One of the best sealants for all types of DIY jobs as well as repairs is silicone, but sometimes there are traces or we have to reapply more, so we have to clean well for the repair to be adequate. Let’s see a step guide below in which we explain how to remove hardened silicone.
The advantage of silicone is that it allows to seal and waterproof cracks, even in fairly large sizes, without changes for a long time. However, after a long time, even silicone, especially when subjected to particularly difficult conditions, ends up losing its elasticity, cracking, and blackening. We then have to remove that hardened silicone, or perhaps we have to remove it when, for example, we want to replace sanitary accessories or other furniture that, at the time, had been sealed with silicone. Let’s see how to proceed then.
Materials or products
- Ethyl alcohol (the common rubbing alcohol)
- Acetone (used as a solvent)
- Common vinegar (acetic acid is actually one of the components of silicone)
Steps to remove hardened silicone
With the mentioned products, we will be able to remove the hardened silicone, but some of them can stain or damage the area where they are applied, so before doing so, it will be good to try on a small piece to see what the result could be.
- The first thing you should do is take a spatula, which you can buy at any hardware store, indicated to be able to remove the first remains of the hardened silicone, that is, its most superficial or protruding layer.
- In the case of not having this spatula, you can use (very carefully) a knife or a box cutter. What you have to do is pass the spatula or the chosen cutter over the hard silicone, trying to tear off most of it, although without scratching the surface you are working on.
- Once we have removed the larger part of the silicone, we will probably still find a thin and unsightly patina that still sticks firmly to the surface. It should also be removed if we need to reapply the silicone in the same place.
- Next, you should put on gloves and ensure that there is good ventilation since most of the aforementioned products tend to have a strong smell, which is also better not to breathe.
- Apply one of the products from the list that we have offered you before. Choose the product and pour it over the hardened silicone remains that still remain.
- Let it act for between 5 and 10 minutes and after that time you should pass a scouring pad or abrasive sponge in circular movements, but very carefully since we do not want the surface to end up scratched.
- Little by little the hardened silicone will have softened and you can remove it without a problem. When you have finished, you should wash the area well with a specific detergent for tiles or for the surface you are working on.