Valve cover gasket Saturn ion

hi all, I’m putting in a new valve cover gasket, the thing was hard to get out and was was pretty hard. 125K and never been done. I had to use a small screw driver to pry it out. I was wonder what is a good way to clean the grooves? I want to make sure the new one doesn’t leak. I never done this before just using directions from some dude on youtube. Here’s pics

I’ve always used a pick or an ice pick will do. Run it in the groove keeping it at a low angle so you only force the old gasket out and you don’t scratch the mating surface.


Im afraid I might have scratched a bit around the spark plug location, but not severe. It was stubborn to get off and a lot of little pieces which made it tricky. Can I use a metal brush to make sure I got it all? I also see people use other materials and some not, like RTV, and another stuff. Also a lot of small peices got stuck and can’t tell if I got it all. It loooks like the factory used some other stuff on the top of the gasket I noticed after I got it off. Can I also clean the thing with break cleaner?

Yup, brake cleaner is a good product to use. It won’t take off the stubborn gasket but the wire brush (a fine one) will. New RTV - that’s what was the actual gasket was - will seal some really unfriendly surfaces so don’t worry too much about minor scratching.