Each of us has a bath or shower. And sooner or later, you will face the question of replacing the silicone caulk (sealant) with new one, dismantling the bathroom or simply beautifying the beauty after repair. Therefore, before you is the question of removing the sealant. And as practice shows, this task does not always work out quickly and simply.
The caulk itself is a very strong material that has a high degree of adhesion to all kinds of materials and weakly comes into contact with solvents or chemicals. It is because of this that it is used as a sealing agent in the bathrooms.
But for the same reason, then remove the silicone sealant from any surface will be an extremely complicated operation, for which you will need the use of special tools. This removes the caulk from different materials in different ways, so as not to damage the surface.
What are caulks?
Before you understand how to remove silicone caulk, you need to know its quality composition. All sealants are divided into 2 large groups: 1-component, 2-component. The former are used in everyday life, construction, the latter are used mainly for the needs of industry.
- Alkaline caulks are specialty sealant. They are made on the basis of amines.
- Acidic caulks in the base contain acetic acid. Its smell can be heard in the process of solidifying the composition. They are affordable, universal in use. Standard marked with the letter “A”. Incompatible with materials containing cement, marble containing alkali. Also accelerate the process of corrosion of most non-ferrous metals, which excludes their joint use.
- Neutral caulks, in the production of which acetic acid is replaced with ketoxim, alcohol. They can be used for docking any surfaces.
Removing silicone caulk
To date, there are two main ways to remove the sealant at the joints in the bathroom:
mechanical, when the process of removal is carried out using various tools;
chemical, when chemical means are used for removal, which destroy the structure of the caulk and make it easy to remove it without damaging the adjacent surfaces.
Important. Before removing the caulk from the bath with chemicals, make sure that the chemistry will only affect the caulk itself and will not damage any other adjacent coatings in any way. As a rule, if the chemical is intended for the removal of silicone, then it can not damage any other materials, but if you use another remedy, carefully read the instructions before removing the caulk from the bath.
Removal of silicone by mechanical methods is only possible for enameled baths lined with ceramic tiles or glass surfaces. This technique consists in scraping the old sealant with the following materials and tools:
- Loose abrasive substances;
- Spatulas, scrapers;
- Pumice, graters;
- Knives, chisels, scissors;
- Blades, paper and stationery knives
- Special caulk removal tools
First, the silicone layer is cut at the surface with knives and other tools, and then the remaining caulk is wiped with sandpaper, pumice or fine abrasive materials.
After all the silicone is removed, the place of its stay is still clearly visible in the form of a dirty, greasy stain. To eliminate it, resort to the aid of granular means for cleaning the kitchen surfaces. Such household chemicals are applied to a loofah or kitchen sponge and carefully, in a circular motion, wipe the surface. Then, the soiled areas are wiped with any liquid detergent that is on hand, and rinsed with hot water.
If the treatment site is a smooth, shiny surface that is well prepared before sealing, then removing the silicone without the use of special chemical compounds will be virtually impossible. In such cases, a building hair dryer will help out. The silicone caulk, which has been heated to 400 °C, is removed quite simply.
A simpler and more reliable option to remove the old silicone caulk will be the use of a silicone cleaner together with mechanical cleaning. Using special chemicals to remove silicone, will not only carefully remove all the remnants of the caulk, but also protect the surface of the bathroom, tiles or sinks from scratches and chips. In addition, it helps to avoid accidental damage to the hands, which are not so rare with a mechanical method of removing the sealant.
The removal of the old silicone caulk will be greatly assisted by special silicone caulk removals: Penta-840, Dow Corning OS-2, JVR Refinish Silicon Stop, Lugato silicone entferner, Mylon silicone entferner, Standox silicone entferner remover, silicone solvent Sili-kill, McKanica Silicone Caulk Remover Gel, Soudal silicone remover, Titeseal silicone cleaner and Tytan, and many others.
And also more simple (folk) methods can be useful, if you can not buy a special tool. To soften and help in the removal of the caulk will help the solvent White spirit and gasoline.
The composition of the cleaner is applied to the caulk seam in such a way as to provide a layer thickness 2-3 times thicker than the silicone layer. After applying the cleaner, it takes time to dissolve the silicone, depending on the thickness of the layer, the waiting time can be from 1 to 8 hours. To save the cleaner and reduce the dissolution time of the caulk, you can gently cut the available silicone layer. After the solvent has been removed, the silicone can be wiped off with a cloth or spatula made of plastic or wood, so as not to damage the surface. If necessary, the entire procedure can be repeated.
How to remove caulk from a shower or tub
Before choosing the way to clean the bath of the old caulk, pay attention to the material of its surface. Remember that even with enameled products should be treated very carefully, trying not to damage the top layer of the enamel.
For steel enameled baths, both mechanical cleaning methods and removal of contaminants with the help of chemical preparations are suitable. It is important only to make sure that they do not leave spots on the treated areas.
Baths, tiled with tiles, are also quite resistant to any methods of purification. As in the case of enamel coatings, tile should be treated with care and accuracy, trying not to scratch its glossy layer. Given the chemical resistance of the ceramic, almost any chemical can be used.
If you are the owner of an acrylic bath, then choose special compounds with the inscription “For acrylic bathtubs and shower trays”. The substances in their composition will retain the upper layer of your sanitary ware, reacting only with a silicone spot. Good reviews received the tool Dow Corning OS-2, quite common in the retail network. After its application, the caulk quickly softens and is removed without a trace.
While removing caulk from shower under no circumstances should organic solvents be used, as they damage brilliant acrylic surfaces. Also, refrain from the temptation to scrape the silicone with a knife or other metal objects. At best, use White Spirit, after trying it on a hidden area.
Remember that the problem is better to prevent than to eliminate. Therefore, do not allow silicone to contaminate the bath surfaces. If this still happens, remove the stain immediately, cleaning the area in one of these ways.