Why does my tire shine sling?

February 15, 2016 William Russell

How do I prevent my tire shine from slinging?

Tire shine and tire dressings are an essential touch to the detailing process. The final touch that can take a car from pretty good to pretty damn perfect. Even a slightly dirty car with perfect wheels and tires can make a dramatic difference. Some people like their tire's glossy, some like it satin, and some even like them matte. But why do some dressings sling all over the side of the car? Is it because of the actual dressing being poor quality, or is it actually the technique? Tire shine slings because you are applying incorrectly and I am going to show you the basics of applying tire dressing below.

Pro Tip: Did you know tires turn brown due to mold release agents and this will naturally occur as the tire heats and cools?


Preparation is key

When applying tire dressings, the preparation is key. We need to first removal any prior dressing, mold release waxes, and other oils from the face of the tire. Naturally your tires will brown as the mold release agents come out from the tire. We do not want to use anything too aggressive when removing these agents, we want them, just not at the face of the tire when dressing. To prepare the tire for dressing, we can start with degreasing using a safe and effective degreaser like 3D Yellow Degreaser (featured in the February 2016 Detailers Box).

Properly cleaning tires


Pro Tip: If excessive tire shine remains, use a safe solvent like Tarminator or CarPro Tar-X on a towel. Spray Tarminator onto the towel and scrub into the tire. Repeat to remove the dressing and follow by degreaser. Do not apply solvent direct to tire.


Applying tire dressing

We recommend applying tire dressing to a clean, cool, and dry tire. After following the above preparation, choose your favorite tire dressing. Lately we have been working with Royal Detail Club Nero, which was featured in the February detailer's box. The dressing is easy to apply, looks satin when dry, doesn't sling, and lasts a significant amount of time.

Applying tire dressing

Apply the dressing to your applicator like this round microfiber applicator. Apply only as much as needed as you work into the tire. I prefer to create a smooth line around the edge of the tire that looks clean when showing the completed detail to customers. Work around the entire tire then move onto the next tire.

It's important to apply evenly right now, but don't worry if excessive dressing is all over the tire. We want this right now. The next step will take care of it and also will prevent the sling.

The Key Step to Preventing Sling - Setting the tire dressing

Setting the tire dressing into the tire itself is crucial to preventing sling. This is the step that leads to sling if not performed.  Setting the dressing into the rubber is easy but almost always overlooked. After applying your favorite dressing like Royal Detail Club Nero, let the dressing sit for a few minutes or even more. I generally will dress tires the night before I set them.

Setting the dressing is easy. Just take an old microfiber or cotton rag that you plan to throw away. Fold into a small square and rub the towel into the tire. This removes the excess dressing and works the remaining dressing into the tire. Setting the dressing will prevent any chance of sling and you can then send the car out on it's way after the detail.

No sling tire dressing

As you can see from the picture above. The tire looks slick, satin, and glossy. But it doesn't look wet, and won't sling any excess dressing. This car is ready to be picked up and will stay sling-free for the remainder of the life of the dressing.

Conclusion and Key Points

  1. Tires have to be clean. Very clean.
  2. Dry tires before applying dressing/tire shine
  3. Let the tire shine sit for a little while
  4. Wipe away excess and set the dressing to prevent sling



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