How to remove silicone from the caulk gun

Applying silicone caulk to seal around windows or other fixtures requires using a caulk gun. Once you complete your project it is necessary to clean the caulk gun. When silicone caulk is left in the caulk gun or the residue is left on the caulk gun, the caulk gun might not work properly. Remove silicone caulk from the caulk gun before it has an opportunity to cure completely. Although there are solvents available to clean silicone, it is not necessary when you clean up directly after the project.

Hold the top handle of the caulk gun in one hand with the tube tip pointing toward the ground. Twist the plunger handle clockwise with your free hand and pull the plunger straight back. This disengages the plunger from the caulk tube.

Lift the caulk tube toward the back of the caulk gun with your fingers and tilt the tip of the tube away from the gun. Remove the tube completely and throw it away.

Wipe the caulk gun with a dry rag, removing the majority of any residual caulk before it dries.

Scrape away any remaining caulk with a utility knife or 2-inch putty knife. Ensure you clean the residual silicone caulk off the ridge teeth of the plunger rod.

Rub any small amounts of remaining cured silicone with your thumb. The silicone caulk will roll under the pressure of your thumb. Wipe the caulk gun with a dry cloth and store for future use.


If you use solvents to clean silicone from the caulk gun, follow the manufacturer's directions on the container for optimal results.

Things You'll Need

  • Dry rag
  • Utility knife
  • 2-inch putty knife
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About the Author

Kenneth Crawford is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience. His work has appeared in both print and online publications, including "The American Chronicle." Crawford holds an associate degree in business administration from Commonwealth College.