Tire shine is the final step in making your car look showroom new. When your car is clean and shiny, looking great after being washed and waxed, the contrast makes the tires look even more gray, dry and dull than they did when the car was dirty. They are thirsty for silicone and dried out from the sun’s UV rays, so tire shine solves both those problems. Back in the day, Armor All applied with a sponge was the way to go, but it wasn’t all that shiny and it did not last past the first good rain. Over time, though, it was worthwhile to keep the tires from drying out and cracking.
Tire wet sprays like Black Magic were better; they went on in minutes and gave a very wet, black look to the formerly grayish tire surface and Black Magic in particular had a pleasant cherry smell. It’s best to give it a while to soak in, because people complain about sling, which is the stuff getting on the car’s finish from the centrifugal force of the spinning tire. I never noticed that to be a problem, but I was concerned about someone maybe slipping and falling on the slick patch left on the driveway.
Now they make tire wet gel, once again applied with a sponge. We have come full circle. Modern tires now have such low aspect ratios that the spray will most certainly get on the rim when you aim for the tiny sidewall. Although the spray helpfully has a narrow setting on the nozzle, gel on the sponge applicator will get the shine on the tire where it belongs. You can apply as much or as little as you want for the desired level of shine, and best of all, it’s even a little bit rain resistant. Your tires will keep looking wet, even after they really do get wet.