So, you wanted to get a nice tire shine for your wheels but then you felt into the mysterious triad of tire shines: foam, spray, and gel.
At this moment, you probably started making questions like “tire shine foam vs spray” or “tire shine spray vs gel”, but don’t worry, I will address each point thoroughly, and I’ll also feature some of the best products in each category.
Choosing a dedicated tire shine, regardless of foam, spray or gel, is the best option, and you already had the good judgment to do so! Some people might be inclined to use a common dishwasher soap, but, surprisingly, the rather gentle chemicals used in dishwashers have a devastating effect on your wheel’s wax protection.
- Pros, Cons & Special Features
- Tire Shine Foam
- Special Featured Product Rewiew: Armor All’s Tire Foam Protectant
- Tire Shine Spray
- Featured tire shine spray review: Meguiar’s Hot Shine Tire Spray
- Tire Shine Gel
- Meguiar’s Endurance Tire Gel – The featured product review
- Conclusion. What is better for tire shining: gel, foam or spray
Now, let’s get into each kind of tire shine and let us review which one suits you the most!
Pros, Cons & Special Features
Tire Shine Foam
Tire shine foam is applied either as a spray or with a foam applicator (which might be the better option, if you don’t have an adjustable nozzle), to apply it you just have to shake the can, apply it to your tires with your desired method (applying it to wet tires works the best) and letting it dwell and dry for about 5 to 10 minutes.
The way foam works is, as implied, by applying a thick foam layer that penetrates into your tires and activates its powerful blend of conditioners and chemicals, ripping the dirt away without scrubbing.
Generally, you should consider washing your tires first, not only because foam works better in wet tires, but because you might desire to get rid of the “easy” dirt so that your foam attacks the sticky dirt.
- Does the work fine without scrubbing.
- Penetrates deep into your tires.
- Lasts a lot.
- Can leave a mess if it is not properly applied.
- Application is delicate.
- Might need some agitation for some tires.
Special Featured Product Rewiew: Armor All’s Tire Foam Protectant
Armor All has been offering good products for a long time, and their Tire Foam Protectant is one of their best and featured products.
Its formula isn’t just meant for cleaning, it can enhance your tires looks just as it can protect it from dirt and other harmful elements that eventually lead to cracking or fading.
The best part of all is its great cleaning ease, while you still have to take care when applying it, all you need to do is wrap your tires with the foam and it’ll eat away all that dirt with no scrubbing at all!
The 20 Oz bottle should last for about 44 tires (or 11 sessions) and its price is great!
Tire Shine Spray
Tire shine spray functions pretty much like spray paint, you just hold it down and bath your tires with it. It’s a little finicky to use however, you need to wipe it down once you’re done spraying or you risk staining your paint.
In contrast to the others, cleaning your tires with spray is much faster, just be sure to get an adjustable nozzle and to take into consideration the direction and strength of the wind, as it might blow the spray away, greatly diminishing its potential. Sprays are generally not good for cleaning wheels, so you might be limited to cleaning your tires with your spray.
If you’d rather not overspray or just prefer to control your spray’s output, you could spray on a cloth/towel and then apply it to your tires.
- Easy to use.
- Generally cheaper.
- Cleans tires thoroughly.
- Doesn’t last as long.
- Not good for cleaning wheels.
- Can stain paint if it is not wiped down or carefully applied.
Featured tire shine spray review: Meguiar’s Hot Shine Tire Spray
Meguiar’s products are a usual favorite amongst car detailers, and in the case of the Hot Shine Tire Spray, it’s so for a good reason.
It features an adjustable nozzle with set trigger spray patterns (excellent for avoiding overspray) which translates into more control and its formula gives a sleek black look for your tires.
Meguiar’s tire shine products are amoung the best that can be found on Amazon.com. This brand was mentioned as one of the best no-sling tire shiners.
The 24 Oz bottle should last for quite a few sessions, which is nice considering its serviceable price range. All in all, the 24 Oz bottle should last for about 13 sessions of 4 wheels.
Tire Shine Gel
Tire shine gels function much like foam does, you spread it in your tires and then you watch it vanquish all dirt from your tires. Generally, gels are harder to use, even more than foam, but gels last a lot more, and their protective nature shields tires from harmful elements, which is excellent!
There are many methods for applying gels, and they’re all hands-on mind you, I personally recommend utilizing a natural paint brush for this, with this method you’ll save product, minimize (or eliminate) sling and avoid getting your hands as dirty as with other methods.
Just coat your brush and dress your tires with the gel, if you’re using a smallish brush (which you should) you’ll be able of applying the dressing even in narrow spaces, once you feel the brush is dirty or stiff, you can clean it very quickly with common dishwashing detergents.
- Protects your tires.
- Leaves a milky look.
- Lasts even longer than foam is properly applied
- It is harder to apply.
- Requires scrubbing and brushing.
- Generally more expensive.
Meguiar’s Endurance Tire Gel – The featured product review
There’s a lot of debate regarding tire shines and dressings, but most people using gel-type shines prefer the Endurance Tire Gel, and there’s reason for that.
The gel sports an advanced formula that not only “endures” time a lot, but it also “endures” harmful agents such as UV light.
It leaves tires looking shiny and glossy for weeks and with proper application, the bottle can last a lot of sessions.
The 16 Oz. bottle’s price is reasonable, considering what it offers, but certainly higher than the other featured products.
Conclusion. What is better for tire shining: gel, foam or spray
The decision between gel, foam, and spray rests on your needs. If you’re looking for a cheap, effective clean, sprays got your back as they’re easy to use and cheap.
If you’re looking for a mixture of cheap, effective clean, and protection, consider foams. And lastly, if you’re looking for potent cleaning and protection, for a few extra bucks, gels got you covered. You may choose from one, that is recomended by RimsNdTires here.
It doesn’t matter what tire shine product you will choose, you should know all secret tips how to apply it for the maximum result.
I hope this article helped you clarify a few key concepts about tire dressings! Good luck!