How to Remove Silicone Acrylic Caulk

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Silicone acrylic caulk is very durable and good for waterproofing just about any surface. Silicone has strong bonding properties. For example, people use silicone caulk for holding together the glass walls in fish aquariums. While silicone caulk mixed with acrylic makes silicone spread easier and makes it water soluble until it dries, removing the silicone can be hard work. Silicone removal without marring the surface underneath takes time and patience, but using these simple techniques can help.

Things You'll Need

  • Warm water
  • Rags
  • Plastic scraper
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Sheetrock ripper knife
  • Safety glasses
  • Gloves
  • Soapy water
  • Plastic pot scrubber

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Soak a rag in warm water, and wring out the excess water. Lay the rag directly on the silicone caulking. Let it stay there at least 30 minutes. This softens the silicone caulking.

Remove the rag. Put on safety glasses and gloves. Using a plastic scraper, scrape the silicone caulk with the edge of the scraper at a 45-degree angle, with firm pressure in a prying motion. After you get a piece of the caulking pried up, continue applying pressure with the scraper, and with the other hand, pull slightly on the freed caulking bead. Continue until you free all the caulking you want removed.

Use a sheetrock ripper knife for cutting off pieces of silicone caulk that won’t pry up. Use the knife the same way you used the plastic scraper. Be careful when using the sheetrock ripper on soft surfaces like wood. The sharp blade can quickly damage and whittle away the surface.

Soak a rag with rubbing alcohol. Some surfaces may be damaged by alcohol. Rubbing alcohol can discolor the surface of stained or painted wood. Test the alcohol in a small undetectable area first. If no damage results, rub the rag over the silicone caulking several times. This softens the caulking for easier removal.

Dip a plastic pot scrubber in warm, soapy water, and scrub in a back-and-forth motion across the remaining silicone caulking residue. Rinse the surface with clean water.

Tips & Warnings

  • For old, hardened silicone caulking, keep applying a warm, wet rag until the caulk softens. Removing old silicone requires elbow grease, patience and persistence.

References

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