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Q: How to remove silicone sealant? ( Answered 1 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: How to remove silicone sealant?
Category: Family and Home > Home
Asked by: squeuewiff-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 25 Jun 2002 15:48 PDT
Expires: 25 Jul 2002 15:48 PDT
Question ID: 33181
Anyone know an easy way to remove silicone sealant (the kind of stuff
you seal round the edge of a shower/bathtub).
The sealant is dried (cured).
Subject: Re: How to remove silicone sealant?
Answered By: skermit-ga on 25 Jun 2002 16:05 PDT
Rated:1 out of 5 stars
After checking around, there's much that can be used to remove
silicone sealant if it's uncured, but once it's cured, nothing short
of commercial solvents will be able to dissolve it. On a fish tank
messageboard, one user describes how he takes apart old tanks sealed
with silicone sealant (linked below):

"Commercially lye dissolved in tetra hydro furan is used to remove
cured silicon
rubber. this is extremely nasty stuff..."

General Electric's Sealants & Adhesives website has information on
removing cured and uncured silicone and says it is VERY hard to
remove. They give step by step instructions for removing silicone
sealant on different types of surfaces such as wood, tile, etc.
(linked below) The recommend using mineral spirits and rubbing alcohol
which are less abrasive than the stuff used by the guys above, but
will probably take longer to dissolve. GE's step-by-steps rely on a
little bit of elbow grease to speed up the process.

Additional Links:

Silicone sealant removal thread:

Search Strategy:

"dissolve silicone" sealant on google:

Thank you for the opportunity to answer your question, if you require
more information, please clarify the question, or if you find this
answer satisfactory, please feel free to rate it. Thank you!

Request for Answer Clarification by squeuewiff-ga on 26 Jun 2002 01:52 PDT
Thanks for the answer-
I actually found the GE site myself on google before asking the
I was kind of hoping there was more information around on this, then
the stuff I could find.
It seems not.
Thanks anyway.

Clarification of Answer by skermit-ga on 26 Jun 2002 02:34 PDT
I'm sorry we came to the same information. I couldn't find much other
than the hardcore chemicals suggested by seedy-ga and the fishtank


Clarification of Answer by skermit-ga on 11 Jul 2002 23:48 PDT
Was my answer satisfactory for your needs? Also, please read the
helpful comment below by seedy-ga, he offers another option which may
be helpful to you. Please take the time to rate this answer as I have
not received a rating for it yet and am curious as to how well you
feel I've answered your question. Thank you for your question, it was
a pleasure answering it.

squeuewiff-ga rated this answer:1 out of 5 stars
I refer you to my previous answer.
Your answer is probably ok, but as I have already said, I knew this
Sorry about the 1 star - again, it's not that your answer is bad, it's
just that I already knew the information. There's no option for me to
choose that. Also, for what it's worth, in the end I found out that
all DIY (home improvement) shops sell silicone sealant remover. Very
easy to use and works well...

Subject: Re: How to remove silicone sealant?
From: seedy-ga on 25 Jun 2002 22:45 PDT
The use of sharp objects such as razor blades and exacto knives as
recommended in the first link provided by skermit, should be used with
great caution.  They will work slowly to remove the cured silicone

A solvent developed by PROSOCO is said to "digest" the cured silicone

Dicone NC9

Description and use

Dicone NC9 is a specially formulated silicone "digestant", for
removing silicone-based sealants and adhesives, cured silicone
elastomers and silicone water repellent overspray. Dicone NC9 utilizes
new solvent technology to dissolve cured silicone resins and polymers
with a non-flammable, non-chlorinated and non-aromatic cleaning
solution. Safer and more efficient than chlorinated or aromatic
solvents or caustic solutions normally used for these applications."

It appears from the PROSOCO website, that they are an industrial
supplier.  If you are serous about cleaning the cured silicone
completely (which you would want to do before attempting repair since
new silicone will not stick to old silicone), you may wish to call
PROSOCO to see if you can wangle a sample from them.  Very often these
"new" cleaners are citric products which are increasingly used as
"poor" substitutes for the real stuff (toluene, acetone, MEK, etc.)
for cleaning up.  You can reach PROSOCO at  (800) 255-4255

Good luck with your project.

Google with GA again. Great questions stimulate our community
Subject: Re: How to remove silicone sealant?
From: insideinfo-ga on 27 Jun 2002 06:00 PDT
I am currently remodeling and painting the interior and exterior of my
house and have bad cracked sealant everywhere. Currently and in the
past I have found that the best way to remove it is the physical
approach with a large flat head screwdriver. It takes a exact touch
and not a scraping method. Usually the sealant is still sealed well to
one of the surfaces. For example either the wall or the floor. I press
on the side that is still sealed with the screwdriver in a way to
break that bond. The screwdriver is able to apply pressure without
cutting it like a razor blade. The pressure usually breaks the
remaining bond and I am able to move down the sealant and bit and
repeat. If it does not break the bond, I push harder and just cut into
the sealant. I might do this for a while then pull the freed section
out by hand. It takes some practice but is preferable to me over
solvents or just covering the old sealant with more sealant. I try to
get down to solid surfaces and clean up the sides however much I need
to have the paint and new sealant cover the bits of old sealant I may
not have gotten. If you want a real straight edge on the new sealant
put down masking tape first on the walls back from corner the amount
you will use (maybe 1/2 inch) apply sealant, then pull off tape while

Good Luck
Subject: Re: How to remove silicone sealant?
From: aaooo-ga on 20 Jun 2004 09:52 PDT
I just did some experimenting, using some of the information provided
here, and found a fairly simple, safe method:

I use a small metal spatula, such as one for applying joint compound,
to scrape the majority of the old (five years in this case) sealant
off.  The spatula is sharp enough to cut through the sealant, but is
easier on the underlying surface (and your fingers!) than a razor or
exacto knife.  Then I use a citrus-based solvent on a cloth, which is
able to soften up the remaining sealant.  Using some elbow grease,
finger nail and the cloth, I was able to remove all of the sealant
without damaging the polished aluminum shower stall hardware I was

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