would always have to come in contact with heated surfaces one way or another.

So instead of preventing tire marks, what you can do is prevent the build-up. If the marks are too much, it can be very difficult to clean.

You can also try to park your car on the road for a few minutes if you’ve been driving the whole day.

By parking, you are allowing your tires to cool and whatever leaching has to happen, it won’t happen on your garage driveway or epoxy floor, or concrete floor. Once your tires have cooled down, you can now move your car into the driveway.

Another thing most people try out is to place floor mats in the garage so that their tires can rest on them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Oxygen Bleach to Remove Tire Marks on Concrete?

Yes, you can. Oxygen bleach is a great cleaner for concrete and brick surfaces. It can be used to remove tire marks, simply by following these steps.

First, wet the concrete area with tire marks with water, and apply the oxygen bleach. Next, use a bristle scrub brush to remove the marks and rinse with water until the area becomes clean.

Other substances you can use are Trisodium phosphate, acrylic sealer, and citrus solvent. 


Removing tire marks isn’t a difficult task as long as you have the right materials or substances for different surfaces.

Another thing to take home from this article is that: tire marks are unavoidable, so you should do your best to make sure you clean them whenever you start noticing them in your garage or driveway.

Immediate cleaning would leave you with little work to do.


Dean Alvarez, TireForge Head Author

Thanks for reading our article! We've written this article with a lot of thought and care. If you're interested in seeing more of our content, please check out our Tires section and find an answer to your questions!

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