Best Tyre Dressing Applicators UK (Reviews) of 2020

Best Tyre Dressing Applicator UK

Nothing is more beautiful than gleaming, shining tyres. They can make a vehicle look truly clean, and some polishes are also excellent at repelling dirt and grit. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that the type of applicator you use to dress your tyres will affect your results. For example, many polishes and shines incorporate caustic chemicals that are great for rubber, but can damage sponges rapidly. Other chemicals will not wash out of regular sponges, completely destroying it. A rough material will also scratch the exterior, and that ruins the whole finish. 

If you shine your tyres on a regular basis, then you should consider a professional dressing applicator. To help you find one that can withstand the formula used in tyre shine or gel, we’ve identified 5 of the top tyre dressing applicators for helping you maintain a gleaming vehicle.

Best Tyre Dressing Applicators in the UK Reviews

#1. Autoglym Perfect Polish Applicator

Autoglym Perfect Polish Applicator

The Autoglym Perfect Polish Applicator is a straightforward model made of durable synthetics that absorb just enough of the dressing to keep it on the applicator. The rest is easy to spread across the surface of the tyre so you get an even shine. While this applicator is not curved, it is thin and flexible enough to be folded to reach all of the slopes and crevices of the tyre.

There are two perfect polish applicators in each container. They are black and machine washable, so you can reuse them again and again while maintaining your vehicle. Each one is made of synthetic foam and has full dimensions of 17.2 x 9.8 x 5.7 cm. For the best maintenance, wash each Autoglym applicator in warm water and allow it to air dry.

One potential concern you might have is the thinness of the foam. You need to be gentle when polishing to avoid rips and tears that could affect the applicator and make it less effective.


  • Highly durable
  • Does not absorb all of the dressing
  • Can be folded


  • Not curved
  • Thin
  • Somewhat abrasive

#2. Meguiar’s tyre Dressing Applicator

Meguiar’s tyre Dressing Applicator

Meguiar’s is a well-trusted automotive accessory and maintenance item manufacturer in the UK, and it is easy to see why. These tyre dressing applicators are simple and work well despite being rectangular. They are made of thick and durable foam which can withstand multiple uses, and each applicator is also machine washable. For the best results, you need to wash the foam in warm water and allow it to air dry between uses.

These tyre dressing applicators absorb just the right amount of product and are actually thicker than normal. This means they can withstand more uses without ripping or tearing. Each Meguiar applicator even comes in its own special plastic storage case so you don’t have to worry about it degrading from being exposed to the elements. You can choose from multiple shapes and sizes, and there is a contoured grip.

The full dimensions of this applicator are 15cm x 8cm x 21 cm. One potential concern you might have is the brand new applicator has sharp edges that can scratch tyre rubber, so you might need to use the foam a couple of times to help it soften. This problem can also be avoided by washing the applicator before using it for the first time.


  • Thick construction
  • Durable
  • Easy to clean
  • Comes with a case


  • Sharp corners

#3. SODIAL(R) Professional Automotive Tyre Dressing Applicator

SODIAL(R) Professional Automotive Tyre Dressing Applicator

These SODIAL(R) tyre dressing applicators are a great choice for individuals who enjoy having specialized tools. These are some of the only applicators available in the UK which feature curved edges which better wrap around the slopes of the tyre. This stops you from wasting polish by accidentally covering the rim.

These applicators have two separate sides: black foam and yellow foam. The black foam is rougher and is meant to apply the dressing, while the yellow side is soft and has a grip for you to hold onto. These sponges are not as durable as other applicators, but SODIAL(R) sells them in a convenient pack of 5 so you never run out.

These are cleanable, but you need to wash them by hand in warm water and allow them to air dry.


  • Curved
  • Affordable
  • Come in packs of multiples


  • Prone to tears
  • Disposable

#4. ALCLEAR Microfiber Tyre Dressing Applicator

ALCLEAR Microfiber Tyre Dressing Applicator

The ALCLEAR microfiber dressing applicators are a personal favorite. These are one of the only options which has a convenient, rounded grip in addition to being round themselves. This means there are no sharp corners to disrupt your shine and you also don’t have to worry about wasting product by hitting the rim or part of your vehicle.

The microfiber is extremely durable but also more absorbent than the average sponge. These can be washed in a machine and even dried in a dryer without difficulty. They are designed to last a long time and go through multiple uses. You need to apply only a little pressure, and you can even use the applicator for other automotive substances like paint.

The only major downside is these are slightly more expensive than other applicators on the market.


  • Rounded
  • Easy to grip
  • Highly durable
  • Can be used for multiple substances


  • Expensive
  • Absorbent

#5. Barnwell Tyre Shine Dressing Curved Pads

Barnwell Tyre Shine Dressing Curved Applicator Pads

These Barnwell applicator pads are curved to give an even coating of dressing. There are two separate sides: black foam to use with the dressing and a soft green foam you can grip. These are sloped to avoid wasting polish and are also highly affordable. The main downside is they are not as durable as other options, so you will only get a couple of washes out of each one before you need to get a new one. Luckily, there are sold in packs of multiple!


  • Easy to use
  • Disposable
  • Curved


  • Easy to tear
  • Hard to wash

Dressing Applicators for Tyres Buying Considerations

Tyre dressing applicators are straightforward but still have some significant things you need to consider when buying one. Although they all look like sponges, there can have a variety of shapes and are often made of different materials. These can affect absorbency and how well the dressing is applied to the surface of your tyres. Consider the following features before you make any final purchases, and you are more likely to get excellent results.


The shape of the applicator is one of its most basic features. Shape determines how well you are able to apply dressing to the curves of the tyres. Some of the best options will be sponges or applicators that also have a curve, because this means you aren’t wasting product by getting it on the rim. The rounded edges and slopes also make it easy to spread the dressing across the sloped surface of the tyre. The one catch is a rounded applicator might wear down unevenly.

Other applicators will be square. These are not as effective but tend to be more long lasting because you can bend the applicator to the shape you need and focus on wearing down all of the sides evenly. The main downside is it easy to get dressing on the rim, and it is a pain to wipe it all away. 


The absorbency of the applicator affects how much dressing is lost when you are applying it. A sponge that is too absorbent results in wasted product and money, which is why you want a synthetic option that will hold the dressing on the surface and not absorb too much of it.

However, be careful not to go too far in the opposite direction. If there is no absorbency, then the dressing will slide right off of the surface and make a mess.


Finally, consider durability. Nobody wants to spend their money on an applicator that will be worthless after a single use. To get the most use out of an applicator, try to find an option that is machine washable and durable enough to not rip or tear while in use. This will save you money and help you avoid the frustration of needing to get a new applicator every time you want to dress your tyres.

Final Verdict

If you work as a detailer or simply like to maintain your vehicle, then you need a tyre dressing applicator. These are better than regular sponges and cloths because they apply the dressing in an event coat and are also designed to better wrap around the slopes of the rubber. They will save you much time and heartache, and help you avoid wasting dressing.

Out of all of the options on this list, the Barnwell Tyre Shine Dressing Curved Applicator Pads are some of the best because they are curved and have just the right amount of absorbency. However, any option on this list will work well for you if you know how to use the applicator properly. 

  • Updated September 23, 2020
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