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How to Remove Silicone Sealant from Glass: Effective Methods

by Georgia Nunn 06 Jun 2024
How to Remove Silicone Sealant from Glass: Effective Methods

Understanding Silicone Sealant Challenges

Silicone sealant is an essential product for the sealing and bonding of two surfaces, creating air and water-tight seals, they are both durable and flexible. The rubber-like consistency of the sealant along with its strong adhesion can mean that it is particularly difficult to remove, once cured.

Essential Tools for Sealant Removal

When attempting to remove sealant from glass, having the right tools and products to hand is essential to achieve the best possible results.

Below is a list of items you will need to remove silicone sealant from glass:

  • Scraper / Utility Knife / Putty Knife
  • Clean Cloths
  • Silicone remover gel
  • Rubbing Alcohol / Acetone
  • Protective Gloves
  • Cleaning Wipes

Preparing the Glass Surface

Prior to removing silicone sealant from glass, it is important to adequately prepare the surface to ensure there is limited interference with the removal process. 

You should begin by clearing the surrounding area so you have plenty of workspace. Thoroughly clean the glass surface, removing any dust or contaminants that could hinder the sealant removal process.

Chemical Solutions for Stubborn Sealant

Once the surface has been cleaned thoroughly to aid the silicone removal you can apply a removal gel which will begin to soften the remaining sealant.

Apply the silicone removal gel liberally, and allow it to sit on the sealant so that it can be fully absorbed. 

If you are unable to get hold of a silicone remover gel, there are some household alternatives you can use to similarly soften the product, such as:

  • Acetone
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • White Vinegar and Baking Soda

Mechanical Removal Techniques

Once the silicone sealant has been softened, take a scraper to carefully lift up and remove the sealant. To prevent damaging the surface, you should hold the scraper at an angle, almost parallel to the glass. 

For stubborn sealant residue, you may want to use a fine sandpaper, working very gently in circular motions to gently remove the silicone. When using an abrasive tool, you want to be very careful as it is easy to scratch the glass surface.

Finishing Touches for a Clear View

Once almost all of the sealant has been removed, to eliminate any lasting residue, you should wipe the glass down with acetone, rubbing alcohol or a commercial glass cleaner using a clean cloth.

This may need to be done a few times in order to ensure there is no silicone residue remaining, and to restore the shiny finish on the glass surface.

Preventing Damage During Removal

Follow these key tips below for optimal results when removing silicone sealant from glass:

  • Take your time 

Allowing enough time for your sealant to soften is important to aid in a smooth removal process. By rushing you are more likely to have to use greater force which may damage the glass surface.

  • Use a plastic scraper 

A plastic scraper is much less likely to scratch the surface as opposed to a metal blade.

  • To separate silicone from tight, hard to reach areas, try using some dental floss

This will help to get into difficult areas much more easily without risking any damage to the surface.

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