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From glass to tiles, here's how to remove old silicone around the house

Don’t let sticky silicone ruin your DIY – learn how to remove silicone from surfaces with our guide.


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Learn how to remove silicone from glass without scratching it using these tips:

  • Use a utility knife to scrape off the silicone layer by layer rather than in one go.

  • Don’t use scouring pads or sponges that contain metal.

  • Use a solvent to make the silicone easier to remove so you can scrape less.

Anyone who carries out DIY around their home knows how useful silicone can be, especially when it comes to creating waterproof seals. But you’ll also know how hard it is to remove! This means that when it gets somewhere it shouldn’t, it can be tough to get rid of. That’s exactly why we’ve put together this guide on how to remove silicone with everything you need to know.

Wondering how to remove silicone naturally? Vinegar makes a great solvent and it’s super cheap, too!

How to remove silicone from glass

If you get a bit of silicone on glass, don’t panic! Here’s what to do:

  1. Slide a utility knife beneath the silicone, trying to get as close to the glass as you can. If you can’t, start by slicing through the silicone layer by layer, trying to remove as much as possible.

  2. You can also use a razor blade for tough silicone, sliding it away from you and being careful not to scratch the glass (or yourself).

  3. Wet the area and use a nylon dish scrubber to gently scrape away more loose silicone. Steer clear of metal scrubbers as these are more likely to scratch your surfaces. However, if you do end up with a few scratches on your glass, we have a very handy article on how to get rid of them.

  4. Apply a silicone remover to what’s left, following the instructions on the label and reading any safety warnings.

  5. Scrape off what’s left with a putty knife.

  6. Wipe down the whole area with warm water and liquid detergent or cleaning product, such as Domestos or Sunlight.

If you’re wondering how to remove silicone from tiles, how to remove silicone from plastic, or how to remove silicone from metal, you can use the same method. Just remember to always wear safety goggles and be careful using knives! However, if you’ve been wondering how to remove silicone from a wall and want to try this method, be very careful not to remove any paint when chiselling off the silicone.

How to remove old silicone with solvents

When you’re learning how to remove old silicone from tiles, walls, or any other surface, a solvent to soften the materials is always useful! For removing silicone from painted surfaces or plastic objects, isopropyl alcohol is a great choice that won’t ruin the surface beneath. For other surfaces, you can test toluene and xylene - just always be sure to check it on a small, inconspicuous spot before you apply it everywhere! Vinegar is another, more natural solution to soften silicone.

Learning how to remove silicone from different surfaces is essential for anyone doing DIY – it’s a material that always seems to end up in places it shouldn’t! Check out our other articles on how to clean tiles or walls after removal to make sure your home always looks its best.


Why is it important to remove old silicone?

Old silicone can become discoloured, cracked, or mouldy over time, diminishing its effectiveness and appearance. Removing old silicone ensures a clean surface for reapplication and helps maintain a neat and hygienic environment.

How do I know when it's time to remove old silicone?

Look for signs such as discolouration, cracking, peeling, or mould growth on the silicone sealant. If the sealant is no longer providing an effective barrier or if it looks unsightly, it's time to remove and replace it.

Can I remove old silicone without damaging the surface?

Yes, with proper tools and techniques, you can remove old silicone without damaging the surface. Use caution when using sharp tools and heat sources to avoid scratches or burns.

What's the best way to remove silicone from tiles?

Begin by scoring the silicone using a silicone removal tool or utility knife. Apply heat using a heat gun or hairdryer to soften the silicone, making it easier to scrape away with a scraper or putty knife. Clean any remaining residue with a silicone remover or rubbing alcohol.

How do I remove silicone from other surfaces, such as plastic or metal?

Use a silicone removal tool or utility knife to score the silicone. Apply heat using a heat gun or hairdryer, and then carefully scrape away the softened silicone with a scraper or putty knife. Use a silicone remover or rubbing alcohol to clean any residue.

Are there any safety precautions I should take when removing old silicone?

Yes, it's important to wear gloves to protect your hands from the sharp tools and any chemicals used. Ensure the area is well-ventilated, especially when using silicone remover or rubbing alcohol. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for any specific safety guidelines.

How often should I replace silicone sealant around the house?

The lifespan of silicone sealant can vary depending on factors such as exposure to moisture, temperature changes, and wear and tear. Generally, it is recommended to inspect and replace silicone sealant every few years or when signs of deterioration are noticeable.

Originally published