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Is tire shine bad for tires?

Tire dressings – the compatibility with rubber

The compatibility of tire shine with rubber is a question of inquiring into the ingredients that make up the product. With countless products out there, it is a matter of checking out which manufacturer has the capability of engineering a product that does the job while there might be manufacturers who only focus on the immediate result and not the long term consequences. A scenario wherein the protectant might cause damage to the tire is absolutely terrible. It could become real if you are careless in picking the right product. Or you might just try out some harmless stuff lying inside your home like vegetable oil to get that shine instead of going in for a chemical-laden attack on your tires.

is tire shine harmful

Dangerous silicones

Any tire shine that is based on silicones can be bad for your tires if you are not able to wash it off easily. If you do not focus on getting the dressing off your tires before going in for a new application, you will indeed be causing harm to your tires. Looking into the aspect of the silicones itself, there is one type of silicone that is soluble in water. This has none of the problems that are usually reported from a tire shine product, which would be a product based on a silicone that is not soluble in water. This latter type of silicone is suspended in a solvent in which case the type of solvent is what determines any harmful action on your tires.

If this solvent is going to evaporate, it could cause a problem to the tire as it could lead to drying. However, when there is no evaporation, you get the best out of the silicone. This is possible with the right type of silicone compound and a company that knows what it is doing will be getting it exactly right so that there is no negative impact whatsoever on the tires. When you have the right product, there can be no problem. Unless of course, you mess up the application part.

You need your tires to be cleaned well before you put the tire shine on them. And then, you have to get the application right. If you do not go about the application in the prescribed manner, you might be having unintended results. Tires have to be clean and dry before the dressing is applied on them. It has to be mixed in the right proportions and applied on the sidewalls only.

 tire shine
Good tire shine looks great on tires

What is anti-ozonant?

Some information on the makeup of your tires will be helpful as you go about cleaning, maintaining and dressing them. Tires are made of a mix of compounds, sometimes up to three compounds might be present in a tire. One of the inputs is a material called an anti-ozonant. This material needs to be present on the surface of the tire to prevent degradation from exposure to the rays of the sun and one of the components of air called ozone. It is not just a coating on the tire. The tire is manufactured so that as it is being used up, anti-ozonant keeps getting brought on to the surface. It is this continuous process that causes the blooming of tires, which is term used to describe the brown coloring it acquires. So, the dressing has to be applied in an appropriate manner such that it does not interfere with this process of the anti-ozonant being brought to the surface repeatedly. The dressing has to work to overcome the brown color but not to cause more of it.

How can more blooming be caused by the dressing. Suppose the dressing is based on a solvent that reacts in a very active manner with the rubber instead of just staying affixed firm on the surface. This interrupts the cycle of the anti-ozonant and can cause more of it to get to the outside leading to a faster cycle. This might lead to more application of the dressing and ultimately an accelerated degradation of the tire.

Other harmful factors

Another aspect of having your tires break down fast is when they are not being used for long stretches of time. This leads to the anti-ozonant not making it to the surface. As a result, the tire does not have any protection from UV rays and ozone. A protectant would surely be a solution in this case too but it would need to be one of the best products in the market, one that does not evaporate and one that creates a shield against UV rays and water as well.

UV raysA water-based tire dressing does this perfectly as would a very high-quality silicone based tire dressing. They make up a protective layer and are not impacted by water. However, heavy rain might cause the layer to dissolve, no matter what type of dressing it is.

Another important element of the tire shine application is related to the requirement of the tire to be clean prior to it being sprayed on. When you set out to clean your tire, again, you have to select a product that does what it is meant to do and not anything contrary. You would also need to have the right brush for the purpose. You should not cause any damage to the tire even it has a lot of grime on it. A high-quality brush is essential.

When applying the tire shine, it is recommended to put it on a sponge and then apply it. This way, you will avoid any impact on your rims. It will also be a better way to use the stuff measuredly instead of spraying it. With a white wall or white lettering, you need to take care not to affect these areas.


Tire shine is not bad for your tires if you use a good product in the right way. It is surely a pleasing sight when you have tires that do not stick out with an aged appearance. However, you need to pick the right product from the right manufacturer and not just grab any product.