how to unglue rc tires

How to Unglue RC Tires? 4 Simple and Easy Methods


Replacing the tires on your RC can prove to be troublesome. Getting rid of all the glue manually can be both time-consuming and risky. 

So the question is, how to unglue RC tires?

There are a few ways you can do it. You can bake the tires in an oven. That will melt the glue and make the tires come right off. Or you can steam the tires. Dipping it in acetone also helps. In case none of these work, you can boil the tires.

That’s a quick summary of the methods available to you. If you have some spare time, keep reading. We’re going to delve into the nitty-gritty of each one. 

Let’s get right to it then.

4 Ways to Unglue RC Tires

Removing RC tires can seem daunting. You might be considering just slicing away with a knife. Followed by brute-forcing the remnants off of the rims.


But, you would risk damaging your precious rims. Even if you don’t, you still have to deal with the leftover glue. And assuming you used glue meant for RC tires, there’s gonna be a lot left over.

Your best bet, therefore, is to unglue the tires and not resort to hacking and slashing. Each of the following ways will get the glue off without risking your rims. So you can pick one based on the tools you have available.

Method 1: Dip the Tires in Acetone

This method is arguably the best and most appropriate. It presents no risk of damaging the rims and cleans the glue entirely. 

With that out of the way let’s get to the meat and potatoes of the matter.


Keep these on hand to get through this process.

Be sure to use a tin and not a plastic bucket. You might be wondering why. Well, the answer is acetone doesn’t treat plastic nicely. Now, let’s move on to the detailed process. 


Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to unglue tires by using the dipping method:

  • First, place the wheels on the bottom of the tin. Next, pour the acetone in. Make sure they are completely submerged. And then cover it up properly to keep the acetone from evaporating.
  • Leave the tin covered for 48 hours. After that, the tires should be coming right off of the rims without leaving any residue. If there are small amounts of glue left over, use the paintbrush. 
  • Wet the paintbrush with acetone and swipe over the leftovers. Since the rims are already drenched in acetone, the glue remnants should easily dissolve.

And with that, you’ll have clean rims for gluing RC tires onto. But remember that using the right glue will make the process of ungluing the tires way easier. For example using a thin glue is preferable to thick glues.

If you want a quick suggestion for what glue to use, here are our picks:

Now you can pick a glue, use it and start racing again.

Method 2: Bake the Tires

Baking is the way to go if you value your tire fillings. It melts away the glue and keeps the filling toasty. The best part is how quick it is. The only risk in this method is that cheaper plastic rims can melt.

Now that you know what to be wary of, let’s jump into the process details.


You’ll need the following equipment for this method.

  • An oven
  • A baking tray
  • Gloves 

Now, let’s move on to the detailed process.


This method is the quickest and requires the least steps. Here’s how you can unglue the tires by baking them:

  • First, set your wheels flat on a baking tray. Next, heat your oven to 300℉ or 149℃. Turn off the heat when it reaches the temperature. 
  • Now, place the baking tray with the wheels in the oven. Take the tray out every 5 minutes and press on the sidewalls of the tires. Be careful, since the tires will be hot. Wear gloves to ensure safety.
  • If the glue has melted completely, the tires will slip off of the wheels with little effort. It should not take more than 15mins. Now, just take the tires off and use your rims with a new set.

By following these steps your tires will be unglued!

Method 3: Steaming the Tires

Unlike boiling, this method is a little safer for your rims. Here’s how you will go about the process.


Use these tools to get the steaming job done. 

  • A pan with holes in the bottom
  • A pot with a lid 

Now, let’s move on to the detailed process.


This process may sound intimidating at first but its quite easy to accomplish. Here’s how you can do this:

  • First, pour water into the pot. Next, place the wheels on the pan. Now, put the pan in the same pot. And finally, cover up the pot.
  • Put the pot on the stove and keep the heat on medium. Let the water boil for 45 minutes. After that, take out the wheels and peel the tires off. 
  • Finally, if you see any excess glue just rub it off with your hands. The tires and rims will be usable right away. But the foam inserts will need to be dried off.

With that the tires will be unglued.

Method 4: Boiling the Tires in Water 

Boiling is the last on the list because it should be your last resort. If no other method is accessible, go for this one. It’s the same principle as baking and steaming. The problem is that your rims might crack. 


Having said that, let’s go through the how-tos of the method.


You won’t need too many instruments for this.

  • A boiling pot 
  • A stove
  • A knife 

Now, let’s move on to the detailed process.


Though we advised against slashing, this method will require you to slash a bit. But don’t be worried as I’ve provided all the step by step direction down below:

  • First, use the knife to cut the tire off. Next, remove the foam inserts. Now try to get as much of the tire off as you can. 
  • Once that’s done, submerge the rims in water and let them boil. Boil the rims for at least 30 minutes. This will make the glue residue brittle. You can then rub it off of the rims. 

Voila! Whichever method you chose you now have clean rims. Now, all that’s left is getting a new set of tires.

When getting new tires be wary of the type. If you do both on-road and off-road racing, look into good drifting tires. They can provide good performance either way. 

Which Method Should You Choose?

Always start by dipping your tires in acetone to remove the glue. This is the safest and the most preferred way of ungluing tires.

Now what to do when that doesn’t work? If your tires are fairly sturdy or made of good quality materials opt for boiling or baking it. This would ensure that all the glues from the tires are indeed removed.

On the other hand, if your tires aren’t particularly sturdy or prone to damage then steam it. Steaming the tires for removing the glue is comparatively a safer method.

What are the Alternatives of Tire Glue?

Tire glues are necessary for proper flexibility and movement of the tires. However, the entire process of removing tire glue can wreck havoc on your tires.

To combat this problem you can choose an alternative to rc tire glues. Using some of these alternatives will decrease the amount of stress on your tires.

CA Glue

CA glue is also known as Krazy glue. This type of glue is different from other traditional adhesives. CA glue is also considered the best glue for RC car tires.

This glue only bonds to surfaces which has moisture on them. So, in order to use a glue as an alternative, soak the RC tires first.

This is an essential step for using the ca glue. These types of cyanoacrylate glues don’t stick to dry surfaces.

Super Glue

Super Glue is another alternative to RC glue. It takes less time to cure and is a great option for tires that move around too much.

However, it is a very strong glue. So beware while using it.

Epoxy Glue

Epoxy glues are best known for gluing different materials together. This glue can be a great rc tire glue alternative.

Epoxy glues do a fine job curing rubber adhesion. Since the RC tires are mostly rubber, this glue is perfect for it. Also, epoxy glues have a lot of resistance against weather changes, water, and temperature.

That covers everything relevant to the ungluing process.


What are bead-lock rims?

Bead-lock rims are rims that do not require glue to hold on to the tire. The bead of the tire is locked onto the rim with a ring bolted to it.

Can I use a knife to remove the tires from the rims?

Yes, you can. But that is not advisable. Using a knife to remove the tires will make the tires unusable. It might also damage the rims.

Can the Acetone be reused for Ungluing RC?

Yes, you can use the same can of acetone multiple times for ungluing the RC. You only need to change the acetone when the liquid takes a yellowy appearance.


Now you know how to unglue RC tires. Hopefully, you won’t need to resort to slashing away the tires anymore. 

The processes mentioned are easy and effective. They’ll all get the glue off and leave you with clean ready-for-use rims.

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