Monday, February 11, 2008

Silicone caulk, you are my sworn enemy

Help! Somebody save me! I'm suffocating under a thin film of silicone residue!

Seriously, I started to panic about the caulk bead we put on the sink and went back to the house to work on it. The problem is this. As we were applying, as I work on it now, no matter what I do, it smears. It smears all over the counter in a thin, hazy film. We had to caulk because a couple of our short tiles dipped below level so there was a very small gap. And the thing is, I don't know what to do.

Here's what I've tried: not much. I tried some mild soap and water on an off chance it might work if the caulk hadn't fully cured. Then I considered turpentine, but it's oil-based, and I don't want to stain the granite. I have some caulk remover solvent stuff, but it takes 3 hours to work, and I'm a little scared to leave anything on granite that long. It says it cleans up with soap and water, so I assume it's not oil based, but who knows.

Then I just started scraping with a razor blade. But I couldn't find my window scraper, so I was just scraping with box cutter blades, and now my fingers hurt and have lost the will to live. And anyway, when I get a little blobby and brush it away, guess what? More smears!

Anybody know what I can do? If you tell me that continuing to scrape until the end of time will work, I will gladly do so. I just want to know if this is a futile effort or if I'm gonna get somewhere. Anyone used the solvent on granite?



Joe said...

Sorry I can't give you any good advice, but I can tell you you're not the only one who hates that silicone crap! Who cares if it works better than the old fashioned stuff, it is a pain in the ass to work with.

I got some of the new GE paintable silicone to finish off my crown moulding gaps. I am used to running my finger down the bead to finish it, then wiping/rinsing and doing it again. But with the silicone stuff; forget about it! You can't get it off your finger. I ended up going back to the good 'ol DAP.

Jayne said...

Sorry, but I have to agree with Joe. The silicone stuff is such a pain in the hiney to work with that I went back to the old stuff. I can get a nice clean bead with that; not so with silicone.

Jennifer said...

Try denatured alcohol or white vinegar after you've scraped up what you can... I've heard of both of those being used. Good luck!

modernemama said...

It took me three weeks to get it off my tub. I applied some stuff from the paint store called Goof Off and let it sit for 10 mins, then scraped at it with a putty knife. It takes a ton of elbow grease! I did this each time after I had a bath, which is why it took so long (normally I hit the shower). Then my husband scrubbed the remainder off with the green side of a Scotchbrite scrubber.
Good luck