How to shine tires and avoid tire sling | Autoblog Details

Get a high-shine finish on your prized tires

Here's how to apply tire dressing for a high-shine finish in a way that will help you avoid dreaded tire sling. Watch all our Autoblog Details videos for more quick car care tips from professional detailer Larry Kosilla.

Having cleaned and dressed tires enhances the look of your paint, rims and trim by adding contrast and depth to the surrounding areas. But how do we avoid the dreaded tire sling? First, here are the items you'll need for this task.

Materials Used:

Prep your tires and wheels

Ensure the rim and tire are cleaned properly. Be sure to see our related rim cleaning videos. Next, dry the rubber with a terry towel cloth, excess water will dilute the tire gel and increase the chance of tire sling, so give it a good wipe down or use compressed air if available.


Be sure to use a water-based tired gel, as it tends to stick to the rubber better than a solvent-based dressing. And although solvent-based dressing have an extremely glossy and wet look that some desire, there's an increased likelihood of tire sling. So, keep that in mind when picking your dressing.


Squirt the gel onto the designated foam applicator pad which could be found at any part store in the world. Then, spread the gel around the pad by squeezing the sides inwards, or what we call butterflying the pad for even coverage. Wipe the gel onto 1/4 of the tire at a time in a clockwise and counterclockwise motions. Then, work the pad in up and down motions while trying to massage the moisturizer into the rubber pores. Add a few more squirts to the pad as the gel penetrates the rubber and repeat on the rest of the tire.

Well, do the wells, too

If your wheel wells are black plastic, it's a good idea to lightly wipe them down with the applicator pad to brighten up the plastic and to help keep water and mud from sticking on the inner wheel well as you drive. Afterwards, use a terry cloth, or an old microfiber towel to clean up any rim edges that may have gotten touched by the tire get pad, leaving a black streak.

Finishing up

Once all four tires are complete, a medium and even shine will be noticed. It's best to allow five to 10 minutes for the gel to dry completely before driving. For a super high shine, simply add additional coats until the desired level of shine is reached. Water-based tire gel will keep your rubber moisturized, looking clean and more importantly, no annoying tire sling when applied properly.

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