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Is there an easy way to remove silicone sealant?

Having had mouldy sealant have replaced with MicroBan to stop the mould coming back but is there any tips on getting the stuff off for next time?

My best tool seemed to be a sharp chisel.

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4 Answers 4

I've used a craft knife to cut out most of it (being careful not to damage the surface), then a small (2") putty knife to scrape out the rest. Nylon scrubbing pads (the ones made for cleaning non-stick cookware) are great for getting rid of any last traces of the old caulk.

A chisel would work, but chisels are supposed to be very sharp, so I'd be very careful not to scratch whatever surface the caulk is applied to. A putty knife isn't as sharp so it would take more work on your part to do any damage.

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I've used one of these before with success. http://www.amazon.com/Hyde-43620-Caulk-Away-Plastic-Removal/dp/B001HHB0K4 If the sealant is on tile you should be fine.

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Have one of these. Got it as part of a 2-part kit. The other piece is a rubber "corner" piece to make smooth beads of caulk. Was only a few $$$ at Home Depot. (Actually it's the "frequently bought together" items on your Amazon page.) –  msemack Mar 7 '11 at 16:44

Mechanical means - plastic or metal depending on your surface. They also now make a cleaning solvent which will desolve residue BUT I suspect it contains mineral spirits and/or rubbing alcohol - which with the elbow grease method will help with residue.

Commercially they can use lye dissolved in tetra hydro furan - nasty nasty stuff and NOT for ANY homeowner. Explosive stuff - Above flash point 7F/-14C, vapor-air mixtures are explosive. May form explosive organic peroxides when exposed to air or light or with age. Vapors can flow along surfaces to distant ignition source and flash back. Sealed containers may rupture when heated. (Brown glass or steel drums)

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A glass scraper can also be helpful up against tiles or glass.

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