As automotive enthusiasts, we love caring for our cars. That means regular car washes that we do ourselves, along with detailing sessions where we give our cars proper attention with a coat of wax and thoroughly cleaning the interior. But no car wash is complete without applying some tire shine, which not only makes your tires look shiny and new, but also protects them from fading, cracking, and hardening. When it comes to tire shines, there are plenty of options to choose from.
There are a few aspects we take into consideration when choosing our top picks: how easy they are to apply, how much of a mess they leave behind, and how long they last. If all you care about is the look, then most tire shines will give you that glossy appearance. But it’s important to know which ones last longer and which ones won’t “spit” off your tires. Below, you’ll find our recommendations for the best tire shines, along with information on why we chose them to be the best, and what you can expect from using them. We also have some more general information and tips about tire shines after our picks.
1. Top pick: Meguiar’s Endurance Tire Gel
For years, Meguiar’s Endurance Tire Gel has been my preferred tire shine despite all the new products out on the market. One of the main reasons why I prefer it over others is how easy it is to apply. I typically use a Chemical Guys foam applicator, which also allows me to control the amount of shine I give my tires. It’s not as easy as just spraying something onto your tires and letting it settle, but I always found that to be a dripping mess and an uneven amount of shine.
I also find that it typically lasts longer than competing tire shines when using a similar amount of product. Meguiar’s does say the Endurance Tire Gel is formulated with advanced polymers to protect your tires against UV damage and browning. If you are careful with the application, you shouldn’t get any of the gel spitting off your tires when you drive away. But if you do happen to get any on plastic or painted body panels, you’ll want to wipe it off right away to avoid staining your paint.
This is the best tire shine if you have the patience to apply it properly. If you want more shine, you just add additional coats after your first one cures, which takes about 10 minutes.
Check Price on Walmart
2. Runner-up Chemical Guys Tire Kicker Tire Shine
If you prefer less of a slick shine, I recommend this product from Chemical Guys. Although it is a spray, I still apply it using an applicator pad rather than spraying it directly onto my tires. In fact, I recommend always using an applicator when using any tire shine. As for this product, it’s dry to the touch and leaves behind a much more natural appearance to your tire than the wet look other products have.
Since this is a water-based dressing, you can safely use it on rubber, vinyl, or plastic pieces throughout your car to give it a clean look. I found it to last a little shorter than other tire shines, but it’s also typically a more affordable product. Plus, Chemical Guys has great customer service and I tend to use many of its other car care products.
Check Price on Walmart
3. Premium pick: Adam’s Graphene Tire Dressing Combo
Graphene has quickly become the latest “craze” in automotive detailing, with some claiming that it offers better protection and longevity than comparable ceramic products. It’s especially debatable whether it has benefits when being used in a tire dressing, but Adam’s Polishes is out to prove that it does. The company mixed its reduced graphene-oxide ceramic resins into a tire shine and says its graphene tire dressing offers better protection than other products.
It’s a water-based, silicone dressing that also repels water due to the graphene-oxide ceramic resins. That helps keep dirt and liquid off your tires, keeping the sidewalls nice and clean in between washes. Personally, I liked the finish this tire dressing had to offer and I did find it quick to dry. It didn’t leave behind any sort of mess and its longevity is similar to Chemical Guys’ tire dressing. The reason why it sits here on the list is its price — it’s typically more expensive than other tire dressings.
4. CAR GUYS Tire Shine
It’s one of the most popular, affordable tire shines on the market. From CAR GUYS, this tire dressing caters to the average vehicle owner who cares less about longevity and more about its appearance. It’s a non-greasy, dry to the touch formula that also provides UV protection for your tires. It’s not something I have personally tested yet (it’s on our list!) but based on user reviews and forum discussions, I’m confident in recommending it to our readers.
You’ll likely find a single coat of it doesn’t provide a lot of shine, so you’ll have to apply additional coats for the finish you want. The biggest complaint I found online is that it generally doesn’t last very long, even with the right prep. You can also use this to restore some luster to general plastic, rubber, or vinyl pieces throughout your car’s exterior and interior.
While it does come with an applicator pad, it’s a rather basic one. I’d still recommend purchasing an applicator found at the bottom on this list.
5. TriNova Tire Shine Spray
My final recommendation comes from TriNova, a brand that has grown in popularity over recent years. It’s another budget pick that offers similar performance to CAR GUYS’ product, based on user reviews. Again, I haven’t had a chance to go hands-on with this product just yet, but it is on our list and we’ll be updating this post when we do some testing.
I found that most users are generally pleased with this product and it does come with what appears to be a decent applicator. It leaves behind a nice shine, but some say it doesn’t last very long. TriNova does claim it’s formulated to offer UV protection for your tires.
Check Price on Walmart
6. Recommended applicator: Chemical Guys Wonder Wave Durafoam
This is my go-to tire shine applicator. It’s easy to use, affordable, and helps you apply your tire shine evenly. This applicator pad measures 4″ by 4″, so it fits nicely in your hands. More importantly, it’s washable and reusable, and can be used to help detail your interior.
7. Alternative applicator: Adam’s Pro Tire Hex Grip
Another tire applicator that I keep in my garage is Adam’s Pro Tire Hex Grip. It’s probably more comfortable to use with its ergonomic grip compared to Chemical Guys’ blocky applicator, but its footprint isn’t as friendly for low profile tires. We suspect many Porsche owners have low profile tires, which is why I believe the Chemical Guys’ applicator is better overall. But really, you can’t go wrong with either applicator — just make sure you get one.
Check Price on Walmart
Tips to properly apply tire shine
One of the biggest complaints with tire shines is that they don’t last very long, despite many users saying their application lasted weeks. The main reason why there’s such a big difference in results, is how dirty the tires are prior to applying tire shine. The best advice I can give is to properly clean your tires with a tire brush before applying tire shine, so that it can stick to the surface and do its job.
I also recommend using an applicator, instead of spraying the product directly onto your tires. This helps ensure the tire shine doesn’t drip all over your wheels or accidentally gets on your body panels. Apply your tire shine or gel to the applicator, and then wipe the applicator over your tire.