One of the worst nightmares for any plumber or DIYer working with silicone is getting it stuck on their skin. As it turns out, silicone is a really tough material to remove.
And that’s why if you’re a novice going to make your hands dirty with work, you need to know how to remove silicone caulk from your hands and skin.
We’ve discussed everything you gotta know in this article to save yourself from such problematic situations. So read on!
Is Silicone Sealant Toxic and Harmful to Human Skin?
Silicone is a type of synthetic chemical derived from silica and some other elements. Sealants or caulks made out of silicone are used eight out of ten times compared to other types that are available on the market.
Although this is because of its comparative low VOCs, the health hazard of this chemical remains. Other than the highly unpleasant odor that comes from a silicone sealant, its fume contains concentrated acetic acid that can irritate the eyes and nose. If ingested in large quantities, this fume can even damage internal organs.
As for the caulk itself, it is harmful, especially if kids or pets accidentally ingest it. But other than that, it is mostly not toxic enough for human skin.
However, it is a tough stuff, and after finishing working with it, the first thing one should be doing is removing silicone sealant from hands and skin. Because having silicone stuck to your skin can block the skin pores and cause mild skin problems.
How to Remove Silicone Caulk from Hands
There are several methods you could undertake to remove silicone caulk from your hands and skin. But before that, there are some steps to follow:
- It is very important before starting to use silicone sealant to be prepared with the necessary tools to not regret it later on. You don’t want the wet silicone to dry and cure on your hands. Otherwise, it would be much more difficult and sometimes close to impossible to remove.
- Since smoothing the silicone beads over the joints require you to use your fingers, they’re bound to stick. However, you can take some precautions to prevent the silicone from sticking in the first place. We’ll discuss all that later on.
- Once the silicone has stuck on your hands, before using any ingredient, try to scrape it off your hands using the fingertips. Because the less caulk you have, the easier will it be to remove.
- Using plastic bags or grocery bags helps out a lot. Use one to rub with your hands, like using a washcloth. Silicone clings more to plastic bags than to your hands.
- After you’ve followed the previously mentioned steps, you could now undertake any or several of the following tricks to remove roof sealant from your hands.
1. Using Butter and Soda
This is the most common and probably the easiest method to use. To remove silicone, take out a piece of butter and cut it into small pieces.
Now start rubbing those small pieces of butter all over your hands wherever there is caulk sticking to the skin. Afterward, take some baking soda and rub it with both hands. The butter works as a lubricant that loosens the caulk on your hands.
You can also use cooking oil instead of butter. The soda, while rubbing, acts as an abrasive agent that scrubs the caulk away.
2. Rubbing Alcohol or Nail Polish Remover
Nail polish remover has a large quantity of acetone in them which is a type of alcohol. Besides, rubbing alcohol is also said to have worked great for people.
Removing foam sealant from hands becomes quite easy if you pour a good amount of alcohol or nail polish remover on your hands. Scrub your hands with the liquid, but not too harshly, as it can harm the skin by making it too dry.
Take a piece of cloth and try to clean your alcohol wet hands with it. High chances are that all your caulk will be cleansed. Be sure to wash your hands properly with soap and then apply a sufficient amount of moisturizer to help rejuvenate your dried skin.
3. Using Baby Wipes
Common baby wipes are known to work for removing polyurethane caulk from hands. The chemical ingredients of baby wipes are also not harsh on your skin like the previously mentioned alcohol. However, you’d probably need a large number of wipes to clean your hands off the caulk totally.
4. Using Hair Drier
We’ve mentioned earlier that the caulk must not dry on your hands and needs to be removed as soon as possible while they are still wet. However, sometimes it may happen that the caulk has dried. In that case, you could either wait for the sealant to come off on its own when the skin goes through natural shedding, or you could try heating it.
Heating with a hair drier is an effective method for removing dried silicone caulk from hands. The dried silicone starts to weaken under the heat and becomes easier to remove from the skin. However, you should be careful not to burn your skin by holding the hair drier too close to your skin for too long.
Is There a Way to Prevent Silicone from Sticking to Hands?
Since the best defense is a good offense, preventing silicone from ever sticking to your body is way better than having to remove it afterward. There are some great tips you could follow to prevent the silicone from sticking.
1. Keep Your Fingers Wet
This is the most common technique used while smoothing the silicone joint. The trick is never to apply sealant with dry hands. Always wet your hands properly before applying silicone. Wash your hands and keep them moist while moving your fingers over the silicone bead. This method works well enough to keep the silicone off your hands.
2. Use Soapy Water
Another great tip is to use soapy water instead of regular water. Soapy water clings more to the skin than regular water, and since silicone is water-resistant, it repels your skin more.
So how do you get silicone caulk off your hands?
All the possible answers and solutions to this pesky situation have been discussed in the article. But the key is to avoid getting it stuck to your hands altogether.
However, since it is not always possible to avoid that problem, prior knowledge about its solution saves a lot of trouble.