What is Tyre Shine? Is it Bad for Tyres?

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The use of tyre shine may not be something that every car owner is confident with using, as it isn’t a necessary step of cleaning the exterior of a car clean. If you have never used tyre shine before and you are interested in whether it will work wonders for your car’s tyres, then this article will offer a helpful insight into whether it is worth doing.

Table Of Contents

What is Tyre Shine?

Tyre shine (also known as tyre dressing) is a chemical liquid solution that is designed to restore the appearance of weary looking tyres. It is usually sold in spray bottles, so it can be easily sprayed onto tyres.

If you are looking for a permanent solution for improving the look of your tyres, tyre shine isn’t the answer as it’s designed to temporarily make tyres look more appealing. Each solution is different with some claiming to last up to 12 months, but typically we’d expect it to last between 2-3 months, so in order to keep a tyre looking in tip top condition, the solution should be applied quarterly.

Reasons why people use tyre shine

Car enthusiasts use tyre shine to make their tyres look more appealing but beyond this, there is no performance advantage.

Some tyre shines gives tyres a clean matte finish whilst others result in a glossier finish. Tyre shine can even make slightly dirty wheels look more presentable, so it is used particularly when a car is about to be put on show.


How to Use Tyre Shine… Properly!

Here is our step by step guide to applying tyre shine the correct way:

Step one: If you want to make the product last, it is a good idea to give your tyres are thorough clean before applying the tyre shine. Tyre cleaner and soft bristled brush will help to ensure the tyre is clean. A microfibre cloth can be used after, to make sure all the excess dirt has been removed from the surface of the tyres.

Step two: Apply the tyre shine by using the applicator that comes with the tyre shine kit. Aerosol sprays can be risky, as the liquid can touch the breaks and therefore cause damage.

Step three: Leave the product on the tyre for around 20 mins, do not drive the vehicle whilst leaving the solution on the tyres, as the product will not work to its best ability.

Step four: Wipe the tyre shine off the tyres and then it is finished.


Water-Based vs Oil-Based Tyre Shine

If you decide to shop around and look at various products on the market, you’ll notice that there are both water based and oil-based (also called silicone) tyre shines.

Generally speaking, water-based tyre shine is easier to use that the oil-based equivalent, but does not always last as long. Here is a full breakdown of the pros and cons for each type:

Water based:

It’s more commonly used by professional car detailers.
It doesn’t slide as much as the oil-based version.
It’s easier to wash off, opposed to using oil-based shine.
Dust doesn’t stick to water-based tyre shine as much as it sticks to oil-based.
Can be applied indoors or outdoors
It doesn’t last as long as oil-based tyre shine.
It can leave brown marks on the tyre, if it is not maintained regularly.

Oil based:

It lasts longer than a water-based solution.
Gives a tyre a glossier appearance.
If applied incorrectly, it can cause damage to a tyre.
It can easily ‘sling’ onto a car’s paintwork.
Should only be applied in outdoor areas

There pros and cons for either type of tyre shine, it is really down to personal preference. It is a good idea to have a think about why you want to use tyre shine, how often you want to use it and lastly, the kind of results that you are looking for.

Personally, I would use water based tyre shine as it seems to be fool proof and If I’m not happy with the results, it is only temporary.


Is Tyre Shine Bad for Tyres?

Tyre shine itself isn’t bad for tyres, but if it is used incorrectly it can cause unwanted damage. Particular attention must be paid to ensure the product only touches the desired areas. If tyre shine is sprayed onto a wheel and it touches the breaks, it could interfere with how well the breaking system performs.

It is important to follow the instructions for how to use tyre shine properly, as negligence can affect the impact tyre shine has on a tyre.

Does tyre shine crack your tyres?

Yes, if tyre shine is subject to prolonged exposure to the sun, it can cause cracking. After using tyre shine, it’s a good idea to shield your car from direct, heavy sunlight. If you cannot avoid these situations, then we wouldn’t recommend using tyre shine.

Oil based tyre shine in particular can cause cracks within the surface of a tyre, this is because the liquid contains Dimethal that uses petroleum solvents as a cleaning agent. As a result, this can strip some of the elasticity from vinyl, rubber and paint, leaving behind a dry inflexible surface, which can crack over time.


Final Thoughts

As long as the instructions have been followed and you have thought carefully about the best type of solution to use on your vehicle, tyre shine shouldn’t cause any harm or damage to your vehicle. The product is suitable for use by anyone of any car cleaning or detailing ability, so don’t be afraid to get stuck in and give it a go.

Featured image credit: Various-Photography from Pixabay