Are you having difficulty removing silicone sealant from your granite countertops? If so, then how do you remove it from the counter without damaging it? There are several ways to remove silicone from granite countertops and we’re going to discuss those here, so follow along!
Cleaning silicone off granite countertops may take a bit of scrubbing, but it is an easy DIY project that you can take on yourself and there are several methods you can try. Whether you’re using elbow grease, or a product specially made for this purpose, read on to learn five methods to eliminate silicone without damaging your granite surface.
Silicone From Granite Countertops
Before we begin, I just want to touch on a little background on what silicone is. It is a polymer of silicon and oxygen atoms bonded together in chains and it can be found in rubber products such as tires, gaskets, caulking, sealants, adhesives, and coatings.
In our case, silicone sealants are commonly used on kitchen countertops to seal the space where the counter meets the tile. It is used in place of grout because it is flexible and can handle temperature changes and small housing shifts. Silicone is also used as an adhesive to attach the countertop to the surface. It is important that silicone product made specifically for kitchens and bathrooms is used as they are designed to resist mold and mildew.
But what happens when these sealers dry out or crack over time? If this occurs, removing the silicone from the granite can become challenging. Or even more commonly, if you get a little outside your lines during installation, silicone sealant can leave behind a residue which can be even harder to remove.
If you have found yourself with a “sticky” silicone situation, here are a few methods that to try.
5 Ways To Remove Silicone From Granite Countertops
The best way to remove silicone from granite countertops is by using a shape knife and scraper. This method will work on granite, marble, or soapstone countertops. The process is simple and can be done in just minutes.
Here are the five ways to remove silicone from granite:
1. Use a Razor Blade
A razor blade or putty knife is a great way to get rid of silicone on your granite countertops. Start by scraping the surface with the blade at a 30 degree angle. Continue until all silicone is removed. If residue remains, you may need to follow up with a wet rag and one of the other methods below.
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2. Use a Dishwashing Liquid
Dishwashing liquids are usually readily available and are made up of ingredients that can help loosen the bond between the silicone and the granite surface. Mix equal parts dishwashing liquid with warm water and apply the mixture to the affected areas with a rag. Let the mixture sit on the surface for a few minutes and then scrape the area with a razor blade or putty knife. Finally, rinse the area thoroughly with hot water. Repeat this process if necessary.
3. Apply Heat
You can also [cautiously] use heat to remove silicone from a granite surface. It will cause the silicone to soften and release from the surface. Use a hair dryer or heat gun to heat the affected areas. Do not let it get too hot or you could damage the countertop. Once the heat has softened the silicone, use your razor blade or putty knife to scrape away the material. Make sure to let the area cool fully afterwards.
4. Use Vinegar
Vinegar contains acetic acid, which breaks down the silicone bonds. Pour a small amount of vinegar onto the silicone and let it sit for several minutes. It may take several applications to remove the silicone altogether.
Generally, vinegar will not harm your countertops as long as it’s not left on the surface for too long. I recommend testing an inconspicuous area first.
5. Use a Cleaning Product
If you still find yourself with a stubborn silicone spot, there are several products on the market that are made specifically for this purpose. Here are a few great options.
Silicone sealant solvents:
Krud Cutter Caulk Remover – Removes Silicone, Latex Caulk, & Foam Sealant
Orange Sol Contractors Solvent – Removes Caulk & Silicone, Roofing Tar, Wet Paint, Floor Adhesive, Grease & Oil, Wet Foam, and more.
- Follow the instructions on the back of the product.
- Scrape away any remaining silicone with a sharp razor blade.
WD40: Lightly saturate a rag with WD40 and lay over the silicone to allow to soak in (approximately 20 minutes). The silicone should soften enough to scrape off with a razor blade.
Acetone: Pour a small amount of acetone onto the silicone and let it sit for 20-30 minutes then scrape away any residual silicone.
Alcohol: Finally, use alcohol. Again, dip a rag into the solution. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes, then scrape away any remaining silicone.
Remove Silicone from Granite: Dos and Don’ts
When removing silicone from granite, it would be best to consider a few things. First, it would help if you never used anything abrasive as it could damage the finish.
Now take a look at these tips:
1. Don’t Leave Anything Sitting For a Long Time
You should not leave anything on your countertops for a long time. Otherwise, something like epoxy adhesive could harden again and become harder to remove.
To wipe away silicone, you need to make it soft. Once it dries out, it becomes difficult to get rid of.
2. Do Get Out that Sharp Razor
If you want to remove the silicone, you must do it properly. A dull razor blade won’t cut through the silicone. Always use a sharp razor blade when scraping off the silicone.
Overusing a razor blade can damage the surface of your countertops. In addition, you might end up removing more than just the silicone.
3. Don’t Scrub with Abrasive Materials
Abrasives such as steel wool, powders meant for scouring, nylon scrubbing pads, and sandpaper can damage your granite surface. If you try to scrub away the silicone using these materials, you might damage the surface of your countertops.
4. Do Use Acetone
Acetone is one of the best solutions to remove silicone. You can buy it at home improvement stores.
Use a soft cloth and soak it in acetone. Gently rub the silicone until it comes off. You might use more than one application if necessary.
It’s important to note that acetone is flammable. So be careful while using it. Please keep it in a safe place and wear protective clothing.
5. Don’t Forget About Your Hands
When cleaning your countertops, always remember about your hands. Applying the acetone makes it easy to get some on your skin. The same goes for rubbing alcohol.
Always take care of your hands by wearing gloves. This way, you’ll avoid getting any chemicals on your skin.
6. Don’t Use the Wrong Cleaner
Some cleaners are designed to work well on certain surfaces. They may contain solvents that can dissolve silicone. They might not be suitable for granite surfaces.
Here is a list of cleaners that can damage your granite countertops:
- Cream or powder cleansers
- Acid-based cleaner
- Tile, bathtub, toilet, and grout cleaners
- Mildew/mold remover and disinfectants
- Furniture polish etc.
Hence, be sure to check the label before purchasing a cleaner.
How do I hide the granite joints?
Granite has a natural grain called jointing, making it look like it was cut from one piece of stone. Use a grinder or sandpaper to smooth them out to hide these joints. Then apply a sealer such as silicone to protect the surface.
Also, “book matching” is an option. It involves covering the joints with granite slabs so their surfaces match each other. Granite countertops always need to be sealed.
Does vinegar damage granite countertops?
Vinegar is acidic and can cause damage to granite countertops. It will also etch the stone’s surface if left for a long time.
Though vinegar can remove silicone, it shouldn’t be left on the surface for too long. Vinegar has an unpleasant smell and can ruin the appearance of the countertops.
Does alcohol dissolve silicones?
Alcohol softens/dissolves silicone caulk from the countertops. It also removes wax. So, if you have used many oil-based products, you must clean them. Then apply an alcohol solution. Let it sit overnight. Wash it off the next day.
Isopropyl alcohol also works excellent for removing silicone. However, it has a strong smell. So, you might want to consider another option.
Does acetone remove silicones?
Yes, acetone removes silicone from the countertops. Acetone is an organic solvent, and it dissolves silicone. It will also remove wax and grease from granite. It is commonly used in nail polish remover. It works great for removing silicone from the countertops and is non-toxic.
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