The members of the Ask A Pro blog are constantly bouncing ideas, techniques, and product recommendations off of one another and on multiple occasions last year Greg Nichols brought up this new product called Tuf Shine. He said that it was a semi-permanent tire dressing, and was giving it glowing reviews. Yeah, yeah, another new tire dressing…been there done that. We figured he was just pitching the product because it was from his home state of Utah.
While we were attending the SEMA Show in Vegas last Fall, Greg was once again singing the praises of the product. And when we caught a ride after dinner with him one evening, he made a point to show us the tires on his Explorer. Hmmm…it actually looked pretty good I thought. Since he had us as a captive audience during the drive back to the hotel, he continued to tell us more about the product, and said that (a) we should start using it and (b) Detailed Image should start carrying it. When he dropped us off, he reached into the back of his SUV and grabbed a Tire Shine Kit out of his stash and said: “Here…give it a try”. I knew I was getting pitched, but I didn’t expect to receive anything for evaluation on the spot! I need to get Greg his own infomercial show…he’s good.
So I brought the (very nicely packaged) Tuf Shine Tire Shine Kit back to Ohio with me, and tried it out on the next car that I worked on.
What differentiates Tuf Shine from your standard tire dressing is the fact that it’s a rubber clearcoat being applied to the tire, and not a “dressing”. And after a few minutes drying time, the tire is completely dry to the touch…no black residue will come off onto your hands (or clothes). It’s a completely different type product…
In the detailed kit instructions, it talks about the necessity to do a thorough job cleaning / prepping the tires first prior to applying the Tire Clearcoat since it won’t fully bond to the rubber if silicones and contaminants from previous tire dressings are present. The better the prep, the better the finish and more durable the application. While the first time you use the kit it may take more time since you need to deep clean the tires, any subsequent applications should be much quicker because all you will be doing is freshening up the clearcoat.
So first take a dirty tire, and spray on the Tire Cleaner / Prep. It takes a strong cleaner to remove all of the contaminants built up on the tire, so you need to be careful with its application. Don’t let it dry on any surfaces, and be very careful around uncoated wheels.
After you let it sit on the tire for a minute, use the included Tire Brush and scrub the surface until it comes completely clean. It may take several applications / scrubbings to get the tires completely clean, but a little extra time invested now will help you maximize your looks and durability.
Once you have finished scrubbing, and the cleaning solution is no longer brown, then you’re ready to thoroughly rinse off your tires and rims. Also be sure to rinse around any painted areas where overspray could possibly get to.
After the tire is dry, put some of the Tire Clearcoat into the applicator sponge and evenly apply it to the tire surfaces. It is a runny solution (not a gel), so be careful not to use too much. A few extra wipes with the sponge should evenly disperse the Tire Clearcoat. NOTE: In the photo below, you will see a patchy look to the tire where I haven’t applied the Tire Clearcoat yet. This is what the tire looks like if you don’t thoroughly clean it in the first step (yes…that means I failed to clean it properly for my photo session…sorry).
After a few minutes, the Tire Clearcoat will completely dry to the touch. If you want a higher level of gloss you can do 2 or 3 applications, allowing ample drying time between coats.
The finished product is a nice, dark look without being overly glossy, and without any worries of residue slinging onto your freshly detailed car!
When the tires are fully prepped, you should continue to see a nice finish that lasts for months…not days or weeks. If you use harsh wheel cleaners on a regular basis, or you scuff your tires, or you just wish to refresh them for a special occasion, then a quick application of just the Tire Clearcoat is all that is needed.
I have been using the Tuf Shine Tire Shine on my personal car since the fall, and have been quite happy with the results. And when I use them on clients’ cars, they’re always happy how the nice finish stays over time.
Like any product, it will eventually start to lose its lustre, but it by far surpasses any other tire product in terms of durability that I have ever seen or used. If you have multiple cars in your family that you take care of, or you are a professional detailer, you’ll go through a lot more of the special tire cleaner than you will the clearcoat itself. So be prepared to buy the stand alone bottles of the Tire Cleaner / Prep if you’re working on more than a couple of cars.
I hope this helps!