Detailing Wheels

Best Tire Shine (The Top 5 With New Reviews For 2019)

best tire shine
Matt Taylor
Written by Matt Taylor

Last Updated

Meguiar's Endurance Tire Gel 16 oz. – (Pack of 6)
TriNova Tire Shine Gallon Size - Leaves Brilliant Wet Looking Shine, Perfect for Detailer. Best...
Tire Shine Spray 1 Gallon Bulk Refill - Best Tire Dressing Car Care for Car Tires After a Hand Car...
Meguair's G7516 Endurance Tire Gel
Trinova Tire Shine
Car Guys Premium Tire Shine
Meguiar's Endurance Tire Gel 16 oz. – (Pack of 6)
Meguair's G7516 Endurance Tire Gel
TriNova Tire Shine Gallon Size - Leaves Brilliant Wet Looking Shine, Perfect for Detailer. Best...
Trinova Tire Shine
Tire Shine Spray 1 Gallon Bulk Refill - Best Tire Dressing Car Care for Car Tires After a Hand Car...
Car Guys Premium Tire Shine

Amazon.com prices as of  2019-11-18 at 09:22 UTC Details


One of the best ways to quickly give your car that 'professional detailed' look, is to clean the wheels and coat the tires with a good quality tire shine.

The best tire shine products will protect your tires from the elements, and some can offer protection for a few weeks. Most can also be used on other trim and rubber parts.

My favourite tire shine at the moment is Meguair's G7516 Endurance Tire Gel. It's really easy to apply, and just one coat can last a couple of weeks. Check out the detailed review below.

Best Tire Shine - Detailed Reviews


1. Meguair's G7516 Endurance Tire Gel

'Best Tire Shine'

Amazon.com prices as of  2019-11-18 at 09:22 UTC Details

Main Features
  • Leaves glossy shine
  • Long lasting protection, even in wet conditions
  • Stops damage from UV rays

Meguiar’s Endurance Tire Gel gives your tires a durable, dark, and glossy shine. Meguiar's say it will endure rain, snow, high summer temperatures and even car washes. 

What's it made from?

This is a solvent-based tire gel that leaves a 'silicone-like' glossy finish on your tires. The finish should withstand heat, low temperatures, dust, and rain water.

Compared to water-based tire shine products in this price range, the coating lasts longer and more effectively protects the tires from dust and stops them from turning brown.

Application, Effectiveness & Finish

There are a lot of tire shine products on the market that simply don't last any more than a few days. In contrast, Meguair's Tire Shine generally gives a long lasting consistent shine.

I find that a thorough wash before you apply this gel will make sure the final finish does not have lumps or contaminants.

As it comes out of the bottle as a fairly thick gel, I usually apply it with a sponge or microfibre cloth. I like the fact that it is a gel, since this makes it easier to apply and you're less likely to get it onto the paintwork.

In general, one coat gives a fairly deep shine for most car owners. But if you like your tires to be super glossy, then a top tip is to apply more coats.

Just make sure to wait for about 10 to 15 minutes in between coats for maximum effect. It's also a good idea to wait for the final coat to dry before driving.

In normal conditions (not too hot or excessively wet) the finish can last for about 2 weeks, which isn't bad. In my experience, the gloss finish won't last any more than a few days, but the tires still look black and clean for a couple of weeks.

If you like the smell of grape flavoured candy, then this tire shine is right up your alley! It's kind of a strange smell for a tire shine, but makes applying it a more pleasurable experience!

Negatives 

Whilst it's easy to apply, smells nice and leaves a nice gloss finish but it's not the longest lasting tire gel on the market. You'll probably get away with applying it twice a month, and may get better results depending on the weather.

Some people prefer spray on tire shine for convenience, so this particular one may not be for them. Overall though, it's a decent tire shine product and comes with the assurance of quality because it's made by Meguiar's.

Pros
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    Stops UV rays from damaging tires
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    Leaves a protective coat that should last for a few weeks
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    It's gel formula prevents runs and drips
Cons
  • It's not water based, so can't be removed as easily
  • Can't be applied using a spray bottle
  • If you want a matt finish, then this one isn't for you

2. Trinova Tire Shine

Amazon.com prices as of  2019-11-18 at 09:22 UTC Details

Main Features
  • Spray on shine for a wet, shiny look
  • Protects against fading, cracking and yellowing
  • Create different levels of shine to suit your taste

If you don’t like too much gloss on your tires, then the water-based Trinova Tire Shine is worth checking out.

What's It Made From?

This is a water-based protectant that absorbs into the tires leaving them with a wet look. Because it's water based, it comes straight off when you wash your tires, leaving no residue, unlike most silicone based dressings. So the original rubber composition of the tires stays intact but with an added layer of temporary protection.

Also, since it's a water-based dressing it quickly dries to the touch, so there's less chance of it getting onto the wheels or paintwork.

Along with keeping the shine on newer tires, it's also good for protecting aging tires. It claims to cover up small thread cracks, faded tire walls, and brown spots with a single coat.

It can also help to keep your tires clean by repelling some dirt, dust and sand.  

Application, Effectiveness & Finish

Some detailing pros don't like water based products because they don't last as long as solvent based alternatives. But there are many other factors that can affect the longevity of a detailing product such as weather and temperature.

 I like water based products because they are PH neutral, so they won't harm your driveway or the environment. They are also easily removed if you want to re-apply a fresh coat.


To apply, just spray it on the tires and leave them to dry for around 3 to 5 hours. I find the longer you let it dry for, the better the shine. Sometimes I even let it sit overnight. If you apply multiple coats, you'll get a deeper shine.

You'll need a good quality spray bottle that can mist well to get the best results from this product. Remember to clean your tires before you apply the product as this is a tire shine, not a tire cleaner. And when you're done, wipe any excess product from the rims.

Negatives

Whilst it provides a resilient temporary protective coat that protects tires from drying out, it's not going to be as hard wearing during extreme winter driving or on wet days. It also takes a lot longer than some others to dry out completely, so don't expect great results in 10-15 minutes.

Pros
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    Water-based tire shine, so it's PH neutral and won't stain you or your driveway
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    You can control the level of shine by applying more coats
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    Protective layer is easily removed by washing
Cons
  • Not as resilient in bad weather
  • It's not as easy to apply as a gel

3. CarGuys Tire Shine

Amazon.com prices as of  2019-11-18 at 08:53 UTC Details

Main Features
  • Patented water-based formula
  • Leaves a wet, black shine
  • Long lasting UV protection

CarGuys Tire Shine is very well known among car enthusiasts and detailers. This is because, not only does it make your car tires shiny, it's also a UV protectant with patented polymer additives that are supposed to increase longevity and performance.

What's It Made From?

This particular tire shine is made from a patented water-based polymer formula, that effectively bonds with your tires to give them a black wet shine. 

It's PH neutral, nontoxic and environmental friendly. 

Application, Effectiveness & Finish

Along with reviving your tires and giving them a glossy new look, the coating that it puts on is UV resistant. So it protects the tire walls from cracking caused by direct sunlight exposure. 


The best way to apply it is by using a spray bottle. Simply fill the spray bottle with the liquid from a can and spray it directly onto the tire walls.

As it's water based, if you get some on the wheels or the paintwork of the car, you can wipe it off with a clean damp cloth to completely remove it. If you miss a bit, it won't harm the paint. 

You can also apply it using a sponge, but it's not as effective and you'll probably end up using a bit more because the sponge tends to soak up a good amount.

You should find that the first coat gives your tires a deep rich satin finish. A second coat gives them a semi-gloss finish. While the satin finish stays on for about 2 weeks, the gloss tends to go away after a few days. 

Negatives

Because it's a water based tire protector, it's not going to leave any oily residue and should dry out fairly quickly. The downside is it's not going to last as long as a solvent based protector, especially in rainy conditions.

I found it also doesn't give a real wet look, rather a clean satin finish. Extra coats will give you more gloss, and you can easily top up the finish with an extra coat after a few days if you want.

Pros
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    Paint safe, water based formula
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    Leaves a gloss coating
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    Can also be used in vinyl, rubber and plastic
Cons
  • Leaves more of a satin finish
  • Won't be as long lasting as solvent based products 

4. Chemical Guys Silk Shine

Amazon.com prices as of  2019-11-18 at 08:53 UTC Details

Main Features
  • Cleans and protects tires and trim
  • Provides UV protection
  • Longer lasting formula for longer protection

Chemical Guys Silk Shine isn't just a tire shine and protector, it can also be used on pretty much any interior or exterior rubber, vinyl and black plastics. It provides UV protection and can restore the look of tired sun damaged plastics with minimal effort.

What's It Made From?

Silk Shine is a water-based detailer with patented 'Weather-Tek' technology to help it last longer. It also contains sun blockers that can help shield from UVA and UVB rays.

Application, Effectiveness & Finish

Along with UV protection and a glossy finish, Silk Shine also acts as a dust and dirt repellant. The film of protectant it leaves behind repels dust while it keeps the surface smooth and non-sticky.

Because it's non corrosive and PH neutral; it protects the tire from rot caused by heat and direct sunlight.

It dries out smooth and non-sticky, with a satin to light gloss finish. Car Guys claim it will hold out even in  snow, high humidity and rain, direct sun and high heat. I haven't tested it in all conditions, but it does hold up fairly well in rain when applied to tires.


Application is as straight forward as it gets. Take a microfiber cloth, spray the liquid and wipe the surface with it.

Some prefer to spray directly onto the surface. This works equally well but it can lead to over sprays if you're not careful. In saying that, a good thing about this detailer is that even if you do overspray, it won't damage paintwork or metal trim.

Since it's a water-based protectant, I found that cleaning and drying the tires or trim thoroughly before you apply it is really important. Otherwise, dust and dirt in the tire can form lumps and you won’t get the best results. 

Negatives

This, in my opinion is one of the best all round tire and trim products you can buy. It's easy to apply, it's safe to use on most surfaces and it should last a couple of weeks in most cases.

It's hard to say anything bad about it. Other reviewers have had mixed results, saying it did not last very long especially when driving in the rain. Unfortunately, this may be true. As it's a water based product it's not going to be as resilient as a solvent based alternative. 

Pros
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    Restores and protects tires and trim
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    Offers UVA and UVB protection
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    Is water based, so it's safe to use on most surfaces
Cons
  • It's water based, so may not last as long as solvent based tire shine
  • Some reports of it leaving streaks and running in the rain

Amazon.com prices as of  2019-11-18 at 08:53 UTC Details

Main Features
  • Water based triple nano polymer technology
  • Formulated to Boeing standards
  • Leaves a black satin finish on vinyl, plastic and rubber

Formulated to D6-17487T Boeing standards, Aero Cosmetics Tire dressing is one of the best tire dressings for all tire types. It leaves behind a dark satin finish, that protects from UV rays and won't attract dust or dirt.

What's It Made From?

This is another water based product that dries out matte and doesn't leave any oily residue.

It also contains triple nano polymer technology that helps to protect tires and trim from UV rays. Originally formulated to D6-17487T Boeing standards, you can expect it to be hard wearing and offer better UV protection than most of it's competitors.

Application, Effectiveness & Finish

This tire shine does not leave behind a wet look, so if that's what you are after then you'll have to look elsewhere. It can be used safely on tires, vinyl, plastic and rubber trim surfaces, interior and exterior.

Before you apply, it's important that you clean and dry the tires (or trim surface) thoroughly. I'd recommend you use a good tire soap, shampoo or cleaner. Let the surface dry out completely before you apply the protectant.


 To apply, just spray it directly onto the surface. You need to let it sit for 30-60 minutes, depending on weather conditions. Once it has dried in, then wipe off the excess if there is any using a soft cloth. 

The dressing should last for about at least a week, if not longer (assuming you aren't driving in really bad conditions). 

Negatives

If you use it properly, and have realistic expectations, then this is a great tire restorer and protector. One downside, is the application process. The tires/trim need to be cleaned thoroughly before you start, then you need to wait for up to an hour for it to soak in. If you are patient and willing to follow the instructions then this is the tire shine for you. If you are in a hurry, then you may be better off choosing a different one.

Pros
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    Excellent UV protection
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    Formulated to high aeronautical standards
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    Matt finish is dirt and dust resistant
Cons
  • Surfaces must be  thoroughly clean before applying
  • Doesn't leave a gloss finish


Our Best Tire Shine Buying Guide

Most tire shine products are trying to achieve the same results: dark, glossy tires.

But not all tire shine products are the same. If you've just finished cleaning the wheels of your car, you'll want the tires to look new too.

When you are deciding upon any car detailing product, like an interior cleaner or car wax, you need to ask yourself a few questions first. 

So here's what you should ask yourself before you choose a tire shine product:

best tire shine buying guide

1. What Type of tire shine finish Do I Want?

Not all tire shine will give you the same type of finish. Some dry out matte whilst others dry out glossy. Some can also get glossier the more coats that you add. 

2. Is the Tire Shine Solvent or Water Based?

It's important to choose detailing products that don't harm the environment, and that won't damage your car. Tire shine can be solvent based or water based. I generally go for the water based products because they are less toxic and won't damage you or your car.

3. How Do I apply The Tire Shine?  

Some tire shine is applied using a sponge or applicator, and some is applied using a spray bottle. It all depends on the consistency of the product and if it is a gel or a liquid. Just remember you may need to purchase a spray bottle if you are buying a larger gallon sized bottle.

4. Can it be used on Trim and rubber too? 

Most tire shine products can also be used on plastic trim, rubber, window seals, engine covers and hoses and even on leather (although I wouldn't recommend using on leather). If you are looking to restore or protect other parts of your car then you can save a few dollars by buying a tire shine that does it all.

5. Does it Provide Other protection? 

Along with providing a glossy, wet finish; tire shine can also protect and restore. Most will provide some sort of UV protection, to help prevent cracking and discoloration. 


Why Should You Use Tire Shine On Your Tires?

Tire shine will not only revive dull, faded tires it will also help to protect them from the weather.

Tire shine will give your tires a deep, black finish and depending on which one you choose this can be matte or glossy or somewhere in between.


What are the different types of tire shine?

When it comes to storage and application of tire shine, it is usually available as a spray or as a gel. The only real difference between the two is the way it's applied.

Obviously the gel has a thicker consistency, so you apply it using a tire sponge or a cloth. You get the same results from both, although the spray can be messier if you don't use a good misting bottle.

There are two main types of tire shine when it comes to the base ingredients - water based or solvent based.

Most tire shine products are water based these days. These are generally more environmentally friendly, and won't damage the paint on your car if you accidentally spill some.

Solvent-based tire shine usually lasts longer (because it's more difficult to remove) , but you need to be more careful where you use it so as not to cause damage. It's also more difficult to dispose of as it's not as environmentally friendly.


Water Based Vs Solvent Based Tire Shine

Water Based Tire Shine

  1. Environmentally friendly and usually non flammable
  2. Wont damage paint or wheel finish
  3. Can be easily washed off the tire if necessary
  4. Can be applied in layers, if you want a glossier coat
  5. Easy to apply, and you don't necessarily need to wear gloves or special clothing


Solvent Based Tire Shine

  1. Not environmentally friendly, and may be flammable if stored in a pressurized container
  2. If over sprayed, can damage paintwork and may harm the lacquer on alloy wheels
  3. Usually lasts a lot longer than water based tire shine, but is more difficult to remove
  4. You may need to wear protective clothing when applying 

How To Clean Tires And Apply Tire Shine

Just like any other detailing job, the key to great results is in the preparation. Before you can apply tire dressing to tires or trim, you need to be sure that the surface is clean and dry. 

best tire shine
  1. Clean the tiresGet yourself a good quality tire brush and scrub the tires with cleaner and water until all of the dirt is gone. 
  2. Dry the tiresRub down the tires with a clean, dry microfibre towel to remove excess water and to make sure all of the dirt is gone. Now leave the tires to dry for at least 30 minutes, so that they are fully dry.
  3. Apply the tire shineUsing an applicator sponge, a cloth or spray bottle; apply the tire shine to the tire. Make sure you stick to the manufacturer instructions and remember less is more, you can always apply a second coat or touch up if necessary. If you are using an applicator sponge, don't forget to wet it first and squeeze it out. This will help the sponge to move more smoothly over the tire wall.
  4. Let the Tire Shine Dry - This is the important step. It can take from a few minutes to a few hours. With some you get best results if you leave overnight. 
  5. Wipe off excess Tire Shine - Once it has dried in, wipe off any excess tire shine to prevent sling off on paintwork when you start driving.
  6. Apply more Coats if Necessary - Some tire shine products will give you a deeper gloss or more protection if you apply more than one coat

How To Get a great finish when using Tire Shine - Top Tips

  1. Only apply tire shine to clean, dry tires. If the tires are not clean you won't get as good a finish. If they are not dry, the dressing will not bond with the tire wall and won't last as long. This is especially true if you are using a solvent based tire shine.
  2. Always use a tire applicator sponge. An applicator sponge will greatly improve the finish as it allows you to apply the tire shine evenly and over every part of the tire wall. It also helps to reduce the chance of getting tire shine on your wheels. Even if you are using a tire shine spray (as opposed to gel), it's a good idea to spray onto the applicator sponge and not straight onto the tire.
  3. Always remove excess tire shine. Wiping over the tire wall surface when the tire shine has dried a bit will help to remove excess, and will spread the tire shine over parts that you may have missed. This reduces the chances of you getting black spatter on the car body and drips onto the wheels.
  4. Let the tires dry out completely before driving. This allows the tire shine to bond with the tire surface, and will give the best chance of it lasting as long as possible. 

So What's The Best Tire Shine You Can Buy Today?

In my opinion, the best all round tire shine has to be the Meguiar's Gel Tire Shine. It can be used on lots of different surfaces, is easy to apply and leaves a glossy protective finish.

About the author

Matt Taylor

Matt Taylor

Hey, I'm Matt, co-founder of The Motor Guy.

I've been a car fanatic all of my life. I have worked as a car technician for over 15 years, diagnosing and repairing all sorts of cars. I now devote my time to writing about car maintenance and car detailing.

I also love spending time restoring old BMW motorcycles and trying to outsmart my rescue border collie, Millie.