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I have used silicone sealant to seal our toilet bowls's socket against the floor tiles. It turned out, the sealant was overaged and didn't cure anymore. So the socket and the bowl is contamined with uncured silicone. I fear that when I try to seal it with a fresh tube of sealant the residue of old silicone might either hamper the curing of the new one or may form a film preventing the proper contact of the new silicone with the bowl and the tiles.

Is my concern justified?

And if so, how do I remove the remnants properly? I think I could try "silicone remover" but those chemicals are usually meant to loosen cured silicone rubber not uncured one. I don't know if that will work. What household chemicals or common cleaning agents can I use to properly remove any silicone residue?

  • Perhaps wait a day, see if it cures. interesting problem. – Polypipe Wrangler Sep 29 at 12:38
  • I went on holiday after applying the sealant. Didn't cure for nearly four weeks. I guess it won't cure anymore. – Ariser - reinstate Monica Sep 29 at 13:05
  • I agree with the answer from batsplatsterson that mineral spirits (paint thinner) or similar solvent such as turpentine or kerosene will work. I don't recommend completely sealing your toilet base to the tile floor because any failure of the seal between the toilet and sewer pipe (usually a wax ring is used) would not be easily noticed, potentially allowing a small leak to damage/destroy the subfloor before any outward indication was apparent. – Jimmy Fix-it Sep 29 at 15:35
  • @JimmyFix-it Good hint. But the access to the sewer isn't an issue here, because the bowl has an horizontal exit directly connected to a standalone pump station via corrugated hose, which is perfectly accessible at any time. Not a nice view during normal use, but it is only the backup toilet in the basement's boiler room. :) – Ariser - reinstate Monica Sep 29 at 16:26
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I think the products sold as silicone removers will work fine, but I think mineral spirits work too. I'd use an abrasive pad like a Scotch-Brite and maybe a toothbrush-sized wire brush.

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    I'd suggest using a dry rag/towel to get most of it up first, then use the liquids to get the rest. This keeps things a little more controlled for less possibility of a mess and they can use less of the chemicals. I'd also suggest making sure there's plenty of air flow when using the chemical strippers. – computercarguy Sep 29 at 16:26
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    I looked up the MSDS of different silicone removers and their composition. Consists of only little more than what can be found in gasoline. But 20 times the price. I'm going to try some mineral spirits. Thanks! – Ariser - reinstate Monica Sep 30 at 6:57

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