Armor All Tire Shine
Time to start asking the right questions

Who hasn't heard of Armor All tire shine! When it comes to dressing your tires, Armor All has been the default choice for half the country for decades.

I grew up using Armor tire protectant and was the very first tire dressing I was introduced by my auto shop teacher back in high-school.

And the only thing better than Armor All, is more Armor All! auto shop teacher was part of the "more is always" better school of logic. (or illogic based on who you are asking)

But there is far more to shopping a top rated tire dressing than shiny tires. If you are wiling to put n a little effort, I will teach you things most beginner "professional" detailers do not know!

Armor All Tire Shine
First things first....

Armor All 78004 Extreme Tire Shine, 22 oz. Trigger

  • One of he most popular tire dressings on the market
  • Extreme tire shine (assuming you want tires so shiny you need sunglasses)
  • Perfect if you normally default to products with the longest history of inception (Armor All was originally invented in 1962, but didn't make it to retail scale until 1972)

Darren's Tips: If you are one of the countless people who are so familiar with the Armor All tire dressing then you needn't look any further. You can get yours through this link directly and have it arrive at your door courtesy of Amazon.

But if you want to become a much more educated car owner I highly recommend that you keep reading. I am certain you will be surprised by what you learn.

Armor All Tire Shine
Asking the right questions....

"Right Questions"? You didn't even know there were right questions to be asking.

Does this mean there are wrong questions to be asking?

CSi nu tyre lotion tire dressing

Yes, and yes. There are both right and wrong questions you should be asking as you decided to go in search of Armor All tire shine.

What most people ask when shopping for a top rated tire dressing for their car:

  • How shiny will it make my tires?
  • How long will it last?
  • How much does it cost?

While these are all valid questions to ask, they by no means represent the more important questions I think you should be asking.

But you are not alone as most of you reading this do not have the experience to even begin asking the right questions.

But fear not, as this is where I come in. I will be asking the questions that come from my decades as a professional detailer that most of you won't know to ask.

Best Tire Dressing
Asking the right questions

When it comes to choosing the best tire dressing most people typically ask and also stop with two (2) basic questions:

  • How shiny will it make my tires
  • How long will it last

While these are great questions to ask, they also represent limited understanding of the other pros and cons of tire dressings in general.

As I am often quoted in saying:

"Not all tire shines are created equal"

Some tire shines are developed for maximum shine, while others are developed for maximum durability. But there are also factors you should be taking into consideration.

Is Armor All Tire Shine Bad For My Tires

Yes and no. This question alone is a great question, but still remains an oversimplification to a greater understanding of tire dressings and dressings in general.

People generally don't stop at dressing their tires, but also want a dressing for the interior parts of their car.

tire shine on BMW tires

Since Armor All Tire Shine is a dedicated tire dressing, it should be limited to use on tires only. But this still leaves us asking if the Armor All Tire Shine is bad fr your tires.

I can tell you that the Armor All product will produce great shine, but I don't consider it a truly beneficial product to the health of your tire. It certainly is not going to make your tire last longer. But most tire dressings won't do that either.

What most people don't know is that all tires have a shelf life. Ask any RV owner who is forced to replace their tires before the tread life wears out. What generally happens is that the side wall begins to crack (despite excessive applications of the best tire dressing) due to the limited shelf life of all tires.Yes, with the right tire dressing you can extend this shelf life to maximum longevity, but no tire shine or tire dressing will extend any tire forever.

Darren's Tips: What this means to you is that you could really pick any tire dressing like the Armor All tire shine and not worry about whether it is good or bad for your tires. There are other things to consider that are of more importance. This is because your tire tread will wear out (as a rule) before the actual side wall ever began to crack.

How Long Does Armor All Tire Shine Last

tire shine on Porsche turbo s tire

In many ways this depends on how you wash your car and clean your tires. What kind of cleaner do you use, or do you even clean your tire side walls as part of washing your car.

The other thing to know is that the Armor All tire shine is not a water based tire dressing and uses silicons and petroleum products to formulate this product.

Depending on the exact raw ingredients used in this formulation will determine how long the product lasts on your tire side walls. The exact formulation of petroleum distillates and solvents will also determine how damaging the product can be long term for not just your tire side walls, but any rubber or plastic material you decide to apply the Armor All tire shine to. (many people use the Armor All product for exterior trim as well as their tires)

Solvent based or oil based tire dressings are known for lasting longer than water based tire dressings, but they are also known for some major disadvantages:

  • Overly greasy and thick
  • Major tire sling that shows up on your car paint
  • Does not dry to touch, but stays oily or greasy

What Is Tire Sling And How Can It Be Avoided

Tire sling is when the tire shine or dressing gets thrown onto your car paint as your car wheels spin during driving. it is called centrifugal force. (the outward force of something rotating around a center point)

tire sling from tire shineThis picture illustrates a bad case of tire sling from improper choice and application of tire shine.

As your car speeds up, the centrifugal force develops and causes tire shine to sling up onto your car paint. Most people find this unwanted and unsightly. I personally can't stand it.

Most oil, or solvent based tire shines like the Armor All Tire Shine will remain wet, tacky, and greasy. This allows the product to sling onto your car paint as you drive down the road.

There is plenty of shine to be had with these types of tire dressings, but you will also generally get lots of tire sling with it. And like everything else in life, there are always trade-off's to be had.

You trade one benefit in exchange for another benefit.

Will Armor All Tire Shine Crack My Tires

While I am not a fan of the Armor All Tire Shine, you would not need to worry about the Armor All tire shine cracking your tires. Your tire tread will wear out before this would ever become a problem. If you have an RV or a boat trailer and you use the Armor All tire shine then you might see eventual cracking of the sidewall.

In most cases this will be due to the shelf life of your tires as opposed to the Tire Shine actually causing the cracking.

Will Tire Sling Stain My Car paint

Yes and no. Yes if you choose the wrong tire shine. No if you choose a quality tire shine or dressing.

It is a problem you may have never experienced first hand, but a problem I come across rather frequently as a professional detailer. The tire sling of the tire dressing will cause light colored paint to discolor to a light, brownish tint.

This staining will happen underneath every point of contact the tire shine has with your car paint. As a rule, tire sling will be most prominent directly behind each tire on the lower half of your car.

What Tire Dressing Is Best For Your Tires

Not that I have a biased opinion as to my top pick for a tire shine or dressing, but I really do because I know first hand all the winning benefits of the Nu Tyre Lotion here:

CSI Nu Tyre Lotion Quart 62-208-Q

  • ZERO tire sling (this tire dressing dries to the touch)
  • True waterborne technology (this means the water molecule is the "carrier" for the active ingredients)
  • Can be used for all materials (both exterior and interior) that you would ever consider applying a dressing or protectant)
  • Anti-static formulation
  • Made in USA
  • Body shop safe

Darren's Tips: I have been using this tire shine well over 15 years (only recently has it become available through Amazon. Next tot he fact that it dries to the touch and there is zero tire sling if applied as directed, it can be layered. Imagine a comparison to latex paint that remains water soluble while still wet. But once latex paint dries, you can put on as many layers as you want.

Not that I am recommended you go crazy with this stuff, but it allows you to finesse the moment based on your expectations. Both interior and exterior materials.

Armor All Tire Shine
Best tire dressing applicator

best tire dressing applicator

Regardless of whether you came here with full intent to purchase the Armor Tire Shine matters not. Finding the best tire dressing is not the only battle you will be challenged with.

Application of your chosen tire dressing is a very critical part of the overall equation. I have seen many people use inferior techniques and methods to apply a tire dressing thus resulting in unwanted outcomes.

  • Use a dedicated tire dressing applicator
  • Apply thin coats, rather than excessively heavy coat
  • Allow to dry (if it does) before you drive
  • Wipe off excess if you don't use the Nu Tyre Lotion

Kraft Tool PL600L General Purpose Large Turtle Back Cellulose Sponge Box

  • The best tire dressing applicator I have used yet
  • One of Darren's own innovations to the world of detailing ( I simply introduced this tool to the world of detailing)
  • Most tire dressing applicators suck!
  • Cut this in half as shown in the picture (now you get two for the price of one)
  • Get saturated with tap water, then wring out as tightly as possible for use
  • Apply your choice in dressing directly onto applicator, then apply to tire sidewall

Darren's Tips: One of the biggest pieces of advice I can offer that nobody seems to talk about is your actual tire. Not all tires are created equal, and your tire sidewall will affect the performance of any tire dressing you ultimately choose.

Some tires are made using superior grades of rubber, while others are simply inferior tires that have a hard time producing a shine regardless of the tire shine.

Some tires will require multiple coats of tire shine to produce the desired level of shine you are after. I don't recommend spraying any tire shine directly onto the tire sidewall as you will get over-spray onto the wheels and paint which you will then need to clean off.

But if you have stubborn tires and have tried traditional applications, then you may need to spray a heavy layer initially onto your tire sidewall, allow to soak in, then come back and apply additional tire shine using the applicator.

If you do use the grout sponge with the Nu Tyre Lotion, you do not have to rinse the sponge out after use (you can, but not necessary), but do get it completely wet each time before use and wring out thoroughly and it is ready to go.

Armor All Tire Shine Summary

If you have made it this far down the page you deserve a badge of honor! You are now among the select few of society willing to put in some effort to become a more informed car owner and consumer.

applying tire shine to mercedez benz tire

Today is a world of over-consumption and instant gratification. But if I have learned anything in life it is this; the answers of life always lay in the details.

But most people want to hover at the surface and want things without putting in the effort. A deep dive into a vast sea of knowledge that will deliver greater understanding so you can get more of what you really want in life, rather than what the industry simply seduces you with through hyped-up marketing and advertising.

I wish you much success in your detailing efforts. If you do choose the Armor All Tire Shine, your secret will always be safe with me.


Darren Priest

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