Mobile Detailing Services

When it comes to tire dressings there are basically three options. Your high gloss look. The satin finish, or the matte finish. A recent poll by our friends at Detailing World asked the question, which is best? By a 6% margin, the satin finish won the day and matte came in last place with only 25% of the vote. Today we are going to explore the differences that each of these dressings make beyond their shine.


A high gloss dressing is more than 90% of the time, silicone based. This provides a high level of shine and a glossy wet look to the tire. Unfortunately, that also means that the bond to the tire is not as strong. This will lead to sling from the tire that gets on the bottom panels of your vehicle interrupting your freshly cleaned look. To minimize this affect, we recommend applying all silicone dressing (well every dressing really) with an applicator pad instead of a spray nozzle. It will unfortunately lower the shine level slightly however it will improve the longevity of the dressing and decrease the amount you use on each application.

It is also important to note than many high gloss dressing to not provide protection so make sure to read your labels before purchasing. With all that said, some vehicles need that high shine to match their gloss or contradict the depth of the paint. You see high gloss dressing on many sport’s colored vehicles. It’s also used in many films and television shows.


Satin dressing can be made of silicone and can also be water based. Water based dressing are more likely to contain conditioners that improve and protect the long term look of your tire and help prevent cracking. However, we still recommend reading the bottle.

Satin dressing are recently the most common used in many car shows and especially in automotive events. Detailers have also started moving in the direction of satin dressing as many car washes now offer high gloss tire dressing with their services. Most water based dressing can also be diluted allowing to decrease the shelf life of each bottle. However, you will lose shine and protection effectiveness when diluting. On the opposite side, Satin dressings can be applied multiple times to enhance the shine further.


Matte Dressings are by the majority water based and usually creams. Following the pattern down the line, though not all, there are many matte dressing that contain longer term tire protection even from that included in satin dressing. Matte dressings are still a staple with many classic car enthusiasts and show car owners alike. Matte dressing tend to despite the heaviness or a repeat of application stay a matte finish

It’s important to remember at the end of the day, it comes down to preference as you can see in Detail Worlds poll at Rember you have a decision not only between shine level, but in many cases, level of protection as well.