How to Remove Silicone Residue From the Floor

By Mary Smith. September 7, 2021
How to Remove Silicone Residue From the Floor

The use of silicone caulk to fix, seal or repair tiles is very common. It is an ideal material for this type of function because of its adhesive properties. Unfortunately adhesive ability means it can attach itself to places you don't want it to. Even though we may used precautions such as gloves and floor covering, we can still manage to get some caulk where we don't want it. If you spill some silicone on the floor, it can be very difficult to remove.

At oneHOWTO, we look at how to remove silicone residue from the floor. We look at all floor types including tile concrete, hardwood and more.

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Palette knife or paint scraper

Silicone dries quickly on the floor. If 24 or 48 hours have passed after its application, you will see the spillage has completely hardened. In case you want to know how to remove dry silicone from the floor, brute force can be a good option. Using the blade of a paint scraper or palette knife can be leveraged to scrape the dry caulk off it.

However, this is only suitable for hard surfaces which can tolerate a little abrasion. If your tiles are brittle, glossed or made of an unsuitable material, removing the silicone with a knife can be damaging. Thinner palette knives can work better since they are often softer, but be careful regardless.

Once left with the silicone residue, you can use the methods detailed below to clean it properly.

Whatever use you have for the silicone, you may be using other materials. In this case, you may be interested in:

How to Remove Silicone Residue From the Floor - Palette knife or paint scraper

Cleaning fresh silicone from the floor

If you are in time, you can ensure the silicone doesn't harden to the floor. In these cases, if you act quickly, you can clean the silicone from the floor. This is the same for hardwood, tile, concrete, linoleum or any floor except carpet. All you have to use is a degreasing agent (such as dish soap) and a cloth.

Even if the silicone has hardened a little, the cloth and degreaser might be enough. Put it in a spray bottle and apply it to the spill. If you use warm water, the action may be even better. This is a method to remove from a floor without scratching, but time and material is important. For example, concrete is more porous and may seep into the floor more quickly.

Acetone and ether

Not sure how to remove dried silicone from hardwood floors? Being a fragile surface, parquet and other hardwood flooring requires a special method to remove the remains of silicone putty or caulk. This is because it is easily damaged. A mixture of acetone and ether will help to achieve this because it breaks down the silicone, rather than chipping it off or cleaning it away.

Removing the silicone from the floor without scratching is possible thanks to this solution. To remove silicone spills with acetone and ether:

  1. Dilute acetone and ether in equal amounts to obtain a solution that you should apply to the stained areas of the surface with a cloth.
  2. Rub lightly and gradually increase the intensity until you see the dry silicone come off.
  3. In this way, you get to moisten the silicone and make it easier to remove.

There is a potential negative if you want to clean silicone from hardwood floors this way. The excessive use of acetone causes a loss of shine and color in the floor, so you need to ensure you make your solution properly in appropriate parts. The same goes for carpet as the acetone can have bleaching properties.

For more wood floor DIY tips, take a look at our article on how to paint a hardwood floor without sanding.

Vinegar, brandy, ethyl alcohol or gasoline

There are many products with which you can remove traces of silicone that remain on the floor. Before applying them, it is advisable to use a spatula or a knife to scrape off the dried putty. In the case of a fresh spillage, you can remove it with as little as a piece absorbent paper.

To finish removing the hardened silicone after using the knife or spatula, apply brandy, ethyl alcohol, vinegar, or gasoline. Any of these substances will help you get rid of the finest traces of silicone residue from the floor.

To remove silicone with vinegar or any of the other products mentioned, follow these steps:

  1. Put on some gloves and apply the product to the stained areas on the silicone floor after scraping off what you can.
  2. Wait 5-10 minutes for the product to work on the surface.
  3. After this time, gently rub over the stains with a sponge or scouring pad. Do it in circular motions.
  4. You will observe how the dried silicone softens and you can remove it easily.
  5. When you have finished removing all traces of silicone, clean the floor with a specific detergent to prevent the silicone remover from remaining on the surface and deteriorating it.

Do not use vinegar or similar acidic products on certain tiles such as hydraulic tiles or terracotta. This can be useful on carpet, but ensure the dyes in the fibers don't come out by trying a test patch first.

How to Remove Silicone Residue From the Floor - Vinegar, brandy, ethyl alcohol or gasoline

More tips for removing silicone from the floor

Using any of the methods that we have explained previously, it will be easy for you to remove the old silicone stains. However, in case you continue to have problems cleaning the silicone from tiles, here are more tips that you can try:

  • If you have porcelain tile flooring you can take a little more risk and use a razor, spatula or fine knife to remove any remaining silicone. It is a very resistant surface, so the risk of damaging it is much lower.
  • You can remove fresh silicone from floors such as stoneware with absorbent paper. It will be enough to remove it, since being wet requires less effort to get rid of it.
  • If the absorbent or blotting paper is not enough to get the fresh silicone to adhere, use a hair dryer. The heat will make it easier for the putty to stick to the paper and you can lift it off and throw it away.
  • On lacquered or painted surfaces, avoid the use of alcohol and opt for another product to remove silicone. For example, you can use a solvent, but only in cases where the silicone is completely dry and adhered to the floor.

For carpet, you may need to use something a little different. For this reason, you can check out our article on how to clean carpets with ammonia.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Remove Silicone Residue From the Floor, we recommend you visit our Home cleaning category.

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