The Best Tire Shine of 2018: Dressing for Wet Wheels

Oct 25, 2018 | Detailing, Reviews

Detailing products are something that most car aficionados use. However, when it comes to detailing your car, one of the most neglected parts are the tires. What’s the point in waxing and detailing your vehicle if your tires look dirty. Luckily for you, tire dressing is rather inexpensive. Especially when compared to other detailing products.

We looked at the five best options and determined which is best for your car. We want to preface this by saying that not all dressings are created equal. Typically you will want to opt for a water-based shine rather than solvent based. With that said, our top pick is oil-based but the glossy results are hard to beat. If water-based shines are more your speed, you’ll be happy to know we included several detailed below.

Let’s take a look at what these tire shines have to offer.

Top 5 Tire Dressing

NameBaseQuantity 

Meguiar's

Oil

32 oz

Check Price

Chemical Guys

Water

16 oz

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TriNova

Water with liquid silicone

18 oz

Check Price

CarGuys

Water

128 oz

Check Price

Black Magic

Petroleum Distillates and additives

64 oz

Check Price

Meguiar

Base

Oil

Quantity

32 oz

Check Price

Chemical Guys

Base

Water

Quantity

16 oz

Check Price

TriNova

Base

Water with liquid silicone

Quantity

18 oz

Check Price

CarGuys

Base

Water

Quantity

128 oz

Check Price

Black Magic

Base

Petroleum Distillates and additives

Quantity

64 oz

Check Price

1. Best Overall

Meguiar’s Endurance Tire Gel

Our Rating

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Meguiar’s has given us many useful and top-notch products over the years. However, one of the best ones is definitely their Endurance Tire Gel.

This tire shine, which boasts a rather low price, is the product that will get you the shiny black tires you’ve always wanted. Not only is the formula long-lasting, but it will also remain on the tires during rain and regular washing.

The gel contains advanced polymers that will give your tires fantastic protection while also keeping them nice and dark. Furthermore, the gel provides the tires with a high gloss finish that will undoubtedly make everyone around you envious.

The formula also eliminates overspray, drips, and runs, and the shine it offers is consistent.

However, there’s one disadvantage to this product: it’s a gel, not a spray. Therefore, prepare yourself to spend extra time applying it to your tires. With that said, you will only need a small amount of product at a time. Nevertheless, the results are well worth the trouble, especially since the formula will also protect the tires against UV rays and browning.

Pros and cons

  • Inexpensive
  • Gives a long-lasting shine
  • Can endure rain and washing
  • UV Protection
  • Protects the tires against browning
  • Doesn’t come with any applicators
  • Comes in the form of a gel

2. Best Value

Chemical Guys Silk Shine Sprayable Dressing

Our Rating

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Chemical Guys is another favorite brand for many car enthusiasts. This tire shine is no ordinary dressing. Not only can you use it on your tires, but you can also use it to enhance any vinyl, plastic or rubber parts of your car.

The Silk Shine will make your car parts look as good as new – maybe even better! It will not leave a greasy finish, nor will the shine be too over-the-top. A nice glow is what we’re looking for, and this product delivers results. If you’re after a wet look, consider applying more layers.

The formula is quite durable, which means that the results will last quite a while. The original color of your tires will be restored, and the spray will also protect them against harmful UV rays.

Pros and cons

  • Long-lasting formula
  • Comes in a spray bottle
  • Can be used on the inside and outside of your vehicle
  • Doesn’t leave a greasy residue
  • Repels dust and dirt
  • The spray bottle can tend to spray too much product

3. Best for the Wet Look

TriNova Tire Shine Spray

Our Rating

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Our next product is another tire shine in a spray bottle – the TriNova Tire Shine Spray. This tire shine is very popular because it gives that glossy, shiny finish you’re looking for. This tire shine also provides a protective coating.

The shine will be fantastic, and any signs of aging will be reversed, as the spray can protect your tires against them. In addition to that, it also repels dirt and dust. The spray also provides an incredible barrier against salt, which can, as you already know, severely damage your tires.

What’s fantastic about this product is that you can choose how shiny you want your tires to be. The TriNova’s tire shine will give you low, medium, or high gloss shine. But, you might be wondering how that works. The trick is to wipe it away as soon as you get the result you want. The longer you let it stay on your tires, the greater the shine will be.

One thing we would like to note about this tire shine is that it’s not the cheapest shine on the market. Furthermore, it doesn’t come with an applicator, so you will have to spend extra cash on that. However, given the fact that the results are long-lasting, it just might be a worthwhile investment.

Pros and cons

  • Offers different levels of shine so that everyone can use it
  • Comes in a high-quality spray bottle with an extra long tube
  • Offers protection against aging
  • Repels dirt and grime
  • Doesn’t perform great against rain
  • Expensive

4. Best in Bulk

CarGuys Tire Shine

Our Rating

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The newly patented polymer additives are the best feature of the Car Guys Tire Shine. After all, quality is never underestimated, especially when it comes to our vehicles.

This tire shine is one of the best products on the market if you’re looking for that deep, wet tire look. It will give you a show car finish, and it will also protect your car from harmful UV rays.

The polymer additives provide longevity, and the special formula behind this tire shine can also enhance the performance of your car. So, not only will you get a glossy shine that will make everyone envious, but you will also receive long-lasting performance benefits.

What’s interesting about this particular tire shine is the fact that once you apply it, it binds to the car cleaner. The shine is jet black, which isn’t something we often see among tire shine treatments.

Finally, we should also mention that this is an eco-friendly product that contains non-toxic ingredients. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about it ruining your vehicle after long-term usage. Also, since the ingredients are non-toxic, you can safely wash your car and let the water drain into the storm drains.

Pros and cons

  • Doesn’t leave a greasy residue after you apply it
  • Eco-friendly
  • Non-toxic ingredients
  • Doesn’t produce any sling
  • Expensive
  • Doesn’t last a long time

5. Best on a Budget

Black Magic Tire Wet

Our Rating

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The last product on our list is an old favorite for many drivers out there. It’s the Black Magic Tire Wet Trigger Spray, a product that has been used for many years and has accumulated a large following.

This tire shine will give you two options. You can lightly mist it and leave it on the tire sidewalls for a couple of minutes to achieve a glossy finish, or you can use a dry cloth or sponge and apply it on the tires for a subtle, yet effective shine.

Whichever option you prefer, the results are the same: your tires will be restored, and they will look as good as new.

As far as the formula goes, it features a unique combination of polymers and silicones. That combination gives this product the power to provide your tires with a long-lasting shine.

If you want a high shine, you don’t have to wipe the tires at all – lightly misting them will be enough to get the results you want. And, the best part is that it dries really fast, so you don’t have to worry about the sling.

Pros and cons

  • Provides a generous amount of protection
  • Gives a great shine to the tires
  • Dries fast
  • Inexpensive
  • Can withstand rain
  • The spray bottle nozzle isn’t the greatest
  • Not as glossy of a result
  • Prone to leaving a greasy residue

What to Look for in a Tire Shine

There are a few things you should know before you select a tire dressing. It’s crucial to understand the types that are out there and which would serve your vehicle best. You should also have a clear idea of how to apply the tire shine.

Dressing Types

Generally speaking, there are two types of tire shine on the market and they are referred to as water-based and non-water based. While water-based shines are more popular, solvent/oil base shines do have their advantages.

Water-based shines are typically environmentally friendly and non-toxic. They are more forgiving on clothes and application as it’s easy to clean any overspray. Water-based dressing are typically easier to apply and won’t harm your paint job or wheels if you happen to overspray. Water-based options are also quite versatile and can be used on other parts of your car like rubber bumpers, vinyl, and various other plastic parts.

Then there is non-water based tire shine. As the name suggests this option is typically solvent or oil based and applies as a gel. Many enthusiasts opt for water-based, but solvents do have their benefits. Typically they are longer-lasting and more cost-effective. If you’re after a super wet look, then you might want to consider solvent or oil based shines. With that said, you should be careful when you apply them. You want to apply them in thinner layers in order to prevent sling. Often these wet looks result in stickier tires that attract dirt and other particles. This will usually lead to cracking and browning faster.

UV Protection

Don’t forget that the tire shine should offer at least some UV protection. You don’t want your tires to deteriorate fast, and you don’t want them to age either. Therefore, use a product that offers a high amount of UV protection, especially if you live in a sunny area. Also, if the tire shine repels dirt and dust as well, you can count that as a fantastic bonus.

The Right Amount of Shine

Some of the products on this list will give you a subtle gloss, while others will make your tires glisten. Nevertheless, the choice is entirely yours. The amount of shine you want depends on your preferences, so take those into account while shopping. With most water-based shines, simply applying more layers does the trick. Again if you’re after a more wet look than oil or solvent base dressings work quite well.

How to Shine Your Tires

1. Always start by washing your rims and tires completely. This ensures that that dirt and other particles aren’t present and gives your tires the best possible shine.
2. Dry the rubber with a terry towel. If you are using solvent or oil based shine, then the excess water will dilute the gel and increase your chances of tire sling.
3. Apply your gel to an applicator pad. You don’t need a ton of product, start small and work it into the rubber in a clockwise and counter-clockwise motion. Then wipe in an up and down motion along the rubber.
4. Wipe away any excess overspray you see as you apply the shine.
5. Allow 5-10 minutes to dry before driving.

Conclusion

Getting those tires to shine doesn’t have to be a hassle. All you have to do is find the best tire shine out there, and soon your tires will be looking like they’re brand new. You’ve seen the reviews, and we have given you all the pros and cons of using these products. Your next step is to determine which one will suit your tires the best – and, if you use the advice above, we are confident that you will reach the right decision.

Richard Reed

Writer for TheVehicleLab.com

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