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Old 06-20-2016, 12:16 AM   #1
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Silicone removal

I'm looking for advice on how to remove silicone from the aluminum siding without removing paint.



I have to change the taillight housing because the metal contact for the bulb broke off. There is silicone used along with butyl tape around the taillight housing.

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I changed out the front side marker housing and there is a thin layer of hardened silicone around it. I tried wiping mineral oil with no luck. I used a pick and was scratching the paint, so I left that 'as is' to deal with later.

I, definitely, want to remove the silicone around the taillights, so...what has worked for you?

Thank you,

Rich
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:17 AM   #2
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Dab some xylene on it, not too much just enough to dampen the edge of the silicone. Silicone doesn't "stick" to anything worth a damn (except itself) and should normally be able to be peeled away pretty easily. Are you certain its not exterior latex caulk?
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Old 06-21-2016, 07:50 AM   #3
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Yes, that's what I recall about silicone, and, got me wondering about why this stuff is bonding to the paint and plastic so well. I hadn't even thought about an exterior latex. Thanks for that info. I'll get some xylene give it a try. Worst case, I'll have to use a razor blade.
Any other ideas?

Rich
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Old 06-21-2016, 08:50 AM   #4
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"Real" silicon or true "RTV" sticks to almost anything real well if properly prepped so good luck.

It being rubber does have good traction and you can use that.

Heat may effect it but that can damage paint.

Paint thinner or WD40 may seep under edges.

You can shave it thin with a razor blade then clean area with alcohol to get any oils off.

Next tape the area next to the bead to protect it.

You can rub the area with your thumb and get blisters or a piece of bicycle tire or inner tube.

The friction will roll it off but be careful to not dig into paint.

Just light strokes will get it off.

Rubbing compound or wax will get the last of it.

What is under the trim does not matter much as out of sight.
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Old 06-21-2016, 09:24 AM   #5
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I always use mineral spirits. It will not harm your Paint.
But give it time to soften the silicone.
It is slow but very effective,
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Old 06-21-2016, 09:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TQ60 View Post
"Real" silicon or true "RTV" sticks to almost anything real well if properly prepped so good luck.
Thanks for the luck. Now that Tidy Tabby brought the latex idea to light, I'm not sure what the PO used. By my picture from above, looks like it was a quick fix(a little sloppy). PO is a Contractor and would take this trailer job site to job site, so I don't know what product he used.

Quote:
It being rubber does have good traction and you can use that.

Heat may effect it but that can damage paint.

Paint thinner or WD40 may seep under edges.

You can shave it thin with a razor blade then clean area with alcohol to get any oils off.

Next tape the area next to the bead to protect it.

You can rub the area with your thumb and get blisters or a piece of bicycle tire or inner tube.

The friction will roll it off but be careful to not dig into paint.

Just light strokes will get it off.

Rubbing compound or wax will get the last of it.

What is under the trim does not matter much as out of sight.
Thanks for paint thinner, WD40, tire, inner tube, rubbing compound, and wax info; and, this step-by-step. I will, definitely, give this a try. Yes, I'm not concerned with what is going to be covered by the new taillight. The new taillight is the same type. The outer edge of the housing will be the focus of the cleanup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by narampa View Post
I always use mineral spirits. It will not harm your Paint.
But give it time to soften the silicone.
It is slow but very effective,
Thanks for the correction. Mineral Spirits is what I used, but, I posted Mineral Oil. Yes, I dampened a paper towel and went to wiping spots expecting an instant clean. Didn't happen, so figured it didn't work. I'll try it again, per your advice.



Reading the label on the bottle, now, I see that it is the Odorless Mineral Spirits instead of the Regular Mineral Spirits. Is the Odorless less efective than the Regular?


Thanks,

Rich
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Old 06-21-2016, 10:32 PM   #7
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If that actually is silicone sealant, you can get hold of one end and peel the entire bead away from any smooth surface. Silicone is not a good sealant for an RV IMO.
You may purchase a spray can of silicone residue remover, if the residue is not completely removed nothing else, not even more silicone will adhere to that surface. BTW, silicone will not harden like household caulking, it will always be a bit soft. Your picture appears to be of household caulking that hardens, it will crumble away when picked at.
If it is silicone, do as narampa suggested, dampen a rag with mineral spirits, drape the rag around the sealant overnight, silicone should come right off next morning.
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Old 06-21-2016, 11:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
If that actually is silicone sealant, you can get hold of one end and peel the entire bead away from any smooth surface.
When I tried removing sealant from the front side marker light, it would not peel off, so I used a pick(like a scratch awl) and was unable to remove sealant while scratching paint.
Quote:
Silicone is not a good sealant for an RV IMO.
You may purchase a spray can of silicone residue remover, if the residue is not completely removed nothing else, not even more silicone will adhere to that surface. BTW, silicone will not harden like household caulking, it will always be a bit soft. Your picture appears to be of household caulking that hardens, it will crumble away when picked at.
If it is silicone, do as narampa suggested, dampen a rag with mineral spirits, drape the rag around the sealant overnight, silicone should come right off next morning.
Appreciate the info, Ray. I will be trying all suggestions.

Thank you,

Rich
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Old 07-04-2016, 04:36 AM   #9
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Update

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
If it is silicone, do as narampa suggested, dampen a rag with mineral spirits, drape the rag around the sealant overnight, silicone should come right off next morning.
Well I tried soaking the material overnight on a rag with Mineral Spirits. Next day, I tried peeling it off. No luck.

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Then tried a plastic scraper. The scraper became dull. Unable to get underneath material.

I learned of a product called Naptha. I went to Walmart looking for plastic scrapers, Xylene, and Naptha. The only product they had was Painter's Solvent. The description said that it replaces Xylene and Naptha.

Tried the painter's solvent. It softened and dissolved the latex very well.

It did remove some paint if I got too aggressive, so, I tried softening the latex a little and tried a plastic scraper.

The plastic scraper didn't stay sharp for too long, so I wasn't able to get underneath the softened latex.

The exacto knife with rounded blade worked better, but, it also took little chunks of paint, so, I scrapped that idea.

I, then, tried softening the latex with the painter's solvent and used my fingernail to scrape the latex. That didn't work too well because I ended up scratching the paint.

The solvent worked the best, so I tried to be careful not to get too aggressive on the outside area where the taillight housing is going to sit.

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I do have to find some touch-up paint that matches.



Thanks for your all your ideas!

Rich
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