If you’re the sort of person that likes to fully detail their car, or even if you just want to keep it looking neat, you can buy everything from special paint sealants through to high-grade waxes, ceramic coatings and beyond … but if your tires are more than two or three weeks old, they’ll stick out like … like dry, faded tires on a new vehicle. Nobody wants that.
Using good tire shine products can be the answer. Gone are the days where a tire shine formula was some goopy mess that lasted for a day or two, flung-off as soon as you started driving, and made your tires look … different; today, we have a huge range of products that offer all sorts of finishes, can help prevent fade, last for a couple of weeks and stay where they’re put – with virtually no ‘fling’ once applied (correctly).
I’ve chosen a pretty good selection that should cover all eventualities – deep gloss shine, silk matte shine, spray on, foam applicator, long lasting … they all have their plus points, and they all offer different things in one way or another, so have a read through, see what works for you and then make your choice.
The Best Tire Shine
1. CarGuys Tire Shine Spray
Car Guys say that this is the best tire shine product on the market, it may be, but only if it suits your need … if it doesn’t, then it isn’t.
It offers a deep wet shine, thanks to the patented polymer additives within the formula, and it’s safe to use on vinyl, plastics and all faded rubber (providing that you want the ‘deep wet shine’) to restore them to their former glory. It also offers a degree of UV protection, which should help to eliminate fade or degradation to the rubber over time as well.
It’s quick and easy to use, and it’s dry to the touch – a non-greasy formula. Once it has been applied correctly (using the supplied microfiber applicator), it won’t sling off and it won’t cause any mess to the surrounding paintwork – always a bonus in my opinion. While the Car Guys make a thing of ‘longevity’ the reality is that the results last for about a week under normal conditions, which to be fair to the CGs, is about the same for any other products.
It’s made in the USA, non-toxic and totally environmentally friendly, and the Guys offer a 100% money back guarantee if you’re not completely satisfied with the product – can’t say fairer than that!
2. TriNova Tire Shine Spray
A ‘no wipe’ formula according TriNova, except that it really does need wiping, especially if you want to control the level of shine that you can apply – low, medium or high gloss finish is possible, depending on how long you leave the product applied for before wiping; the longer it’s left between application and wiping off, the shinier it will be.
The USA made formula offers a great level of protection, and helps to prevent signs of aging and fading, it also repels dirt, dust and grime, which of course helps to give the impression of a cleaner, slicker tire for longer. Just the same as the Car Guys, TriNova say that it outlasts any other product on the market, and my answer would also be the same – expect maybe a week or so under normal conditions, although the fact that it helps to keep the tire clean can make a small difference.
TriNova have a reputation for offering great products, that the trade also love, so you know you’re buying a quality tire shine spray, my only question would be is do you get 2.5x the benefit of the Meguiar’s shine?
3. Meguiar's Endurance Tire Gel
This tire dressing is slightly different from the rest of the list here, in that it’s a thick gel rather than a watered down liquid. Meguiar’s say that this is why it’s the ultimate in long lasting shine, easily seeing off rain and regular washing thanks to the advanced formulation.
It leaves a lasting glossy shine, and again you can customize the level of shine (to a degree) with how it’s applied; the regular shine is achieved through application and waiting twenty minutes (at least) for it to dry and cure, but you can apply a second coat after ten minutes to increase the shine, or if you want more of a silk look, wiping the tire immediately after application.
It does need to cure before driving the vehicle though, which as I’ve already stated is at least twenty minutes, otherwise the gel can fling off, leaving patterns in the tire, but more importantly, the gel can stain bodywork and plastics if left for any length of time – you need to clean this off immediately.
Meguiar’s believe that a gel is the way forward because it won’t run or drip, and it’s impossible to get overspray because it’s applied by hand – you will need some sort of applicator as the gel doesn’t come with one in the kit. Good UV protection and anti-browning advanced polymers help to keep the tires in good condition over a period of time.
4. Adam’s Polishes Tire Shine
When writing these reviews, you get used to reading the product name and the highlights as the title of the product, but this is plain and simple ‘Adam’s Polishes Tire Shine’ – no extraneous keywords or info, and that tells me one thing – it’s either a great product that does exactly what it says.
It comes in a spray applicator bottle, which despite Adam saying you should spray onto a foam applicator, works really great if you have big tread blocks that are awkward to cover with a regular applicator – just spray it on.
It can be applied in multiple layers for a deeper shine, and it’s a non-fling and non-greasy formula which leaves a deep lustrous shine that other products struggle to match. If you’re feeling pressed for time, you can just spray & go (with a little time for drying) but the best results happen when applied as they recommend, and the results last for around a week (no incredible claims of lasting for months in this listing!). Overall, it is definitely a great choice for a no nonsense tire shine product that’s easy to apply and maintain.
5. Chemical Guys Silk Shine Sprayable Dressing
Another product that’s slightly different – it offers a silk (almost matte) finish to any rubber products that it’s applied to – which also makes it great for interior trims such as dashboards, plastics and those all weather mats in your truck.
The best way to describe the effect is to imagine a brand new tire. It isn’t shiny, but it does have a sheen to it from the releasing agent when they manufacture the tire … that’s effectively what you’re getting, so there’s no better product to recreate the ‘as new’ look for your car if that’s what you’re going for.
Of course it does all the other stuff – UV protection and anti-fading magic, and the Weather-Tek formula means that it’s pretty tough in hard conditions, extreme rain and sun for example. It’s non-greasy and safe to use on all modern trim, tires and plastics, and it won’t leave them with a deep gloss shine, just a clean and crisp ‘new’ look.
You should understand that these shine products aren’t cleaners (although one says that it can be used to clean), so before applying them, you do need to make sure that the tires have been cleaned properly, and allowed to dry. Applying a tire shine product to wet tires is a recipe for disaster, it just won’t take and it will leave streaks or patches.
With that said, all of these products are top quality, and providing you apply them properly (as per instructions). For my money, I think the balance between value for money, use and finish would make the Chemical Guys my product of choice, but that’s only because I’m not a huge fan of super-slick gloss finishes.