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Product Review: Tuf Shine Inc.


TUF SHINE Inc., a Utah corporation, first started out as Tuf Coat Inc. in early 2004 and started marketing their products in local car shows.  Shortly after that time the name was changed to TUF SHINE Inc.   This seemed to be a better fit to what they were trying to bring to the marketplace.  TUF SHINE Tire Clearcoat is the first PERMANENT water based tire dressing to reach the market, as their technology was established in 2004 and at that time there was nothing on the market to even come close to this new water based technology.  The principle owners are Ron West, president, and Bob Curtis, VP…I met both of them at a car show in 2009.  Over the years they have been developing and improving their formulas and have now perfected a very unique and superior products for the automotive industry.

The flagship product is their Tire Shine product which is called TUF SHINE Tire Clearcoat, and rightfully named as it is basically a clear coat for rubber.  Its qualities are unique however, in that not only does it provide a beautiful finish to the sidewall of all tires, whether it be a matte finish or a high gloss finish, this product also provides 100% protection from UV and ozone concerns.  TUF SHINE Inc. has had extensive testing conducted on this product that provides documented data to support these claims.  One of the unique tests was to put it on a funny car wheels, to test the elasticity of the product.  The product has a 400% elastic give to it, thus eliminating the possibility of cracking.  In the 3 years I’ve used the product it has NEVER cracked or blistered off.

Unlike most off the “off the shelf” tire dressings, TUF SHINE Tire Clearcoat is water based and is dry to the touch in just a minute or two after application.  It has no oily or gooey residue, will not sling off and will not wash off.  Even when subjected to repeated pressure washings, the tires will retain their shine for several months before another application is required.  It is not bullet proof however, it the tire is curbed it will scuff off the finish.  Repair is easy, as one just needs to wipe that area clean and apply two or three coats of the Tire Clearcoat to restore the finish.  As with any product, proper maintenance is required and occasional touch-ups are necessary to retain the desired shine level.  Usually every two to three months.  The harsh winter months are no match for the dressing, while the gloss will be dulled over the winter, the protection is still there.  A good cleaning with a soft towel and soap to remove any residual dirt, and reapply.  Unlike many of the Silicone based dressing out there that in time turn your tires brown, TUF SHINE will never brown!  If you have whitewalls, you know that they yellow and become dingy in time.  Get them nice and white, clean with tire cleaner, and coat in tire coating……they will remain white for a long time.  One of my clients has a limo with white walls, he was literally cleaning them on a weekly basis, I tested the product on his tires and now maybe 4 times a year he has to get aggressive in cleaning them.

As with most coatings, proper surface preparation is the key to success.  The TUF SHINE Tire Clearcoat is a water based product, and will not stick to any contaminates, especially silicone, which is contained in most other tire dressings. Cleaning the tires is the most important step in this system, and the TUF SHINE Tire Cleaner is specially formulated to deep clean the tires prior to applying the Clearcoat.  Once this is accomplished, harsh cleaners are no longer required, and the same solution used to wash the vehicle may be used to wash the tires.  Like most things in car care, prep is everything…this is no different.  A note of caution with any strong cleaner….uncoated wheels will likely dull if the strong cleaner gets on them.  This cleaner is a high pH base, not an acid, so while not as harsh a cleaner it can dull uncoated rims.  Acids are more reactive with metals than bases.

Another water based product being offered by TUF SHINE Inc., is their Black Restore.  This product is designed to restore faded black plastic and rubber back to a deep black finish.  Here again, being water based, the product is dry to the touch in just a minute or two.  It has the same dry finish, and will not wash off.  UV and ozone protection are provided as well.  Think of the product as the wheel shine with a tint of black dye.  You can use it on your tires to produce a very matte finish, and if in time you desire a slight more sheen, top it with the clear tire dressing.  It worked very well on a black vinyl top that was fading and in need of replacement, this product has extended the life of the top.

Also available is the TUF SHINE Spray & Shine quick detail spray.  This unique, NEXT GENERATION formula provides an outstanding shine.  The superior protectants repel rain and snow, leaving that just waxed look.  It beads as well as any wax and lasts longer than most wax based detail sprays. It is one of the slickest finishes available and has been tested against most major brands. It actually bonds and cures to the surface, providing a glossy, durable finish.  You can use this product in direct sunlight, making it a perfect quick detailer for the car show.  I also use this detail spray for my cell phone screens, iPads, and other screens for a slick finish that limits finger prints.  It’s a great booster to your LSP as it has protective properties to it.  The car seems to have a a shimmer to it, a wetter look than without.  The only down side to this, for my uses, is that it has a tendency to attract some dust, but the surface is so slick the wind will dislodge most of it.

Notes: If you want a matte look to your tires (apply only one layer of tire coating, or have a super slight damp applicator and apply two layers, or use black restore as your base layer).  Black restore is great for black step bumpers or nerf bars, as it will NOT be an oily SLICK surface.  I have been trying it out on exterior black trim, that is highly faded (in need of re dying) to see how long I can wait till the trim needs to be permanently fixed…..at which time I’ll coat it in black restore to give more protection.

As car enthusiasts we become a slave to the wheels and tires, and the weekly ritual of cleaning them will greatly be reduced.  My cars are the last to be cleaned, polished or just taken care of, but the tires are no issue.  They always seem to look better than the rest of the car.

Fire up your questions if I didn’t cover something you were wondering.

After about 4 months, the shine has matted but the sealant is still there, just add a coat to bring back the shine

Tuf Shine Tire DressingTuf Shine Tire shine

Tuf Shine also makes a darn good quick detail spray, called Spray and Shine.  I’ve been using it a bit more in testing and really like the glow the paint gets.

Tuf Shine Spray and Shine

I’ve not added the coating for about 5 months, while it “looks” like the coating is gone, its really not.  I just needed to rub down the tires during my usual wash, and re coat them to up the shine.

Tuf Snine tire coating after 5 months

Tuf Snine tire coating after 5 months

Tuf Snine tire coating after 5 months

I decided to go do some 4×4 trail runs about 3 days after I applied this coating.  You can see the dirt build up, now if this was an oil based dressing the dirt would not come off.

Tuf Shine Dirty wheel

After a quick hose off, I didn’t even have to wipe down…….there have been times I did do a quick wipe down after, but no scrubbing required!

Tuf Shine Dirty wheel

Here is a scuff mark, from a curbing……….I curbed my tires just for this test! The proceeding photos show the fix and results.

Tuf Shine Curbed tire

Tuf Shine Curbed tire

Tuf Shine Curbed tire

Tuf Shine Dirty wheel

Tuf Shine Dirty wheel

My rig with the coating on the tires!

Tuf Shine on a car

Greg Nichols Reflections Detailing
Greg Nichols
Reflections Detailing
Logan, Utah

23 comments on Product Review: Tuf Shine Inc.

  1. […] detailers are saying about TUF SHINE: Product Review: Tuf Shine Tire Shine Kit by Todd Cooperider Product Review: Tuf Shine Inc. by Greg […]

  2. Marc Harris says:

    Thank you for the complete and detailed information on this product and company Greg. I certainly look forward to trying this stuff out!

  3. Justin says:

    Greg –
    The product looks incredible! Curbing a tire for a write-up, you are a brave man!

    Excellent write-up.

    • Greg Nichols says:


      I’ve really liked it on my own personal cars, many of my clients also like it, as mentioned in the article. Curbing a tire for the test is just how I think….the “what ifs” always intrigue me.


  4. Tom Heise says:

    Hello Greg
    How does this Tuf Shine cleaner react to my powder coated wheels KMCs,wont stain them When i clean my tires will it.
    Thanx Tom

    • Greg Nichols says:

      Hello Tom,

      I’m fairly certain that XD wheels are clear coated, if so you are fine. The cleaner is a weak base cleaner, not an acid so its “safer”. If the wheels are not clear coated you might want to take precautions, such as wet the rims with water, limit the cleaner to the tires by not spraying directly to the tires, spray onto a brush first, don’t allow it to dwell for more than 1min (do shorter and more cleanings).

      I used it on some tires that had polished alum wheels that were uncoated, I followed my own advice and didn’t have a problem…..uncoated alum wheels are FAR more finicky.

      I’ll put in a call to Tuf Shine and see if they have had experience with this question……..just got off the phone and Bob said not a problem, taking the little bit of precautions I just mentioned are good insurance.

      Remember: This cleaning process if done right won’t EVER have to be done again, like all things in detailing the prep is the most important!


  5. Eric H says:

    Hi Greg,

    I like the idea of a semi-permanent dressing, but is there a method to remove it, just in case?

    Thanks! Eric H.

    • Greg Nichols says:


      I’ve never tested the removal I like it so much no need. I’ve heard that a steamer should remove it, I might have to give that a try sometime…….


      • Greg @ DI says:


        A strong degreaser (ie Megs D103) can remove it and a scrub brush helps. It’s possible you’ll have to hit it more than once though. That is why for maintenance cleanings the mfg recommends using a gentle cleaner on the tires. Take care!

        Greg @ DI

      • Richard Manrique says:

        Bob Curtis at Tuf Shine suggested using IPA (70% should be fine). Soak a towel in IPA and rub the tires. The alcohol will take off layers of Clear Coat and or Black Restore. I used this method to fix a problem that I created…forgot I had Black Restore and just applied Clear Coat over older tires (30k miles) with ok but not great results. I found my Black Restore and decided to strip 3 layers of Clear Coat to see if I could get blacker look. Used IPA to remove Clear Coat, then scrubbed with Tuf Shine Tire Cleaner, let dry, and applied 3 coats of Black Restore, topped with 2 coats of Clear Coat. Tires look much much darker – very happy with the results.

  6. Kris says:

    Could Meg’s APC+ be an alternative for the Tuf Shine tire cleaner for those of us who don’t want to buy more than necessary?

    • greg nichols says:

      I’ve never tried other APC cleaners, my experience tells me that APC are not strong enough to TOTALLY clean the tires, if you don’t totally clean them the coating won’t bond to the tires. I’ve always just used the cleaner in the kit, I can tell you I’ve tried to clean other tires with other APCs and the tuf shine tire cleaner is superior in all the cases. Like all things in detailing the prep is key to the success or outcome.


    • Vinny.P says:

      ! I see that no posts have been made since 9/21/12 but just figured I would add my 2¢ ;’) as for the tire Clearcoat I’ve been using it since last summer and it truly is an amazing product I’ve been a die hard megs endurance user for years. But since trying tuf shine im hooked and if you try it you will be also! Its durability, ease of use and the fact that so little goes a long way even with multiple coats its a no brainer if you want the best this is it.. as for the can you use APC to clean and prep the tires? Imo no I haven’t gotten good results with any of them but EO A2Z I found to be very effective as a over the counter cleaner

  7. Michael Becker says:

    Great article Greg! I have a 4X4 with larger mud tires on it that have a gnarly sidewall (not ideal for buffing on). What method would you use to just strictly get a deep or matte black look (not shiny)? Also with will black restorer provide the same protection and durability without the tire clearcoat? Thanks

  8. Michael Becker says:

    Great article Greg! I have a 4X4 truck with mud tires that have gnarly sidewalls (not ideal for buffing off extra product)! What method would you recommend to get a deep or matte black look? Also will the black restore offer the protection and durability without the clearcoat?

    • Greg Nichols says:

      Hello Michael,

      I’ve not done a gnarly sidewall with tread, the real time will be spent cleaning the areas you want to apply the tuf shine to. If you like the more matte to flat look the black restore will give you that look. Black restore is the clear coat tire sealant with black tint added to it. So maybe apply the black restore first and if you want more of a sheen you can top it with the clear sealant? I might suggest you layer up black restore twice then, maybe one coat of clear.

      Let us know how it turns out?


  9. Michael Becker says:

    Hey Greg I just tried my new Tuf Shine products yesterday. I followed your advice and with the two coats of black restore and one of clear and they turned out perfect! A deep matte black look with just a bit of a shine. Perfect (in my opinion) for a freshly detailed 4X4.

  10. […] Re: Wolf's Chemicals or Tuf Shine Tire Clearcoat. – 01-20-2012, 12:22 PM I know a ton about tuf Shine. I've been using it for 3 years. I've done a few articles about it. Product Review: Tuf Shine Inc. – Detailed Image […]

  11. Aurelius says:

    this product i will have to check out once my meguiars dressing runs out

  12. Milton says:

    Very nice write-up! I had purchased Tufshine from DI months back, and just yesterday decided to put it on two cars. A tip, use Metro-vac to blow the tires/wheels dry – esp around outer tread and lug nuts, crevices, to get a completely dry tire after cleaning and before application. What a difference Tufshine makes!

    • greg says:


      Thanks for the feedback. I just got new tires on my truck and TufShine always looks amazing on them. People comment on my tires a lot


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