When you are removing silicone residue, you may think the word is very simple but in actual sense, you will find that it is one of the most difficult assignments to accomplish.
You may think you are only going to pull it very easily without you realizing that it bonds with a lot of strength making it look like it is permanently stuck.
You cannot remove its residue by just pulling since it’s painstaking especially if you want to seal it. I am going to discuss two types of silicone residues and how to remove them, one that you find in cloth and the other one in shower tiles.
Why do you need to remove a silicone caulk?
We find that various silicon caulking products can last for more than 20 years, but if you move them constantly, and expose them to a lot of moisture and mold you will make them to inactive before 20 years. When they fail, you find forming an inactive seal and become very angry. You will find that it is not easy to just remove it, especially if you want to replace it with new material. Any piece of caulk that you do not remove will make it hard to fix the new material and if it’s moldy you will find it growing on the fresh material.
You find that this silicone caulk cannot dissolve in any solvent; therefore, you cannot walk into a store and buy a chemical that you will use to wipe out this caulk after you apply it somewhere. We can use material spirit which will soften it and then remove it using a sharp knife to cut it and after which we can be able to pull them out using pliers.
How to remove the residue using a chemical?
For you to completely remove the residue you will use three steps. You first soak it for a long time using mineral spirit to make it soft and loose. When it becomes soft you will find it easy to remove it through vigorous scrub using a brush.
Finally using a sharp knife cut the pitches that refuse to come out but you should not use sandpaper because silicon gums it and be making it unproductive.
How to remove a silicon residue without using a chemical?
You can also remove silicon residue without using chemicals and use the following tools. Use a hair dryer, a razor blade, cleaning gloves, a cleaning bucket, and a caulk tool. Using the hair dryer heat out the silicone caulk for about 30 – 40 seconds, this should be about 8 -10 centimeters.
You should then use a razor blade to cut through it and remove it. To make sure the new silicon you are going to use in refilling the surfaces adheres to it, ensure you remove the silicon residue completely. After you have removed all the silicone use a gentle soap and wash the surface before you start to use it again.
You can also use other tools to remove the silicone caulk, they include hoax plastic, and this is a tool used to remove silicone caulk. This tool is very good since it’s angled in a way that can remove the silicone caulk from a corner. You will that the tool has a flat side that can be used for scraping caulk with damaging tiles and also bathtubs.
How to remove a silicone sealant from shower tiles
The process of removing sealant from a shower tile is very annoying; you find that the installers use too much silicone when fixing the showers, making the end result untidy. With time, you will find the silicone becoming old and mold forming around it. For this reason, you may want to remove the silicone sealant attached to your tiles. You will have to be careful you achieve this without destroying the tiles. You will follow the following procedure:
- You start by cleaning your shower together with the bathtub and then put together all the articles away from the working area.
- Secondly, you wash down the whole area using a bathroom tile cleaner which penetrates the entire area without leaving a residue.
- Washing the tile before removing the silicone ensures that you don’t clean it afterward when the surface is not protected. If you do not remove it you should make sure it’s sealed to prevent breaking it.
- Carefully slide the razor blade going down the length of the caulk on one side of the bead. You should hold the cutting blade to make sure it does not cut into the wall. This aims at cutting the silicone on the edge first to avoid cutting the whole bead.
- You should then go to the other side of the sealant joint and repeat the whole process as you have done before. You should cut deep enough at the bend to ensure that the sealant is removed completely.
- Ensure you use the same tip of the knife to cut so that you can maintain a balance. Carefully peel off the silicone sealant residue from the tiles. You should use the knife to encourage the residue from peeling away without offering any resistance.
- By ensuring you are very careful and acting very slowly use the knife to peel out the remaining pieces of the silicone sealant. You should also make sure the tool is very light and at a bending angle to prevent damaging the tile
- With the use of a scouring pad gently apply a mineral spirit and pass it over the tiles to remove any remaining residue. This is why it is important that you should be very careful not to soak the tiles to prevent them from being damaged by moisture.
I’m Richard Powers. I’m a gear junkie, chef, and editor of The Celt Experience. I spend countless hours exploring hand and power tools and love to use them with my projects. I’ve spent the last decade trying new gear every week, from knives to tents to skis – always looking for that perfect tool for what I need it for.