How to Hot Patch Inner Tubes

A hot patch is a repair device used to fix holes in rubber items like inner tubes used for swimming, bicycles and other tires 2. The patch is made of an adhesive composite that's applied to the inner tube through a process called vulcanization 3. The adhesive is heated and bonds to the rubber material to create an airtight bond. You can fix punctures and tears in your inner tube using hot patches and have a fully functioning one when you’re done.

Clean the damaged area of the inner tube with mineral spirits and cloth to make it perfectly clear to receive the patch.

Rough up the punctured or torn place and the area around it with the scraper included with the hot patch kit. Do this as gently as possible. Wipe away any inner tube fibers with the solvent cloth.

Peel off the protective backing from the patch. Press the patch over the damaged area on the tube.

Place the tube in the clamp so that the patch is right below the heating cup of the clamp. The heating cup contains the heating materials, and it will come down as you tighten the clamp.

Fill the heating compartment with the solution that came with your patch kit. Tighten the clamp until the compartment is firmly against the patch.

Light the solution in the compartment with a match. Allow the flame to burn out the solution.

Let the cup cool off until you can touch it and take it out of the clamp.

Cure the patch for three days before using the inner tube. This allows the patch to bond properly to the tube.


Keep a spare inner tube available so you can use it while you wait for the patch to cure.


Do not touch the heating cup while the solution is burning or you will burn yourself.

article divider