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The Best Tire Shine 2021

Best Tire Shine

Tire shine is the holy grail for people that love detailing their car. Its main purpose is to give tires the desirable wet look that makes the rim and tire look far more attractive. It takes less than a minute per wheel to apply but makes a huge difference to the overall appearance of the car.

After research and testing of a number of tire shine products, we found that the best tire shine is the Meguiar’s Endurance Gel. It provides a glossy finish and is the longest lasting when compared to the alternatives. However, if you would prefer a natural appearance to the tires, the Autoglym Instant Dressing is the best alternative.

As well as testing a number of tire shines, we also based our recommendations upon a number of factors. These included their overall finish, ease of application, durability and value for the money.

Tire Shine Comparison

Tire ShineFinishType
Meguiar's G7516Very GlossyGel
Adam's SiO2 InfusedGloss/NaturalSpray
Autoglym ITD500USNaturalSpray
Armor All ExtremeNaturalGel
CarGuys Care KitGlossySpray
Aero Cosmetics Rubber CareMatteSpray
Chemical Guys Silk ShineNaturalSpray
TriNova’s Tire ShineGlossySpray
Black Magic 800002220CleanFoam
Meguiar's Hot Shine TireGlossyFoam

After detailing your car, the one thing that stands out are old or dull looking tires. However, simply applying a tire shine in the form of a spray, gel or foam can give you the look that you desire and most of the recommendations are also very long lasting. The finish you can achieve from a tire shine can include a very glossy shine to a subtle natural wet finish but it’s a divided opinion to which looks best.

To apply tire shine, it’s recommended that you use a foam applicator to thoroughly spread the product across the tires. This ensures all the grooves in the sidewall are covered without leaving any dry patches. After application to all 4 tires, we advise that you move your car forward to ensure you have covered the bottom of the tire.

Below is a list of the best tire shine products that provide the desirable wet look and are also long lasting.

The Best Tire Shine


1. Meguiar’s Endurance Tire Shine Gel

Meguiar's Endurance Tire Gel
The Meguair’s Endurance tire gel is probably one of the most frequent purchases in my detailing box and is by far the best tire shine for the money.

Compared to some of the alternative products, this tire gel is far more durable and long lasting. Even when using this product in the winter, the wet look on the tires is able to withstand the tough environment and weathering.

Best Tire Dressing

Above is an example of the finish from using the Meguiar’s tire gel after several weeks. As you can see, it still remains black and provides the desirable wet look. If you require more gloss, it can be topped up.

Other features of the Meguiar’s Endurance Tire Gel include:

  • Silicone based
  • Long lasting glossy finish
  • Provides UV protection
  • Protects against browning
  • No overspray, drips or streaks
  • 16 oz bottle

Application of the tire gel should be achieved with an applicator and in small portions. Too much of the product will be a waste and also attract more dust, which clings to the gel. Overall, the Meguiar’s Endurance Tire Gel is the best tire gel that’s not only long lasting but also provides maximum shine and durability.

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2. Adam’s Polishes Tire Shine Spray

Adam's Polishes Tire Shine Spray
Adam’s tire shine is a premium option that contains a small amount of silicone to provide a wet but non-greasy shine. You can also add multiple layers of this tire shine to perfect the wetness of the tire and elevate the look.

When applied correctly with an applicator, it continues to work its magic for much longer. It also provides a tasty banana scent and foams up on the tires, which is shown on the below tire.

Tire Dressing for the wet look

Other features of the Adam’s SiO2 Infused Spray include:

  • High quality refillable spray bottle
  • Available in 16 oz and 1 or 5 gallon bottles
  • Non greasy formula
  • Deep, rich shine or wet look finish
  • Made in the USA

If you are looking for a long lasting tire shine spray that can be applied with ease, the Adam’s tire shine is the best option. It’s slightly more expensive than the alternatives but it provides an unmatched finish that won’t disappoint.

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3. Autoglym Instant Tire Dressing

AutoGlym Instant Tire Dressing
Another high quality tire shine is the Autoglym Instant Dressing, which is sprayed directly onto the tire from the bottle. It’s more expensive than the Meguiar’s and Adam’s alternatives above but it provides a natural gloss finish.

tire shine

The Autoglym tire dressing is applied from the spray bottle, which puts a light white foam onto the tires (as shown above). We advise that you leave it to foam for at least 30 seconds before drying the tire to reveal the finished result. Once you have waited for it to fully dry, the tire will have a satin black finish and look like brand new tire.

Other features of the Autoglym Instant Tire Dressing include:

  • Easy to apply formula
  • High quality refillable spray bottle
  • Durable polymer silicone protectants
  • Instant natural finish
  • 16.9 oz bottle

Both the Adam’s Polishes and Autoglym formulas provide similar finishes. However, the Autoglym formula contains polymer silicone protectants, which makes it a long lasting tire shine that retains its natural appearance for many weeks.

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4. Armor All Extreme Tire Shine Gel

Armor All Extreme Tire Shine Gel
The Armor All Extreme Gel is another popular alternative that uses an advanced formula for the best results. The brand claim that the high molecular weight silicone preserves the tires finish for multiple weeks and is able to withstand tough environments.

For complete peace of mind, Armor All also provide a 100% satisfaction guarantee on their tire shine and will even give your money back if you are disappointed with the product.

Other features of the Armor All Extreme Tire Gel include:

  • Wet black shine that lasts weeks
  • Silicone based
  • 18 oz bottle
  • No messy overspray
  • Includes applicator sponge
  • Protects against fading or cracking

Overall, the Armor All Extreme is an excellent all-round tire gel that provides a great finish and durable protection. Although it’s slightly more expensive than similar tire gels, it does include an applicator for providing full coverage of your tires.

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5. CarGuys Tire Shine Spray Kit

CarGuys Tire Shine Spray Kit
The CarGuys tire dressing is a premium option that works by penetrating the tire to provide hydration. It’s the new and improved formula by the brand that includes a patented polymer additive to enhance the overall finish of the tires.

Also included with the tire care kit is an applicator pad, which is constructed of a thick microfiber that allows you to spread the product more evenly.

Other features of the CarGuys Tire Shine include:

  • Completely safe and non toxic formula
  • Doesn’t harm plastic, rubber or vinyl surfaces
  • Protects against UV rays
  • Reduces fading, browning and cracking
  • Quick and easy application
  • Provides a showroom finish
  • Available in a 18 oz or 1 gallon bottle
  • Made in the USA

Depending upon your requirements, you can apply a single layer of the formula for a rich deep black finish or multiple layers for further gloss. The CarGuys Kit is a high performing tire shine that won’t disappoint and is also very easy to apply.

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6. Aero Cosmetics Tire Protectant and Dressing

Aero Cosmetics Tire Protectant and Dressing
An alternative finish from a shiny gloss is dark matte, which many will find very desirable. The Aero Cosmetics formula is the best option for this type of finish and even meets the Boeing Aircraft Specification for complete peace of mind.

It’s a water based formula that’s designed to moisturize the tire and help reduce the damaging aging effects from UV rays.

Other features of the Aero Cosmetics Tire Dressing include:

  • Dark black satin/matte finish
  • Available in a 16, 32 or 64 oz bottle
  • Biodegradable formula
  • Leaves no oily residue
  • Long lasting protective barrier
  • Suitable for other plastic components
  • Made in the USA

The Aero Cosmetics formula provides a unique matte finish that transforms old or aged tires. The only drawback is that the formula requires at least 30 minutes to completely soak into the tires for the best finished results.

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7. Chemical Guys Silk Tire Shine Dressing

Chemical Guys Silk Tire Dressing
Chemical Guys is a well-known detailing brand that has seen a huge boost in popularity over the last few years. Their Silk Shine Tire Dressing is a popular option that provides a natural finish to the tires as opposed to maximum gloss.

The main benefit of this formula is that it can also be used on surfaces such as rubber, vinyl, plastic and many others. The Silk Shine formula has also been recently improved to provide additional resistance to water, faster drying and extra protection from UV rays.

Other features of the Chemical Guys Silk Shine include:

  • Available in a 16 or 128 oz bottle
  • Protect against aging
  • Water based formula
  • Provides UV protection
  • pH balanced
  • No oily, greasy or stick residue

This tire shine by Chemical Guys provides a factory satin black finish and is very easy to apply. If you are looking for a glossier finish, we recommend that you go with the Meguiar’s tire gel alternative.

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8. TriNova Tire Shine Spray

TriNova Tire Shine Spray
TriNova are another popular brand in the USA and they have developed an affordable and long lasting tire shine that delivers a “like new” finish. The US made formula is applied through the spray nozzle and provides a slick dark finish that lasts weeks.

Unlike many of the alternative products, this formula has protective agents that reduces tire aging. This is a desirable feature as it prevents the tires becoming dull or fading from the effects of UV rays and tough road environments.

Other features of the TriNova Tire Shine Spray include:

  • Advanced coating and protection
  • Repels dirt and grime
  • Available in a 18 oz or 1 gallon bottle
  • Multiple levels of shine
  • Easy to apply

The level of shine you wish to achieve can be altered by the time you leave the dressing to dry. If you want to have a glossy finish to your tires, you should leave it on for as long as possible. Overall, it’s an excellent all-round tire protectant and dressing that provides long lasting results.

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9. Black Magic Tire Wet Foam

Black Magic Tire Wet Foam
Black Magic have developed an aerosol that cleans, protects and shines the tires all in a single application. It’s a unique foam formula that clings to the tire and adsorbs dirt, which results in a protected tire and a wet gloss finish.

To apply the product, it’s as simple as spraying it onto the tire and leaving it for approximately 10 minutes. If the tire is covered in thick dirt, we recommend that you remove all the debris beforehand for the best results.

Other features of the Black Magic Tire Wet Foam include:

  • Can be applied to wet or dry tires
  • Lasts up to 2 weeks
  • Leaves no powdery residue
  • Water based formula
  • 18 oz bottle

The Black Magic Tire Foam provides excellent value for money and is an “all-in-one” product that actually works. However, in terms of the shine, it won’t provide as good of a finish when compared to the other formulas that are dedicated to adding shine to the tires.

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10. Meguiar’s Hot Shine Tire Foam

Meguiar's Hot Shine Tire Foam
Meguiar’s produce a range of tire products but the Hot Shine Foam is an alternative to the Endurance Gel. It’s designed to clean, shine and protect in one easy step. Compared with the Black Magic formula above, the Meguiar’s is a premium alternative.

Unlike cheaper alternatives, this formula provides added protection against UV rays through extra additives that condition the tires.

Other features of the Meguiar’s Hot Shine Tire Foam include:

  • Water resistant polymers to extend the protection
  • Easy to use foam that dissolves clear
  • Powers through dirt to provide a glossy black shine
  • Provides a well-maintained finish for weeks
  • 19 oz spray bottle

The Hot Shine Foam by Meguiar’s is a convenient and easy method of maintaining your tires. The fact that you don’t even need to touch the formula once it has been sprayed onto the tire is a big bonus for those in a rush.

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How We Rated The Tire Shine

Pretty much every detailing brand in the USA offer a tire shine, which means choosing the best can be difficult. In order to find the best tire shine, not only did we test a number of formulas (as shown in the images), we also spent hours researching the latest formulas offered. As well as testing, we also based our recommendations upon certain factors such as their overall finish, ease of application, durability and value for money.

Tire Shine Buying Guide

Achieving the desirable wet look to the tires is the result of using a high quality tire shine. However, finding a long lasting formula can be difficult because there are many cheap formulas that require application every week to retain its finish.

Although tire shine is fairly easy to apply, it’s highly recommended that you use a dedicated applicator to get full coverage. Many people simply use an old rag but this will dry up most of the product and makes it much harder to apply.

A hex grip style of applicator is the best for effectively spreading the formula. When applying tire shine, we like to use the Adam’s applicator as shown below:

tire shine applicator

Types of Tire Shine

There are two main types of tire shines that you can use. These include a water based or oil based solution. Water based is the preferred type because if the product goes on the paintwork, you can simply wipe it off. It uses natural oils and polymers that are less greasier and result in a satin finish.

A solvent based formula contains stronger additives that produce a long lasting finish that also repels water. Choosing between the two different types is a matter of personal preference.

Spray vs Gel vs Foam

Spray, gel and foam are the three main methods of applying tire shine to your tires and they all have their own benefits.

For example, in windy conditions, both the spray and foam applications tend to end up on your paintwork, leaving a residue. This can be really annoying if you have just waxed the car.

Alternatively, a tire gel can become very greasy on your hands, difficult to remove and more time consuming to apply. Some detailing enthusiasts prefer using different types depending upon the type of finish they want.

Tire Shinning Product

How To Apply Tire Shine

The application of tire shine may seem straight forward but perfecting it requires multiple steps. To get the best result and reduce wastage of the product, an applicator pad will make things easier and improve the finish.

To apply tires shine correctly, we recommend that you follow these 5 steps:

  1. Wash Tires Thoroughly. Spraying the tires with water is simply not enough. Scrub all dirt from the tires to get the best finish from the tire shine.
  2. Dry Tires. Excess water can mix with the tire dressing and cause an unexpected result. Ensure the tires are dry regardless of whether the product says it’s safe.
  3. Add Tire Shine to the Applicator. A classic mistake that many people make is overloading the applicator with the product. Avoid doing this as it will end up on the floor or all over your wheel. Use a small blob and work it into the tire.
  4. Apply Tire Shine. Unless you are using an aerosol, simply work the dressing into the tire. There will be a waiting period that’s different for each product but this is an important stage for the best possible finish.
  5. Remove Excess Dressing. To prevent dirt clinging to the dressing that isn’t drying, simply touch a cloth against it to remove it from the tire.

The first step of washing the tires is the most important. If there is any dirt left on the rubber, the dressing cannot be applied correctly and this will ruin the finish. We highly recommend using an car pressure washer on the tires to remove any stubborn dirt that refuses to budge.

Tire Shine Dressing

Desirable Features

There are several features that you should consider when looking for the best tire shine. For starters, you are applying tire shine for one main reason, which is that all important wet look. However, you should always check the type of finish that the product aims to achieve because some may leave more of a glossy finish whereas other are designed for the “new tire” natural finish.

At the same time, to get the best value for the money, you want to ensure that it’s also durable, otherwise you will be applying it every other day. Tire shine has a lifespan when applied to a tire but this is reduced significantly due to the environment.

Conclusion

At Pro Car Reviews, our team are split between the Meguiar’s and Adam’s formulas as the best tire shine. Both provide excellent value for the money and are fairly durable but the difference comes in the finish. The glossy finish of the Meguiar’s tire gel is highly desirable but many people prefer the natural black finish.

All of the recommendations improve the overall finish and provide the finishing touch after waxing your car. Leaving tires untouched will make them stand out but in a bad way. It’s also worth mentioning that if your car has all terrain truck tires or other large tires, you will need a lot more than one bottle because they are fairly small portions inside each.

procarreviews author

Written By Dan

About the Author

Dan is an automotive journalist and owner of over 10 cars ranging from supercars, tuned cars, classics and your good old beater cars. He always likes to get his hands dirty with nut and bolt restorations or detailing sessions using the best products on the market.

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