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How to Clean Silicone From Furniture

Updated February 21, 2017

Silicone is a clear chemical present in sealants and cleaners including furniture polish that leaves a layer of shine once it is dry. The chemical also penetrates surfaces and is a challenge to remove if you decide to refinish the piece of furniture. Silicone can even penetrate into wood and other surfaces coated with stain or other finishes. When removing silicone from furniture, use a chemical solution that will remove the silicone and not destroy the surface underneath.

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  1. Move the piece of furniture into a well-ventilated area or open any doors and windows leading into the room or area where the piece of furniture is located. Removing silicone from furniture involves the use of gum turpentine or lacquer thinner, which emit strong fumes.

  2. Pour 3 tbsp of gum turpentine or lacquer thinner onto a soft cloth or rag. Wear rubber gloves and a nose mask to keep the turpentine or thinner off your hands and out of your lungs.

  3. Wipe the silicone-coated furniture with the rag soaked in gum turpentine/lacquer thinner. Work in sections and let the turpentine or thinner stand on the wood or other surface for two to three minutes to break down the silicone. Fold the cloth or rag in half then wipe the surface clean.

  4. Re-apply gum turpentine or lacquer thinner and continue wiping the piece of furniture until it is no longer shiny, which is an indication it is silicone-free. Change cloths or rags frequently to keep from transferring silicone back onto the piece of furniture.

  5. Wipe any stubborn silicone build-up with a piece of steel wool to break up the substance. Wipe the piece of furniture with a clean, soft cloth or rag to remove any loose dust and dirt.

  6. Place the dirty cloths or rags and steel wool in a trash bag, and then dispose of the bag in your home's outdoor dustbin.

  7. Remove your rubber gloves and wash them with paint thinner to remove any silicone residue and gum turpentine or lacquer thinner.

  8. Tip

    Use an orange-based or similar type of cleaner to prepare your piece of furniture for refinishing or repainting, if desired.

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Things You'll Need

  • Gum turpentine or lacquer thinner
  • 3 or 4 soft cloths or rags
  • Rubber gloves
  • Nose mask
  • Steel wool
  • Paint thinner
  • Trash bag
  • Orange-based or similar type cleaner

About the Author

Nick Davis

Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.

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