You've just spent hours washing and waxing your car, but it doesn't look as good as the first day you brought it home. Why? Well, it just might be those dingy tires. Faded or discolored tires, caused by the effects of sun and chemicals, can significantly detract from the overall appearance of your car. But, don't be discouraged, because by taking just a few extra steps, you can have a car that will be the envy of your neighborhood and local car show. Here's how the final detail, shining your tires, can make all the difference.
Tire Shine Products
Fortunately, there are several products specifically designed to put the shine back in your tires. Three of the more popular products come in aerosol spray foam, pump spray, and wipe-on gels. Regardless of which of these shine products you use, you'll see a definite improvement in your tires' appearance. However, before you make your selection, here are some factors to consider.
- How long will the shine last? Typically, the results of spray-on products are short term. So, to maintain your tires' shine, they need to be reapplied more frequently. Hand-applied gels will keep your tires looking newer much longer, up to 3 months, depending on weather conditions.
- How much time and effort is required? Spray-on products are easier to apply, they require less time, and they aren't as messy. Only a few seconds for each tire, and you're done. However, unless you remove the overspray from the wheels, it will attract dust that will diminish the overall appearance of your car.
- Does the product completely dry? That wet look may be your objective, but tire shine products that don't completely dry are short-term cover-ups, and should be avoided. Besides attracting dust, they may rub off on clothing, and residue may fly off of the tires onto the body of the car.
Steps for Detailing Your Tires
Here are some simple steps to get a lasting, new-tire look.
- Remove road grime from the sidewalls using a brush, mild soap, and water. For best results, use cleansers specifically designed for rubber.
- For a longer-lasting shine, make sure the tires are dry before you apply tire care products.
- Apply a tire rejuvenator periodically to lay a good foundation for routine tire maintenance. These products contain black dye that will restore tires to their original dark color, so be sure to read labels before applying products to tires with white sidewalls or raised lettering. You may want to use rubber gloves to avoid getting the darkening agent on your hands.
- For the finishing touch, apply tire dressing. For optimal results, use a hand applicator to distribute the product evenly around each tire's sidewall. A single application should result in a good satin shine, but you'll need to apply a second coat, if you want more of a wet look.
Content by DM Reesling.