Every brand says mixing Sealants is bad or they don’t recommend mixing them but if we look at what all the sealants have in them almost all of them have the exact same ingredients or chemicals in them so why don’t they recommend mixing them? It’s a question most of us have if, for example, some are mixable and others or not which one can you mix and how do you know if they will mix well or not? I did some research on it and you might learn a lot from this article, things that you never knew or knew very little about.
While I was riding the other day I noticed I was short on the sealant I usually use stan’s and my local bike shop was short on stan so I was worried if I added an orange seal to the mix they might react as the manufacturers say so I did some research on if you can really mix different types or different brand sealants and what type of results you would get.
To kick things off here’s a straight answer to your question.
You can mix different brands of sealants together but it depends on the chemical compositions of the sealants, the differences occur due to the core ingredients used in the sealants almost all the sealants are latex based but there are some that are not and can be different, and hence they can reduce the efficiency of the sealants or the sealants may not seal at all.
Chemistry of Sealants :
Understanding the sealants better and if they will work together or not understanding what sealants have inside and what can prevent them is the first step to mixing them.
In simple terms, Solvents are the key components that keep the sealants liquid, and some of those compounds are added to the sealant to prevent it from freezing or sticking together, or evaporating.
Sealants use propylene glycol as a solvent for natural latex and they have some amount of ammonia in them (Like Stan’s) as well both of these act as solvents for the latex they don’t let the sealant evaporate or crystallize in different seasons because that would make the product basically useless.
All most all the sealants use amonia in very little amounts, but some of them don’t the amount of ammonia used in sealants is very little and mostly now a days ammonia deritives are used instead of ammonia to prevent the rims from corrosion
The problems and concerns occur because there are all kinds of different sealants that use all kinds of different solvents and some of them are not even based on natural latex but are based on synthetic latex, and those don’t use ammonia in them( Bontrager TLR Sealant).
There are other particles present in the sealants as well that can make the sealants thicker or thinner Like Slime sealants have fibers in them and they are mostly for the tubes while other sealants for tubeless tires mostly do not have fibers in them but they have small rubber particles in them.
If you have any lingering questions about sealants being safe or not i did an article on that as well if you had like to go through that as well Are bikes Tubeless Sealants toxic for humans or environment (explained)
The point of mentioning all of these things was to make you better understand the possible reasons why manufacturers wouldn’t want you to mix the sealants and why they ask to change the old sealant and not refill them
Why Sealant Manufacturers don’t recommend mixing sealants :
And the reason that I pointed out all these things was for you to better understand things and to answer the question of why manufacturers don’t recommend mixing sealants.
From my understanding, There are 4 main reasons why manufacturers don’t recommend mixing sealants.
- The amount of propylene glycol if any present would increase.
- The amount of ammonia present would increase in the sealant
- The number of other particles like rubber components will increase in the sealant
- the number of adhesives would increase in the sealants
Some other reasons would be that some sealants might not use propylene glycol instead they would be using ethylene glycol and the same with other components that may be harmful to you.
And two of these 4 things are more effective reasons why they don’t recommend mixing them.
- Amount of ammonia increases.
- And the amount of propylene glycol increasing
Ammonia can make the process of aluminum rusting faster and that would harm your rims and your spoke nipples that’s one of the reasons that you should use rim tape when you are using tubeless and even tubeless-ready tires because it would prevent the air escape from the spoke holes and prevent the sealant from damaging your rims.
And the increase in the amount of propylene glycol is concerning because basically, glycols are rubber solvents at high temperatures they might start reacting with the tire (specially tubeless-ready tires because they don’t have the extra layer of butyl rubber on the inside like tubeless do) and that could result in sealant shaving off some of the rubber from the tire bed.
That’s why sealants latex sealants are not recommended for latex tubes as well.
Now that you have a basic idea about the chemistry of the sealant here’s a basic idea
What types of Sealants you can mix :
Without some exceptions, almost all the sealants can be mixed and will work together.
Some exceptions would be Finish Line and Bontrager TLR sealant, Finish line doesn’t have any latex solution it uses fibers to seal the punctures, and its thinner giving it the possibility to travel faster and seal holes in areas that usually other sealants have trouble with like the side walls of the tires.
Here’s a checklist for if you can mix two sealants or not.
- Natural Latex Sealants will mix with natural latex-based sealants.
- Synthetic latex-based sealants will mix with synthetic-based sealants.
- Fiber-based Sealants like Slime and Finish lines can not be mixed together because slime has latex in it and the finish line doesn’t.
Some other examples of mainstream sealants that are most popular, here’s if they can be mixed or not.
- Stan’s sealant can be mixed with orange seal (but the new mixture might not be effective enough)
- Stans and MuccOff sealants would work together just fine because both are latex bad the drawback would be the ammonia present in stan as I explained earlier but it shouldn’t affect the mixture in any way.
- Stan’s and slime sealant won’t work together slime pro and stan’s sealant will work together since both are latex-based the drawback would be again ammonia and the resulting solution may be too thin and may take time sealing the puncture, but on a plus side mixing both would actually increase the lifespan of the stan’s sealant.
Drawbacks of mixing different types of sealants :
Sealants can be mixed together and sealants instantly collating when mixed together is a myth nothing more as I have already explained above as well but still, there are some drawbacks of mixing them together.
- The resulting (when two are mixed together) sealant may be too thin and take more time to seal the puncture
- the sealant may not stick to the sidewalls but seal the punctures, which is very important in case you are using tubeless ready tires
- Some sealants can stop working when mixed together as I have mentioned above
- the amount of ammonia might increase in the sealant which can accelerate the process of rim rusting.
So these are the drawbacks that you may face when you mix two or three sealants together but it shouldn’t be a problem if you understand what you are trying to mix.
Sealants certainly can be mixed but remember always to mix the same types of sealants using one type of sealant is more productive than mixing two types some can get more productive but remember that when you are mixing different types of sealants you may be increasing the amount of the precipitants available in them already.
I wouldn’t recommend you to use a sealant mix whenever you get a chance to do it, but if you had like to conduct experiments of your own make sure that you consider your safety and the safety of your bike first.
Of course, the worse that can happen is the sealant won’t work and you can always have a spare tube on you for emergencies, but yeah the myths about sealants collating as soon as you mix them I have never seen anything like that as long as I can remember.
So yeah if you do conduct experiments of your own we had be happy to hear from you how it turned out and what your experience was like.
I did some other articles around sealants as well if you are interested in reading more about sealants.