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Nothing ruins a car detail job quicker than faded and dull tires. If you’re putting in the work to wash your car and then wax it until the paint shines, you need to finish the job with a tire shine. Whether you’re commuting to work or getting ready for a car show, there’s a tire shine that will restore the black luster of your rubber.
Tire shine isn’t just about looks, though. You’re doing your tires a favor by giving them an extra layer of protection. Many products on the market today come with protective additives to prevent damage from the sun, repel dirt, and slow down the aging process. This extends the life of your tires by preventing fading and cracking. Isn’t it about time you showed your vehicle’s tires some love with a high quality tire shine?
The Best Tire Shine in 2020
The longer you leave this tire shine on, the shinier and slicker your tires will get. So if you want to clean your tires and restore them to a more subdued, original black luster appearance of new tires, you may have to wipe them a little. Whether you do wipe them down or not, this is a wonderfully easy product to apply, and the big 18-ounce bottle it comes in packs a lot of product to keep you going for quite a while. The formula includes the typical anti-aging properties and also repels dirt and grime. Combine that self-cleaning aspect with the large bottle size, and this product is giving you a lot of bang for your buck.
One drawback of this tire shine is that it can deliver a spotty finish with lots of overspray. You can easily prevent both of these with careful and deliberate application.
18-ounce spray bottle
Wet and slick finish
Prevents fading and yellowing
- ModelFBA_TriNova Tire Shine
- Weight1.3 pounds
Repels dirt and grime
Doesn’t last in the rain
Lots of overspray
This is a truly versatile product. It is formulated to work across various materials, including rubber, plastic, and vinyl surfaces. Don’t underestimate the appeal of a cleaning product that works across a range of materials — it certainly helps to make cleaning jobs a little bit easier.
This product will restore a lustrous shine to old, dusty tires. It also nourishes and restores internal surfaces — especially fading plastic and vinyl interior trims and dashboards. Add in the fact it comes with built-in UV protection for long-lasting results, and it dries to a non-greasy finish, and you have an excellent product with multiple restoration applications.
Unfortunately, this product doesn’t last in the rain and can leave white streaks when it runs. This means that if there’s climate moisture or precipitation, then you won’t get the longevity promised out of it.
Restore and maintain shine
Works on vinyl, rubber, and plastic
- BrandChemical Guys
- Weight1.15 Pounds
Non-greasy dry to the touch
Protect against fading
Prevents UV damage
Not long lasting
Not durable in the rain
Can leave white streaks
This formula contains new-patented polymer technology that brings several benefits to this premium product. This is a “non-sling” tire shine product. That means that after it is applied, the product dries quickly and forms an excellent bond with the tire surface. When you drive away, the product stays on the tire and not “slung” all over the side panels of your car. This is a premium product that leaves an excellent finish with good longevity and with an easy to apply, non-toxic formula.
One downside of this product is that it struggles to dry and set in high heat and humidity climates. This can cause it to sling while driving. However, this isn’t an issue if you aren’t applying it in high heat and humidity locations. Work out of the direct sun if you live somewhere that gets hot.
One gallon refill jug
Nano polymer additive
Works on rubber, vinyl, and plastic
Deep rich jet black shine
- Weight1.7 Pounds
UV protectant shield
No sling formula
Need a smaller bottle for easy application
Needs a better bottle seal
Doesn’t last in light rain
This easy to use tire shine comes in an aerosol can. The 15-ounce can delivers a synthetic polymer formula that will bond with your tire’s rubber. The advanced resin technology helps to create a long-lasting high-gloss finish. There are also anti-ozonate additives that protect the quality of your tires by preventing fading and cracking. It’s simple to use; just point and spray. Finish by wiping off any overspray or excess product.
Unfortunately, this tire shine can deliver overspray or excess product if not applied carefully. Thankfully, both of these can be avoided with a smooth and careful application. You may find that the shine dulls with daily driving. This makes this shine ideal for show or event applications where you want your wheels to really pop with the clean look of the car.
Synthetic polymer formula
Advanced resin technology
- Weight15 ounces
High gloss shine
Easy to use
Excess product creates sling off
Easy to overspray
Doesn’t last with daily driving
If you are looking for a matte or satin style finish to your car tires instead of the usual “wet “ look — it’s hard to look past this product. The formula itself is of exceptionally high quality. The primary use for this product is as a tire cleaner for aircraft. As such, it meets Boeing Aircraft Specifications. Because of its primary use, if you use this on your car, you are getting a product that provides an excellent level of restoration and an exceptionally long period of protection. In addition, by avoiding that “wet” look that many tire cleaners leave behind, it also avoids attracting dirt.
One downside of this product is that it doesn’t produce a high gloss shine; however, if that’s not what you’re looking for, then this product is an ideal choice.
16-ounce spray bottle
Leaves a satin-matte finish
- BrandAero Cosmetics
- Weight1 Pound
Doesn’t attract dirt
Restores and protects
Safe for any rubber or plastic parts
Not long lasting
No high shine
Hard to adjust spray nozzle
Another gel and another bargain product! Again, cost-wise this is toward the lower end of the scale, but the end result is toward the top end. Everyone has a different idea of the type of finish that they want to achieve with their tire shine. If you want a tire that looks as shiny as a fresh Krispy Kreme glazed doughnut this is not the product for you.
If, however, you want a more subdued finish, something which more resembles the understated sheen of a brand new tire rather than a full on, somewhat artificial “wet” look sheen, then this is the product for you. The finish is exceptionally long lasting too, with the usual anti-grime and anti UV protection built right in. Yet another bargain buy with superb attributes.
One drawback of this product is that it’s messy to work with. You’ll want to be careful and take your time to ensure a clean application. You’ll also want to be gentle on the applicator sponge as it isn’t the most durable material.
Wet black shine
- BrandArmor All
- Weight1.38 pounds
Prevents cracking and fading
Advanced durable formula
Applicator sponge not durable
Messy to apply
Has a greasy feel after wiping clean
This high shine tire shine is easy to apply thanks to its handy spray nozzle. The 23-ounce bottle gives you plenty of shine for the cost. You’ll appreciate how fast it dries. This lets you drive sooner and worry less about sling-off. The shine formula features an exclusive blend of silicone polymers. You can use it on rubber, plastic, and vinyl. This shine does more than make your tires beautiful; it also protects against UV damage, drying out, fading, and cracking of your vehicle materials.
One drawback of this tire shine is that the bottle can leak, so store it in a safe place and in an upright position to prevent leaks. If you don’t follow the application directions, the result will be not shiny tires.
Exclusive blend of silicone polymers
Works on rubber, plastic, and vinyl
Gives tires a wet, deep black look
- BrandTurtle Wax
- Weight1.65 pounds
Prevents drying, fading, and cracking
Bottle can leak
Not shiny if applied incorrectly
Not long lasting
This spray bottle of tire shine delivers 18 ounces of a specially formulated nano-polymer formula. It’ll protect your tires from UV and salt damage, which makes it versatile in its application. It’ll also help to repel road grime from your tires. What’s nice about this tire shine is that it’s non-toxic, so you can use it anywhere without fear of it damaging the environment. There are no extra dyes or scents mixed in. It also comes with an easy to use and durable applicator sponge so that you can use this tire shine right away.
One drawback of this product is that it doesn’t last in the rain. It also may wear away unevenly. Thankfully, the formula allows for safe reapplication as often as you’d like.
Protects tires from UV, salt, and road grime
Spray is non-toxic
- Weight1.2 pounds
Easily control the amount of “shine”
No extra dyes or scents
Easy to use
Doesn’t last in rain
Can stain your driveway
You’ll get two full-sized bottles of tire shine when you order this product from Armor All. Each bottle is 22 ounces and has a trigger spray nozzle for fast application. The formula has extra gloss enhancers to give your tires that extremely high gloss shine. It’ll also go to work nourishing your tires with conditioners and preservatives. You’ll appreciate the easy and smooth application that makes this tire shine a pleasure to work with. Although you’ll love that it lasts for works even more.
One downside of this product is that the spray nozzle isn’t a neat or precise system. You can prevent overspray by applying the shine to your applicator and then applying it to the tire instead of directly spraying it on the tire.
Two pack of spray bottles
Extra gloss enhancers
Conditions, nourishes, & preserves your tires
Each bottle is 22 ounces
- BrandArmor All
- Weight3.14 pounds
Protects from harmful elements
Shine lasts weeks
Not exact spray
Attracts dust and dirt
Not high shine, more natural matte shine
Best Tire Shine Buying Guide & FAQ
So now you’ve seen our guide to the best products on the market, how do you know which one is right for you? After all, as we’ve seen there are a number of brands, even a number of different application types out there all with slightly different formulas, claims, and purposes.
Well, the first step could be to look at some questions that are frequently asked about tire shine products. This will help you understand the different types of tire shines available and the results you can expect from the different shine methods. With the right tire shine, your tires will shine with a deep black luster. They’ll also be protected from damage so that your tires last longer.
Why do you Need a Tire Shine?
We’ll go into this in greater detail in the below section on the benefits of using these products on your tires, but broadly speaking, most people will be using them simply to make their tires look great. A tire shine brings out the natural black color to create a deeper luster to your tires. This helps them to stand out with rich color and high shine.
Additionally, applying a shine coating will repel dirt, mud, and dust. This helps to keep your tires cleaner and nicer looking for longer.
Finally, high-quality tire shines come with several additives to make them protective. Many include a UV blocker. This prevents browning, fading, and cracking of the rubber. If your tires are exposed to the sun, these blockers will give your tires an extended useful life.
- Great looking shiny tires.
- Protection from UV and other damage.
- Repel dirt, dust, and mud.
Benefits of a Tire Shine
As far as we’re concerned, there are three main benefits to using tire shine products, which are:
These products are used primarily to return old looking tires to their appearance when they are fresh out of the factory. If you take pride in the appearance of your vehicle, then why stop at the tires? Old looking tires ruin the image of the entire car itself, potentially offsetting all the hard work, effort – and money – you have invested elsewhere.
Not only do these products work to add shine and gleam to a tire’s surface, but many of them also come with built-in protection against grime and dirt to keep the tire looking great for longer. After all, you don’t want to be cleaning them every other day, do you?
Finally, many of these products also offer protection against things that could potentially harm the tires, particularly UV light from sunshine. These harmful rays can damage the natural rubber compounds in your tires, so using a tire shine product with UV protection could help extend their lifespan and stop them from cracking or turning an unattractive brown color.
- They make tires shiny
- They keep them shiny
- They protect them
What is it Made Of?
The product is a formula of various chemicals and polymers, the exact composition of which is a closely guarded secret of their respective companies and manufacturers.
That being said, they can typically be categorized as one of two types — either water based or solvent based.
- Water Based — A more natural option, these products are typically made from naturally occurring oils and polymers suspended in water. Because of this, they are kinder to the rubber that makes up the tire, meaning they can be applied more often. This is handy because water-based products will generally not be as long lasting as solvent based. They also don’t produce quite the same intensity of finish, so if you are looking for very high shine then solvent based products could be best.
- Solvent Based — Generally made of the same ingredients as water-based except that they are suspended in solvents instead of water. Solvents can be more abrasive to the rubber of tires — though they would need a lot of applications before serious damage occurred. Solvent-based products are thought to “bond” with the tire better, making them generally longer lasting. They can also produce a shinier finish for high impact, statement tires.
Types of Tire Shines
Tire shine products are a formula of various chemicals and polymers, the exact composition of which is a closely guarded secret of their respective companies and manufacturers. That being said, they can typically be categorized as one of two types — either water-based or solvent-based. They also come in two application methods, gel or spray.
A more natural option, these products are typically made from naturally occurring oils and polymers suspended in water. Because of this, they are kinder to the rubber that makes up the tire, meaning they can be applied more often. This is handy because water-based products will generally not be as long-lasting as solvent-based. They also don’t produce quite the same intensity of finish, so if you are looking for very high shine, then solvent-based products could be best. Water-based formulas tend to be easier to work with and be less damaging to the environment. They are also less likely to stain your driveway.
Solvent shines are generally made of the same ingredients as water-based except that they are suspended in solvents instead of water. Solvents can be more abrasive to the rubber of tires — though they would need a lot of applications before serious damage occurred. Solvent-based products are thought to “bond” with the tire better, making them generally longer lasting. They can also produce a high impact wet gloss shine for statement tires. If you’re looking for a water-resistant product, then this type of tire shine is preferable. You’ll need to be careful when applying this type of shine as it can be reactive with wheels and leave marks on your driveway if not wiped away during the application.
Typically cheaper than spray style products. They are more time consuming, as the product needs to be directly applied. However, this hands-on approach allows for more direct control over how much of the product is applied. You’ll find that gel styles have a smoother and more even application, which gives the tires a uniform look.
There’s also less risk of runs, overspray, and contact with your wheels. It’s nice if the gel comes with an applicator. Then you can use the product right away and not have to purchase one separately. Whatever you decide to use to apply your tire shine, only use it for this, as other products can cause your tire shine to not work as intended.
Usually more expensive, however, also typically faster to apply. That being said, to avoid the dreaded “sling” effect — where the excess product is thrown off the tire onto the car bodywork — some wiping down may be required unless a fast-drying, non-oily spray is selected. You’ll want to follow the directions on the bottle from the manufacturer for the best results.
Be careful to choose a product that has a clean spray nozzle. This will help you get a smoother and more even application of the product. You also don’t want to have overspray. This is when the spray area is so large that the product ends up on the wheel or other areas of the tire.
How We Tested the Tire Shines
To test tire shines, you’ll want to start by choosing a variety of formulas and application methods. This will give you a variety of results to help you find the perfect finish. To test each tire shine, always follow the directions on the bottle. These ensure you get the best results as intended by the manufacturer.
It helps to start with a clean tire, so remove any dirt on the tire before application. Then apply the tire shine. Once it’s had a chance to dry or set, you’re good to go. Then you can test your tire shine by driving in a variety of conditions. Look to see how long the shine level lasts and how well it maintained and protected your tire.
The Most Important Features of Tire Shine
When looking for a tire shine, you want one that will not only shine but also protect your tires. This will improve both the looks and function of the tire. You’ll need to decide what level of shine you’re looking for, from satin or matte to wet high gloss. Then look for protective features like conditioners, UV blockers, or dirt repellent.
Ease of Application
Some products require you to simply hold the aerosol can in front of your tire and spray. Others are more labor-intensive, requiring multiple applications with drying time in between. When considering your tire shine options, consider how much time and effort you’re willing to invest in keeping your tires shiny.
Keep in mind that even some tire shines that only require a spray may need more work than claimed. A spray-on shine can have an uneven or drippy application. In these cases, you’ll want to do a wipe down to ensure even application and the removal of excess product.
Good UV Protection
One of the best secondary benefits of these products (after making your tires look better) is the UV protection they offer. Most of the products we recommended above provide this to some degree. Just like sunscreen, some products offer more protection than others. If you live in a particularly sunny area, it could be a good idea to invest in a product with better protection.
Look for a product that has a UV blocker additive in the formula. It can also be helpful if it has a conditioner or moisturizer. The sun and heat cause your tire to leach the chemicals that keep the rubber soft and pliable, so a shine that has these extra additives will also prevent drying, fading, and cracking.
As we discussed above, these products can leave a range of finishes. To a certain extent, the tire’s finish can be affected by how long or how much of the product is applied with longer exposure leading to a shinier finish. However, this isn’t always the case.
Look for a product that delivers the type of shine you’re looking for. If it promises a “new tire” or satin finish, then applying more will never get you to the high shine of your dreams. Keep in mind that “wet” or high gloss shines tend to be harder to maintain and are more likely to attract dirt and dust.
Care and Maintenance for Tire Shines
Each brand will have slightly different application instructions, so you should carefully read the instructions for your product. There are some general rules that you should follow to ensure that you achieve the best possible results:
Don’t use the product on hot tires. The surface heat will affect the product’s ability to successfully bond with the tire surface. Instead, only use on tires that feel cool to the touch. After applying the product, try to avoid leaving the tires in direct sunlight. Again, the heat will affect the ability to dry properly and bond with the tire surface. Move the car into the shade or throw a sheet over it before you apply. Just as bad news as sunshine is rain! Only apply the product to completely dry tires.
Finally, the cleaner the tire surface, the better the result will be. So give the tire a good wash and scrub before application. Remember what we said about rain, however. After you’ve cleaned it, thoroughly dry the tire with a towel before proceeding.
- Don’t use the product on hot tires.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s directions.
- Avoid leaving the shined tires in direct sunlight.
- Avoid rain on your shined tires.
- Clean your tires before application.
Best Tire Shine FAQ:
One of the most common questions people ask when looking for tire shine is, how long does it last. The problem is, this answer can vary greatly depending on the tire, application method, driving conditions, and weather. It helps to look for a tire shine that’s meant for use in your climate and will deliver the shine you desire. Then you’ll want to do more for your tire than make them shiny, so look for one with helpful additives.
Q. What is the best tire shine product to use?
A: The best tire shine protects your tire’s rubber from UV damage while also giving your tires the desired level of shine.
Q. What is the best and longest lasting tire shine?
A: Gel solvent tire shine is the longest lasting tire shine available. It bonds securely with the tire’s rubber and is water-resistant.
Q. Is tire shine good for tires?
A: When used correctly, tire shine can protect your tires from drying out and cracking. This extends the useful life of your tires.
Our Top Pick
Our top pick for the best tire shine is the TriNova Tire Shine Spray. Not only does it give your tires that attention-grabbing wet shine finishes, but it’s also good for them. Its protective qualities prevent fading and yellowing while also repelling dirt and road grime. You’ll also appreciate how long it lasts, which reduces the number of reapplications.
You can’t go wrong with the long-lasting high shine of TriNova Tire Shine Spray. If you’re looking for something more affordable, the Chemical Guys TVD 107 16 Shine Dressing won’t let you down with its versatility and non-greasy feel.