How to Remove Silicone Caulk From Clothing

A handyman sealing around a window with silicone caulking.
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 30
What You'll Need
Freezer or ice cubes
Flat-edged tool, e.g. butter knife, scissors, etc.
Laundry detergent
Chemical remover
Rubbing alcohol

Silicone caulk is a handy substance to have around the house, useful for any number of jobs. Unfortunately, it's easy to get on shirts and pants, and it sticks to clothing even more easily than most other substances. Luckily, there are a number of different methods you can use to remove it.

1. Freeze It

Pick up a silicone caulk remover on Amazon.

a group of ice cubes

One of the simplest removal methods involves freezing the caulking so it becomes easier to peel or scrape off. Put the whole garment in the freezer if it can fit, or place a few ice cubes on the affected area. If your caulk is dry already, spritz the fabric with water before putting it in the freezer. Once the silicone is frozen and brittle, you can try to work it off the fabric with your fingers, peeling it away, or you can work your flat-edged tool underneath to chip it off.

2. Wipe and Wash

Filling washing machine

For a fresh caulk glob on your clothes, you can get rid of the bulk by wiping the mess away while it's still wet. Then, throw the garment into a regular wash cycle with normal detergent. Add bleach for extra washing power if the clothes are white. This can take new caulk stains out completely in some cases, but in others, you may have to combine this method with another to achieve success.

3. Try Chemical Removers

Several chemical products, like Goo Gone, can help get rid of silicone caulking on fabrics. However, it's always a good idea to test these products on a discreet area of of the garment before using one normally to ensure that you don't cause discoloration or damage.

Spray your chosen chemical on the affected area after you've removed the bulk of the caulk with your flat edge. Blot any excess and use the flat edge again to scrape away any silicone that remains.

Remove Any Residue

Since caulking can be used as an adhesive, it should come as no surprise that there could be residue left behind after most of it has been removed. Saturate the area with WD-40 or a similar degreaser (making sure whatever you use won't harm your clothing). Then, use the flat-edged tool and scrape off the residue. Apply more WD-40 as needed, and continue this process until all the residue has been removed from your clothes. Rubbing alcohol can also be used for this purpose, in much the same way. After you're done, run the fabric through the wash cycle as usual.

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