How to Remove Silicone Caulking Under an Hour!

Imagine moving into your new home and settling in a place you have longed for. But while decorating it according to your taste, you find the old caulking being stubborn to come out all around the place.

If you are going through it and thinking about how much it’s going to cost you to clean the place of residues, hold your thought.

What if I tell you that you can get it done all by yourself, even without taking a trip to a hardware store or hiring someone professional to do the job?

You heard right. In this guide, I will show you how to remove silicon caulking in under an hour and all by yourself!

How to Remove Silicon Caulking Without Damaging Your Paint?

In this section, I will take you through six easy steps that you can follow to remove silicon caulking without damaging your surface and keep your house clean.

StepsRequired Estimated Time
Preparation5-10 minutes
Loosening the Old Caulk5-15 minutes
Score and Start Peeling5-15 minutes
Pull Up the Caulk5-15 minutes
Further Removal5-15 minutes
Check for Residue5-10 minutes

Step 1: Preparation

  • First, make sure you have adequate ventilation in your working area.
  • Use goggles to protect your eyes from silicone residue and dirt.
  • Always wear protective gloves to protect your hands from unfortunate cuts.

Required Tools

  • Safety goggles
  • Safety gloves

Step 2: Loosening the Old Caulk

  • Grab your hair dryer and adjust the heat setting to the lowest bar.
  • It is to ensure your safety and energy efficiency during the process.
  • Turn the hair dryer on and point the nozzle directly at the old caulk.
  • Keep the nozzle approximately 1-2 inches away from the caulk for maximum heating.
  • Keep moving the heat stream back and forth over an 8-10 inch caulk area.
  • This continuous warming will keep softening the caulk without overheating.
  • Heat the old caulk for 30-40 seconds.
  • If you feel the heat isn’t sufficiently softening the caulk after 40 seconds, gradually increase the heat setting.
  • Only concentrate the heat on a single area for a short time, as it can lead to damaging the surrounding surface of the caulk.

Required Tools

  • Safety goggles
  • Safety gloves
  • Hair dryer

Step 3: Score and Start Peeling

  • Use a utility knife or a razor blade to score the caulk bead at periods of 2–3 inches (five.1–7.6 cm).
  • To do that, gently drag the blade across the width of the caulk line.
  • Ensure you keep control and precision to avoid accidentally scratching adjoining materials.
  • Once the softened caulk is satisfactorily separated, use the corner of your blade to raise one cease.
  • If you choose a utility knife, exercise warning and ensure you’re sporting gloves to avoid any major accidents.
  • If you’re using a loose razor blade, use it cautiously and cut deliberately to avoid mishaps.

Required Tools

  • Safety goggles
  • Safety gloves
  • Utility knife or razor blade

Step 4: Pull Up the Caulk

  • Use the pliers to hold and pull up as much of the caulk as possible.
  • Hold the loose end of the caulk bead with the pliers and peel it back gently.
  • Do not tug or twist the caulk, as this can lead the caulk to break into smaller pieces.

Required Tools

  • Safety goggles
  • Safety gloves
  • Pliers

Step 5: Further Removal

  • If you still find silicon caulking clinging to your surface, you can use some pretty affordable and easily accessible cleaning supplies.
  • If you have a glass, ceramic, or metal surface, you can use vinegar or alcohol to loosen up the resting silicon caulk residue.
  • Just soak a corner of a gentle, clean cloth and rub the area softly.
  • This will soften the remaining caulk and help to break it down.
  • But if you have a more sophisticated surface like tile, marble, or concrete, it’s best to use Xylol or lacquer thinner.
  • Use the same process as before and rub the residue off carefully with one of these products.
  • But make sure to follow the instructions posted with the product.
  • If you have a painted or plastic surface, you can use Isopropyl alcohol.
  • This product is a safe choice because it won’t damage the paint or corrode the surface.
  • Always go for a 99% pure Isopropyl alcohol as they are specifically manufactured for industry-grade use and are more potent and effective than regular rubbing alcohol.
  • Take a paper towel and soak it into the solution, then start rubbing on the caulk residue to break it up and remove it gently.
  • Once you have softened up the remaining caulk using one of these methods, use a glass scraper to start cleaning it carefully.
  • Put it at a shallow angle and position the edge of your tool under the caulk.
  • Start scraping the remaining caulk away with short and careful strokes.
  • Whatever product you use to soften the caulk, make sure to taste the spot before applying it to the whole area.

Required Tools

  • Safety goggles
  • Safety gloves
  • Vinegar or alcohol
  • Xylol or lacquer thinner
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Glass scraper

Step 6: Check for Residue

  • Check the surface carefully for any stubborn caulk residue that may have been left behind.
  • If you find any, you can use a gentle abrasive pad such as a Magic Eraser or any fine-grit sandpaper you choose to clean it up.
  • Be gentle with your approach so that you can avoid damaging the surface.
  • Take your time cleaning up the residue so you do not harm the paint or underlying materials.

Required Tools

  • Safety goggles
  • Safety gloves
  • Magic eraser or fine-grit sandpaper

Bottom Line

And Voila! I bet your place is looking far shinier than before and ready to be decorated as you please.

Now that you have managed to clean off old silicon caulking residue from your house, you may be wondering, ‘Huh! What more DIY projects can I take on to improve my home more?’

Well, you’re in the right place. Check our other home cleaning guides and keep connected to get new ones daily!


Does WD-40 remove silicone caulk?

Yes, WD-40 can be effective in removing silicon caulk.

However, it is important to apply it properly and be ready to perform an after-cleaning as WD-40 leaves residue on the surface.

Does silicone dissolve in alcohol?

Silicone gets dissolved in hydrocarbon solvents such as toluene, xylene, ligroin, and mineral spirits, as well as in chlorinated hydrocarbons.

However, it remains insoluble in ethanol, methanol, and water.

Does rubbing alcohol damage silicone caulk?

Rubbing alcohol, specifically isopropyl alcohol, is generally safe for silicone caulk and unlikely to cause damage.

Isopropyl alcohol is often used for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and is known not to harm silicone materials.