Reuse Tubeless Sealant [and/or Disposal Method]

Hi there. Looking for views on reusing tubeless sealant. Took it out in fall, and planning on putting back in this spring. Was stored in a bottle over the winter. Stans, but general comments welcome. It looks fine, but I am no chemist! Wheels held up pretty well over the winter with only small air loss. My default will be to reuse. Thanks

I have nothing scientific to add, but personally, if it’s just something you’d do in the fall and then refill in the spring, I would add new sealant. It’s not too expensive, so I would go fresh. On the other hand, if you’re frequently changing tires, that to me is a totally different scenario, and in that case, I might try to reuse.

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Considering that we are taking about $2-5 USD per tire, saving sealant is funny in the scope of the other spending around the bike in it’s entirety :stuck_out_tongue:

Not so much a cost issue, more how to dispose of used sealant.

OK, but you never mentioned disposal considerations in any way in the OP.

With that in mind now:

All of the brands I spoke to cautioned against disposing sealant down the drain. Oko and Muc-Off both suggested that dried up sealant should be disposed of with regular dry household waste.

So, I’d pour it over some used paper towels or rags in regular trash.

I reuse it all the time, but not during storage like you are thinking. When swapping tires like say before cyclocross races, I’ll deflate, use a syringe with a section of tubing to suck up the sealant, then inject that back into the new tire once its seated.

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I’m in an area where I can ride year round but never throw out sealant. That just seems wasteful to me. When it comes time to change tires I suck out the sealant through the thin tube on my syringe and reuse it in the new time. Not big deal on road tires but on my MTB I run 120 ml in each tire and see no reason not to reuse it. Not all valves have a big enough ID to allow the tube to pass through so I run Muck-Off valves which the ID is large enough to allow this.

The issue is that nearly all sealants have a functional lifespan. They age and/or lose chemicals over time (like ammonia in some cases) that alters the effectiveness of the sealant. It starts to become less effective and eventually fail over time. Values vary, but 2-6 months is common with roughly 1 year at max from the ones I have checked.

So, it’s not a forever product and needs to be replaced with at least some regular frequency.

That makes sense. I will probably do a mix using up some of the old and topping up with new. The cloth tip is helpful too. Thanks

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what type of failures have you seen? For me over time the sealant just dries up and coats the tire, but I’ve topped up tires for up to two years without issue and they still seal with new sealant mixed with old.

Inability to seal a hole late in life of the sealant to state it simply. The two main ones are probably:

  • Failures of material to flow where needed in the tire, mainly from drying out (Stan’s is a common one here).

  • Loss of sealing particles that bind to the sealant in the hole which leads to pointless spewing of remaining material on larger holes. This can happen with some repeated toping off from new material.

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I would use leave it in next fall and top up in spring. If I take off the tyres I clean the beads but not the inside otherwise the old sealant can interfere with seating the tyre again but the dried out stuff on the inside actually helps keep air in and virtually weighs nothing