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Removing tubeless sealant

Old 01-29-24, 11:23 AM
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Removing tubeless sealant

Shimano RS700 rims (road rims), Grand prix 5000 AS 28-622 tires with Effetto Mariposa sealant.
The new tires were installed in May 2023. I removed tires after 3200 klm since new to removed the residual sealant, and recharge with new. I had occasionally added sealant as required.
Some of the thick residue was peeled off the tires. The rest was easily removed by holding the tire under hot water, and rubbing the sealant by hand; about 10 min per tire.
The thick residue from the rim well was easily removed by hand, but the hardened residue from under the rim hooks was not.
I removed the thicker pieces by scrapping under the hook using a plastic tool; it was a hassle, and took some time considering I didn't clean it perfectly.
I have used Stan's sealant in the past, and that was even harder to remove.

Can enyone recommend an easier solution?
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Old 01-29-24, 11:32 AM
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rim submerged in hot water while working the hooked area is as best as i know.
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Old 01-29-24, 11:38 AM
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Thanks, I'll give it a try.
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Old 01-29-24, 03:03 PM
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I used Goo Gone on one wheelset, I used mineral spirits on another. That and some elbow grease did the trick. I always followed up a thorough cleaning with rubbing alcohol followed by water.

Neither substance messed up the anodization or the decals. Itís probably worth looking into the chemistry if using on a carbon fiber surface.
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Old 01-29-24, 05:18 PM
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I haven't tried this with tubeless sealant, but household ammonia solution will dissolve latex. Perhaps try a toothbrush dipped in ammonia solution to soften up the stuff stuck under the hook.
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Old 01-29-24, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by yannisg
Can enyone recommend an easier solution?
Orange Seal and less obsessiveness. Thereís no need to remove tires and remove old sealantÖ Just top it off when necessary.
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Old 01-29-24, 06:50 PM
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There should be no need to clean out sealant. Just keep checking and adding new sealant and donít let it get so low that it dries inside the tire.
I have had good luck with Orange Seal Endurance myself.
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Old 01-29-24, 07:01 PM
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Iíve cleaned mine up a bit if a tyre has got a bit tricky to seal but otherwise never bothered.
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Old 01-30-24, 12:01 PM
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If you keep adding sealant without eventually cleaning it out it accumulates into clumps, and unbalances the wheel.
Unless you ride a lot, and by the time the sealant accumulates the tires need replacement anyway.
Often when re-installing tubeless tires after cleaning I had a hard time sealing the tire to the point occasionally I had to install a new tire. This was with the early combination of Shimano rims with Hutchinson tires. Later Shimano rims with Continental tires seem to work better.
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Old 01-30-24, 12:49 PM
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removing sealant from tires - something I continue to tell myself I will never do again but continue to do it

the toughest stuff to remove appeared to be orange seal endurance Ö whew
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Old 01-30-24, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by t2p
removing sealant from tires - something I continue to tell myself I will never do again but continue to do it

the toughest stuff to remove appeared to be orange seal endurance Ö whew
The Effeto Mariposa came off the tires, as mentioned above, without a problem. It was the cleaning of the hook of the rim that was difficult, and I was unable to clean it that well.
Also the sealant had gotten under the rim tape that I had to replace. Some of the plastic spokes covers had come off and had to be glue-on.
In the end I got the tire to seal w/o sealant, but was losing air quickly.
I have no experience with Orange seal.
After looking at the relatively new rim I am still not convince that I should continue using tubeless even though I have been using them since 2012.
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Old 01-31-24, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by yannisg
The Effeto Mariposa came off the tires, as mentioned above, without a problem. It was the cleaning of the hook of the rim that was difficult, and I was unable to clean it that well.
Also the sealant had gotten under the rim tape that I had to replace. Some of the plastic spokes covers had come off and had to be glue-on.
In the end I got the tire to seal w/o sealant, but was losing air quickly.
I have no experience with Orange seal.
After looking at the relatively new rim I am still not convince that I should continue using tubeless even though I have been using them since 2012.
I have had some success using a cheap plastic Harbor Freight dental pick and dragging it along the edge between the inner rim sidewall and the bead shelf while the wheel is mounted in a truing stand. The plastic tip is just firm enough to liberate bites of dried sealant that are still there. If need be you can also very carefully drag a metal dental pick in the corners to free up stubborn bits of dried sealant. In my mind you are mainly just trying to get a clean interface for the tire bead to bed down into for optimal air retention. So far I have been satisfied mounting my tires to a less than perfect rim shelf and the (fresh) latex sealant takes care of minor bead leaks pretty quickly once you inflate the re-mounted tire and spin it to fully distribute the sealant.
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Old 01-31-24, 11:51 AM
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I mean you do want a sealant that sticks well to the tire rubber, right? If a sealant peels off of the tire easily, it will also come off of the sealed hole easily.
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Old 02-01-24, 01:41 AM
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Originally Posted by masi61
I have had some success using a cheap plastic Harbor Freight dental pick and dragging it along the edge between the inner rim sidewall and the bead shelf while the wheel is mounted in a truing stand. The plastic tip is just firm enough to liberate bites of dried sealant that are still there. If need be you can also very carefully drag a metal dental pick in the corners to free up stubborn bits of dried sealant. In my mind you are mainly just trying to get a clean interface for the tire bead to bed down into for optimal air retention. So far I have been satisfied mounting my tires to a less than perfect rim shelf and the (fresh) latex sealant takes care of minor bead leaks pretty quickly once you inflate the re-mounted tire and spin it to fully distribute the sealant.
The use of a truing seems like a good idea. Never thought of that.
What is a plastic harbour freight dental pick?

Last edited by yannisg; 02-01-24 at 01:42 AM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 02-01-24, 03:05 AM
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I'd actually go so far as to say you probably shouldn't peel off the dried sealant as, in the process, you will probably unseal some old punctures. Tip out the used sealant if you want but, personally, I'm with those who say just top it up. You'd have to be a mega weight-weenie to worry about the extra few grams of sealant in your tyre.
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Old 02-01-24, 08:44 AM
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Nothing comes free and there is always a cost of some sort.
This is the cost of using tubeless systems with sealant.
I use Dawn in warm water and a scrubby pad. It takes time but it works and is less harsh than some materials. It also loosens the hard bits making it easier to 'pick' off with a tool of some sort.
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Old 02-02-24, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by yannisg
The use of a truing seems like a good idea. Never thought of that.
What is a plastic harbour freight dental pick?
just a plastic version of a dentist's pick that has a pointed triangular head that orients horizontal on one side and in the opposite direction on the other side. A metal tool can work too so long as you are careful not to scrape away any anodizing.
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Old 02-03-24, 04:00 PM
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The term "Dental Pick" comes up pretty regularly on this site. Here's a little clarification of the terminology for some of the "dental" instruments that may come in handy for bicycle mechanics.


This is an "explorer", which I think may be the dental instrument most commonly called a "pick". It's used for detecting caries (decay) and inspecting the edges of restorations.



This is probably what is referred to as a "pick" earlier in this thread. It is called a "plastic instrument", not because it is made of plastic (it's not, usually), but because it's used for placing plastic filling materials. Composite resins are actually "plastic" in both composition and physical properties. Amalgam ("silver filling") is a metal alloy which has plastic behavior until it sets.



This is a "periodontal probe", used for measuring the depth of the space between the teeth and the gums (the "gingival sulcus"). The marks are millimeters apart.



This is a "spoon excavator", used mainly for removing soft caries (decay) by hand. The resemblance to a spoon is... whimsical. ;-)



These are what would normally be called "tweezers". Dentists call them "forceps" or "pliers". I like using "tweezers" in front of patients because of the unfavorable images that the official terms might conjure up.
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Old 02-03-24, 07:46 PM
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for the hooked areas in the rim, using hot water & a nonmarring trim tool does the trick for me.
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Old 02-10-24, 12:16 PM
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I didn't want to get the sealant residue on my new DT Swiss rims so I decided to use the Tobulito tubes (not the extra light ones) that supposedly give a more comfortable ride, and are more puncture resistant that butyl tubes. I got a flat on my front wheel within the 1st 30 min of the ride. The puncture was from a small pointy piece of gravel that would have sealed itself if sealant was used; it could have been a coincidence.
Has anyone been using tubulito tubes?
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Old 02-10-24, 06:29 PM
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Acetone and a rag. This also quickly removes glue from tubulars. Acetone is not messy, it will evaporate quickly, and leave only residue from the sealant on the rag.
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Old 02-11-24, 02:25 AM
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I will give the acetone a try. Thanks
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Old 02-13-24, 07:10 AM
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I tried acetone, but you still have to do a lot of scrubbing.
I soaked a section of the hook area with acetone using a small paint brush, let it soak for a while, the used a plastic lever covered with a rag, and started scrubbing. A lot came of, but residue still remained. The more you work on it the cleaner it gets.
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Old 02-17-24, 12:03 AM
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Another approach is to use inner tubes.

Huge dry clumps = Stanimals
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Old 02-19-24, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
Another approach is to use inner tubes.

Huge dry clumps = Stanimals
Yes, I am considering going back to inner tubes.
I have been using tubeless tires since 2012.
I started using them because I use to take part in a few races, and I didn't have an escort with spare wheels so with tubeless I reduced the possibility of flats. It worked well because I never had a flat on a race.
I also took part in long Brevets, and getting a flat at night in the rain was not fun so tubeless helped there too. In this case I flatted because of a tear in the tire.
Now I don't race anymore, and only take part in short brevets in good weather so the reason for tubeless for the above two reasons doesn't exist anymore.

The downside of tubeless was rim corrosion, at least in the beginning.
I was using Stan's on Shimano rims.
Shimano blamed Stan's sealant, and Stan's blamed Shimano's alloy.
On newer wheels the alloy seemed to resist corrosion.
Another problem was the tires, after cleaning, would not seal easily even using a compressor. On a few occasions I had to use a new tire even though the cleaned tire had more life to it. This was Hutchinson tires on Shimano rims.
The Continental tires had less of a problem.
Then the cleaning which is a hassle.
Stan's was very difficult to clean, Maripossa was better, but Stan's had good puncture sealing properties; this is my experience.
Considering the above, I am in the process of trying some inner tubes.
I tried a Tubolito (endurance), and I got a flat on the first ride. Could have been a fluke.
I am in the process of trying Latex tubes and Schwalbe aerothan.
I just don't want to get my new wheels mess up with dried sealant, and I am willing to sacrifice the softer tubeless ride, and flat protection.
I will still be using tubeless on my Mtn bike.
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