How to Remove Silicone Caulk from Undermount Sink


Silicone caulk is an adhesive sealant used in household applications to seal gaps and joints. They are used in bathtubs, toilets, sinks, windows, and doors to make them airtight and watertight. Silicone-based sealants are flexible, making them perfect for places where expansion and contractions often happen.

Silicone caulk is used mostly in undermount kitchen sinks to fill the gaps between the sink and the countertop. These sinks are particularly prone to seeping around the caved-in parts where water can easily pass through. With time, silicone caulk loses its adhesive strength and ends up cracking and peeling off.

If this sealant is inhaled or ingested, it can cause nausea, vomiting, and stomach issues for people in the household. The silicone caulk must be removed from the sink when repairing or replacing it to ease the process. Therefore, you must know how to remove silicone caulk from undermount sink.

How to Remove Silicone Caulk from Undermount Sink

What Will Dissolve Silicone Caulk

There are several substances you can use to dissolve silicone caulk:

Vinegar

Vinegar is eco-friendly and doesn’t leave chemical smells:

  • Pour two cups of vinegar into a bowl and use a rug to apply directly to the silicone caulk.
  •  Scrub thoroughly using the vinegar-filled rug, and use your hands to peel off the loosening caulk.
  • Use warm water to remove any caulk remnants.

Alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol is used on painted surfaces too.

  • Mix Isopropyl alcohol and water and use a scrubber to apply to the caulk.
  • Let the solution sit for three minutes and scrub thoroughly to remove the sealant.
  • Remove any remaining residue and rinse with warm water.

WD-40

WD-40 lubricant is used for stubborn and uncured silicone caulk:

  • Spray wd-40 using the smart straw to the silicone sealant and let it settle for five minutes.
  •  Use a sharp tool and run it through the silicone sealant and after a few attempts it will be loose.
  • Use a cloth and hot water to remove the residues and rinse.

How to Remove Silicone Caulk from Undermount Sink;

When silicone caulk on your sink starts to tear and peel off, you know it’s time to remove it. If kept longer, the bacteria and molding continue to grow, increasing health risks to you and your family. Thankfully, this process doesn’t always require a professional.

Before you start this process, you will require several pieces of equipment. Some of them are for your protection, while others will be the tools you use. You’ll require the following things to remove old caulk from undermount sink:

  1. Sharp blade
  2. Warm water
  3. Towel, cloth, or rug
  4. Dissolving substances (WD-40, Alcohol, or Vinegar)
  5. Drop cloth
  6. Protective gloves
  7. Plastic scraper

Step 1: Ensure the Safety Measures

Ensure the Safety Measures

Before you start working on your sink, remove all other items that you won’t be using in the process. It’s best to disconnect all water flowing to the particular sink you will be working on. Wear latex or other protective gloves to protect yourself from the dissolving substance.

Put the drop cloth around the sink areas where these substances or water can spill. Ensure you also place the sink strainer in place to prevent silicone caulk from going through your drain. This measure is crucial because if the silicone goes into your drain, it can build up and cause clogging.

Step 2: Cutting

cutting silicone from undermount sink

Use the sharp blade to cut along the silicone caulk around the entire edge of the sink. Make sure the blade is sharp and be careful not to scratch your sink or the countertop. Also, don’t cut too deep since you might cut through the glue holding the undermount sink to the quartz countertop.

This step is crucial in removing the extra silicone caulk that would have however taken more time to dissolve. After a few times, some silicone caulk will become free, and you can use your hands to pull it out. Clear the silicone debris in the sink and place them in your litter box.

Step 3: Apply Dissolving Substance

Apply silicone Dissolving Substance

If you are using vinegar and isopropyl alcohol, prepare them in a bowl and use a towel to apply. Leave the towel for a few seconds every time you apply the solution to let it mix with the silicone. After applying it all over, leave it for some time to give it time to lift off the remaining silicone caulk.

For manufactured substances designed for removing silicone caulk from undermount sink, spray on the remaining caulk using a smart straw. Let the solution sit for the duration advised in the manual. In most substances, the dissolving chemicals will lift off the silicone in less than five minutes.

Also, check your countertop material since some substances don’t work on surfaces like acrylic tubs.

Step 4: Scrapping

Scrapping the sink

Use the plastic scraper to scrub along the crevices, removing the looser silicone remnants. A plastic scraper is the best option because the metal ones can easily scratch the stainless steel sink edges. You can also attach a cloth to your plastic scraper and use it for deeper and more effective scraping.

Step 5: Rinsing

Rinsing the sink

Use warm water to rinse and wash the dissolving substances and the loose silicone. Clean thoroughly because some dissolving substances have a strong, unpleasant chemical scent. Rinse the tools you used for scraping with warm water and leave them to dry.

After following these steps, you will get silicone caulk off the under-mount sink and be ready to apply a new one.

How to Loosen a Sink Fastened with Silicone

During installation, sinks can be mounted on the butcher block countertop with silicone caulk to adhere. This step is crucial to secure the sink and prevent water from seeping into the cabinets.

However, these safety measures become obstacles when you want to repair or replace the sink. The steps below will help you loosen a sink fastened with silicone.

Step 1: Safety Measures

When working on any appliance that uses water, it’s best to begin by turning off the water at the supply line. Place a bowl below the pipes since the pipes already had water before you disconnected them in case of spillage.

Wear some working gloves to protect yourself from dissolving substances and other injuries.

Step 2: Remove Caulk

Use a utility knife to cut through the silicone sealing and remove the caulk from the sink. Run the knife all around the space between your sink and the countertop peeling off the caulk.

After removing as much as possible, use a cloth to wipe the excess and dispose of the silicone debris.

Step 3: Loosen Nuts and Clean

Use a wrench to loosen the nuts holding the sink to the countertop. With all the nuts removed, you can easily remove the sink. You can also effortlessly wash off the remaining silicone caulk using alcohol and warm soapy water.

How to Remove Uncured Silicone Caulk

Silicone caulk will remain uncured as a result of several factors. If the product used is expired or of the wrong type it will not cure.

Also, if applied in a room with too high or low humidity, it will remain wet longer. Below are steps to remove uncured silicone caulk.

Step 1: Safety Measures

Dealing with uncured silicone means it’s still not dry and can stick to you or things around you. Clear the area you will be working on, and wear some protective equipment like working gloves and a mask.

Also, Place some rugs below your working area to protect your floor from dripping substances.

Step 2: Scraping

Use a smooth-edged tool or wrap a cloth around a plastic scraper. This process will remove most of the wet silicone on your application.

When you have removed as much silicon as possible, do away with the tools while avoiding contaminating other surfaces.

Step 3: Apply a Substance and Clean

Use alcohol-based substances like Acetone or mineral spirit to remove the remaining caulk. Pour some Acetone on a soft cloth and wipe thoroughly on the uncured caulk. Use warm water and soap to wash off the affected area and rinse the tools you used.

Will Goo Gone Remove Silicone Caulk?

As seen, removing silicone caulk from undermount sink is no mean feat. Thankfully, you can use Goo gone caulk remover to remove silicone caulk around your home applications. It’s gentle on the surface and works with almost every surface. Follow the following steps to use Goo Gone to remove the caulk.

Step 1: Apply Goo Gone

Spray the Goo gone cleaner on the caulking. You can also use a cloth to apply where necessary. Let the solution sit for five minutes.

Step 2: Scrapping

Use a plastic putty knife to scrape away caulking. Use alternative objects to scrape but avoid sharp objects. Use a nylon brush to clean off the remaining silicone caulking.

Step 3: Wash

Use a rag and soapy water to wipe the residue away. Allow it to dry before applying caulk again. The caulk will be gone after following these steps.

How to Remove Silicone Caulk From Quartz Countertop?

If you have installed your favorite undermount kitchen sink for quartz countertop using silicone caulk and facing issues with the caulk, follow the steps to remove caulk from a quartz countertop.

Step 1: Scrapping and Dissolving

Use a sharp object to carefully cut off the silicone caulk. Scrape the gaps to remove any excess debris. Loosen and clean the caulk residues with alcohol-based substances.

Step 2: Clean

Use soapy water and a cloth to clean off the area. Dispose of all the caulk residues in a litter box. Wait for the surface to dry before re-applying.

Can You Remove Silicone Caulk Without Damaging Paint?

Though spray paint on a stainless steel sink sticks for a long time, you should follow the following steps to remove silicone caulk without damaging the paint.

Step 1: Cutting and Scraping

Use a putty knife to cut as much silicone caulk as possible. Then scrape the surface between the household application and the painted wall. Avoid scraping too hard on the wall so as not to take off the paint.

Step 2: Apply Vinegar solution

Mix Vinegar with water and use a cotton swab to apply to the remaining caulks. Scrap gently using a cloth dipped in the solution to clean the remnants of the silicone sealer.

Step 3: Wash

Use soapy water to clean the area after removing the caulk. And dry before re-applying the sealer again.

Should You Caulk an Undermount Sink

Like most sinks used in the house, the undermount sink requires caulk to prevent water from seeping through the gaps. If the caulk is absent, water seeping through the joints can cause corrosion and mold under the sink. It’s important to caulk where water is used, which you can be by following this guide.

  1. To apply caulk on an undermount sink, begin by shutting off every supply pipe.
  2. Unclamp the undermount sink from the counter and clean the area with alcohol-based cleaners.
  3. Apply sealant after the surface has dried and clamp the sink back into place.
  4. Wipe away extra sealants on either side of the sink.

Does WD-40 Remove Silicone

WD-40 can be used to remove silicone sealants in the following steps.

  • Scrape the silicone sealant using a sharp object and dispose of the debris.
  • Apply WD-40 to the gaps with the remaining silicone sealant and let it sit for a few minutes.
  • After that continue scraping to remove the remaining sealant and the excess WD-40.
  • Wash thoroughly with soap and let the surface dry.

Does Rubbing Alcohol Remove Silicone

Isopropyl alcohol can be used to remove silicone, especially on painted surfaces. Alcohol is also used in scrubbing rough surfaces to remove silicone.

  • Use a putty knife to cut and peel off the silicone from the edges of the surface.
  • Use a cotton swab or cloth to dab the alcohol on the silicone and let it sit for about five minutes
  • Use a plastic knife or any smooth-edged tool to scrub the now loose silicone remnants.
  • Wash the surface using soapy water and dispose of the silicone residues.

How Do You Remove Dried Silicone From Stainless Steel

Dried silicone means it has cured and removing it can sometimes be hard. However, many dissolving agents have made the removal task easier. Some remedies can be created at home using substances like vinegar and mixing it with water. Other remedies are factory-made but still do the same dissolving process on silicon.

Avoid chloride, abrasive, and all-purpose cleaners while removing silicone from stainless steel kitchen sinks. These cleaners can affect stainless steel and cause corrosion.

Apply white vinegar to silicone and let it sit for a couple of minutes before proceeding. Use scrappers to scrub silicone and avoid scratching too hard not to damage the steel.

After scrubbing with alcohol most of the silicone will peel off. Use warm soapy water to clean the surfaces you’ve been working on to remove residues. In most cases, this process is enough to remove the dried silicone but if it persists use alternate detergents.

Key Takeaway

No doubt you need to know how to remove silicone caulk from undermount sink. You’ve seen above that it’s possible to remove silicone caulk, wet or dry, without damaging your sink. You need to use detergents or other items when handling silicone caulk on your undermount bathroom sink.

The most important thing is to observe caution and avoid corrosive cleaners. Whether you’re using store-bought removers or homemade pastes, you must be careful. At the same time, you always remove the existing silicone sealant before applying a new coating.

Lisa Burks

Hi, I'm Lisa Burks, founder of the Sink Formula blog, and plumber of 5 years experience.

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