Written By Mike Viera
Published Aug. 6, 2021

Clean, gleaming tires are the perfect finishing touch to a good wash and wax on your ride. Dull, faded-looking sidewalls can make the rest of your efforts at spiffing up your vehicle seem like a waste of time.  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. 

Not only will your car look great with shiny, new-looking tires, but you’ll also be protecting your rubber with a good tire dressing. Many of these products shield against UV and ozone damage that cause deterioration and cracking of your sidewalls over time, keeping your tires looking newer longer.

The Best Tire Shines in 2021

This easy-to-use spray gives a high-gloss shine and protects against UV rays and tire browning. It uses an advanced high-polymer formula that bonds to the tire and stands up to washing and rain. The dressing dries in minutes and stays on the tires, rather than throwing splatter against the car body while driving.

One drawback of this tire shine is that it doesn’t cover too many tires when compared to some other products. It also does not give as long-lasting a shine as the gel version of Meguiar’s Endurance.

Key Features
  • 15-ounce aerosol
  • Bonds to tire
  • Rubber protector
  • Prevents fading and yellowing
Specification
  • Brand Meguiar’s
  • Model Endurance Aerosol
  • Weight 1.21 pounds
PROS

No wiping

Repels dirt and grime

Long-lasting shine

CONS

Doesn’t cover many tires

Not as long-lasting as gel

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.

Key Features
  • 16-ounce bottle
  • Restore and maintain shine
  • Works on vinyl, rubber, and plastic
  • Water-based formula
Specification
  • Brand Chemical Guys
  • Model TVD-107-16
  • Weight 1.15 Pounds
PROS

Non-greasy dry to the touch

Protect against fading

Prevents UV damage

CONS

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 direct sun if you live somewhere that gets hot.

Key Features
  • 1-gallon refill jug
  • Nano polymer additive
  • Works on rubber, vinyl, and plastic
  • Deep rich jet black shine
Specification
  • Brand CarGuys
  • Model TSS-10oz-KIT
  • Weight 1.7 Pounds
PROS

UV protectant shield

No sling formula

Environmentally friendly

CONS

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 deliver 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 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!.

Key Features
  • 15-ounce can
  • Synthetic polymer formula
  • Advanced resin technology
  • Anti-ozonates
Specification
  • Brand Meguiar’s
  • Model G190315
  • Weight 15 ounces
PROS

High gloss shine

Long-lasting finish

Easy to use

CONS

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.

Key Features
  • 16-ounce spray bottle
  • Tire conditioner
  • Aircraft-grade product
  • Leaves a satin-matte finish
Specification
  • Brand Aero Cosmetics
  • Model 767P
  • Weight 1 Pound
PROS

Doesn’t attract dirt

Restores and protects

Safe for any rubber or plastic parts

CONS

Not long lasting

No high shine

Hard to adjust spray nozzle

Everyone has a different idea of the type of finish 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 that resembles the understated sheen of a brand new tire instead of 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.

Key Features
  • 18 ounces
  • Included applicator
  • Gel formula
  • Wet black shine
Specification
  • Brand Armor All
  • Model 77960
  • Weight 1.38 pounds
PROS

Prevents cracking and fading

No overspray

Advanced durable formula

CONS

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.

Key Features
  • 23 ounces
  • Exclusive blend of silicone polymers
  • Works on rubber, plastic, and vinyl
  • Gives tires a wet, deep black look
Specification
  • Brand Turtle Wax
  • Model T217RA
  • Weight 1.65 pounds
PROS

UV inhibitors

Prevents drying, fading, and cracking

Fast drying

CONS

Bottle can leak

Not shiny if applied incorrectly

Not long lasting

This can of foaming tire shine will work like black magic as it brings new life to your tires. It’s a specially formulated product that creates a foam that sticks to your tires. This helps to create a precise and clean application. The can is 18 ounces for plenty of product. As you apply the foam, it goes to work cleaning your tires by breaking down brake dust, mud, and road grime. The finished product is a high gloss shine that will last up to two weeks. What’s even nicer is that you don’t have to worry about uneven wear or white powdery streaks.

One drawback of this product is that it doesn’t last in the rain, so try to apply it on dry and sunny days. You’ll also want to keep the sprayer clean as it can get clogged and not work.

Key Features
  • Cleans, shines, and protects
  • Specially formulated thick foam
  • 18-ounce can
  • Dissolves and releases brake dust, road grime, and mud
Specification
  • Brand Rain-X
  • Model Black Magic 80002220
  • Weight 0.146 ounces
PROS

Clings to the tire

Lasts up to two weeks

No white powdery residue

CONS

Doesn’t last in rain

Possible defective sprayer

Need to clean tires before use

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.

Key Features
  • Nano-polymer formula
  • 18-ounce bottle
  • Protects tires from UV, salt, and road grime
  • Spray is non-toxic
Specification
  • Brand Carfidant
  • Model 8542144535
  • Weight 1.2 pounds
PROS

Easily control the amount of "shine"

No extra dyes or scents

Easy to use

CONS

Doesn’t last in rain

Wears unevenly

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 even more that it lasts for a long time.

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.

Key Features
  • Two pack of spray bottles
  • Extra gloss enhancers
  • Conditions, nourishes, & preserves your tires
  • Each bottle is 22 ounces
Specification
  • Brand Armor All
  • Model 21066
  • Weight 3.14 pounds
PROS

Protects from harmful elements

Shine lasts weeks

Smooth application

CONS

Not exact spray

Attracts dust and dirt

Not high shine, more natural matte shine

Best Tire Shine Buying Guide & FAQ

So now that 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 section below 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 a 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 tires.

Top Brands

Armor All

An originator of tire shine and protection with the invention of a “miracle formula” that protected against UV and ozone damage in 1962 by Joe Palcher.  The Armor All name didn’t come about until 1972, but since then the company has continued to develop new products to preserve and enhance vehicle appearance, including Armor All Extreme Tire Shine.

Meguiar’s

Established in 1901 as a furniture polish laboratory, the company has moved on to become “surface care specialists” with the development of specialized products for the care of every type of surface.  From the early wooden-bodied horseless carriages to modern day automotive finishes, Meguiar’s has become a favorite among automotive enthusiasts for appearance care products. Try the Meguiar’s G7516 Endurance Tire Gel.

Mother’s 

From their start more than 40 years ago with mag wheel and aluminum polish, the company has developed a long-standing reputation for quality vehicle appearance care products. Try the Mother’s Speed Tire Shine.

Turtle Wax

Ever since Ben Hirsch invented liquid auto polish in the family bathtub in the 1930s, and adopting the Turtle Wax name in 1946, the company has moved forward to develop a full line of well-known, popular priced car care products.  One popular product is the Turtle Wax 50805 Wet N’ Black Tire Shine.

Black Magic

Although its history only dates back to the 1990s, Black Magic’s initial focus on enhancing the appearance of rubber trim items quickly earned them a reputation for advanced tire care and other appearance and protection products. Consider Black Magic Tire Wet.

Tire Shine Pricing

  • Under $10: Most tire shine liquid and foam products fall into this range for a single bottle or can that will typically treat 10-20 tires. Savings in price can be achieved through the purchase of multi-packs of the products, rather than single units.
  • $10 to $20: Gel products that include applicators usually come in at this higher range, as do more premium liquid products with or without applicators.
  • $20 and up: Professional-grade quantities of liquid tire shine as well as large multipacks of single units and applicators fall into this level, but will provide a more economical per tire cost for you.

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. 

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. 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 Based

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. 

Gel

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. 

Spray

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. 

Shiny Finish

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. 

Tips for Using 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 FAQs

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?

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?

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?

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 Meguiar’s G15415 Endurance Tire Dressing. It’s easy and quick to use. It provides the shine and protection you’re looking for. It also stands up to water and lasts a long time. 

Final Thoughts

With the many choices out there to keep your tires looking like new, we hope we’ve helped sort out some of the things to consider.  Our top pick is the Meguiar’s G15415 Endurance Tire Dressing, while our value pick is the Chemical Guys TVD 107 16 Shine Dressing. Regardless of which product you choose, be sure to follow the instructions in order to get the kind of shine and long-lasting results you’re looking for.

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