Silicone sealant is easy and convenient to apply. It perfectly protects against moisture, but removing it is a real torment. It adheres very well to any surface, and you will have to try very hard to clean the old silicone and leave the surface untouched.
Methods for removing sealant from the bath at home
Freshly applied silicone is easy to remove. If by chance, you stained silicone with the surface of the floor or something else, it is easy to wipe it with a sponge or a piece of an old rag.
The rougher the surface, the more difficult it is to remove the sealant. If it was applied correctly, then it will cling to the material with a practically dead grip.
If your plans include re-applying silicone, then you must try to clean the old without a trace. Old and fresh silicone practically do not adhere to each other, so the remnants of the old sealant will create loopholes for the flow of water.
To clean the old silicone layer, mechanical and chemical cleaning methods can be combined.
Since the silicone itself does not wipe off, you have to work hard. Therefore, it is necessary to start with the mechanical cleaning method. Try to remove as thick a layer as possible - chemicals remove only minor residues.
To remove the sealant, you will need:
- stationery knife;
- razor blade;
- small spatula;
- flat screwdriver;
- silicone scrapers;
Reference! Some of the above may not be needed, but it is better to have everything at hand. Who knows what will work more efficiently.
The sequence of work:
- With a knife, cut thin strips of silicone. If the material is not completely hardened, then it is possible to remove it in one motion.
- Using tweezers, grab the incised edge and separate it.
- Using a spatula, clean up the rest.
- Silicone should be removed with tweezers from various cracks.
- The remaining thin layer is difficult to remove, a small skin can come in handy here.
- To remove residues from the tile, the layer must be incised and then rubbed with an eraser or pumice stone.
Mechanical methods do not allow to remove all old substance, chemistry comes to the rescue.
When choosing a means of removal should determine the type of sealant itself. They are based on acid (determined by the presence of a characteristic odor) and neutral.
You can try to remove the sealant with those tools that are already available - use, for example, white spirit.
It is a universal solvent. Dampen the cloth with liquid and wipe the required spots. Leave on for ten minutes to absorb the liquid. If everything works out, then the silicone will become soft and can be easily removed.
Reference! Industrial products destroy the structure of the sealant. They can be found in automobile stores, in the department of auto chemical goods, as well as in construction stores.
The principle of work with all compositions is unchanged:
- After mechanical cleaning, the product is applied over the remaining layer.
- A certain time is given (read on the packaging) for the solvent to work. After that, the soft sealant can be removed further.
- Most solvents leave traces. These places need to be washed with soapy water - apply it, wait a while and rinse with water.
How not to spoil the surface
To avoid the need to restore plumbing or replace the finish, remove the sealant slowly and carefully. It is especially necessary to act with caution when cleaning an acrylic bath: its surface is easily scratched even with an ordinary sponge. Remember safety precautions:
- Use caution when handling sharp objects. Not only can you scratch surfaces, you can easily hurt yourself.
- It is better to remove the sealant from the acrylic surface with an eraser, wet pumice, wood block.
- If the sealant is very old and does not lend itself to a blade, it should first be softened with industrial solvents.
- Do not use brute force.
Following the above recommendations, you can easily and quickly remove the sealant from the bath.