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Will acetone damage tires?

Old 07-30-14, 11:35 AM
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Will acetone damage tires?

I have recently read that some "Hot Patch" tire logos can be removed using nail polish remover, which is mostly acetone. Is this true, will it work?

I'd give it a try, but before I do I'd like to know if the acetone will damage the rubber? Or will washing it with soap and water afterwards be sufficient to prevent damage.

All wisdom on the subject is greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-30-14, 12:13 PM
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test and report (I'm not so compulsively obsessed to have to remove the tire logos)
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Old 07-30-14, 12:24 PM
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Girls(and some boys I suppose) put it on their fingers and toes....I'm guessing no.
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Old 07-30-14, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Booger1 View Post
Girls(and some boys I suppose) put it on their fingers and toes....I'm guessing no.
That's what I was assuming as well, but I am no chemist, and rubber and flesh aren't too similar.
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Old 07-30-14, 01:16 PM
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It isn't going to be a weekly routine,right?..... Lord knows what stuff tires roll through on a daily basis....it'll be fine.
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Old 07-30-14, 01:28 PM
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it will dry out the rubber, but it wont explode..
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Old 07-30-14, 01:50 PM
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Yeah, an organic solvent on an organic compound doesn't sound like a great mix. I'm sure the efficacy on logo removal is top notch, though I have no idea the extent of the damage to the underlying rubber. It really depends on the rubber compound and the condition of the tires.

If you asked any tire manufacturer in the world, they would say "don't." But in the real world, worse things have transpired with little negative results.

Again, it's a strong organic solvent and your tire is an organic compound.

Source: I am an industrial chemist.
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Old 07-30-14, 02:09 PM
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Maybe paint over the logo with a black Sharpie or flat black spraypaint?
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Old 07-30-14, 02:18 PM
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The logo is a good way to index the tire to the valve stem, very helpful when trying to analyze the cause of a flat.
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Old 07-30-14, 03:04 PM
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Short term exposure won't be good for the tire and may dry out the surface, but I can't see any serious issue if you don't soak the tire in the stuff for an hour.

Use some common sense, and apply some on a rag and use to buff the decal off, then wipe the tire dry As soon as possible.

Keep in mind that the affected area could end up looking worse than the decal does.
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Old 07-30-14, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
I have recently read that some "Hot Patch" tire logos can be removed using nail polish remover, which is mostly acetone. Is this true, will it work?

I'd give it a try, but before I do I'd like to know if the acetone will damage the rubber? Or will washing it with soap and water afterwards be sufficient to prevent damage.

All wisdom on the subject is greatly appreciated.
According to the Cole Parmer Chemical Compatibility page, natural latex rates a "Fair" in contact with acetone. If you left it on there for a long time, it would probably damage the tire. But for short, surface applications, it won't do much damage.

C = Fair -- Moderate Effect,
not recommended for
continuous use. Softening,
loss of strength,
swelling may occur.
The butyl rubber that is used in tires is a bit tougher but would still experience some effect in long term exposure.

Nail polish remover may also contain ethyl acetate (also "fair" with natural latex) as well as isopropyl alcohol...there are many formulations. The combination of solvents may some unforeseen effects.

Washing with water afterwards probably won't do anything. The solvent will penetrate into the bulk of the rubber and will just need time to diffuse out, even if it doesn't do damage. It's best to just let the tire sit at a slightly elevated temperature for a while. I would suggest using the polish remover on a hot day...outside, of course...and just letting the bike sit in the sun for a while.

Alternatively, if the labels are so offensive to you, you could just black them out with a marker.
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Old 07-30-14, 03:31 PM
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I agree with the above comments that I wouldn't leave it on there longer than necessary but don't see any harm in the few minutes needed to remove the labels. But don't let it get near your helmet.
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Old 07-30-14, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Thank you!
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