How to Remove a Silicone Sealer

Removing silicone sealer from household surfaces to replace with new sealant is a routine job that should be performed once every two or three years. Getting silicone sealer off without damaging ceramic, tile, Formica, glass or fiberglass surfaces is key. Using the appropriate tools makes the job fairly easy.

Silicone sealant around a toilet.

Step 1

Remove as much of the silicone sealer as possible with a razor blade, being careful not to scratch the surface you are working on. If the sealer fills a space between two perpendicular surfaces, slide the razor blade flat along one surface and then the other to free the sealer from each, then peel the strip away. Use tweezers to release small bits from hard-to-reach corners.

Step 2

Test mineral spirits on an hidden area to check for discoloration. Put on protective gloves and a face mask. Use the turpentine to remove any lingering traces of the sealer.

Step 3

Coat any remaining sealer with mineral spirits using a toothbrush. Let it set for a few minutes, then scour the sealer with a non-abrasive pad. Repeat the process until the sealer is completely removed.

Step 4

Wipe the surface clean with a soft, cloth rag or towel. Use mild household cleaner that's appropriate for the surface to remove any traces of turpentine. Dispose of remaining mineral spirits, cloths and toothbrush properly.

Step 5

Let the surface dry completely before applying new sealer. If sealer will need to be replaced often, consider filling deep cracks with a solid, hard putty to make it easier to replace the sealant. Let any putty harden completely before applying sealer.