Best Tire Shine: Our Top Picks to Make Your Tires Look Brand New
The best tire shine products to protect your tires and keep them clean while you drive
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Taking care of your car means making sure it’s clean, sparkling, and free of any dirt or blemishes. That can be a time-consuming process and cost a bit of money if you wash, wax, and polish your ride often. It’s also easy to forget about the tires if you’re so focused on the vehicle’s body. That’s why a good tire shine can be a good finishing touch when detailing your car. Here are our top picks for the best tire shine products to leave your tires looking fresh and brand new.
Benefits of Tire Shine
- Make your tires stand out. Tire shine makes wheels look brand new. They help keep tires sparkling while you drive and are designed to bring out the black shine in the surface.
- Keep away dirt and mud. Tire shines help keep dirt, mud, and other road debris from sticking to the tires for a period of time, keeping them looking fresh and sparking.
- Protect the tires from sun damage. Tire shines help keep the tires protected against UV rays, meaning they will keep the tire color from fading if left in the sun for long periods of time. They also help to prevent cracks from appearing on the rubber.
Types of Tire Shine
Spray On Shines
Many tire shining products come in a spray bottle for better application accuracy. These tire shines are easy to apply and allow the liquid to reach challenging areas such as in between the tire ridges. They are made up of oils and polymers mixed with water. These types of shines don’t wear down the tires, meaning they can be used more often without fear of damaging the tires in the long run. However, they do not last as long as gel-based options.
Gel shines come in a bottle and give you control over how much product you use and where exactly it goes. These shines are applied by rubbing the gel onto the rubber of the tire with a microfiber cloth. You could also do the opposite by applying the gel to the cloth first. These require more time and care to make sure the tire gets a nice finish.
Based out of California, Chemical Guys designs and creates high-quality waxes, coatings, polishes, and sealants for cars. The company offers videos and courses to teach people how to properly care for a car. One of its top products is the Chemical Guys TVD80816 Optical Select Tire Shine (Hybrid V07).
Car Guys is a brand devoted to properly detailing cars to make sure they last longer. It launched as a website in 2015 and evolved into a company later on as it started to design its own personal car products. Its best-rated tire shine is the Car Guys Tire Shine Spray.
Founded in 1901, Meguiar’s has been creating care products for more than just vehicles over its 118 years of business. It began as a furniture polishing laboratory by Frank Meguiar, Jr., then later began to develop its own products for automotive care. One of its most recommended products is the Meguiar’s Endurance Tire Gel.
Tire Shine Pricing
- $5-$10: With tire shines, you mainly pay for the size of the bottle. Within this price range, anything below 16 ounces typically falls here.
- $10-$20: This price range has larger bottles and containers that offer more solution for more applications or larger vehicles.
- $20-$60: Here, you can find anything from 64 ounces to one gallon or more for a large supply of tire shine.
Tire shines come with an added feature and benefit for your tires: While giving them a shiny finish, they also protect against the sun’s UV rays. This prevents them from fading and showing signs of aging. If you live somewhere particularly sunny, we recommend investing in a tire shine with better UV protection.
Spray and gel shines can leave your tires with a number of different finishes. The results depend on how long the shine is left on the rubber and, in some cases, how much is put on. The longer it remains before being removed, the shinier finish the tires will get.
- Ease of Application: Tire shines come in a gel or spray form. Both are simple to apply, but gel-based shines may take more time and require more manual labor, while sprays are applied more quickly.
- Finish Results: If making your tires super shiny isn’t the end goal, you can instead give them a matte or satin finish. This look will make the tires less sparkly and create a factory look instead.
- Microfiber Applicator Pad: It is important to have something to rub in the tire shine. Microfiber applicator pads are used to rub in the spray or gel to get an even coat all around the tires. Many products may come with their own pad, but if they don’t, you will need to buy one in order to make sure you get the best finish possible.
Best Tire Shine Reviews & Recommendations 2019
Best Tire Shine Overall: Car Guys Tire Shine Spray
The best tire shine product we found overall is the Car Guys Tire Shine Spray. It comes with its own patented polymer additive to better protect car tires and give them a restored look. It works to extend and enhance the life of the tire without including the chemicals that can damage the rubber of the tire.
It can even be used on plastic and vinyl surfaces, so you could use it to clean the dash or other parts of the car. The shine also doesn’t damage rubber, plastic, or vinyl, meaning you can apply it over and over again without harming the vehicle.
It includes its own microfiber applicator, but we found it to be on the cheap side since it falls apart after just a few uses. Other drawbacks include a finish that isn’t water-resistant and can wash off with a small amount of rain. Water can remove the satin finish, meaning you may have to apply the spray again after a storm.
Best Value Tire Shine: Meguiar’s Endurance Tire Gel
Meguiar’s tire shine gel is what we recommend as a good value shine. The product comes with a healthy amount of gel that should last through a couple sets of tires before running out. One of the best things we found with this gel is its pleasant grape smell.
Not only does the tire gel ensure the black surface doesn’t fade, but it also acts as a protective layer against UV rays to prevent the sun from fading the color of the tires. The shine also helps to keep the rubber from cracking in the heat.
There are a few drawbacks to using a gel as opposed to a spray. It is more time-consuming to put it on all four tires and requires more manual labor. It also can get your hands dirty if you are not careful, but it is simple to remove by just washing your hands. Finally, the 16-ounce bottle of tire gel does not come with a microfiber cloth, so you will have to purchase one yourself.
Best Tire Shine Honorable Mention: TriNova Tire Shine Spray
Our honorable mention tire shine can create a high-gloss shine while also protecting the rubber against signs of aging. It’s easy to apply and works well after one coat, so you won’t have to keep applying it day after day. The spray is also capable of getting rid of salt, dirt, and grime.
One of the greatest features of this spray is its ability to give the tires a medium or high shine, which is determined by the amount of solution and time you spend on the application process. The longer you keep the spray on the rubber before wiping it away, the shinier the surface will be.
One thing we noticed is that the spray bottle itself feels a little flimsy in the grip, so you’ll want to make sure you hold onto it firmly during application. Also, the nozzle has a wide spray pattern that causes a lot of overspray onto the ground or the vehicle’s body. We recommend holding it closer to the tire to get a more even spread across the rubber.
- Make sure your tires are clean and dry before applying a spray or gel. The shine solution can’t remove debris or dirt effectively, but the resulting shine can help keep dirt and other road debris from sticking to the tires.
- For sprays, it is recommended you hold the bottle closer to the tire when applying. That way, you will have more control over where you’re spraying and how much product hits your tires.
- Sling is what happens if a tire is not fully dried after applying tire shine to the rubber. If any water from the product is leftover, it will be flung off and stick to your car as soon as you start driving, thus removing the tire shine. To prevent this, make sure the tires are completely dry.
- Avoid applying tire shine when it’s hot out to get a nice even coating on the tires and give them a slick finish. You should also avoid applying shines to tires that are hot or warm. Bring the car into the shade or wait until the sun has set to apply.
Q: Can all tire cleaners be applied to plastic and vinyl?
A: Some, but not all, tire shine products can be applied to other areas of your car. We recommend researching a shine before you start applying it to plastic or vinyl.
Q: How long does the shine last?
A: This is a difficult question to answer because each tire shine is different. The majority will keep your tires shining for up to a week, but check with the manufacturer to make sure.
Q: Will tire shines leave a stain on concrete?
A: Yes, however most stains will go away over time or can be washed away with a hose or power washer.
Q: How easy is it to remove accidental marks on wheels?
A: It’s simple to remove any marks you may get on the wheels. Just use a microfiber to wipe it off quickly.
If you want your tires to stand out from the rest, we recommend the Car Guys Tire Shine Spray. It goes on quickly and comes with its own microfiber applicator to help bring a glossy look to your tires.
However, if you are looking for a cheaper option that will give your tires a decent shine, we’d go with Meguiar’s Endurance Tire Gel.
What do you think of our top picks for tire shines? Have you used them before or do you have a different brand you think should make the list? Let us know in the comments below.
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