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How to Remove Silicone Caulk From Clothing

Updated February 21, 2017

Silicone caulk is an effective material for sealing cracks and crevices around windows and doors as part of a weatherization process. Caulk is also used as a water sealant to prevent water infiltration around tubs, showers and sinks. Caulk is effective as a waterproofing substance because it is not water soluble, making the product difficult to remove if it comes in contact with clothing.

Remove as much of the silicone caulk as possible from the clothing without rubbing the caulking into the material. Use a piece of cardboard or other stiff material to scrape as much caulk as possible from the surface.

Test the material in an inconspicuous area with white spirit. The white spirit may cause more damage to the clothing than the silicone caulk itself. Monitor the colour of the clothing for damage.

Rub white spirit into the caulk to loosen and soften the silicone. Blot at the silicone spot with a rag or paper towel to attempt to remove the caulk. Don't rub the spot, as this will spread the area of the clothing impacted by the silicone.

Remove as much of the silicone as possible before washing the clothing in standard detergent and water.

Tip

Wearing old clothing is advisable when using silicone caulk, compared to trying to clean the caulk from clothing. The same traits that make the material useful as a sealant make it difficult to remove from clothing or other materials.

Things You'll Need

  • White spirit
  • Detergent
  • Water
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About the Author

Keith Allen, a 1979 graduate of Valley City State College, has worked at a variety of jobs including computer operator, medical clinic manager, radio talk show host and potato sorter. For over five years he has worked as a newspaper reporter and historic researcher. His works have appeared in regional newspapers in North Dakota and in "North Dakota Horizons" and "Cowboys and Indians" magazines.