TEST OF SILICONE CAULK REMOVERS
BRANDS TESTED :
3M Caulk Remover
- Caulk, Silicone and Foam Sealant Remover
Control-test: White vinegar (Silicone caulk is generally based on acetic acid - vinegar - which you can strongly smell when using the stuff )
Test conditions: Bright sunshine, temperature: plus 15 degrees (Celsius) Humidity 60%, zero wind
Test Subject: 1999 Bigfoot
model 25B21RB (21 footer) with silicone applied (no idea how many years ago) around clearance lights
and tail lights
, as well as access doors and hatches
Notes: The DAP Silicone-Be-Gone is in a white 90ml plastic bottle, on a blister-pack card, with an applicator brush provided. It is a thick gel, appears dark brown in the jar, and is a pinkish-brown on application to a white surface.
The 3M Caulk Remover is a 8 oz (236 ml) squeeze bottle with a flip-top cap. It specifically says that it works on ALL caulks, and "softens caulk for easy removal" Not on a card - is a stand-alone bottle on a shelf at the store. It is a white liquid that runs very easily when applied to vertical surfaces.
The Motsenbocker's Caulk, Silicone and Foam Sealant Remover is a 4.5 oz (125 ml) squeeze bottle with a flip top, also on a card, but not a "blister pack" It is a clear liquid gel, applies easily, stays in place fairly well. Brush-on proved to be the best method of application.
White vinegar (used as a control substance for this test) can be found everywhere in grocery stores and costs far less per gallon than any of these products do for a small bottle.
NOT TESTED: McKanica Silicone remover (I had a bottle of it, which has somehow vanished and I did not want to delay the tests any further. Several folks are apparently awaiting results so I pressed on.)
All were applied following package directions exactly. the DAP and 3M were applied and allowed to sit for 3 hours before any rubbing or wiping was done. The Motsenbocker's was applied and allowed to sit for 3 MINUTES (not hours!!) and then rubbed with an old toothbrush, then scraped with a plastic spatula, then wiped with a clean white terry cloth.
Control solvent: White Vinegar did not do anything at all. Oh well........
I did not have high hopes for the Motsenbocker's as it was labelled as being "Certified Green, biodegradable and water-based", while silicone caulk itself is anything but - so somehow I had the idea that anything short of thermonuclear solutions would be ineffective against silicone caulk.
I was therefore very pleasantly surprised to find that two applications, scrubbing with an old tooth brush after 3 minutes each time, and then scraping with an old plastic spatula resulted in removal of most of the excess silicone around one of my windows
. However, some residue remained that neither repeated applications of Motsenbocker's nor scrubbing with a toothbrush soaked in Motsenbocker's made any progress on. A razor blade was then employed, followed by a lengthy and vigorous scrub with a 3M 'white abrasive pad' and Barkeeper's Friend , with ultimately satisfactory results. This is, of course the reason why so many folks on here HATE silicone caulk - you cannot get it to stick onto fibreglass unless you want it to (then it comes off easily!) , you cannot get the residue off and you can't put anything on over it!
Ease of use: A
Effectiveness: C (sticky residue remained)
Time required: 3 min
Save your money. Although not tested against plain water, it can be confidently expected that the results would be very similar. No effects could be found where it had been applied. Thinking "It CAN"T be THAT bad, can it?", it was re-applied and again allowed to sit - this time for 2 hours. Same result.
It CAN be that bad. It is.
3 M Score:
Ease of application: A
Effectiveness: (Are there any scores below F minus?)
Time required ??????
If all silicone removers worked this well, there would not be anywhere as much hatred for silicone caulk.
Brush it on, using the supplied brush. Let it sit for 3 hours. Come back with a thin plastic spatula, and scrape off the (now jellied) caulk. Wash and dry with clean cloths. Look for any trace of any residue. There was none. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, based on the results of this test (YMMV)
Ease of application: A+
Time required 3 hrs