Do you know the feeling where you look and admire your lavish bathroom, but then your heart skips a beat (not in a good way)?
You spot silicone caulk on your tiles which looks quite old.
Then you think to yourself, “How to remove silicone caulk without damaging the surface?”
This question has crossed many people’s minds. That is why we are here to solve your teeny weeny issue.
Before jumping to the repairs and installations, you should check and remove the old caulk first.
A clean area is important to keep those cracks free from unsightly buildup and moisture.
And don’t worry, removing the silicone caulk won’t ruin your expensive bathroom.
So, here is how to remove the caulk and the residue and prep the surface before you add a new caulk and turn your bathroom into a new one. We have also answered some of the burning questions everyone asks before silicone removal.
Chop-chop! Time to get to work, friends!
MATERIALS NEEDED FOR SILICONE CAULK REMOVAL
- Putty, Utility Knife, Scrapper, or Chisel
- Water and flour
- Hair Dryer or portable heat gun
- Silicone Caulk Remover
- Soap and water to clean
STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO REMOVING SILICONE CAULKING FROM YOUR PROPERTY
You can hire a waterproof caulking professional or do it yourself by arranging tools and materials.
If you have chosen the latter, then read on to know how to remove silicone caulk from tile.
Step 1: Apply A Softening Agent
People use various strategies to remove silicone, but the most effective way to get rid of them is by softening the silicone first. We find this useful because it does not require much force when removing.
But firstly, if you spot a loose silicone that is easily removable, then you can peel it away with your hands.
There are various silicone softeners available in the market so, you can get a silicone caulk remover from your nearby local store.
If your budget is too tight, you can use substances found in your home, such as rubbing alcohol and vinegar.
Removing silicone caulk will become a piece of cake after the application of silicone solvent. And as soon as you apply the agent, it will start softening the applied area.
Next, wait for two to three hours for the silicone to soften it before scrapping and removing it. Once the time is up, you can touch the silicone and feel its softness.
If it is still hard, then apply the silicone caulk remover again and let it sit for a few hours.
Once you determine how loose and soft it is then, you can move towards the next step.
Step 2: Use A Sharp Edge To Scrape
Once you have completed the above step, you will be able to remove the silicone by scrapping it. For scrapping, you can use a small utility knife, pocket knife, or a sharp blade.
Avoid putting too much force while scraping because it may scratch the surface and damage it permanently.
If you have used a good quality silicone caulk remover, the silicone will surely come off easily.
Be sure to cut as close to the underlying layer as possible when scraping the silicone. As you make progress, you can peel the silicone back.
If you don’t know where to begin, start from one end and take as much time as you want your way through the entire strip of silicone caulking.
Do not get scared if you see residual silicone even after scraping it. Later on, you can stick flour and water paste for a few hours and wash it away.
Step 3: Heat The Surface If It’s Difficult
Suppose, you are unable to remove it from certain areas like corners, you can heat the surface before attempting the removal method again.
The softening agent may do wonders on exposed areas but won’t be able to reach corners. So let the heat handle this tough job.
Once you heat the surface, it will soften the silicone and make it easier for you to scrap without doing any hard labor, which could increase the chances of ruining the surface.
To heat and soften the silicone, you can either use a blow dryer or a heat gun. Generally, it takes around thirty seconds to heat the area of the silicone. But make sure the heating process is not more than two minutes.
Next, you can test the silicone to check if it is soft enough to scrape it. If it is not, you can try reheating it.
Step 4: Remove Residue & Clean Surface
Once you complete the above step, you might still see a fair amount of silicone sitting on the surface.
Such underlying residue might also include worn down pain, dirt, grime, and adhesive material that was used to stick the silicone in one place,
If you keep it as it is, it will create an uneven surface and make the application of the new silicone a challenging task.
So what should you do?
You can get a chisel, utility knife, or putty knife to remove the rest of the part of the silicone and other things. In the end, make sure the surface is free from residue and even.
After your work is done, do not forget to clean the surface with soap and water or with a cleaning solution.
Step 5: Drying The Surface
Now that the surface is prepped and clean, pat yourself on the back first because you deserve it!
Then, allow the area to fully dry before you put new silicone caulking to the surface.
It is really important to let the area dry. If you won’t leave it bare for a certain period, it will increase the risk of water damage.
And you don’t want that, right?
If in case, you are scratching your head and pondering, “How to remove silicone caulk from shower bathtub?” Then the process for caulk removal is pretty much the same.
Now, let’s check out some of the frequently asked questions related to silicone caulk removal below!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Is silicone caulk easy to remove?
No, it is not.
But with the help of various substances like vinegar, alcohol, WD-40, or industrial-grade isopropyl alcohol, you can soften the silicone caulk.
These materials are pretty strong and most affordable too. And once you find the best option of your choice, you can apply the softening agent generously on all the areas of silicone.
Then, you will have to wait for a few hours for the solvent to do its magic. Later, you can touch it to feel its softness and find out if it has loosened up before scrapping.
- What chemical will dissolve silicone?
As we mentioned above, using vinegar, alcohol, WD-40, or industrial-grade isopropyl alcohol is the best way to get rid of silicone.
Another item that can help soften the silicone is mineral spirits from hard surfaces like tile, concrete, or marble.
Experts also reveal that toluene and xylene are other great options to remove silicone. These products are safe to soften silicone, but make sure both the solvent and the surface are compatible.
If you are concerned about your costly tiles, then you can test the solvent in a small area or a hidden spot before you apply it all over your tiles to see whether it caused any damage or not.
- Will rubbing alcohol remove silicone caulk?
Many people ask this question so, we will answer this question of yours once and for all!
So yes, rubbing alcohol isopropyl alcohol will remove silicone caulk without ruining the surface. But it may or may not work as great as mineral spirits.
Wondering, how you will know when rubbing alcohol is working well?
As soon as it comes with the silicone, the silicone will slightly start swelling.
And, also make sure to use industrial-grade isopropyl alcohol that has 99 percent purity rather than using regular home-based alcohol.
- Does flour and water remove silicone caulk?
Yes, it does!
Now you might be thinking how?
Well, with the help of science and technique, it is possible.
But flour and the water method only works when half of the caulk is left behind.
So to remove the caulk completely to add caulk, you can make a thick mixture of water and flour.
Wanna know the trick?
Well, the magic here is that after spreading it to the areas that still have caulk, it will rip it out easily. The mixture will stick like glue.
Make sure to let it dry for a while. Once it is completely dried, you can start removing the caulk by washing it away with water.
This method requires some patience but will surely get rid of silicone caulk from all the corners.
In our guide, we showed you a simple and easy way to remove silicone caulk from your property. This DIY project is something even a beginner can complete within a few hours over a weekend. Moreover, you don’t need any special skills for this job as well. However, getting rid of clingy caulk can be difficult sometimes, so make sure to get the right tools and other materials to achieve your goal.
Good luck with the silicone caulk removal!