"UnSeal" Availability?


True Grumbler
Jan 2, 2002
North Carolina
For years we have used this product (basically a solvent made by Seal Corp. that comes in a metal quart can) in our shop for cleaning drymount press platens, "unsticking" ATG and drymounted mistakes, etc. Within the last year or so the usual sources (like United) will only ship this "hazardous" material by truck and then only in cases of 12 cans (we probably use 2-3 cans a year).

I know that Seal Corp. has been bought by Hunt (Beinfang) and that this product has been renamed "UnStick," but I think the new shipping restrictions may have more to do with UPS policies than the ownership change.

My question: Does anyone know of a retail chain that carries this stuff (art supplies chain? paint supply store?) where we could buy the few cans we need each year?

I have already inquired about this problem directly to Hunt by phone, email, and in person at the recent New York show and have gotten nowhere.
Unseal/Unstick is not a "hazardous" material. It is a HAZARDOUS material. The hazmat shipping restrictions have been in place for several years, though it sounds like they are more restrictive now. They have nothing at all to do with the name change, and I think they are federally-mandated. If it were a UPS restriction, you could have it shipped FedEx.

It's none of my business what you're doing with this stuff, but I'd be concerned if I were going through 2-3 cans/year. I just bought the first can since I moved 3-1/2 years ago.

If you're not on the delivery route for a distributor that carries it (e.g. Larson-Juhl) you might be able to substitute a more readily-available, and equally volatile, solvent, like Acetone - depending on how you're using it.

I just reread your post. Acetone would be fine for cleaning your press, getting ATG off the scissors - stuff like that. I probably wouldn't use it to release drymount tissue.

I doubt you'll find it at Ben Franklin or Hobby Lobby.
Michael's carries Bestine.

I started using it when Unseal became difficult to acquire and like it just as well.

You probably wouldn't use it to remove dry mount tissue? :D :D

Carefull there, Ron, somebody may actually think you somtimes use acetone for that purpose.
The Unseal Topic has been discussed many times over the past four years. Do check the following thread and be sure to click on several of the suggested sites to look at.


A lot of framers are totally unaware of the toxicity of UNSEAL and/or its equivalent, ADHESIVE RELEASE, sold by T.C. Moulding.

Undo and Unseal are, according to their MSDS, n-heptane. This means it is an unbranched hydrocarbon, with 7 carbons in the straight chain molecule.

You can buy n-heptane at chemical supply stores.

A close relative, but much slower evaporating, is odorless thinner. Odorless refers to the fact that the aromatic benzine ring molecules have been removed (like xylene and toluene). That's a good thing, because these are very toxic. Odorless thinner and, I believe, n-heptane are not readily absorbed through the skin although with good handling procedures it shouldn't be touching your skin anyway.

You can buy odorless thinner at art supply stores.

Acetone evaporates very rapidly, and so is not as safe as one might think (you end up breathing a lot more of it than the slower evaporators) and is easily absorbed through the skin.

In any event, you should remove your solvent saturated cleaning cloths, swabs etc, from the work area as soon as you are done with them.

If you are concerned about solvent toxicity (and it's always best to be an informed consumer), an industrial hygenist can help you sort through appropriate safety precautions. OSHA or similar agencies should be able to point you in the right direction for finding one.

If you have a local distributer in your area, you should convince them to purchase the twelve cans as a service to their customers.

Wearing a respirator is always a good idea when handling anything that may be bad for you or your lungs.

"Wearing a respirator is always a good idea when handling anything that may be bad for you or your lungs."

Unless you live in NJ... in which case, it's too late!!

I know, having been born and raised there when Ciba-Geigy was dumping their chemical waste into the Toms River every day.
If I am not mistaken Bestine Brand solvent is the same n-heptene. I get it a Utrecht art supply. Probally most full line art supply stores will also carry the same product.
I love that picture Mike - thanks!

Seriously though, everything has its place in the scheme of things, one just needs to be able to use them with knowledge and safety. It would be silly to not use a solvent if it does what you want it too, but it would also be silly to use it ignorantly.

Ron is right! It has nothing to do with the purchase of Seal by Hunt and a product name change, the difficulty is in the shipping of the product. Take care when using the product and make sure you have a safe storage area for it.