Best Tire Shines: Rise 'n Shine

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

Top 8 Best Tire Shine Products

Hands up if your spouse has ever stood in the with a perplexed look as you applied tire shine to the ride-on lawnmower. Anyone? No? Well, I guess it’s just me and my fanaticism for clean machinery, then.

In any case, there’s plenty of room in your arsenal of car care products for a bottle of tire shine. It’s a great topper to an afternoon detailing session, like a cherry on top of a sundae, or perfect for a quick spritz to jazz things up when the rest of your ride is looking a bit unkempt. It’s the equivalent to wearing a nice shiny pair of shoes.

Even the lawn tractor can appreciate that.

Table of Contents

1. Editor's Choice: Meguiar's Ultimate Insane Shine Tire Coating

Kicking things off is this well-known brand that hawks car cleaning products of all kinds. They have more than one tire shine offering, with this one being marketed as providing an 'insane shine' and is best pronounced with the vigor of the announcer at a monster truck rally.

So-called advanced resin technology is said to provide the long-lasting finish while a secret brew of anti-odorants offers protection against cracking and fading. It's a one-step program, with users simply spraying the stuff onto the tire sidewall and walking away.

Pros

  • Great reviews, trusted name, easy application

Cons

  • Frequently on sale so watch the pricing

Bottom Line

  • A reliable choice

2. Chemical Guys Extra Glossy Tire Shine

Going beyond the just-for-tires playbook, this product from Chemical Guys is marketed as a tire shine but is also marketed to work on vinyl, rubber, and plastic car parts. In other words, it should rejuvenate that turned-to-grey plastic cladding on your knackered Chevrolet Avalanche.

This stuff is a spray and said to leave that 'wet' look after it is correctly applied. In a fit of comedy, the ad states this stuff "won't rub off on your shoes whenever kicking a tire." No mention is made about lighting fires, so Maverick is outta luck (again). Chemical Guys says this dressing helps prevent future fading from sunlight.

Pros

  • Highly regarded, easy-to-use

Cons

  • Reports of a cheap spray nozzle

Bottom Line

  • Well-known for a reason

3. STP 'Son of a Gun' One Step Tire Care

Your author clicked on this product for one reason and one reason only: nostalgia. Back in the early '90s when cable television showed up in our part of rural Canada, it brought the wonderment of NASCAR to this young gearhead. The rest is history.

It turns out that the benefits of this product go beyond the strangely reassuring image of The King and the throwback 'Son of a Gun' marketing. Reviews are favorable, centering on the handiness of its spray-and-walkaway application and its propensity to protect surfaces against future discolorations.

Pros

  • Easy to use, there's a picture of Richard Petty on it

Cons

  • A bit expensive

Bottom Line

  • Retro rewind to the '90s

4. TriNova Tire Shine

If you're the type to shine your car's tire sidewalls every other day or have a propensity to spruce up vehicles belonging to your buddies when they pop over for a visit, it might not be a bad idea to save a few shillings and pick up an entire gallon of the stuff.

TriNova’s calls its tire shine spray one of the easiest ways to give your tires a dark and shiny look. They promise that with just a single coating, your car's tires will be guarded against fading, cracking, and yellowing. This is an industrial-sized jug of commercial-grade product.

Pros

  • Robust stuff and plenty of it

Cons

  • Bring yer own spray bottle

Bottom Line

  • This stuff will last awhile

5. Carfidant Ultimate Tire Shine Spray

Barring a cringe-inducing brand name - the word 'carfindant' is surely the king of all car-based dad jokes - this tire shine seems to have a pretty devoted fan base. It promotes itself as having a unique nano-polymer formula unlike all other tire shine products.

According to the seller, just a few sprays and a quick wipe with our included applicator will give your tire will look that slick look s if your vehicle just rolled off the showroom floor. It also insists that its ingredients will protect tires against dry rot and road grime.

Pros

  • Purported advanced formula, includes an applicator

Cons

  • That branding

Bottom Line

  • An interesting new challenger emerges

6. Black Magic BM23 Tire Wet (Pack of 4)

If you're going to buy tire shine today, there's a solid chance you're going to buy more of it in the future. After all, one doesn't (generally) wake up one morning and stop caring about their car's appearance after a lifetime of shining the thing into the next dimension.

Here's a 4-pack of tire shine - marketed as Tire Wet - from the folks at Black Magic. This company has a robust presence on Amazon, lending credence to their advertisements and a dollop of security that one's money just won't vanish into the ether after hitting the 'Buy Now' button. As for the product, reviews are good and the price is right.

Pros

  • Very reasonable cost for a quartet of bottles

Cons

  • Your moron buddies might pilfer some

Bottom Line

  • You'll use it all - eventually

7. Armor All Extreme Tire Shine

Surely this black-and-yellow company is one of the most recognized auto care brands in its particular market. After all, it pops up with alarming regularity in gas stations, big-box superstores, and Amazon alike. Here, at least, it's well-priced with a pair of bottles being offered for a decent price.

Armor All insists their Extreme Tire Shine has extra gloss enhancers to produce an intense, mirror-like shine. It is said this stuff also conditions, nourishes, and preserves the rich black look of a tire. Real-world customers say it's easy to apply and doesn't leave any residue.

Pros

  • You know this brand inside out, great price

Cons

  • Someone's bound to accuse you of following the herd

Bottom Line

  • Ignore them and pick up a two-pack

8. Griot's Garage Black Shine Tire Gel

A tire gel differs from the other products on this list because it needs to be wiped or scrubbed on instead of just dispensed from a bottle or can. The company makes a point, saying this approach eliminates messy overspray and gives the car owner better control of the tire's gloss level.

While the latter may seem like a throwaway marketing shtick, they have a good point. With this product, one can make their tires display anything from a sedate satin finish to a glossy show shine. Water-resistant formula beads water so your whole car looks killer after a quick spray with the hose.

Pros

  • Professional results

Cons

  • Harder to apply than a simple spray

Bottom Line

  • Grab a foam applicator and get cracking

Tire Shine FAQs

That's a lot of different products.

You're not wrong. Some tire shine shows up for duty as a thin spray, some as a thick foam, and some as a drippy gel. Make sure to read the instructions before application, since a few of the recommendations on this list are of the walkaway variety while others need more attention.

Can I use this stuff 5 minutes before heading out on a hot date?

Yeah, right - as if any of the readers or authors on this site have hot dates lined up.

No, really.

Ok, ok. Several of the products shown here do need some amount of dry time, requiring the tire shine to sit and do its job before hitting the road. Some dry more quickly than others. A few, notably the gels, won't do your paint any favors; thanks to the scientific wonder called centrifugal force, the heavier gel is likely to flick off the tire once you start driving if not given the appropriate amount of time to set.

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.

(Editor’s note: This post is meant to both help you be an informed shopper for automotive products but also to pay for our ‘90s sedan shopping habits operating expenses. Some of you don’t find these posts fun, but they help pay for Junkyard Finds, Rare Rides, Piston Slaps, and whatever else. Thanks for reading.)

[Main photo credit: George Dolgikh / Shutterstock.com. Product images provided by the manufacturer.]

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

More by Matthew Guy

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  • Wiseweasel Wiseweasel on Feb 26, 2021

    As Urlik stated LAST YEAR(?!) I have become a big fan of the stoner "More Shine". It is thin aerosol and doesn't sling. Plus, if you wipe it after you spray it, it becomes matte, not glossy. Makes the tires look great for far longer than a regular wash would.

  • LostInTransit LostInTransit on May 16, 2023
    You really need to update your list and include the untouchable tire shine. This spray one and leave on tire shine is one of the best we've ever tested. But it's very hard to find in stores because it's so good. So if you happen to see it in stores, best buy the case or lot.
    comment photo
  • Aja8888 As I type this, my 4 months old Equinox's Onstar module that controls the phone is broken. Yep, 4 months (never worked right from day one). Replacement will be a REFURBISHED unit since no new ones can be obtained (from China?). I really don't miss the phone via Bluetooth. And I have a great Garmin that I have used for years for trips which has free lifetime maps and traffic.
  • Bd2 There's a reason why talented American execs have been leaving Stellantis in droves.Tavares seems intent in following "Le Cost Cutter" Ghosn into driving his company into the dirt, whilst "justifying" his ever expanding compensation.
  • Bd2 Too bad gm didn't make the C8 better looking to begin with...
  • GregLocock Not interested at all. Apparently I've got Apple car play but I've never used it in 3 years. The built in nav is ok.
  • Corey Lewis Probably worth about what they're asking, given its condition. The color combo isn't a desirable one, they look sharper in non-beige shades. Like two-tone green, maroon, navy, or gray. The end of the time when MB built its cars properly. No shame in turning up in a clean W126, they'll always command respect.
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