How to Remove Old Tire Sealants

By : Mr Mamil
Updated :

Tubeless tires can be a messy affair when it comes to cleaning up when swapping to a fresh set of tires. Sometimes, the sealant can dry up, leaving a layer of solid latex around the rim, rim tape, and tires.

Why does the sealant dry up?

The majority of the tubeless sealants today are latex-based. To prevent the latex from coagulating (dry up), manufacturers add ammonia (alkaline) to increase the pH levels and slow down the coagulation process.

As you inflate and deflate the tire over time, the ammonia solution evaporates and causes the latex to dry up.

How to prevent sealant from drying up in the tires

You can’t completely prevent the sealant from drying up, but you can slow down the process.

Store your bike away from the sun, spin the wheels if you haven’t ridden the bike for several days, and keep it properly inflated. Low humidity will accelerate the ammonia solution evaporation and dry up the sealant faster.

Alternatively, opt for non-latex based sealants such as the Finish Line Multiseal.

How to remove dried sealant from the rim and tire

There are many methods to remove the dried sealants. Each method work to a varying degree of success depending on the sealant amount, type, and how long it has dried up.

Some method requires more effort and time than others. If one doesn’t work, try the next one until you’re happy with the result.

  1. Price and pull it with your fingernails.
  2. Wipe with a wet rag or wet wipes.
  3. Use a hard plastic brush or Scotchbrite with Windex cleaner.
  4. Use a silicone spray and wipe with a rag.
  5. Use elbow grease and wipe with a rag.