Dry rot is a tire’s worst enemy: it slowly ruins your car tires- no matter how expensive they’re- and may lead to premature cracking or a blowout.
Now, some of the major causes of sidewall weathering are grounding a car for long, high temperatures, and low tire pressure.
Whatever the trigger, it’s always good practice to apply the best tire dressing to prevent dry rot once a month. It keeps the tires from drying out completely and helps prevent blowouts and possible loss of vehicle control, spelling disaster.
It’s true that some of the so-called “tire dressing” gels do nothing more than enhancing the shine of your tires, and so if you’re clueless about which foam, gel, or shine to take, you’re not alone.
Below we have compiled a list of tire protectants that truly shield car tires from ultraviolet light rays and other elements that cause them to start cracking.
Hopefully, you’ll find something worth your tires and your money.
Best Tire Dressing Reviews
- Best tire foam for UV protection
- One of the
longest lasting tire shine
- It doesn’t sling
1 Gal/128 Oz.
- Best water based tire dressing
- Easy to use and doesn’t sling
This rich spray tire dressing foam gives tires a highly-concentrated dose of protection, to help prevent drying out and cracking.
Not only does it protect tires against the elements but it also gives them a serious anti-UV injection that gives them two impregnable layers of security.
The formula – made up of water-resistant polymers- produces thick, active foam to fight dirt and other debris leaving the tires looking fabulous and super dark for days.
Plus, it’s pretty easy to use- simply shake it and spray it on!
The best tire dressing to prevent dry rot should stay put on the rubber for weeks on end and you can count on Meguiar’s Hot Shine Tire Foam for this.
Just as tires dry rot the most when the vehicle is grounded, the most common culprit of an empty battery is prolonged car storage. To avoid the mess of a drained car battery that won’t jump-start it, see our other review of the best battery tender for car storage.
3. Chemical Guys TVD_109 – Silk Shine Spray-able Dry-To-The-Touch Dressing/Protectant- best tire dressing no sling
If your tires are kinda damaged, kinda dried out, and kinda dull, well, TriNova’s Tire Shine Spray is for you.
The specifically formulated blend ticks every box when it comes to tire safeguarding and keeping them looking slick and brand-new.
To be honest, one coat is enough to make your tires appear satiny and smooth whilst combating environmental elements that cause cracking, fading, yellowing, and other early wear and tear.
Long story short: This amazing water-based tire dressing exceeds other products in tons of ways.
Turtle Wax T217RA Tire Shine has been specially designed for wet, deep black looks.
We must say that the added silicone polymers mean you’ll enjoy the longest-lasting shine as long as you follow the application instructions.
But because it’s based on a unique dual-action formula (consisting of powerful UV inhibitors), your tires are also given foolproof protection against cracking, fading, and drying effects of direct sunlight and other elements.
We also love its amazing price.
6. Aero Cosmetics Tire Dressing and Protectant, No Tire Shine, No Dirt Attracting Tire Care Conditioner- best tire protectant UV
Aero’s water-based tire protectant has a magnificent non-greasy formula that gives tires a natural appearance without leaving a messy greasy residue that attracts dirt making them turn brown.
Above all, the best car tire UV protectant in this product greatly slows down the deterioration of rubber to prevent tires from cracking.
Thoroughly clean and dry the rubber, spray on, let it soak, and wipe the tire (with a dry cloth) and it’ll keep those frustrating sidewall cracks from advancing.
It’s so good you’ll wish you discovered it sooner.
If you want to keep your tires safe and you don’t mind sacrificing the ease of application that spray-on brings, then Griot’s Garage 10995 tire shine gel will do the job.
It’s oh-so magical, your tires will probably surprise you with their renewed resilience, despite driving more hours under scorching temps, thanks to the added UV protection.
And it still manages to battle other nasty threats such as high ozone concentrations and adverse weather- the premium formula brushes off all deterioration once properly applied.
Plus, not only is it fab for tire-wearing menaces, but it also adds a lasting high-gloss shine.
8. Armor All Car Tire Foam Spray Bottle, Protectant Cleaner for Cars, Truck, Motorcycle- best car tire foam
If the products you’ve tried in the past have been more of a hit and miss, this tire protectant foam spray is about to be your new best mate.
The extraordinary formula blocks the dreadful of the elements. Yes, really. They’ll just slip away leaving your tire untouched and as good as new – well, almost.
Along with its second-to-none deterrent powers, this wonder of tire foam also boosts the shine like no other.
What more could you want?
9. Dinowax Tire Dressing | High Gloss Long Lasting Automotive Dressing | Professional-Grade (128 Oz)
If you’ve jumped on the easy wipe-on/wipe-off solutions bandwagon, Dinowax’s best tire dressing to prevent dry rot will give your rubber a new lease of life.
The silicone formula is packed with proprietary additives that preserve the molecules in rubber for the longest time possible, delaying dry rotting.
As someone who’s been using Dinowax’s Tire Dressing for years, take it from me: this product will save your tires (and your money).
And if you own a professional tire repair business, good luck finding a better product!
10. CarGuys Tire Shine Spray – Best Tire Dressing Car Care Kit for Car Tires After a Car Wash- best tire shine spray
The CarGuys tire shine formula guards your rubber tires against outside elements that damage them along the way while keeping the rubber moisturized and nourished.
And with this most advanced spray, you don’t need to worry about dirt and dust making your tires appear dirty or dingy- it repels dust and dirt terrifically.
This best no sling tire shine has also been boosted with an exclusive nano polymer that helps it bond strongly with rubber tires, to prevent sling and possible run-off at highway cruising speeds.
It’s surely well worth the price!
11. 303 Products (30387) Automotive Tire Balm and Protectant – Sling Free Formula for A Long Lasting Shine – Natural OR Satin Finish – best tire balm and UV protectant
A Buyer’s Guide for Tire Dressing and Protectant
As with most products, you need to keep a couple of things in mind when shopping for the best tire dressing to prevent dry rot.
(i) Will the product repel dust?
In most cases, low-quality protectants attract dust and you’re likely to have dust stick to your tires after application, making your wheels look dirty.
That is the last thing any car owner wants, so look for a product that effectively protects your tires while not letting debris stick to them.
(ii) Is it safe for your wheels?
Some products are made of chemicals that harm aluminum rims or other types of rims and you have to aim for your tires only when applying.
Petroleum may actually degrade the tire rubber’s weathering agents, potentially causing untimely tire cracking instead of preventing sidewall weathering.
Worse still, some products containing silicone oils, alcohol, or solvents not only mess the rubber itself but also your health.
For example, some solvent-based solutions have been known to cause skin irritation.
Additionally, these may aggravate skin, eyes, and even respiratory tract problems.
To be sure, read the label for the ingredients and pick an option specifically designed to effectively slow down dry rotting while remaining safe on tire rubber, the wheel, and you.
(iii) Level of UV Protection
To work great, your choice must give your tires ultimate protection against harmful UV rays.
That way, the tires will not dry rot quickly even if the sun is really beating down hard on them.
Plus, the tire color won’t fade even when you leave the vehicle in the sun for prolonged periods.
And so it’s important to pick a product enriched with UV protection in the formula.
(iv) Spray on vs gel-based tire dressing products
Tire balming products that come in spray bottles are, in general, easier to apply and tend to offer the best accuracy during application since you simply aim and spray.
Besides, it’s way easier to spray the liquid to challenging areas like in between tire ridges.
Our only gripe with these products is that they don’t last as long as gel-based tire dressing products.
On the other hand, you apply gel-based tire dressing products (packed in a bottle) by rubbing it onto the rubber with a microfiber cloth and you may need to use a brush to push the product through the detailed ribs.
That said, you get more control over the amount of the product used and the spot it goes to.
Best Tire Dressing to Prevent Dry Rot – Frequently Asked Questions
What causes tire sidewall weathering (dry rot)?
Sure, tires will naturally degrade over time because they are continually exposed to hostile environmental conditions that cause the rubber compounds making up a tire to weaken and eventually crack.
But truth be told, some of our actions contribute to early tire sidewall cracks.
For example, your tires are likely to begin breaking down if you don’t maintain optimum inflation pressure since the extreme stress on both the tread and sidewalls makes them overheat.
Subsequently, excessive heat causes the tire to crack.
Here is a low-down of what causes dry rot on tires:
- Keeping the car out under direct sunlight– the UV rays are the rubber compound’s number 1 enemy.
- Parking your car near petroleum spills– petrochemicals may dissolve their damaging antioxidants on the tires, increasing the likelihood of dry rotting.
- Vehicle inactivity– the protective antioxidants added to your tires to protect against ozone and the weather elements can only find their way to the tire’s surface once it’s grounded so letting your vehicle sit for months is asking for trouble.
- Failing to replace the tires on time– the tread in older tires is bare implying an elevated risk of dry-rotting.
- Storing tires in poor conditions– tires should not be stored under extremely high temperatures or near ozone-generating sources such as battery chargers, electric motors, generators, etc.
- Overloading the vehicle- exceeding the load capacity permitted for your vehicle places undue strain on the tires and may cause them to crack too soon.
How bad is dry rot on tires?
As mentioned at the beginning, dry rotting is not something you can take lightly and should not be ignored.
In fact, driving on cracked tires can be catastrophic.
You see, once the cracks extend to the tire cords, the heat especially when you’re on the road for many hours (or when cruising at high speeds) causes the rubber to enlarge.
The tread could, in turn, separate while driving, putting you in grave danger.
That is not something you would wish on anybody, not even on your worst enemy, so repair the cracks as soon as possible. Or replace the affected tire(s) altogether if you’ve discovered it when it’s too late.
Of course, it’s best to contact a tire specialist or your mechanic if unsure about the best approach to take.
Applying the best tire dressing to prevent dry rot once a month (after cleaning the tires) is the first step in keeping car tire weathering at bay.
The other things you should do to make sure dry rotting doesn’t happen to your tires are keeping them properly inflated and changing the tires when due.
Moving the vehicle out of direct sunlight and avoiding harsh environmental conditions whenever possible will also help.
Over to you, mate!