The Ultimate Guide for the Best Tire Shine: How to Clean Tires


Having the best tire shine further pushes the individuality that we already express in our choice of car. A clean and shinny tire adds that extra pizzaz to an already clean and waxed ride- especially a black car.

What’s better than a newly washed ride with freshly clean and vacuumed interior?

How about jet black wheels and sparkling rims (that wasn’t a question). Our tires upkeep and maintenance is just as important as keeping our headlights clean and clear for the road.

The Ultimate Guide to The Best Tire Shine

In this article we will cover the products you need to give your ride the best tire shine a car lover can give, whether you are on your way to a car show, a hot date or just taking it for a spin.

Today, all different type of wheels are used around the world, depending on the region you are in, you may have a particular preference. The most common you see on the road today is steel rims with a plastic hubcaps. More high end cars have chrome and aluminum alloy rims.

Typically performance vehicles use aluminum alloy because of their weight and strength. It is important to take note of the type of material because depending on the type you can damage the wheel.

Chrome and aluminum alloy requires special upkeep and maintenance and your environment is the main varying factor. Regardless of what your wheels are made of, the appeal of the tire is the most essential.

In order to make your car really grab attention it deserves, you have to take into consideration how much appeal does the wheels give off. The key to that appeal is a good looking tire, these products provide some of the best tire shines!

The process of getting the best tire shine takes a few steps, involves a few products and a little elbow grease- Just as you would need when waxing your car.

“How To Clean Tires” Video

Related: The Best All Season Tires

The Best Tire Cleaners

It is important to keep in mind that cleaning your tires is a process, and to be the most effective you want to take moderately progressive steps when cleaning your wheels.

It is not recommended that you start with a harsh chemical that puts your wheels at risk. First start with a mild product like an all purpose cleaner like the Mothers Tire and Wheel Cleaner and if you desire better results then you use the next product.

Be conscious of what your are made of, aluminum and chrome wheels can endure a stronger cleaner unlike painted wheels or anodized wheels that need a milder cleaning product.

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In order to ensure the best appeal its good to understand the importance of basic maintenance.

Depending on which product you use some shine for a week others can last more than a month. Regardless a simple wash is important no less than every other week, this helps every time you want to add another layer of shine for a longer lasting gloss.

A tire that has been cleaned properly before the application of the product of choice can increase durability and prevent tire sling.

Drying your tires is one of the most important procedures of the process leaving excess gel, liquid, etc can be detrimental to not only the detailing of your product but the performance as well.

Microfiber chamois provide a safe, versatile and efficient method for drying your vehicle. Whether you’re in a rush or if you choose to be thorough this is the product for cleaning to achieve the best tire shine.

BLACKFIRE All-In-One All Purpose Cleaner is a powerful cleaner and degreaser its versatility is why it stands out more than others. Its 4:1 dilution ratio gives you a powerful cleaner thats still mild enough to use on not only interior but also exterior components. From tar to food stains this degreasers provides you with a one stop cleaner and is also environmentally friendly.

Tire Dressing

Tire dressings provide beautiful shine on your tires but it is important to pay attention to the amount of product you apply and if using a foam or spray avoid applying to the wheel itself.

Some dressings are good because they can be diluted and still effective, this not only gives more use to the product but it can save money in the long term. Diluting your products is something you may want to take into consideration if you have special paint jobs. By diluting the dressing you can create a less harsh product when applying on your vehicle.

See: Top Car Buffers for Beginners 

Follow manufacturer’s suggestion for proper dilution ratios and practices. One minor problem with dressing is you have to be careful when applying them around the treads especially if you choose not to dilute the product, but this has an affect on all products.

Water based products are often a combination of natural and synthetic oils that give a refreshing new appearance to the tires.

When using a environmentally conscious water based product you don’t have to worry about the tire dressing sling like you do with a silicon based product. Depending on what water based products you use some contain UV blocking agents that prevent the cracking of your tires.

Silicon based product is the cause for the slinging of the product, which often leads to holes not only in the wheel well but fenders.

Also silicone based products have a glossy shine but have a tendency to brown after an extended period of time. Tire browning is from a result of anti-ozonant which is a chemical in the tire to help prevent degradation.

The cause of this is due to oxidation which cannot be prevented yet it can be carefully monitored. Washing your your vehicle with an all purpose cleaner like black fire apc helps remove the top layers. Thats why so many people today prefer a water based products.

The silicon products are more for the old school complete metal bodies that parents grew up driving. Regardless of your preference there are many products on the market but we it comes to quality its hard to beat these two products for the best tire shine.

Black Magic Tire Wet Spray (32 oz.) is a water based dressing that provides a shine like no other and doesn’t require as much work as a gel. The best thing about a spray of this caliber is you get a beautiful long lasting shine and you don’t have to wipe it off like other products. Also this is one of the only products on the market that has 3 separate settings  pending on your tire preference.

Meguiar’s G12024 Hot Shine High Gloss Tire Spray – 24 oz. is a top notch spray that is for a more conventionally patient car enthusiasts. Meguiars hot shine requires more time than a spray yet its worth it. Meguiars has water resistant and antiozonant technology that provides a healthy long life for you tires. Hot shine not only protects against browning which we discuss earlier but it helps against fading and cracking as well.

Related: Whats the Best Snow Tires?

Tire Shine Accessories

It is important to have the proper applicator when using when shining your tires, a common mistake is people using the same applicator for the wheels as they do with the rubber. This can be hazards to both the wheel and the tire.

Think if you’re cleaning your tire with a brush and a debris or a rock get caught in the brush once you begin scrubbing the wheel you can scratch your wheel or vice versa remove the film from the tire.

A good thing to keep in mind is you use hard bristles for rubber- like the Mothers Contoured Tire Brush and soft for wheels. Many tire shining products come with there own applicators which is important to use because of the cohesiveness of the product and the applicator.

Microfibers are your cars best friend, whipping your tires and wheels down after cleaning not only removes residue but it evenly distributes the product on the tire to give it the good look you’re looking for.

Tire Wax & Rejuvenators

If you’re looking to restore a tires to its glorious appearance it once had, wax and rejuvenators are where you want to go.

Although you may not be able to completely remove tire blooming a well wax tire can give a elegant shine that hides the browning of the edge of the tire. A good way to to get the best way to get the appeal you’re looking for use a degreaser before applying the wax or rejuvenator.

A automotive degreaser helps not only to remove a buildup but some actually penetrate the rub and help the tire remain soft and flexible.

Related: AutoDeets Top Car Buffer Picks

One major factor thats over looked when detailing a car is the amount of time the tires are used. When the vehicle remains stagnant it not only affects the mechanics but when the tires are dormant they don’t migrate. Migrate is the process of the tires move about and evenly distribute the anti-ozonant.

Griot’s Garage Tire Rejuvenator or Griot’s Garage 11044 Long Lasting Tire Dressingis the product for you if you feel you’re not quite getting the results you want.

Griot’s has a lifespan of up to three months between applications and helps cover up fading and cracking tires. Griot’s also holds up well against heavy rain for people that have vehicles in tropical and mountainous regions.

Bonus Video: How to Clean Tires with Discoloration

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