White spirit is often touted as a bit of a cure-all and seems to get recommended for all sorts of different jobs. One such job is removing silicone, but does white spirit remove silicone sealant? let’s find out.
Yes, you can use white spirit to remove the leftover traces of silicone sealant. To remove the bulk of the sealant though you want to use a Stanley Knife or sharp chisel.
So white spirit will remove silicone but only the remnants. To remove silicone you want to use something really sharp. A Stanley knife, scalpel, chisel or even a specialist tool are all good choices.
You want to break the seal at the top and bottom of the silicone. You should then be able to peel the silicone away. Try and go slow to stop the silicone from snapping, this way you will remove most of the material in one go.
You are never going to do a perfect job though, and this is where the white spirit can come in. You can use white spirit to remove any bits of silicone that have been left behind.
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Dab some white spirit onto the silicone and leave it for a few minutes. This should hopefully soften the silicon. You should then scrub it off using a rag, you can apply more white spirit if there is some really stubborn silicone.
There are also specialist silicone softening products you can use for this step instead of white spirit.
Putting Down Fresh Silicone
If you have used white spirit to help you remove silicone then you really need to make sure the surface you removed the silicone from is completely dry before putting down some fresh silicone.
The white spirit will prevent the new silicone from sticking to whatever surface you want it to. meaning It may just fall or peel off!
The white spirit will simply evaporate away over time. So just give it a good dry with a rag and then leave it for a few hours to make sure it has completely evaporated.