If the appearance of your vehicle means a lot to you, then you probably invest a fair amount of time – and money – in keeping it looking it’s best. You are probably out there washing, waxing and polishing your car to perfection, and we bet it looks awesome! But what about the tires? Many people seem to overlook them, but old, gray and cracking tires can really throw off the overall image of an otherwise spotless car. But you don’t want to be dropping big money on new tires every few months either.
Tire shine can be the answer. This cheap but effective product can help to restore even the most tired tires back to looking like they just rolled out of the factory. With so many brands on the market however it can be tough to pick the right one, but of course that’s why Car Bible is here to help…
Best Rated Tire Shine in 2018:
1. Chemical Guys TVD 107 16 Shine Dressing
This is a truly versatile product. It is formulated to work across a range of materials including of course Rubber (as we’re talking tire shines here) but it’s also safe to use on 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 that little bit easier.
Of course none of that matters if it doesn’t actually do anything on any of those surfaces. Happily this is not the case here, and this product will restore a lustrous shine to old, dusty tires. It also nourishes and restores internal surfaces – especially fading plastic and vinyl internal 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.
- BrandChemical Guys
- Weight1.15 Pounds
2. TriNovaTire Shine Spray
The first thing to note with this product is that they are lying when they say it’s a no wipe product. Shocking, right?
Ok, lets qualify that a little – technically you can spray this product and leave it on. However, the longer you leave it, the shinier and slick will be the ultimate end result. 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 oz 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 – so maybe we can forgive them a little fib!
- ModelFBA_TriNova Tire Shine
- Weight1.3 pounds
3. CarGuys Tire Shine Spray
If you’re going to throw the word “best” into your product description, you’re already setting a high bar for yourself.
Thankfully for the CarGuys they can back these words up. The formula itself contains new-patented polymer technology that brings a number of benefits to this premium product.
Possibly one of the most important is the fact that this 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 – hence why this a perfect post car wash tire cleaner. Why wash the car only to get it covered in black tire shine? Not a problem with this product.
The included application mitt makes it easy to adjust shine too – simply spray and then wipe to the desired finish. This is a premium product that leaves an excellent finish with good longevity and with an easy to apply, non-toxic formula.
- Weight1.7 Pounds
4. Meguiar’s G7516 Endurance Tire Gel
This is a bargain product with a price very much toward the lower range of car tire shine products on the market – but don’t let that fool you!
In fact, when used this product can offer a finish that compares favorably with some more premium products many of which cost over twice as much as this product.
As a gel it is harder to apply than a spray. It’s also worth noting that it does not come with any application materials or tools, so make sure to pick them up at the same time if you don’t have them.
But for that extra effort you will get wonderfully shiny tires resorted to near factory fresh appearance. It is long lasting, grime and water-resistant and the formula boasts built in UV protection to prevent browning.
You’ll save money but it will cost time in extra care during application – but for the price, there aren’t many products that provide a finish this good.
- Weight1.17 pounds
5. Aero Cosmetics Tire Dressing
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.
First of all, the formula itself is of an exceptionally high quality. As they happily brag themselves, the primary use for this product is as a tire cleaner for aircraft. As such, it meets Boeing Aircraft Specifications, and frankly is only marketed to the car care market because it is so good on aircraft tires.
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.
- BrandAero Cosmetics
- Weight1 Pound
6. Armor All Extreme Tire Shine Gel
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 like 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 an 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 protections built right in. Yet another bargain buy with superb attributes.
- BrandArmor All
- Weight1.38 pounds
7. DUB U1319 Tire Shine
Directly above we discussed a tire cleaner for those people who wanted a less shiny, more subdued finish. Now we move on to the polar opposite!
If you want shiny tires with a real wow factor this could be the tire shine for you. The finish is ultra high gloss and will provide tires that really stand out.
Application wise, as a spray it couldn’t be easier and the can itself comes with an innovative reversible nozzle. One side is a wide spray and the other directs a narrow jet of product, making application quick and easy. It also has a really pleasant aroma of orange juice. None of the other products bother with a nice smell and it may not be that important to you – but it’s still a nice little extra.
It dries nice and clean with no oily residue. Because of the high shine it doesn’t have the same lifespan as some other products on this guide – but for the time it does last there is no finer finish on the market if you want a stand out, hi gloss finish.
- Weight1.4 pounds
Best Tire Shine 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.
Why Use 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.
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.
What are the different application types?
These days, most of these products come as either gels or as sprays, and we have provided examples of both in the above product guide.
- Gel – Typically cheaper than spray style products. They are more time consuming, as the product needs to be directly applied. This hands on approach however allows for more direct control over how much of the product is applied.
- Spray – Usually more expensive, however also typically faster to apply. That being said, to avoid the dreaded “sling” effect – where 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.
What Factors Should I Consider when Buying?
There are a number of factors that you should bear in mind when selecting your tire shine product, for example:
Ease of Application – as we discussed above, these products typically come as sprays or gel based. Both are relatively easy to apply, but as we said gels may be a little slower but they allow for ease of control. Ultimately, it’s up to you whether you prefer to rub on a gel or spray on a liquid.
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 sun cream, some products offer more protection than others. If you live in a particularly sunny area, it could be an idea to invest in a product with better protection.
Shiny Finish? – Again as we discussed above these products can leave a range of finishes. To a certain extent the finish of the tire can be affected by how long or how much of the product is applied with longer exposure leading a shinier finish.
Restoration – If you’re not really looking for a very shiny, stand out tire then it could be an idea to go for a product described as having a Matte or Satin finish. These products will provide a more subtle finish, less attention grabbing and more like simply returning a tire to a fresh from the factory appearance.
Benefits of Tire Shine
As far as we’re concerned, there are three main benefits to using a tire shine products, which are:
- The make tires shiny – Probably the most obvious advantage but still worth making the point! These products are mainly used to return old looking tires back to the appearance they have 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.
- They keep them shiny – Not only do these products work to add shine and gleam to a tire’s surface, 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?
- They protect them – Finally, a number of these products also offer protection again things that could potentially harm the tires, in particular 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 stop them cracking or turning an unattractive brown color.
How To Apply Tire Shine
Each brand will have slightly different application instructions so you should read the instructions for your product carefully. There will also of course be different installation instructions depending on whether you choose a gel or spray based product.
Broadly speaking however 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 products 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/throw a sheet over it before you apply.
Just as bad news as sunshine is rain! Only apply the product to tires that are completely dry.
Finally, the cleaner the tire surface the better the end 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.