Whats good for dissolving silicone sealant?

I have a cracked sidepanel in an aquarium I need to remove. Any good
chemicals out there to do it with?
Have heard menthylated spirits....what the hell is menthylated spirits
(sp?) Also heard Turpentinme will do it?
Put some color in your cheeks...garden naked!
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Single edge razor blade? :) Randy
Reply to
Randy Replogle
Basically alcohol.
I gather you are looking for something to soften the sealant?
The stuff I use here suggests Turpentine for cleaning up when putting sealant down and wiping off excess, but I am not sure how well it resoftens the dried sealant.
You can try it, but in my experience, I usually end up slowly cutting away strips of old sealant with a razor, box knife, etc.
Reply to
Terry Collins
Try LPS PreSolve. Let it soak for a while.
Pete Keillor
Reply to
Peter T. Keillor III
I doubt either will have any effect - RTV silicone's great resistance to many chnicals is one of its strong points. Methylated sprits is the UK term for what the US call denatured alcohol, [or perhaps wood (methyl) alcohol, but the "methylated" tends to imply the "denaturing" (making poisionous) of "sprits" (ethyl) alchol with a bit of methyl], and I doubt that will have any effect on it. Nor should turpentine. A razor blade (or music wire with handles to pull on it) is your best bet.
In actual fact and past experience, I strongly suggest getting a new aquarium. Getting the glass clean enough for a reliable bond is tricky - go try the aquaria groups for advice, experience, and advice based on experience. The inital cheapskate response (yup, I'm one too) is to fix the tank; the true cheapskate who's been there (yup...) and done that knows that it's generally cheaper, and a lot less painful in the long run, to replace it. A tank blowout is hard on the fish, the keeper, and anything that should not be wet in the general vicinity.
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I may be able to get a piece of .020" stainless wire in between the pieces and get it started. I was sort of doubtful much of anythng would dissolve it, but figured I would ask. Now that know what menthalated spirits is, I seriousl doubt it wold dissolve it either, same for turps......
As to being cheape....heck I have nothiung but lots of free time on my hands, lots of RTV, and other sealants, more glass than I'll ever use, so its basically something to fool with, besides 75 gal tank is kinda pricey.
I do have a acrylic tank all cut out and ready to be assembled, made out of 1/2" acrylic. It should be right at 55 gal, complete with a custom made hood and light.... Just waiting for my Weldon Methylchloride to get here and the Weldon 8 gel type solvent glue.......I machined all edges so I should theroetically get a good optically clear glue joint with the MC solvent wicked in with a hypodermic syringe.
Thanks for the replies
============================================== Put some color in your cheeks...garden naked!
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Correctly spelled, "methylated spirit (or spirits)":
Ethyl alcolol made unfit to drink by the addition of methanol, or methyl alcohol; denatured alcohol.
Bob Swinney
Reply to
Robert Swinney
Ya got bigger ones than I do, Roy - 55 gal and a little bit of solvent???? Keep your life preserver handy... Ken.
Reply to
Ken Sterling
No. That's why it's such great stuff.
Actually, consumer-grade RTV silicone can be softened by some damned thing, I think it's the stuff they use in industry to strip epoxy paint. It's not MEK and it's not methylene chloride. I forget what it is. You're not supposed to open a can of it indoors, without a fume hood.
As others have said, a razor blade and a lot of patience is the most practical route.
I really hate stripping silicone, even bathtub caulk. I use a blade and a stainless-steel brush for that, but it produces only barely adequate results.
-- Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress
Oil and patience.
like 5 years worth
Reply to
Thats about the only choice if one plans on using it for fish again.
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Reply to
Chloroform. I have used it several times. It is the only solvent that can actually liquify cured silicone rubber. It is available from any chemicals dealer. There is no license needed to buy it. A 1 gallon jug is about $25.
It is also the best grease remover on the planet.
I had to dismantle a factory assembled shower door unit to have the parts powder coated. I made a trough from a piece of aluminum gutter, and soaked each edge of the panel. After 1 hour the glas would just pull out. The silicone had the consistency of uncured rubber cement.
Use in a well ventilated area or better outside.
In Chemistry labs chloroform is used to break the silicone grease seals on vacuum chambers.
Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler
Roy, unless it's an automotive "gasket grade" silicone, pretty much any aliphatic hydrocarbon will soften and swell it so it's VERY easy to cut and/or scrape away with a razor.
Naptha works very well. You must soak the joint for a while. Afterwards, the silicone will appear more transparent, about twice its original volume, and very very soft. It will _not_ dissolve, but certainly loses its mechanical properties.
A good airing-out will restore the joint to almost-original strength.
Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh
I can probably use Potassium Permanganate to clean up any potential residues any chemicals would leave. PP is some pretty neat stuff.....
============================================== Put some color in your cheeks...garden naked!
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Ordinary petrol (gasoline).
Ask any model airplane pilot who is interested in larger models.
Model airplanes are usually powered with methanol engines. For fuel lines, silicone is used, since it has such excellent mechanical properties. Larger planes, however, are sometimes powered with petrol engines (much cheaper and cleaner to run). In this case, silicone cannot be used, because it swells and loses all its good properties.
Reply to
Robert Roland
That's true for most standard silicone sealants. Some of the newer ones for automotive use are fuel resistant.
This stuff works on all of them:
Permatex® Silicone Stripper Gasket Remover New, patented product. The only remover designed specifically for silicone and the Right Stuff® Instant Gasket Maker. OEM approved and safe on all metals and plastics. Will not remove paint. Easy to use ? apply to silicone residue, wait a few minutes for product to react, and wipe with a rag.
Suggested Applications: Use to remove any silicone or Right Stuff® Instant Gasket Maker residue from flanges.
P/N Container Size Pack Item # 80647 2 oz. tube, carded 6 80647
Reply to
Rex B
Gasoline will dissolve it but fairly slowly.
Reply to
R. O'Brian
The name is actually 'methylated spirits' and it is a 'wood alcohol' that has been rendered 'undrinkable' (although it is regularly imbibed by homeless types around the globe). On the left side of the pond it seems to be known as 'denatured alcohol'.
Here are some links for more info.
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Reply to
Larry Green
I found out about that one in my youth.
About 1 week after I used it on a carburator gasket. (:
Reply to
Jim Stewart
Depends on the variety of silicone. If it's the garden-variety caulking silicone gasoline works. Many of the automotive gasket formulae are fuel-resistant.
Reply to
Rex B

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