Can You Use Tire Shine On Plastic Trim? (Explained)

Car owners are required to have different protectants for the dashboard, upholstery, plastic trims, tires, and even the paint job. Sometimes, you may discover that you have run out of one of these protectants.

For example, you may not have a protectant for the plastic trim, and you have just finished washing your car. In such a scenario, you may consider getting creative and using the tire shine instead.

After all, isn’t plastic and rubber the same thing? In the back of your mind, you may have some doubts. So, if you are interested in finding out whether it’s okay to use tire shine on plastic trim, here are the answers you need.

tire shine on plastic trim

Will Tire Shine Damage Plastic Trim?

Several brands make tire shine. As you may already know, these brands use different formulas. Tire shine will be safe to use on plastic trim most of the time.

But before you spray the tire shine on your plastic trim, please read carefully through the can’s instructions. Some tire shine products mention their spray can be used on vinyl or plastic. These are the ones that are safe to use on plastic trim.

However, if it’s written that it shouldn’t be used on plastic, please refrain from using it on your tire shine because the components can be too strong for plastic. Rubber and plastic have varying chemical properties, despite both being polymers.

Therefore, if a tire shine manufacturer recommends that tire shine not be used on plastic, follow their instructions. Using the wrong protectant on plastic can have consequences such as causing the trim to wear or crack prematurely.

How Does Tire Shine Perform When Sprayed on Plastic Trim?

When you read through several car forums, you will be surprised by the amount of praise tire shine receives because of its performance on plastic.

Tire shine is surprisingly known to offer excellent results on plastic trim. Not only does it enhance the aesthetics of the trim, but it also lasts for fairly long.

Reading this can make you switch to tire shine from today. But as you do so, remember to go back to the advice we have provided earlier.

Tire shine will only work on plastic if the manufacturer recommends it. If it’s not recommended, it’s not worth the risk. Also, if you are keen on preserving the plastic trim on your car, there are products specifically made for that.

You can find a wide range of quality plastic trim protectants at your nearest auto store. These should add gloss and revive the worn-out look of any plastic trim. If not at your nearest auto store, there are plenty of places, even online, where you can buy some tire shine.

Will Tire Shine Look Good on Plastic Trim?

We have already covered the safety aspect and performance of tire shine on plastic trim. What we now need to clear up is how tire shine will look on plastic trim.

When it comes to looks, tire shine is known to leave an oily film on plastic trim. Therefore, you will have to grab a microfiber cloth and scoop off the excess oil when you are done spraying.

This can be a nightmare if you intend to spray a plastic grill with a complex design. You will spend an incredibly long period trying to clean up the oily film caused by tire shine.

Tires and plastic surfaces have very different textures. The rubber on tires absorbs more product than plastic. This is why tire shine products tend to contain oily substances.

When you spray a tire shine only made for tires, there will be some excess oil left on the surface. That will need to be cleaned up.

Otherwise, the final results won’t look so pleasant. It’s essential to take note of this drawback as it will help you avoid disappointments in the future.

Can I Use Tire Shine on Interior and Exterior Plastic Trim?

Plastic is a material that is commonly used in cars these days. You will find it in the interior and the exterior.

If you have some tire shine approved for plastic use, it can be applied on the interior and exterior. There is no limit to where you can spray tire shine.

The vice versa also applies. If tire shine isn’t approved for plastic use, there is no need to risk spraying it on plastic components inside and outside your vehicle.

What Experiences Do People Have with Tire Shine on Plastic Trims?

Since tire shine is made for tires and not plastic trims, you need to hear other people’s experiences before engaging in such a project.

That’s the only way you can learn before improvising. When researching whether tire shine can be used on plastic trims, the general opinion is that it’s safe for use.

Besides that, there are plenty of success stories about tire shine working flawlessly on plastic trim. If you are wondering whether this is a common practice, you should know that it is. However, that doesn’t mean it’s correct.

If you want to preserve the plastic trim on your car, you need to use the right products. For instance, there are a lot of plastic protectants on the market. It, therefore, doesn’t make sense for you to visit an auto store and ask for tire shine to use on plastic trim.

It’s best to improvise with tire shine if you have run out of plastic protectant. But don’t make a habit out of it. Also, as you use tire shine, make sure that it is approved for plastic use. Prepare to deal with the oily film left behind when you spray tire shine.

As you will come to learn later, people will have different experiences with certain products. For instance, a person can find out that tire shine restores the look of their car’s plastic trim better than plastic protectants. Another will have a terrible experience with such.

Most improvisions come as a result of trial and error. If you are the kind of car owner who goes by the book, stick to protectants made for plastic. You can always perform a patch test and see the results for yourself.

What to Do When Tire Shine Accidentally Gets on Plastic?

When dressing your tires, you can spray tire shine on the nearby plastic fender. This is bound to happen every once in a while, especially if you don’t have a lot of room around the tires and wheel well.

When you spray tire shine on plastic, there is often no need to panic. The only issue you have to worry about is if you spray a plastic trim with a non-plastic tire shine. That may lead to cracking and wearing out of the plastic trim.

But this will occur due to the continued use of non-plastic tire shine. If you make the occasional mistake of getting tire shine on nearby plastic, you don’t have to worry.

If you are concerned about any side effects, you can wash the stained part with shampoo and water. It should also come off on its own as you drive.

Manufacturers of tire shine are aware that the contents can touch surrounding components during application. This is why they don’t create a product that will immediately harm plastic fenders or even paint.

When you accidentally spray some tire shine on the paint job, clean it off with a clean cloth. That should remove the contents of the tire shine from your paint job, leaving it intact.

If the stain declines to come off, bring in the big guns such as a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water in a ratio of 1:3.

What is Tire Shine?

Tire shine is a rubber protectant formulated to restore black rubber, add gloss and protect the tires from drying and cracking. Tire shine is part of detailing a vehicle. It’s what gives the wheels a deep black finish.

It is formulated to last for a few months. Tire shine works just like wax. It enables rubber to retain a quality finish, thus prolonging its life and adding beauty to the overall vehicle.

Tire shine is available mainly in a spray bottle. That makes it easy to use. Some tire shine products are recommended for plastic use. That is often written in the packaging.

These are the ones we advise you to use on plastic trim since you are assured of the formula being safe for such a surface.

How Do I Protect the Plastic Trim on My Car?

Exposure to snow, rain and UV rays can make the plastic trim of your car degrade sooner than anticipated. Dulling and fading are usually the first warning signs of worn-out plastic trim. If you want to protect it, you can do a couple of things.

First, it needs to be cleaned regularly. All plastic components on your car need to be cleaned with a microfiber cloth or detailing brush. If not cleaned, the contaminants it picks up along the way will accelerate discoloration.

Secondly, it needs to be undressed. Most people usually layer one dressing over another. It is crucial to remove the underlying dressing to allow the new dressing to cure on the rubber.

When dressing your plastic trim, ensure that you strip it clean. An all-purpose cleaner of your choice should get that job done. Then spray on a quality plastic protectant.