| Clay Bar
Trying to find a tire dressing that (a) you
can't see your reflection in, (b) doesn't sling black goo all
over the side of the car, and (c) lasts longer than a week has
been a challenge.
My current favorite tire dressing is
Eagle One Tire Shine, which you can find at Schuck's, Pep
Boys, and similar places. This lasts at least a couple weeks,
even when it's raining, which it does a lot in Seattle, and I
like the level of sheen it puts on the tires--not high gloss,
but a little shiny and very black.
Before I was using Eagle One, I was using
good old Armour All. Armour All actually worked pretty
well and produced a nice sheen (not too shiny, in case you
haven't tried Armour All lately). Its big drawback was lack of
Before that, I was using Meguiar's
Endurance Tire Gel. It is a little different from most other
tire dressings in that it is a gel rather than a liquid. I found
that it worked as advertised in that it lasted the longest of
any tire dressing I've tried. Unfortunately, I found the gooey
gel impossible to put on thinly enough so that it didn't sling
goo on the body panels behind the tires, and I eventually
concluded that it was easier to put on tire gel more often than
it was to wipe off the goo.
Zaino's Z-16 Perfect
Tire Gloss. It produces a nice shine, but it doesn't last
any longer than anything else, and it's expensive and harder to
get than the stuff I can get at a local store.
I also tried
Griot's Garage Long
Lasting Tire Dressing. I didn't find that it was as long
lasting as the Meguiar's Endurance, but, like the Meguiar's
product, it's a gooey gel and slings even worse than Meguiar's
dressing tends to be slippery and hard to wash off the hands.
Meguiar's provides a foam applicator, which got me used to using
those. When I switched to Armour All and then Eagle one, I
bought some foam applicators to help in putting the stuff on. I
spray the dressing on the applicator and then wipe it on the
tire. This is less messy than spraying directly onto the tires.
After a couple uses, the applicators get
pretty gooey. So now I'm wearing a disposable latex glove on the
hand that holds the applicator, so I don't have to wash my hands
Unless you're more patient than I am,
despite trying not to wipe the tire dressing on the wheel rims
you'll end up getting some on the wheel rims anyway. So I apply
the tire dressing right before I wash my car. When I wash my
wheels, I wash off the excess tire dressing.