How to remove rtv silicone

Written by nick davis
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How to remove rtv silicone
Use a rag and ethyl lactate to remove RTV silicone. (Old duster image by Scott Latham from

RTV silicone is a mould-making substance made out of rubber and used in industrial, entertainment, automotive and construction settings. The substance is durable and not difficult to handle. RTV silicone dries within hours to a solid mould. RTV silicone is available from automotive stores, retail superstores and online outlets as well as chemical supply stores. The substance, like other silicone sealants and bonding substances, is removable from equipment, automotive parts and other items.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Plastic sheeting
  • Latex gloves
  • Ethyl lactate
  • Plastic container or old bowl
  • 2 shop towels or rags
  • Putty knife
  • Mask (optional)

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  1. 1

    Place a piece of plastic sheeting onto a flat surface--desk, workbench, countertop or other flat surface. Wear latex gloves to keep your hands clean. Place the piece of equipment, part or item containing the RTV silicone onto the flat surface.

  2. 2

    Pour one cup of ethyl lactate in a plastic container or old bowl. Ethyl lactate is found at chemical supply stores, certain hardware stores through the "special order" department and online.

  3. 3

    Dip a shop towel or rag in the ethyl lactate. Wring out excess.

  4. 4

    Wipe the piece of equipment, part or item with the ethyl lactate-soaked shop towel or rag vigorously to break up the RTV silicone.

  5. 5

    Scrape up the RTV silicone with a putty knife as you wipe with ethyl lactate.

  6. 6

    Re-dip the shop towel or rag in the plastic container or bowl. Continue wiping and scraping the RTV silicone until it is removed.

Tips and warnings

  • If the smell of the ethyl lactate bothers you, wear a mask.
  • Dispose of the leftover ethyl lactate according to the directions on the product's label.

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