When it comes to matters making your car stand out, tire dressing happens to be one of those “little things” that makes all the difference. Nevertheless, tire dressing is not as simple as it sounds or seems. This is because there are multiple dressing products available. Which begs the question, is tire shine bad for your wheels, tires, and paint?
Tire dressing prevents dirt and brake grime from collecting on the tire’s surface. It’s also a great method of preventing dirty water from splashing on the inner fenders and the car body. Although using soapy water works great in removing the dirt, tire shine affords you the advantage of acting as a protective layer for the tires.
To truly understand whether tire shines are harmful, we need to establish the components on a tire shine.
Tire Dressing Components
One of the major components of the two types of tire dressings is the active ingredient known as silicone fluid. This is a chemically inert element that is non-toxic to both the human and environment. However, silicone does interfere with the way paint application is done. It’s for this reason that many car body paint shops decided to do away with it.
Contemporary tire dressing products featured a mixture of silicone and quick-drying solvents. Once applied, the solvent would rapidly evaporate leaving behind a thin coat of silicone fluid. However, due to the flammable nature of the products, a few of them saw the light of the day.
Fast forward to today, there are two major types of tire shines on the market—solvent-based and water based. Whereas the two are similar in most aspects, their similarities stop at the components that make each.
Solvent-based Tire Shine
Although these types of tire shines easily dissolve into solvents, many people consider them as volatile organic carbon compounds. Volatile organic compounds have seen the best of regulation as they contribute to harmful carbon emissions.
We are all privy to the fact that carbon emissions have greatly contributed to global warming and depleting the air quality in areas where there are factories. Although the solvent-based tire dressings don’t have the ozone-depleting compounds like those produced by factories, a good number is extremely flammable some even more than gasoline. And for this reason, the motor vehicle industry is slowly moving away from them.
Most solvent-based tire dressings that are used today work in a similar manner as their traditional counterparts used to. However, they evaporate at a much slower rate which calls for thin layers application using a sponge rather than spraying them onto tires which prevents slinging.
Water-based Tire Shine
In the case of water-based tire shines, the solvent is substituted with water. Naturally, silicone fluid and water don’t mix, what this means is that the liquid is broken into micro-droplets that are suspended in water.
Most of these products use surfactants in order to stabilize the emulsion but also makes the silicone easily wash off the tire. Premium products have also found a way of incorporating thickeners and stabilizers, which prevents the shine from de-apply as time goes on.
Solvent-based Tire Shine vs Water-based Tire Shine
Although it may appear as if we have exhausted everything there is about the types of tire shines, there are other minor specs that a first-time user would never know about. For instance, water-based tire shines are generally milky looking with the solvents being clear or blue. They sit on the tire surfaces which means the shine tends to fade more quickly.
Solvent dressings, on the other hand, are slightly on the greasy side and protect the tires by expanding the rubber pores which allows the silicone to permeate through the surface. They are long-lasting and more water resistant. However, when used over extended periods of time, they may discolor the tires or even alter the rubber compositions.
When put on a head to head, it all depends on how hard you are willing to push the envelope to get the shine. If you would want a product that won’t damage the integrity of your tires the former is the best. However, you will have to compromise on the shine. For a long-lasting shine, you can settle for the latter keeping in mind that there is a risk.
So, is tire shine bad for paint?
Some tire dressings may stain the paint. However, a majority of them aren’t harmful and a simple wash and wipe will do the trick. Sometimes even the stain most people talk about isn’t necessarily a stain but a sling. It’s as a result of the tire bloom and not the dressing. What the dressing does is just transport the blooming residue uses to reach the paint.
The good news is that once exposed to the sun, the stain eventually fades off. If you aren’t patient enough to wait for the sun, you can try wiping off the stain using a machine applied paint cleaner.
Other great products that you can try include:
Here is a small video from Youtube about applying tire shine on paint and windows:
Is Tire Shine Bad for Rims?
The biggest enemy for tire rims is brake dust. These small metal particles tend to collect at the rim base. Once you brake, they get heated and come together forming fairly larger metal lumps which could eventually lead to a puncture.
The best way to keep your rims popping is cleaning them using a scrubbing brush and soapy water. Instead of tire shine, you can polish them with wax which also works great. However, if it makes you happy to use a tire shine, you can try out and it does not matter what to choose spray gel or foam. After all, having a shiny car without inflicting serious damages is all that matters.
This detailed article will help you to find the proper answer to the question: Does tire shine damage or ruin tires.
As you can see, tire shine is not bad for your wheels tires, and paint. In terms of the wheels and tires, it helps protect from harmful elements hence reducing the rapid degradation. That is why such products are widely used by car dealers. When applied to paint, tire shine leaves stains although they can be easily washed off. However, you may want to reconsider applying tire shine on plastic trims. Many people have reported irreparable damages as a result of tire shine coming into contact with plastics. Be careful and choose only the proper, tested products for your plastic trims.