How to Remove Silicone Caulk Residue

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Things You'll Need

  • Razor blade

  • Sponge or scrub pad

  • Mineral spirits or denatured alcohol

Silicone caulk is usually used in areas that need to be waterproofed. It can most often be found around fixtures in kitchens and bathrooms. Most silicone caulks cannot be painted, but some are available in a variety of colors to blend in more easily with your decor. Because of silicone's properties, it can often be difficult to remove. The process for removing silicone caulk residue is simple, but it does take some time and effort.


Step 1

Use a razor blade to scrape off as much of the residue as possible without scratching the surface you are cleaning.

Step 2

Apply mineral spirits or denatured alcohol. Use a scrub pad if possible, but if the surface is easily scratched, used a sponge. Scrub thoroughly.

Step 3

Brush away any bits that "pill" and become detached. The solvents will only soften the residue so that it will peel up easier. It will not dissolve the silicone.

Step 4

Repeat this process until all the caulk residue is removed.

Step 5

Clean the surface thoroughly and ensure it is dry before re-applying any type of caulk or adhesive.


Grant D. McKenzie

Grant McKenzie is a 1993 graduate of the USAF Academy with a Bachelor of Science in aeronautical engineering. Grant is a writer and a consultant for in the areas of leadership, team-building, and communication skills. He is co-author of "New Best Friends: Playground Strategies for Market Dominance."