How do I remove a silicone adhesive

Silicone glue - application and correct removal / loosening

Numerous projects that require elastic and at the same time sealing adhesive can be implemented with silicone adhesive. The silicone-based adhesives can be used, for example, to repair an aquarium or to connect ceramic parts. Although these adhesives cannot withstand high forces, they are resistant to moisture and have a long service life, which makes them ideal for numerous applications.

You can do a lot with silicone. It is used to seal damp rooms, to connect tiles and even outdoors when a moisture-resistant sealant is required. With a special silicone adhesive, you have a variant of the classic fabric that has higher adhesive properties and is therefore suitable for other projects. If your lizards terrarium is damaged, you can use the damage with the silicone-based glue. Or do you have a handicraft project in mind where you want to combine plastic with ceramic parts? The adhesive can be used with such materials, since the adhesive force masters smooth surfaces well.


Difference: silicone and silicone glue

Silicone is one of the most important sealants of all and is offered in numerous variants. When choosing the right silicone, many people ask themselves whether there is any difference between silicone for sealing and so-called silicone adhesive. Basically, it is the same sealant, but there are two "general" differences:

  • Silicone adhesive is designed for elastic adhesive connections with a sealing factor
  • Silicone is designed for classic, immovable sealing indoors and outdoors

As you can see, the adhesive is optimized for use as a sealing adhesive, even though the base is silicone. Of course, a silicone-based adhesive never has the direct properties of an adhesive, but silicone works better with certain materials such as ceramic or glass. Even alkaline surfaces or substrates can be glued with silicone, which makes it even more effective to use as an optimized adhesive. However, the basis of the adhesive is silicone and for this reason the adhesives are offered in two main forms:

1. Silicone glue: when a manufacturer calls their product a silicone adhesive, in most cases it is a silicone with adhesive properties. The majority of these products are offered as a transparent adhesive that is suitable for gluing the following materials:

  • paper
  • carton
  • Glass
  • metal
  • Wood
  • Ceramics
  • Plastics

Of course, the composition is decisive for the surfaces that can be glued. Some adhesives can only be used for ceramics, glass and paper, while others are perfect for metal and plastics. You should definitely consider this before buying.

2.Silicone in the tube: Many manufacturers, such as UHU, offer silicones with reinforced adhesive properties in tubes. These are not called glue, but have the necessary properties. These are specially filled into tubes so that they are easier to use and that you have them quickly to hand. The choice here is very large and black silicone is offered for bonding connections in the automotive sector or transparent adhesive for everyday use. It takes some research on the individual products to find out directly whether it is conventional silicone or a silicone with adhesive properties.

When purchasing the silicone adhesive, you have to reckon with costs between 7 and 25 euros per cartridge or tube. A big advantage of the adhesives is the large area of ‚Äč‚Äčapplication in combination with the simple use. Since the adhesive seals just as well as conventional silicone, you can use it for aquarium or terrarium projects, for example. They are best suited for fine work, as they are not really economical compared to conventional silicone. On average, the tubes or cartridges have a capacity of 75 to 300 milliliters, which is not suitable for grouting, for example. You don't really want to do this kind of work with the glue. For this reason, these small amounts are sufficient.

Tip: if you come across products with the term "RTV silicones acetic acid crosslinking", you can safely ignore them. These are special silicone-based adhesives that are used in the commercial sector and are used, for example, to bond shop windows.

Application: Instructions

You don't need much to apply the silicone adhesive. The most important thing before use is the selection of the parts to be glued or the surface. Please note that silicone adhesive should only be used if the bonded parts no longer move much afterwards. Silicones can become brittle quickly when exposed to friction, stretching, or a lot of movement in different directions. Therefore, before using it, you should think about whether you really want to make a shelf out of glass that is constantly moved or whether wood and glue are better suited for this. To use it, proceed as follows:

Step 1: First of all, clean the surface. A clean surface is essential so that silicone can stick and is not damaged by dirt particles or bacteria. In addition, the surface to be glued should be free of fat deposits, as these can significantly reduce the adhesive force. It is best to use a simple cleaning agent that does not damage the material.

2nd step: The next step should be to level the surface, if it has not already been done. Glass, ceramics and even plastics are usually smooth and therefore do not need to be pretreated. However, if you are using wood, you will need to sand it down first to get it as smooth and straight as possible. With paper and cardboard, you should make sure that there are no kinks in the material.

3rd step: Now you can glue. Compare the sizes of the surfaces to be glued and apply glue accordingly in thin strips. The larger the area, the more glue you need, but you should not use strips that are too thick. These take too long to dry and could cause something to slip. However, many thin sheets dry quickly and have a high adhesive strength.

4th step: After you have applied the adhesive strips, place the surfaces or individual workpieces and fix them. Depending on the project, special tools such as a vice or clamps are worthwhile so that nothing slips.

5th step: Now let the silicone glue harden. In any case, you have to wait 24 hours and then check every now and then that everything is dry. Give the material time, otherwise you can start all over again immediately.

6th step: Finally, you should remove any excess silicone.

Tip: it is recommended to choose an antibacterial or mold-free adhesive based on silicone for gluing work in the bathroom and other damp rooms. As a result, it is not attacked by the moisture that is typical for the bathroom and can therefore be used for years without any problems.

Correctly remove silicone adhesive

If you want or need to remove the silicone adhesive again, the following methods are available:

1. Razor blade: With a little patience, all silicone residues can be removed with the razor blade. Here you should be particularly careful not to scratch the material. The big advantage of the razor blade is the high level of accuracy with which you can proceed. Simply scrape off the silicone piece by piece and be sure to take your time. This method can be used for slightly and completely dried-on silicone adhesive. You can soak the silicone a little beforehand with washing-up liquid. This makes it easier to solve.

2. Silicone remover:Silicone removers are available in stores for around 10 euros and have a composition that effectively dissolves the silicone. To do this, it is sprayed directly onto the silicone and then has to take effect. After the exposure time, which differs from manufacturer to manufacturer, all you have to do is wipe with a lint-free cloth. The silicone dissolves by itself, leaving no residue or scratches. If you have applied the silicone in such a way that it is difficult to reach from the outside, soak cotton swabs in silicone remover and dab the silicone. This method takes a long time, but is the only option in hard-to-reach places.

Tip: classic home remedies such as baby oil are not really suitable for the adhesives, as they are designed for high adhesive strength. The chemical silicone remover works effectively and quickly, ensuring that your surfaces are not damaged.