You could spend all day detailing your car, but if you forget to shine your tires, you might as well have skipped the entire process. So how do you make tires shine as if they were new? You start by reading this article on how to make your tires shine and by purchasing one of our recommendations for the best tire shine products of 2020.
Why Use Tire Shine on Your Car?
It’s no secret that tires are more aesthetically pleasing when they look wet. The wet effect looks best because the dirt and the small cracks that develop from wear and tear are made harder to see when a tire is properly “dressed.”
Tire shine, tire gels, and tire dressings ensure your tires appear clean, shiny and new. Your tires undergo the toughest beating of any other part of your vehicle. The tire’s constant contact with the road not only accumulates dirt, dust and road grime, it also dries out the rubber causing unsightly and determinantal cracks to form in the surface of the tire.
Tires that are rarely shined and often neglected are not only less aesthetically pleasing; they are also more likely to sustain a rupture or crack and lose air pressure.
Tire Shine Buying Guide
How to make your tires shine? That is the question this guide is going to help you solve. Whether you’re working with a brand new bottle of tire gel, water-based tire dressing, or you brewed a homemade tire shine product, the most important thing is that you use it correctly, and leave your wheels looking like they just rolled off the factory floor.
Rubber degrades over time. Constant contact with the road and exposure to harmful ultraviolet radiation dries out the tire surface leaving it brittle, faded and cracked. In fact, most tire manufacturers recommend that tires be replaced every six years, regardless of mileage.
Not to mention that tires look better when they have been properly dressed and shine like they are wet. That is why detailers never call a proper car wash complete until they have used a shine product on all four wheels.
Homemade Tire Shine
To brew your homemade tire shine, combine the following ingredients and give it a good stir:
- Distilled water (optional)
- Mild dish soap
- Two buckets of warm water
- Castor Oil
Though it is possible to brew your own homemade product, the best results will still be found with a professional laboratory tested solution that is specially designed to erode and dissolve dirt, dust, and automotive grime.
Water-Based Tire Shine vs. Solvent-Based Tire Shine
The debate over whether a water-based tire shine is as effective as a solvent-based tire shine can occasionally be heard swirling around detail shops.
The active ingredient in both water-based tire shine and solvent-based tire shine includes silicone fluid, which is chemically inert and typically non-toxic but tends to interfere with paint applications. In fact, many detailers and body shops do not allow silicone-based cleaning agents and chemical compounds in their operation.
Water-based – A water-based solution does not contain solvents. Instead, water is used because it won’t mix with the oil-based silicone fluid. This mixture has the effect of breaking the silicon fluid into droplets which spread over the surface of the car without washing off once the tire gets wet.
Solvent-based – Solvent-based product is designed to effectively homogenize the silicone fluid used to restore the tire, but they also generally contain volatile organic carbon compounds (VOCs) which are bad for the environment.
How To Apply Tire Shine The Right Way
You can use tire shine spray, tire shine by the gallon or tire shine in bulk, but if you don’t know how to use it properly you can ruin your clothes, your driveway, and even your car’s finish, in which case you should find an article that answers questions like:
- How to remove tire shine?
- How to get tire shine off car paint?
- How to get tire shine off driveway?
- How to get tire shine off clothes?
To provide your tires with an effective clean and your car with showroom ready aesthetic, it’s important to thoroughly wash your car while paying close attention to your wheels before applying any product at all.
Be sure to scrub the nooks and crannies or your tires removing all traces of visible dust, dirt, and grime.
Once you are sure your tires are as clean as you can make them, remove as much excess water as you can and allow them to dry.
Allowing your tires to dry before applying tire shine is essential. Tire shine applied to wet tires has a tendency to sling off as soon as you start driving your car. Dry tires enable the product to cling to the tire surface more effectively.
Now it’s time to apply the tire shine. Be sure to follow all manufacturer instructions, which will almost certainly include carefully applying the tire shine to a microfiber rag, brush, or applicator, and gently swirling it into the surface of the tire.
Allow the tire shine to rest on the surface of the tire and work its magic for a period of 10 to 20 minutes. Don’t drive your car during this time as you will probably sling tire shine all over your car and be forced to wash the whole thing again.
When the shine has dried or the designated amount of time has elapsed, use a sponge or rag to remove any excess shine. This step is extra important as excess tire shine left on the surface of the tire can accumulate dirt deposits, grime and brake dust which can damage your wheels.
10 Best Tire Shine Products
Now that you know why and how to apply tire shine, the only question left to answer is; what’s the best shine product to use? To be considered one of the 10 best tires shines, a product needs to be effective at restoring a factory black shine to faded tires and do so at a price that is kind to your budget.
What’s more, a tire shine should restore and strengthen a tire to last well beyond the manufacturer recommended six years, regardless of mileage.