3 Things Tire Dressings Need to Have

Tire Dressings, Tire Conditioner, Revitalize Tires, Tire Browning

Products have been used for ages to make tires shine, revitalize, and/or protect. But what are the essentials that we need to be looking for when considering a tire treatment product?

Some people call them tire dressings while others call them tire conditioners. These terms can mean something different to each person. We believe that a tire conditioner has the ability to penetrate the rubber and provide protection inside and out while a tire dressing is only meant to sit on the surface. When it comes to any tire treatment you’ll need 3 things: UV/Environmental Protection, Penetrating Qualities, and Even Application.

A lot of people look for them, but let’s face it, you’re not going to find a product that is a one stop shop. You won’t get a quality tire treatment product that is also a cleaner. Walk away from those. Put in the extra effort, clean the tires and then apply the treatment.

Why these three?

UV/Environmental Protection

In a previous post we talking about tire browning. This is caused because the tire is not protected and it is exposed to antiozonant. It can be hard to correct tires once they have already browned. UV damage is going to cause the tires to dry out, fade, and crack. This alone will shorten the lifespan of your tires, not to mention how poor a car looks with dirty tires. The only way to make sure that you are securing the longevity of your tires is to protect them from the elements.

Penetrating Qualities

Conditioning is one feature that many tire “treatments” don’t have. But you can’t quite call it treatment if it’s not truly helping the tire. Many dressings are made to spray onto the surface of the tire and mask what’s going on underneath. It’s like throwing a hat on your head when you just don’t feel like fixing your hair one day. It’s not doing anything underneath to actually help, but it gets your through the day.

Your tire treatment really needs to have the ability to seep into the tire and condition from the outside in. When applied to the tire, a proper tire treatment will condition the tire to revitalize and prolong the natural qualities of rubber. When you have a product that actually works to protect the tire inside and out, that’s when you know you’re going to be truly helping the tire instead of masking the real issues.

Even Application

This quality is hit or miss with different application methods. Some people like the aerosol can approach (although it can be messy), while others like the brush or tire applicator tool (applicator can be uneven). Which ever way you lean, learn from your mistakes, practice, and ask others to make sure that you’re getting an event application around the tire. Few things ruin a tire dressing more than clumps getting caught around the letters or tread. One tip for fixing this is that once you apply the treatment, let it sit (give it a chance to soak into the rubber), then wipe it gently away with a towel. This will lessen the amount of sling while ensuring a proper coating of treatment to the tire.

Honorable Mentions

Alluded to before, there are some other qualities that no one likes to deal with, sling being one of them. Others include streaks or marks on the wheels as well as durability. Other qualities are up to personal preference in the terms of shine level, application method, and consistency.


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  • Good, timely article. One comment though re: “Browning”. Tire rubber is composed of SBR (‘rubber”), Carbon Black colorant and Petroleum based oils for the most part. None of these will turn brown (unless you can leach out most of the carbon black which is unlikely). Tire protectants are also made up of several materials including “Antiozoneates” which protect from exposure to and attack from atmospheric Ozone. These materials decompose to a brown color if they are of low quality. A good tire coating will avoid low quality antiozonates and when aged will not turn brown.