What is Tire Dressing – Should You Be Using It?

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Have you ever heard of Tire Dressing? I’m sure that most people have. There may be a few of you who haven’t heard of this awesome product, which helps make your Vehicle’s Tires look as good, as the rest of your freshly detailed Vehicle.

If you have never heard of Tire Dressing before, don’t worry, this article will explain everything you need to know. It will explain exactly what Tire Dressing is, how to use it, and why you should use it.

Even if you have heard of Tire Dressing before, you may not be aware of all the different types, of Tire Dressing, and how they work. You may not be aware of the proper use of Tire Dressing, or the benefits of using it.

No matter what your knowledge level on Tire Dressing is, you most likely find yourself asking the questions, “What is Tire Dressing? Should you use it?”. Well, you’re in luck, because we are going to answer theses very questions, and more, in detail today.

So, What Exactly is Tire Dressing? How Many Types Are There?

What exactly is Tire Dressing? That is a very good question. Tire Dressing is a substance, which gets applied to the visible What-Is-Tire-Dressing-2front surfaces, of your Vehicle’s Rubber Tires. Tire Dressing helps restore the rubber’s deep, dark black color. It helps make your Tires look shiny, new & clean.

There are two main types of Tire Dressing, on the market today. The two types are:

  • Water-Based Tire Dressing
  • Solvent-Base Tire Dressing

Water-Based Tire Dressing

Water-Based Tire Dressing uses water to suspend the actual cleaning agents. The Water-Based Tire Dressing’s cleaning agents are typically Synthetic Polymers, and naturally occurring Oils. When applied, it usually looks like a milky white liquid. When the Water-Based Tired Dressing has dried, it leaves a satin like, non greasy finish, which mimics the looks of a brand spankin’ new Tire.

Solvent-Based Tire Dressing

Solvent-Based Tire Dressing uses solvents to suspend the actual cleaning agents. The Solvent-Based Tire Dressing’s cleaning agent is typically Silicone. When applied, it usually looks like a clear, sticky, and greasy liquid. When the Solvent-Based Tire Dressing has dried, it leaves a glossy, and wet, finish on your tires.

Both types of Tire Dressing can be purchased in Gels, Foams, and Aerosol Sprays

Which Type of Tire Dressing is Better? How do you Choose?

When it comes to deciding on which type of Tire Dressing to use, it’s really something that everybody has to decide, on their own. Everyone is different, and will like different types, for different reasons. It really is a personal preference. Here are some Pros, and Cons, of each type, to help you decide:

Water-Based Tire Dressing Pros:

  • Does not harm the environment (non-toxic)
  • Does not hurt the Vehicle’s Paint, if some gets on it.
  • Does not allow dirt, to stick to your tires (since the dressing is non-stick)
  • Does not harm your clothes, if you get some on them
  • Does not allow harmful UV Rays, from hurting your tires
  • Works well when applying several layers (layers smoothly)
  • Usually more economical than Solvent-Based Dressings

Water-Based Tire Dressing Cons:

  • Can crack, and/or dry, out your tires, if not applied properly
  • Does not have as good of water repellency, as Solvent-Based Tire Dressings
  • Does not last as long as Solvent-Based Tire Dressings
  • Does not shine as good as Solvent-Based Tire Dressings

Solvent-Based Tire Dressing Pros:

  • Has a better water repellency
  • Lasts longer than Water-Based Tire Dressings
  • Shines better than Water-Based Tire Dressings

Solvent-Based Tire Dressing Cons:

  • Can harm the environment (toxic)
  • Can harm paint, wheels, and brakes if not applied properly
  • Can splash onto paint, etc., when vehicle is moving
  • Some Solvent-Based Tire Dressings can actually damage tires
  • Usually less economical than Water-Based Dressings

How Exactly Do I Apply Tire Dressing?

How do you apply Tire Dressing, onto your Tire’s Front Rubber Surfaces? It’s really easy, once you get the Prep Work Done. Although the application steps may vary, based on your chosen Tire Dressing, here are the steps, to apply your Tire Dressing:

  1. Thoroughly clean your Vehicle’s Tires, using a good quality Tire Cleaner, and Tire Brush
  2. Shake you’re Dressing Bottle, then apply 2 – 5 sprays, or a few drops, of Tire Dressing, directly into your foam, or microfiber applicator pad
  3. Spread the Tire Dressing, over the entire Tire
  4. Work, and rub, the Dressing, deep into the surface, of the Tire
  5. Buff off the excess Tire Dressing residue, with a Soft Microfiber Towel
  6. Using these same steps, apply Tire Dressing to the rest of the Tires

  7. Using these same steps, apply additional layers of Dressing, if you want to layer the coats

  8. Sit Back, and Enjoy Your Showroom Shiny Tires!

Should You Use Tire Dressing?

Yes! You absolutely should be using Tire Dressing. Since your Vehicle’s Tires are always in contact with the road, they are constantly exposed to UV Rays, Grease, Brake Dust, Salt, Water, Dirt, Grime & Road Tar. This exposure will degrade your Tires, over time.

With routine proper cleaning of your Tires, and the correct application of Tire Dressing, you can protect your Tires. This protection will help them to last longer, and will keep them looking like they came right off of the Showroom Floor.

Also, note that you can use Tire Dressings to clean, and protect, other parts of your Vehicle. You can use Tire Dressings to clean, and protect, Engine Bay Plastic Parts, Unpainted Bumpers & Trim, Door Weatherseals, Plastic Parts under the Vehicle, and pretty much any Plastic Surface on your Vehicle.

What-Is-Tire-Dressing-3“Tire With Tire Dressing Freshly Applied”

Hopefully, this Article has given you some insight, into the world of Tire Dressing. Please stay tuned, to learn about more topics, tips, tricks, product reviews, etc. I will be reviewing some Tire Dressings soon, so stay tuned!

As always, If your have a particular question, or comment, please feel free to ask it below.

Have a Great Day,


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