Tyre Shine & Wheel Cleaning

When detailing the exterior of your car, van, SUV or 4x4 there are three main areas to cover off. First is the paintwork, second are the windows and last but not least the wheels/tyres. In this article we will be covering the best way to make your wheels/tyres stand out from the rest with a deep dive into cleaning and tyre shine selection.


The wheels and tyres on your car are subject to a huge amount of contamination when you drive. During normal driving the brakes in your car create a fine dust and also excess heat that sticks that dust onto the wheels and tyres. The wheels and tyres on your car are also hit constantly with road contaminants such as tar and iron deposits. The key is to remove all these contaminants before applying your tyre shine to maximise gloss and longevity.

 wheel cleaner

Start the wheels/tyre cleaning process by spraying the areas with ABSOLUTE versatile surface cleaner. Make sure to spray directly onto the wheel face, tyres and even into the wheel wells then agitate. The cleaner is gentle on surfaces to not strip or mark the vehicle's surfaces and will need some agitation to lift baked on contaminants. Use the CEC premium detailing brushes to get into all areas of the wheels. It's best to use the thickest brush out of the set to do the wheel faces and inner guards, while the smaller sizes will help get the cleaner around the wheel nuts and tight corners. It's also very important to ensure any contaminants are also lifted from the tyres outer sidewall as this is where the tyre shine will adhere to. So use the thick brush again to agitate the ABSOLUTE versatile surface cleaner over the outer sidewall of the tyre. As you agitate the ABSOLUTE versatile surface cleaner it will foam up on the surface. During this process you will notice the white foam over the surface of the wheels and tyres turning a brown colour as it lifts the brake dust and iron away (do not let the cleaner dry onto the surface). Next, hose down or pressure wash the wheels, tyres and wheel wells to wash away any remaining cleaner.


Now for the most important part, the tyre shine is the final touch to make your wheels look fresh and clean. There are two main options with tyre shine, spray on or wipe on. Spray on tyre shine is one of the most common exterior detailing products on the market today. While it is fast to apply it also has its drawbacks.


  • Spray on tyre shine tends to get all over your clean paintwork as precise application is difficult. When spraying from the bottle or can it is difficult to hit only the tyres sidewall. This can cause the tyre shine to splatter over the clean paintwork around the wheel arches and face of the wheel. The overspray will create an undesirable rainbow effect over the painted surface. If the tyre shine overspray makes its way onto the tread of the tyre it can cause the tyre to slip on the roads surface and cause an accident.
  • Spray on tyre shine tends to be silicone based which can be harmful to the respiratory system when sprayed. Silicones can be dangerous when inhaled and aerosol or liquid spray on tyre shines tend to release silicones into the air when sprayed. If correct PPE is not worn during the application process these silicones could be inhaled by the user.
  • Spray on tyre shine doesn't apply evenly and can leave a patchy uneven finish on your tyres. Due to the way droplets exit the nozzle with spray on tyre shine a uniform coating is almost impossible to achieve. This creates an unnatural blotchy look on tyres that is not desirable.


Avoid all of the above problems by using a wipe on tyre shine like ENERGISE tyre rejuvenation gel. ENERGISE has been developed and tested in Australia for our extreme conditions. With manufacturing right here in Sydney we have tested and adjusted our formulation to provide the perfect, lasting finish time and time again. When developing ENERGISE we focused on some of the key pain points of our customers and made sure ENERGISE could deliver what they wanted on a consistent basis. The following list of benefits is what sets ENERGISE apart from other tyre shines on the market:


  • Long lasting shine: with key active ingredients that are designed to cling to the full surface area of the sidewall, ENERGISE is able to prolong shine for weeks under normal driving conditions.
  • Easy & precise wipe on application: with its thick consistency ENERGISE is a simple wipe on tyre shine. As you wipe on the tyre shine it is super easy to control what surfaces the tyre shine adheres to so there is no mess left on wheels or painted surfaces.
  • Adjustable levels of shine: ENERGISE is a layerable tyre shine, meaning that you can control the level of shine on your tyres. We know that everyone has their own preference when it comes to how much shine is enough, so we developed ENERGISE to be adjustable to your preferences. For those that like more of a new tyre look with minimal shine, simply apply one layer of tyre shine onto the surface of the sidewall and spread it thinly. For those that like a little more shine on their tyre, apply an even layer of the tyre shine over the sidewall of the tyre and let it dry (do not over apply onto the tyre to prevent any sling). Once dry you can apply an additional layer of the tyre shine to get an extreme gloss.
  • UV protection: with the harsh ultraviolet (UV) rays that attack all surfaces of our vehicles every day, it is important to protect all the vulnerable surfaces on our vehicles that we can. Did you know that the rubber composition on most tyres is also susceptible to the UV rays and can oxidise or crack overtime? ENERGISE tyre rejuvenation gel has been specially formulated to contain UV protection elements that keep the exposed sidewall of tyres naturally hydrated to prevent oxidation and cracking to prolong the life of your tyres.
  • Australian made and owned: as with all formulations from Cutting Edge Chemicals, ENERGISE tyre shine is locally made in Sydney, Australia to keep jobs local. All formulations are also tested within Australia on local vehicles to ensure consistent results are achieved easily every time.


To apply ENERGISE similar to using any other tyre shine, make sure the surface of the outer sidewall is clean of any contaminants. Then let the tyre dry before applying any tyre shine, remember that tyre shine will not stick to a wet tyre. If tyre shine is applied to a wet tyre the result will look patchy and uneven.


Once the sidewall of the tyre is dry, grab the CEC microfibre applicator pad and apply some ENERGISE tyre rejuvenation gel to the pad (the amount required will be determined by the surface area on the sidewall of the tyre). It is always best to start with a little bit of tyre shine first and add extra if needed. Let the tyre shine spread over the surface of the applicator pad and level out slightly, then use the pad to apply the tyre shine evenly over the surface of the outer sidewall of the tyre.

 tyre shine

Ensure that the tyre shine has not made its way onto the face of the wheel (if it has simply wipe off with a clean cloth).  Also ensure not to get the tyre shine onto the tread of the tyre as this can cause the tyre to lose traction when driving. One key feature of ENERGISE when compared to other tyre shine products is that ENERGISE is layerable, meaning that you can control the level of shine that you desire:


Matte look: to make your tyres look new like they just rolled out of the factory, simply apply ENERGISE as directed above, but before the first coat can dry completely wipe over the sidewall with a clean microfibre cloth.


Fresh shine: to make your tyres stand out from the rest, apply Energise as directed above and enjoy an eye catching and lasting shine on your tyres.


Extreme shine: for those of us that like our tyres to have a deep gloss and extreme shine, simply use the above steps and then apply a second layer of ENERGISE immediately after the first layer has started to dry.


ENERGISE is also a great product to shine the plastic pieces in the wheel wells of your car. Before applying the tyre shine, make sure you clean the wheels wells as they can be coated in road grime. The best way to clean these is with a medium bristle long handle flat plastic brush and ABSOLUTE surface cleaner. After spraying the wheel wells and agitating the area with the brush, pressure wash the remaining cleaner and grime away. Once the wheel wells are clean apply the tyre shine using the CEC microfibre applicator pad and let the ENERGISE dry on the plastic.


It is important to note that ENERGISE is a rubber rejuvenation system and not just a tyre shine. It hydrates, protects and shines in one simple application, so we recommend use every time you wash your car.

tire shine

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Where else can ENERGISE tyre rejuvenation gel be used: while most other tyre shine products, contain alcohol and solvents that dry out rubbers and plastics, ENERGISE tyre rejuvenation gel does not. This makes it the perfect product to bring back the shine in faded exterior rubber and plastic trims on your car. To apply, simply clean the surface first with some ABSOLUTE surface cleaner and let it dry, then use a CEC microfiber applicator pad to wipe on an even coat of ENERGISE. If any excess ENERGISE is left on the surface or surrounding surface, use a clean microfiber cloth to wipe it off. There may be some instances where the surface is too oxidised for repair and may need repainting or replacement.


Is ENERGISE tyre rejuvenation gel safe on white or coloured tyre lettering: yes, ENERGISE is a white liquid and does not apply any dye to the surface. This means that applying ENERGISE to any coloured tyre letter or white walls will not affect the look of the tyre.


Microfibre applicator pads Vs foam applicator pads: The CEC microfibre applicator pad is the perfect way to apply ENERGISE to your tyres. The applicator pad allows ENERGISE to sit on top of the surface of the pad without immediately soaking in. This reduces the amount of tyre shine wasted by being trapped inside the applicator. The second most important feature of the CEC microfibre applicator pad is that it can be washed and dried for re-use. Foam applicator pads are also a good way to apply tyre shine, but are usually disposable and soak tyre shine in quickly. TIP: when spreading the tyre shine onto the pad, make sure to only spread the tyre shine on the pad to be slightly smaller in size to the sidewall of your tyre. Doing this will reduce the chance of getting the tyre shine onto the tread of the tyre or the face of the wheel.


Can ENERGISE be used on motorbike tyres: motorbike tyres have very limited sidewall as the bike leans the outer edges of the tyre are used for grip around cornering. It is not recommended to use any type of tyre shine on the tyres of a bike as it could cause the tyre to slip and the rider to lose control of the bike. The best solution is to make sure the tyre on your bike is thoroughly cleaned. During your standard wash process use a CEC detailing brush to agitate the bike wash on the sidewall of the tyre before hosing it off. This will leave a new looking matte finish on the tyre, without the use of any tyre shine.