It's the final touch after washing and cleaning a car: tire shine. Available commonly in spray or gel, tire shine provides a shiny look for a car's tires and often gives a vehicle a final pop to really help it stand out.
The number of tire shine products on physical store shelves and digital shops is seemingly endless. However, with all the cars that come and go from the Roadshow garage frequently, we've chosen what we find to be the best six tire shine products. Whether you're looking for a professional-detailerlike shine, a long-lasting product or something you can use quickly on the go, these are our top choices for 2020.
Best overall tire shine
Chemical Guys VRP Dressing
With so many tire shine products available, we've tried a lot. Seriously, a lot. Time and time again, Chemical Guys' Vinyl, Plastic, Rubber Dressing (that's VRP for short) comes out on top. VRP is water-based and skips harsh chemicals like petroleum and silicone, and its formula also lasts quite a long time. Go ahead, check how nice the tires look on Roadshow's long-term 2020 Subaru Outback Onyx Edition XT. That's VRP for you.
Best of all, it doesn't cost a boatload of money and a single bottle will last quite a while.
Best tire shine for the money
Meguiar's Hot Shine Foam
Meguiar's makes many different tire shine products, but for those who need a budget pick that does the job, a can of Hot Shine Foam will do the trick.
It's not water-based like our overall best pick, meaning there are chemicals included, but that doesn't make it a bad product. The foam is easy to apply well and the results are good, but try to keep it off the wheel since it'll leave an oily residue behind.
It doesn't stick around as long as we'd like it to, but if you need a quick shine for your tires, Hot Shine is far from being a cheap cop-out.
Best long-lasting tire shine
Meguiar's Endurance Tire Gel
Although our best overall tire shine pick also lasts a mighty long time, Meguiar's Endurance Tire Gel rivals it. After you clean a tire properly and apply an even coat of the gel to the tires, Endurance, well, does what the name implies; it endures.
It doesn't work miracles, so don't expect tires to remain slick-looking after a torrential downpour, but the product certainly lives up to its name.
Best spray tire shine
Stoner Car Care More Shine Tire Finish
Stoner Car Care
If you're dead set on a tire shine spray, Stoner Car Care's More Shine Tire Shine is a bit of a diamond in the rough. No, it doesn't have the snappiest name recognition, but in our experience, the product works very well for a simple spray.
As a spray, it falls victim to the potential for overspraying, but then again, tire shine sprays are more about convenience than anything. So, yes, it's mighty convenient, and it looks great and lasts a decent length of time at that.
Best gel tire shine
Black Magic Tire Wet
Black Magic is a bit of a classic in the tire shine segment, and if you can skip the ease of use that comes with a spray, Black Magic Tire Wet gel does a wonderful job.
This product is mighty sticky, and we have experienced some slinging with it. However, if you let the product dry well, it's hardly noticeable. Otherwise, a little goes a long way and your tires will look mighty slick.
Best high-gloss tire shine
Carfidant Ultimate Tire Shine Spray
Carfidant's Ultimate Tire Shine Spray is really a jack-of-all-trades kind of product. Not only will this spray provide a deep and glossy shine, but if you apply less, it gives off a wonderful sheen that's not as intense. So, you've got options.
Slinging isn't much of a problem and like all sprays, it's easy to apply. Feel free to experiment to find your right level of gloss, but if it's high-gloss you desire, Ultimate Tire Shine Spray delivers.
Tire shine spray and gel details
|Best tire shine||Brand||Name||Price|
|For the money||Meguiar's||Hot Shine Foam||$5|
|Spray||Stoner Car Care||More Shine Tire Shine||$13|
|Gel||Black Magic||Tire Wet||$8|
|High-gloss||Carfidant||Ultimate Tire Shine Spray||$17|
Keep these things in mind when looking for tire shine
- Make sure the tires have been properly cleaned: Applying tire shine over old tire shine can produce a browning color on your tires.
- Tire shine isn't bad for your tires: You may hear tire shine isn't good for your tires and it can cause dry rot or cracking. That's not the case. Cases of dry rot and cracking are often more common for tires that have been sitting in the sun all day, every day.
- Have a quality tire shine applicator on hand: This little tool will make life a lot easier if you choose a tire shine gel.
- Higher-quality products typically last longer: While we try and cover everyone's budget, the costlier products are worth the coin.
As with any car cleaning product, results may vary. However, if you take the tips above into consideration, any tire shine will perform well. Again, higher-quality ingredients produce longer-lasting shines and a clean tire provides the right blank canvas. Always pay attention to cure times and other instructions the product recommends and you'll have the final piece to a perfectly clean car.
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