Armor All Extreme Tire Shine
Sometimes more is not better

Armor All Extreme Tire Shine is a very popular tire dressing for anyone looking for intense shine. Some people love the extreme shine, while others like a more subtle approach to dressing on their tire sidewalls.

But having side walls so shiny you need sunglasses to look at might come with some drawbacks. Most extreme shine products are notorious for being gooey, messy, and throwing plenty of sling onto your car paint.

Armor all extreme tire shine on michelin tire

If all you want is extreme gloss and shine on your tires, then you can run with the Armor All extreme tire shine. But if you are the least bit concerned with any of the possible drawbacks associated with these hyper shine products than I strongly suggest you keep reading.

Armor All Extreme Tire Shine:
It's all about the shine

Before I get into an in-depth analysis of the Armor All extreme tire shine you can get yours here if you know you are chasing that hyper shine appearance and that is all you ultimately care about.

Armor All Extreme Tire Shine (22 oz.) - 2 Pack

  • As shiny as shiny can get
  • Hard to create a truly uniform coating on your tire sidewalls
  • Makes for a rather "sloppy" appearance on tire side walls

Darren's Tips: I understand there are people simply chasing the shine!

Kicking all other variables to the curb all in the name of extreme shine might be your only requirements.

I have never been one of those people so it is hard for me to justify ever using this product on any car I would ever own or drive. I don't like the extreme shine, and I certainly don't like the mess or sloppiness that generally comes with these hyper-shine products.

Armor All Extreme Tire Shine:
What you need to know

Let me lay down the required list of key points should you decide to make a judgement call based on a bullet point list if you are not the type of person that wants full understanding of a product or a topic of detailing:

  • Armor All extreme tire shine is a perfect product to create a hyper-shine f that is al you care about
  • Tire shines (or tire dressings) come in (2) basic varieties: water based or solvent based
  • Everything in life has their pros and cons ( I refer to this as trade-off's: you trade-in one benefit of lesser value, to achieve a benefit of greater value)
  • As a professional I prefer water based dressings for numerous reasons (I explain this further down this page)
  • Solvent based dressings (sometime referred to as oil based dressings) have two basic selling points: high-gloss and resistant to water
  • Solvent based dressings are notoriously greasy, messy, and more difficult to apply and work with

If you have come here as a "Cliff Note" kind of person, then obviously you have read enough. But if you are looking to become as informed as possible, and not necessarily convinced that Armor All extreme tire shine is the way to go, then keep reading.

Solvent Based Versus Water Based Tire Shine

There is no shortage of tire dressings from which to be overwhelmed by! From brightly colored packaging to sexy names, even the most experience car enthusiast will find a dizzying array of tire dressings from which to become separated from their money.

Tire shines come in (2) basic varieties:

  1. Solvent base
  2. Water base

Solvent based tire dressings use some type of solvent as the "carrier" for silicone. Silicone is the accepted ingredient used in tire dressings as the ingredient that creates shine as well as offer a level of protection or conditioner for your tire.

Silicone by itself would be very impractical to be sold exclusively as a tire dressing for many reasons, and therefore is formulated into tire shine products that allow silicone to be applied to your tire sidewall in a way that offers a good user experience, as well as a good end result.

Solvent Based Dressing

  • Extreme shine
  • Typically lasts longer
  • harder to remove during cleaning of tire sidewall
  • generally destroys your applicator pad after a few uses
  • Harder to create a uniform appearance on your tire sidewall
  • Often recommended that you spray directly onto tire sidewall which makes over spray onto wheel/paint a problem
  • Typically stays "wet" and messy
  • Typically throws sling onto paint when driving
  • Not body shop safe
  • Cannot be diluted down with water
  • More difficult to clean off prior to a fresh application of dressing

Water Based Dressing

  • Can be diluted down with basic tap water
  • Does not destroy applicator pads
  • Dries to the touch (based on the brand you choose)
  • No-sling formulations available
  • Generally does not last as long as solvent based dressings
  • Better overall for your tire than solvent based dressings
  • Body shop safe formulations available
  • Does not collect the dirt like a solvent based dressing
  • Easier to clean off during cleanings prior to a fresh application of dressing

Are Solvent Based Or Water Based Tire Shines Better

Solvent base tire dressings like the Armor All Extreme tire shine are all about shine. Unlike water base tire dressings that can also produce healthy amounts of gloss and shine, solvent based tire shine products reign supreme for extreme shine!

If you go through the checklist above, you should be capable of coming to a conclusion as to which type of tire shine represents the best fit for you.

What Is The Difference Between Water Based and Solvent Based Tire Shine

It's all about silicone. Silicone is the ingredient needed to create the shine you are looking for. Solvent based tire dressings use a solvent (solvents come in endless varieties. Some are very dangerous to your health, some are less dangerous) as the molecular "carrier" of the silicone in creating the formulation.

As you can likely guess, water based dressings use a water molecule as the carrier of the silicone in their formulation.

Solvent based dressings have a few advantages if you are chasing hyper shine over their water based counter parts, but solvents tend to be damaging to both the rubber composition of your tire along with your health.

Many solvents that were once used to create tire shine products are now illegal in most states or countries. This is why many of the products in this modern world we live are made using water instead of harmful solvent ingredients.

Since water and silicone do not mix well together (think of vinegar and oil in the form of a vinaigrette salad dressing) additional ingredients in the form of surfactants are need to help bind the silicone and water together.

These ingredients are homogenized to create a nice emulsion (mayonnaise is a form of emulsion consisting of egg yolk, oil, and vinegar) which then becomes the final product like the Armor All extreme tire shine.

How Do You Use Armor All Extreme Tire Shine

Most solvent based tire dressings suggest you spray the product directly onto the tire sidewall. This allows the product to go straight from the bottle onto your sidewall and creates an extra thick layer.

Many of the solvent based tire dressings have a thicker consistency due to the solvent content and do not respond as well when using a traditional applicator sponge. Once again, most people reach for a solvent based tire shine to create that hyper shine look.

The problem with spraying any tire shine directly onto your tire is this thing called over spray. It is impossible to control the spray pattern precisely so that the tire shine only goes onto your tire sidewall.

This means that your wheel and surrounding paint will get over spray on them which will require more time and effort to clean these areas off. Intense shine in the form of the Armor All extreme tire shine is not likely something you want on either your wheel nor your paint!

Armor All Extreme Tire Shine:
What Would Darren Do (WWDD)

Many people find themselves simply overwhelmed by the endless choices and endless voices all screaming for their attention. For this reason many of my long term followers simply want to know what I would do if I was them.

And for this reason I am going to tell you what I do both for my personal cars and as a professional detailer.

CSI Nu Tyre Lotion Quart 62-208-Q

  • Water based formulation
  • Dries to the touch
  • No more unwanted tire sling
  • Exterior use: rubber, plastic, vinyl
  • Interior use: coated leather, plastic, dashboards, vinyl, etc.
  • Body shop safe
  • Healthy shine, not extreme shine

Darren's Tips: When I was first introduced to water based tire dressings I immediately expected them to be inferior. I wondered how a water based dressing could hold up to normal use and specifically when washing your car.

I figured water based also meant water soluble. The formulator of the Nu Tyre Lotion enlighten me on the unqiue capabilities of this particular tire shine by relating it to latex paint.

Latex paint is water based and can be washed off while still wet. But once latex paint dries on your walls, it can no longer be washed off with water. This tire dressing uses the same technology in its very "tight" emulsion.

Once this product dries it is resistant to water and lasts a long time. It also represents a very versatile product as I no longer need a dedicated product to treat exterior vinyl trim pieces, and it can also be used on all the interior components I would normally use additional dedicated dressings for.

Nu tyre lotion vs armor all extreme tire shine

Best Tire Dressing Applicator

Now that you know the exact tire dressing I prefer and recommend, you will also want one of these applicator sponges that I discovered from a completely different industry.

Most "professional" tire dressing applicators simply suck. I love this sponge as it is the best tire dressing applicator sponge I have ever used and I cut it in half so I get two for the price of one.

If you decide to get the Armor All extreme tire shine you can still use this applicator sponge, but the solvent based dressing of the Armor All product will likely turn this rock hard after the dressing dries on the sponge.

Solvent based tire dressings have always been a problem when it comes to applicator sponges in general.

Kraft Tool PL600L General Purpose Large Turtle Back Cellulose Sponge Box

  • Two for the price of one!
  • Variable edges allow you complete control when applying tire dressing

Darren's Tips: When I get this sponge in the mail, I immediately cut in half. When I use it (you can use it with any tire dressing of your choice) I get it completely wet and then wring out all excess water as tightly as I can.

I always apply the tire dressing directly to the face of the sponge (this prevents any over spray from getting onto my car) and then apply a nice coat of the Nu Tyre lotion to the tire sidewall. Once I am satisfied with the first layer of dressing I allow to dry.

If I want additional shine, I come back in and apply a second coat.

Armor All Extreme Tire Shine Summary

armor all original tire dressing

Before you go I want to add some additional pointers when dealing with any tire dressing specifically. A topic most people consider very trivial is actually worthy of some additional tips:

  • Any time you spray tire digressing directly onto a tire sidewall, you WILL get unwanted over spray on your car
  • Not all tires are created equal! Some tires simply have inferior rubber compositions and no tire dressing in the world can compensate for poorly constructed tires. This means if you are looking for extreme shine and you can't find a dressing that delivers on this, it might be due to your tires specifically
  • When I am going to dress my tires, I get the applicator sponge completely wet, then wring out as tightly as I can before I apply the Nu Tyre Lotion to the sponge
  • As a rule, I rinse out the sponge applicator after each use with basic tap water (this is based on the fact that I use the water based Nu Tyre Lotion) and then set the sponge to dry for next use
  • It is important to clean your side walls prior to new applications of dressing (this goes for any and all tire dressings) I see way too many people who do not clean the side wall properly and then add more layers of dressing atop old layers of dressing. This will only make a big, greasy mess down the road. If you have excessive tire dressing build-up already, I recommend using acetone and a cloth to remove all the old dressings on your side wall. This allows you to begin fresh!

At this point you should not only be a much more informed car owner, but possibly come away with a different decision of tire dressings than when you first arrived here.

Regardless, I wish you much success in your detailing efforts!


Darren Priest

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