The better approach to tire shine


Black Pearl is a water-based, polymer-based (eco-friendly / non-HazMat) tire coating that forms a dry film that does not sling or smear, lasts up to 6 months under normal (city/hwy) driving conditions, and is not damaged by pressure washers or the car wash.

Does not contain solvents that may damage tires, paint finish, vinyl, or plastics.  Lasts longer than conventional oil-based products.

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A THOROUGH PREP IS KEY TO A GOOD RESULT!  Tires have to be oil, grease, and wax free.

ON OLDER TIRES: We recommend at least two rounds of apply/scrub/rinse with OmniClean or your favorite (sodium hydroxide and/or sodium meta silicate based) alkaline cleaner/degreaser. Spray the alkaline cleaner/degreaser on liberally and scrub vigorously with a soft-bristled brush capable of getting in and around the tread line, and all of the raised lettering/numbering, etc. (e.g., a stiff nylon scrub brush – auto parts stores sell brushes designed specifically for scrubbing tires).

NOTE: If the list of ingredients includes D-Limonene (terpene, citrus oil), and/or the degreaser has a citrus smell, it probably will not perform a proper cleaning.

You will probably see a dark brown discharge and no suds on the first round. Keep applying, scrubbing and rinsing until white suds form, and/or you no longer see a brown discharge. You may just need two rounds.  If you use a lot of conventional tire dressing, you may need to go around three or more times. 

NOTE: Misting the tires with water, or dipping the scrub brush in water, while scrubbing, may promote more suds.

NOTE: Please review the safety precautions on the bottle before using the cleaning product.

All oil and grease must be removed from the surface of the sidewall. Black Pearl is water-based. Analogous to the repulsive interaction in oil and vinegar salad dressing, even a thin film of oil/grease forms an impenetrable barrier which prevents BP from making direct contact with the rubber and forming the bond.

OmniClean is strong. It can be diluted with one or two parts tap water, if you prefer.  If you substitute with a different alkaline degreaser product, you may need to perform one or more additional rounds of apply/scrub/rinse to achieve the same result. 

NOTE: If you have bare (i.e., not clear-coated) aluminum or magnesium wheels, make sure your cleaner is compatible with the finish. Alkali may form white spots on these surfaces, which will have to be polished off. Otherwise, either shield the wheel from coming into direct contact with the cleaner, and/or have a damp cloth ready to quickly wipe off any drips or over-spray. Alternatively, perform a kerosene-only prep. Kerosene will also remove oil and grease and does not damage bare magnesium and aluminum surfaces.

When performing an alkaline degreaser prep, two simple indicators that the tires are properly prepped are: 1) rinse water wets the tires evenly, it does not bead, and 2) tires are much darker when wet.

NOTE: If, after no brown is observed, rinse water beads, there is still some residual wax on the tires that must be removed. Dry the tires and perform a kerosene wipe.

ON NEW TIRES: Kerosene wipe to a MATTE FINISH. A satin sheen indicates there is STILL WAX ON THE TIRES. **Do not look for NO WATER-BEADING as your indicator that you are done. Look for a matte finish. Wait for at least 20 minutes to allow the residual kerosene in the substrate to degas before applying Black Pearl.

A second indicator that kerosene wipe is complete is, a clean towel will grab, it does not slide easily over the surface.

All wax must be removed from the surface of the sidewall. Black Pearl is water-based. Analogous to the repulsive interaction in oil and vinegar salad dressing, even a thin film of wax forms an impenetrable barrier which prevents BP from making direct contact with the rubber and forming the bond.

NOTE: All new tires have factory-wax on the surface that MUST be removed. Alkaline degreaser will not remove it. A solvent wipe is required.  Kerosene wipe with clean microfiber towels is the required prep on new tires that still have factory-wax on the surface. NOTE: Please DO NOT substitute kerosene with any other solvent. Kerosene is the only solvent I have found that performs a thorough prep on new tires. The cheapest source of kerosene is gas stations. An alternative is the paint section at hardware stores.

Use clean, absorbent microfiber towels. Consider swapping the towels out one or more times, just in case they get saturated with paraffin wax.

NOTE: In hard to wipe places, kerosene can be agitated with a brush (eg. tooth brush, etc.) to facilitate wax dissolution, BUT be sure to wipe off before the kerosene evaporates. 

NOTE: If new tires already have a history of several conventional tire dressing applications, consider doing an alkaline degreaser apply/scrub/rinse and dry before performing the kerosene wipe.

NOTE: Kerosene wipe only can be performed on older tires as well, but especially if they have a history of frequent conventional tire dressing application, you may end up using several microfiber towels, and which may get really dirty. WHEN ALL THE WAX IS GONE, alkaline scrub is typically the easier and faster approach.

NOTE: Kerosene wipe prep on older tires may be preferable when they are mounted on bare aluminum or magnesium wheels. If overspray from alkaline degreaser is not wiped off the wheels quickly with a damp cloth, white stains may form which have to be polished off.

RECOMMENDATION: An alternative very effective way to determine if the tires have been properly cleaned is to prepare a small Black Pearl test spot on one front tire first (one coat), allow to dry, and then drive the vehicle a few miles.  Inspect the test spot.  If the film is cracking, flaking, or is totally removed, the tires ARE NOT properly cleaned.

NOTE: Either an alkaline degreaser apply/scrub/rinse or a kerosene wipe can be performed to prep tires with an existing coating for a fresh application, to be applied directly over the existing films. Do not use alcohol, acetone, methyl ethyl ketone, or thinners for this application.

Trim parts can be prepped with an isopropyl alcohol wipe, unless they have a history of conventional tire dressing applications; prep with kerosene instead.  If you prep with kerosene, wait for at least 20 minutes before applying product to allow residual kerosene in the substrate to degas.


Here is a link to a very good You Tube 'How To' video to guide you through the prep and application: https://youtu.be/XkMaweUIaEo

Here is a link to a trim parts application You Tube: https://youtu.be/Nl9sR7ZpDK0

NOTE: If you receive an order that has frozen during transport, do not worry. When it thaws, it should be fine. Just give it a shake after it thaws.


Apply with the high density foam roller included in the kit.  For a shinier result, spray application is recommended.  Also, if a blacker and shinier finish is desired, apply a second coat. Wait for the first coat to dry completely before applying the second coat (approxinately 30 minutes).  

If Black Pearl gets on the wheel, or the body of the car, quickly wipe off with a damp paper towel, sponge, or cloth. It will not harm these types of surfaces.

Allow coatings to dry completely before using the vehicle. Dry time (flash time) is typically 20 - 30 minutes (i.e., milky appearance has totally disappeared), depending on temperature and humidity.

Do not expose a fresh application to rain or sustained wetting, otherwise the films may temporarily revert to the milky appearance. Wait three to four hours before driving in the rain.

Driving with fresh coatings under dry conditions and/or exposing them to direct sunlight, after they have completely dried, will accelerate the final cure process.

If the coatings get damaged (e.g. scuffed on a curb), clean the damaged portions with a damp nylon dishwashing scrub pad. Use the abrasive side to remove any loose flakes of coating that are still sticking to the tire surfaces. Perform a light degreaser clean and rinse, if needed. Once dry, apply a fresh coat of product to the damaged portions.

Periodically clean fully cured coatings with OmniClean or a similar commercial sodium hydroxide and/or sodium metasilicate-based cleaner/degreaser, or a detergent and water solution, and a nylon brush or sponge, and rinse thoroughly with a pressure washer or garden hose, to restore color and luster.

A fresh coat may be applied directly over an existing film that is clean and dry. Perform a light cleaner/degreaser application/scrub/rinse. No additional surface preparation is required.

NOTE: If two coats are to be applied on the same day, for added convenience, the un-washed roller and tray may be placed in a plastic bag, and may be stored in the refrigerator between coats for up to approximately two hours.

NOTE: Do not expose coatings to organic solvents (e.g. alcohols, acetone, thinners, petroleum distillates, etc.) or the films may be damaged. 


ON TRIM PARTS: Prep surfaces with isopropyl alcohol (IPA). Black Pearl is recommended for use on plastic, vinyl, and firm rubber. On soft rubber (eg. window seals) films may cure tacky and attract dust. 




On warm days, do not apply under direct sunlight. Also, do not apply when tire surfaces are warm. Also, do not apply under breezy/windy conditions. These conditions will accelerate the dry-time, which may result in a more textured final film and/or the formation of bubble-spots (due to incomplete bubble dissipation) on the film.  An accelerated dry time may also have an adverse effect on adhesion and longevity.

Applying in an enclosed area, such as a garage, is recommended. For added convenience, consider applying in the early evening and allowing to cure overnight.

Do not apply at temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit or a proper film may not form. If in doubt, prepare a small test spot first, on one tire, to ensure best results.

Cleaning of paint tray and roller:

The applicator and tray may be cleaned with water, or a mild detergent solution followed by a water-rinse. Clean these items before the product dries.

NOTE: If, after rinsing and squeezing the foam roller under the faucet a few times after use, you soak the roller in a cup of water for a few hours, you should get several uses out of each. Otherwise, residual product still trapped in the foam will cause the foam to become more firm.


For maximum shelf life, store Black Pearl out of direct sunlight. Do not allow contents to freeze.


NOTE: All photos on this site are from our individual customers and professional Detailers.