Main photo credit: CK2 Connect Studio / Shutterstock.com
Caring for your car involves more than routine washing and your regular coat of wax. One aspect that is often neglected are your tires, since it’s easy to believe that they don’t need much attention. On the surface, tire shine may appear to be a purely aesthetic product, giving your tires a nice and glossy finish that does add to the appearance of your vehicle. But more importantly, a quality tire shine is formulated to protect your tires from harmful UV rays, grime, and other contaminants on today’s roadways. As a result, regularly using tire shine will protect your tires from fading and cracking, revitalizing the rubber.
When shopping for a quality tire shine, stick with reputable car care manufacturers. These companies will offer long-lasting products, so you don’t have to constantly apply tire shine to your car. In fact, some of our recommended products will last weeks and may not even need to be applied every wash, depending on your environmental conditions.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the best tire shines you can buy and why they’re better than the rest of the competition. For more information on the best tire shines, refer to our table of contents.
Table of contents
1. Editor's Pick: Meguiar's Endurance Tire Gel
There are some tire shines on the market that will last just a couple days after applying, which almost defeats the purpose. If you want something long lasting, Meguiar’s Endurance Tire Gel lives up to its name. This advanced formula will not only give your tires a brilliant, high gloss shine, but it’ll last weeks even through rain and car washes. This tire shine is formulated with specialized macropolymers and copolymers, helping protect your tires against UV damage.
Why is this our top pick? For starters, it’s a tire gel, so it’s easier to apply just the amount that you want. It may not be as easy as simply spraying your tire with tire shine, but you have more control by being able to apply thin coats. More importantly, the gel is a lot less messy and it won’t run or drip all over the place. Oh, and it comes from Meguiar’s, one of the most trusted brands in the car care industry.
- Long-lasting tire shine
- Formulated with specialized macropolymers and copolymers
- Helps protect your tires against UV damage
- Tire gel makes it easy to apply just the right amount
- Don’t worry about runs or drips
- It’s Meguiar’s!
2. TriNova Tire Shine Spray
If you want a cost-efficient solution, TriNova offers its tire shine spray in a gallon size. Designed to give your tires the dark and shiny appearance you crave, this product will also protect your tires from fading, cracking, yellowing, and other signs of deteriorating. Its formula also provides additional protection against outside elements, so you can stop worrying about water spots or salt stains that make your tires look dirty.
You can also control the amount of shine you want by simply adjusting how long you leave the spray on your tires. The longer it stays on your tires before wiping it off, the more shine you’ll see. Get a slick and dark finish that lasts with this tire shine that’s made in the U.S.
- Leaves behind a dark and shiny appearance
- Protects tires from fading, cracking, and yellowing
- Offers additional protection against outside elements
- Control the amount of shine you want
- Long-lasting finish
- Made in the U.S.
3. Chemical Guys Tire Kicker Tire Shine
This slick, sprayable formula from Chemical Guys blends premium water-based dressing with extra gloss enhancers and UV blockers for a versatile tire shine that can also be used on textured plastic, rubber, and vinyl parts. That means in addition to leaving your tires nice and shiny, you can use this product on faded plastic body parts to give them a like-new, deep black appearance. You can even apply it on your dash, door panels, or vinyl seats to give your interior a bright wet shine.
Formulated to help prevent future fading from sunlight, this tire shine finishes dry to the touch. That means you can simply wipe away any excess material to avoid dripping, running, and tire sling. Blended with weatherproof ingredients, this tire shine will keep your tires and any other parts you choose to use it on black, shiny, and glossy for weeks. So if you want something that’s safe to use on your tires and various black body parts and interior panels, Chemical Guys is the way to go.
- Premium water-based dressing with extra gloss enhancers and UV blockers
- Can be used on textured plastic, rubber, and vinyl parts
- Restores faded plastic body parts
- Even safe to use on your dash, door panels, and vinyl seats
- Prevents future fading from sunlight
- Finishes dry to the touch
4. Carfidant Ultimate Tire Shine Spray
From Carfidant is a unique nano-polymer, water-based formula that will leave your tires looking slick, wet, and dark. The company’s Ultimate Tire Shine protects your tires from harmful UV rays, salt, and other road grime with just a few sprays. As a nice bonus, Carfidant includes an applicator with its tire shine.
The patented spray formula is safe to use on all tires and rubber trims, designed to penetrate and bond to the tire to prevent cracking, fading, and weather wear. It’s a long-lasting tire shine and Carfidant has built a solid reputation with great customer service, providing a full refund if you’re not satisfied with its product.
- Unique nano-polymer, water-based formula
- Leaves tires looking slick, wet, and dark
- Protects tires from harmful UV rays, salt, and other road grime
- Includes an applicator
- Safe to use on all tires and rubber trims
- Penetrates and bonds to the tire
- Prevents cracking, fading, and weather wear
- Long-lasting shine
- Full refund if you’re not satisfied!
5. Adam's Tire Shine
Our final recommendation is available in a variety of sizes: 1 gallon, 5 gallon, and 16 ounce. Adam’s Tire Shine is formulated with the perfect amount of silicone that is not greasy, so it won’t run or sling when it’s properly applied. This long-lasting, SiO2-infused solution creates a nice glossy sheen, while durable silica polymers keeps your tires shiny even longer. And if how it smells matters to you, this tire shine will remind you of bananas. Or as Adam’s Polishes says, it’s “because the shine and longevity of this product is bananas.”
If you’ve been paying attention to the car care market, you’ve likely heard of ceramic paint protection products. Those use SiO2, and given how well it protects the body of your vehicle, Adam’s has successfully used SiO2 in its tire shine. That means a silica-infused product that lasts longer and offers even better protection. The company also offers a combo kit that includes its tire applicator.
- Available in a variety of sizes: 1 gallon, 5 gallon, and 16 ounce
- Formulated with SiO2
- Durable silica polymers keep tires shiny and protected
- Smells like bananas
- Also available as a combo kit that includes Adam’s tire applicator
6. CAR GUYS Tire Shine
The CAR GUYS brand offers a wide assortment of car care products and its tire shine features a non-greasy, dry to the touch formula. Designed to be quick and easy to apply, it’s available in either an 18-ounce bottle or a 1-gallon jug. What’s nice about this product is that you can control the level of shine—just simply use more of the product if you want a high gloss finish, or less if you want a satin look.
The company says the tire shine is long-lasting and leaves behind UV protection to protect your tires from fading, browning, and cracking. One layer of the product is enough to hydrate the surface, using a proprietary polymer additive to extend longevity. It comes with an easy-to-use applicator pad and since it dries to the touch, you won’t have to deal with any of it slinging off onto the body of your car.
- Available in 18-ounce and one-gallon sizes
- UV protection
- Control the shine
- Long-lasting formula
- Dries to the touch
What is Tire Shine and Why do I Need It?
As its name suggests, tire shine is designed to give your tires a nice glossy and shiny black appearance, just like when your car left the dealership lot. But in addition to making your car look even cleaner, a quality tire shine will protect your tires from UV rays, road grime, and other contaminants. Also known as tire dressing, tire shine works to revitalize your tire rubber, helping prevent fading, cracking, and hardening. They’re generally easy to apply, but you do want to avoid products that run or drip, leading to sling off that could affect your car’s finish.
Tips for Using Tire Shine
It may seem as simple as applying the tire shine after you wash your car, but there are a few steps you can take to make sure the tire shine not only lasts, but works as intended. As always, it’s recommended to follow the manufacturer’s instructions—but here are some general tips for using tire shine:
- Start by making sure you’ve thoroughly cleaned the surface of the tire. We recommend using a tire cleaner!
- Always apply the tire shine on a cool surface, ideally in the shade.
- Use the recommended amount of tire shine and spread it evenly across the tire.
- Wipe off any excess tire shine, paying close attention to grooved areas to avoid spin-off.
- If you accidentally get any tire shine on your wheel, wipe it off with a separate microfiber towel.
- If your tire is too shiny, wipe the tire with a separate cloth immediately after application.
- If you’re satisfied with the results after the first application, let the tire shine dry and cure. This could take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the product.
- If after curing you want even more shine, apply a second coat to your tire.
- If you do notice any spin-off on plastic or painted panels, wipe it off immediately to avoid potential staining.
March 18, 2021: Added a new recommendation, CAR GUYS tire shine.
We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works.