What Can Be Used to Dissolve Silicone Caulking?

Silicone caulk is one of the most heavy-duty caulks used in home construction, but from time to time you may need to remove the caulking for remodel projects or even just to clean up excess caulk. Silicone is hard to work with and extremely sticky, which means most methods of cleaning do not work. Instead, there are special solutions and methods for removing silicone quickly and efficiently.

You can remove silicone caulk with numerous products.

Mineral Spirits

The most common method for removing silicone caulking is mineral spirits, which are also used for a variety of other materials and uses. It works on even the thickest types of silicone buildup, making it ideal for commercial settings or areas where sloppy caulking methods were used. You can find mineral spirits at any home improvement store.

Rubbing Alcohol

A product commonly found in household cupboards is rubbing alcohol. While it is primarily used as a disinfectant, it can also be used to clean various materials and products, such as silicone. While it does not work on heavy-duty layers of silicone, you can use rubbing alcohol to remove sections of light haze, such as a light over-smear from the initial caulking.


Special care needs to be taken when working with kerosene because the fumes can irritate people who have allergies. But it is an effective cleaning product when used with silicone. While kerosene is primarily used as a fuel for lanterns and camp stoves as well as generators and gas heaters, it also helps clean oil-based products as well as silicone caulking.


Solvents are sold in home improvement stores for various types of silicone. One benefit of solvents is that they are easy to work with. You can purchase a specific type depending on what kind of silicone caulking you are dealing with, such as a silicone-only or a silicone-latex or acrylic blend.