Probably one of the easiest, fastest ways to lift your car’s overall appearance is to apply a tire shine product. Tire shine turns your brownish, tired looking tires (pun intended) into factory-new looking rubber.
Besides the fact that they make your tires look brand new, they also slow down your tires’ aging process by blocking UV and moisturizing the side walls.
They are available in wet look or natural look, depending on your personal taste.
Check out the 5 tire shines we recommend:
Best Long Lasting
Best High Gloss
Best Factory Look
Why use Tire Shine?
You should use tire shine because it helps prevent fading, cracking, and hardening of tire sidewalls. It also counters blooming, the ugly brownish haze on your tires’ surface that is so hard to remove.
Blooming is caused by antiozonants, products that are added to the rubber in the tire manufacturing process to protect it from deterioration. These products are pushed outward to the tire surface and cause this brownish oxidation film.
Because the rubber tire material continually “sweats” antiozonants, it is a recurring phenomenon that has to be addressed regularly by using tire shine if you want to keep that dark black look and optimize longevity.
How Do You Use Tire Shine?
First remove all blooming, dirt and road grime. This nasty brown, oily film can easily be washed off with a tire cleaner, a specially formulated product.
When the tires are completely dry, a tire shine can be applied to the sidewalls.
It’s important to allow the tire shine product to completely dry before you take your car for a spin, otherwise excess product might sling off and soil your car paint.
Things to consider when buying a Tire Shine
Some tire shine products come in a spray bottle, while other products come in a bottle with a cap. Products that come in a bottle with a cap can be applied using an applicator or a brush. While spray bottle products can be sprayed onto the tire directly, the tire shine can also be sprayed on an applicator and rubbed onto the tire walls.
Even though the spray method seems the quickest, there’s a downside: if you spray directly onto the tires, overspray on the wheels and fenders is unavoidable. The surrounding area will have to be cleaned afterwards. Because tire shine is preferably applied after the car wash process, this might mess up your freshly cleaned car paint and wheels.
Using tire shine on an applicator pad on the other hand, may seem more labor intensive but won’t make a mess of the tire surroundings. You will save time not having to clean up this overspray. An applicator pad will also use less tire shine compared to a spray bottle because it’s applied more accurately.
Wet Look, Satin Look Or Natural Matte Look?
Depending on your preference you can keep that matte natural rubber look, add a satin sheen or make your tires a high gloss wet look.
Make sure you select a product that is formulated to get your preferred look.
Whatever product you select, as a general rule, tire shine will have the most pronounced wet look result when left to dry without wiping it off. For a natural rubber look, it’s best to wipe your tires dry immediately after application, without letting it dry.
How we did our review:
Based on our hands-on experience, we tested a wide selection of products, listed and researched all manufacturer specifications and analyzed a wide base of verified customer testimonials after having run a software authentication scan on them. Discussions on social media and on forums were of course also taken into account.
I guess it’s fair to say we left no stone unturned, like we always do.
Our thorough signature research methodology resulted in a “best of selection”. Because it focuses on specific customer needs and preferences, this selection is very easy to choose from, regardless.
Here’s CCM’s Top 5 Best Tire Dressings:
We chose CarPro Perl for our Best Overall because it delivers professional results that last longer than most and because this water-based product is highly concentrated. It can easily be diluted 3 times, making it very economical too. It does exactly what it says on the label: it leaves a natural looking pe(a)rly satin gloss on all interior and exterior plastic and rubber surfaces.
We particularly love this product’s ability to darken car tires so they look brand new. Pure, undiluted product has a satin haze once dry, while more dilution equals less gloss. Two layers of undiluted product on your tires with 20 minutes in between offer an even deeper black look.
It’s up to you to test which you like best. Even diluted 3 times, the tire rubber remained a deeper black after having fully dried, but without adding shine.
First clean the tire surface and then just put some Perl on an applicator pad and liberally coat the tire walls with it.
It’s important to let it fully dry before hitting the road or the dressing might trap dust. That’s about the only reason why a few reviewers didn’t like this product: if you drive off on dusty sideroads right away after application, dust could stick to the fresh tire shine.
However, our experience is that if you wait till this product is completely dry, there’s no issues to be expected.
This tire shine also protects against UV deterioration. It contains no solvents either and it offers a terrific hydrophobic layer repelling water, dirt, and grime.
This product lasted well compared to its competitors.
Almost 9 out of 10 customers love this product. They say that this is the best tire dressing and that it has a nice satin finish, not too shiny. Another user advises to make sure to apply it to totally dry tires for the best results. He says he doesn’t drive his vehicle for a few hours after application to make sure it has enough time to dry. He claims to have the best looking tires in the parking lot thanks to CarPro Perl.
This coating can also be used to revive rubber mats or rubber sealing strips by the way.
- Easy application
- Won’t splatter
- Natural matte or satin finish
- Water based
- Not a wet look finish
- No applicator pad included
VRP is a non-greasy water based tire shine that penetrates and nourishes car tires, vinyl, rubber and plastic.
We like the fact that it is quick and easy to apply. It is dry to the touch and its UV blockers protect against fading. This popular tire shine leaves a natural rubber look. If you’re looking for a product that gives your tires a wet look, this is not it.
We feel it’s the most bang for your buck. However, it does not last long in rainy weather or on snow-covered roads because it is water-based.
We totally agree with a customer commenting that this is amazing stuff. He says it makes tires look great when put on with an applicator. He’d give the highest rating if it would last longer.
Although we’d like it to last longer too, its great looking results, ease of use and budget pricing taken into account, we think it’s hard to find a better deal!
- Quick and easy to apply
- Also suitable for other car trim
- Natural matte or satin look
- Contains UV blockers
- Dry to the touch
- Applicator not included
- Not the longest lasting
- Application method: spray, applicator or brush
- Look: natural matte or satin
- Content: 400 ml/ 13,5 oz.
This innovative SiO2 based tire shine was the first to incorporate ceramics in a tire shine. It guarantees durability as well as a stunning visual effect. Your tires will look factory fresh.
First we cleaned our tires thoroughly. As recommended by the manufacturer, for a more matte finish and extended durability, we mildly heated our tire wall surfaces with a heat gun right before application. Although this is not strictly necessary, this allows the product to better soak in the rubber pores. Contrary to other tire dressings, Q2 Tire penetrates deep into the pores of the tire wall.
We experienced no sling down the side of our test car even when driving about 35 minutes after application and the tires looked brand new.
Over 9 out of 10 people love this tire shine. In their reviews they write that this absolutely phenomenal product lasts for weeks, is not greasy, is water resistant and that a little goes a long way. A professional customer comments that he used a lot of different products throughout his detailing career and hands down this is his favorite shine to use for tires and exterior trim.
Although no tire dressing lasts months on a daily driver, this one is arguably the toughest out there.
- Easy to apply
- Natural matte or satin rubber look
- Soaks deep into the rubber pores
- Innovative SiO2 formula
- Applicator not included
This easy to use tire shine spray delivers a high gloss wet-look or a factory look depending on how you apply it. Its premium silicone polymers guarantee a water-resistant and long lasting shine. It is self-spreading and prevents streaking for a uniform finish.
We sprayed it on a tire applicator pad and applied it on our freshly cleaned tires because we don’t like getting overspray on our wheels.This application method is more economical too.
We left it to dry for a high gloss appearance, which looked great.
You can also put it on and wipe it dry with a towel to get a deep black natural matt factory look.
Over 9 out of 10 customers out of thousands of reviews give their seal of approval. A customer writes that he has used the tire foam version of this product but was unhappy with the result. He thinks the spray works much better than the foam. His experience is that the spray coats the tire more evenly and soaks into the tire resulting in a high gloss shine that lasts for days. Our experience exactly. Another user confirms that the product is clear, not milky so it leaves no residue.
Although this tire shine needs to be reapplied regularly, if you want to get a wet-look on your tires in a hurry, this product does the trick!
- Great value
- Spray or wipe application
- Wet or satin look
- Easy application
- A lot of overspray when used as a spray application
- Applicator pad not included
The renowned British Autoglym brand has formulated their Instant Tyre Dressing to be a long lasting tire shine. It can recreate that factory natural look or a glossy look, depending on application. If you wipe it dry after application, it’ll give your tires a matte finish, if you don’t it’ll have a satin look. If you love a pronounced shiny wet tire look, this tire shine might not be for you though. This customer comment says it all: “Makes your tires look like new, without looking like they’ve been coated in lip gloss.”
For our test application we sprayed it on a tire applicator pad before applying because we don’t like overspray on our wheels and paintwork. We just let it dry without wiping it down because we wanted a natural looking satin appearance.
We noticed that his professional grade gel has a delicate sweet scent, which is nice. Also, it’s one of the longest lasting tire shines out there.
Customers comment that what they love most about Autoglym’s tyre dressing is that it doesn’t leave your wheels with that artificial, lip-gloss look. A customer testified that he loves this product and it lasts weeks, even after heavy rain. He says that all his friends kept asking him what he uses on his tires and that they all buy it now. It does not run or get all over your fenders, he states, and works best in direct sunlight.
If you like your tires to look as authentic and “factory” as possible, without an overly glossy appearance, you should definitely try Autoglym’s Instant Tyre Dressing. It’s perfect for classic car tires too.
- Suited for factory natural look or delicate gloss finish
- Nice smell
- Spray or wipe application
- Not for wet look fans
Comparison Table Of The Best Tire Shines
All the products we’ve selected perform well.
Longevity however, the elephant in the room, depends on many factors:
First of all, you need to clean your tires thoroughly before applying a tire shine, because a clean tire wall is much easier for a tire shine product to bond to. Use specialized tire cleaning products for the best results. Applying a double coating may extend longevity too.
Secondly there are many factors that influence a tire shine’s effectiveness that you can’t control like ambient temperature, dust, rain, road grime, brake dust, car wash chemicals,…
Last, but not the least determining factor, is how often your car is used and where it is kept.
These are the car tire shine products that stood out in our tests:
Want a natural, classic look? Then we’d go for Autoglym Instant Tyre Dressing.
If the product of your choice comes in a spray bottle, we recommend spraying the tire dressing on a tire applicator pad or a brush first and then rubbing or brushing it onto the tire for better economy and greater accuracy.
Any of these selected tire dressings will greatly improve your car’s general appearance, no doubt about it!
Is it good to put tire shine on tires?
Yes, it’s always a good idea to use tire shine. It lifts your car’s general appearance and protects your car tires against deterioration.
What does tire shine do to paint?
A quality tire shine does not harm car paint and can easily be removed.
Which tire shine lasts the longest?
In our tests GYEON Quartz Q² lasted the longest because of its innovative ceramic technology.
What do car detailers use to shine tires?
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