Chemically Removing Silicone?

This week I cleaned out the old flowable silicone from my Nessie and had to go through getting out the usual “gunk” of whats left. With silicone there is often little pieces that refuse to come out no matter how much you pick at them. A technique i have found useful is using old string to rub away most of the old silicone once the big chunks are out. This gets most the stuff but there are always a few pieces left. So i was thinking, Is there any household chemicals you can use to get out excess silicone? For example Nail polish remover works for getting out Super Glue from metals. So is there anything similar to that for Silicone?

I don’t know if you would have this, but i found a bottle of “Goo Gone” in a cabinet and it works really well. It doesn’t carrode plastic or metal, but it does have a slight smell. See if you can find something like that.

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I think you’d be surprised how chemically resistant silicone sealant really is. I’m not sure you’re going to find very much that will chemically remove it. I looked at Goo-gone, and I don’t think that would be enough to remove it, but maybe I’ll test out some similar stuff tomorrow. I certainly don’t think it’ll dissolve it but it might reduce the amount that’s stuck to the yoyo, allowing you to free it more easily. My recommended method for the removal of old silicone, and applying new is lots of cue tips - you know like cotton bud things, oh and some compressed/canned air. The cue tips are cheap and very handy. They also fit snuggly into the silicone recess without being too abrasive. I’m sorry this isn’t ‘good news’ per se but hopefully helpful nonetheless.

Acetone on a q-tip.

So let’s say you’ve done your best to clean out some old flowable, but there are bits and pieces left. Is this going to have a drastic effect when you apply new flowable? It seems to me that it’s just going to flow around the old pieces and probably form a bond with them.

In other words, is it worth it to be a perfectionist about it when you’re just going to pour new flowable in?

Different story if you’re switching to pads; I would think you’d want it clean for that. I’m just talking about putting in new flowable.

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Unfortunately I use silicone seals to hold very large quantities (like half pints) of acetone at work, where the acetone will sit in a silicone sealant coated pot for 10+ hours every day for months without dissolving the sealant. I think that if acetone does do anything, it’s going to be something pretty minor or at least maybe on a longish time scale. In fact, some silicone sealants actually produce acetone as a by-product of the curing process. It seems pretty unlikely therefore that it will have any substantial effect. Whilst there is plenty of google-available literature on acetone removing silicone sealant, I can tell you right not I’m not convinced it will do much good.

EDIT: It does look like gasoline/citrus based products might work to ‘un-adhere’ the silicone. But again, given the quality of google-based info…

Didn’t read any of this thread sorry if it’s already stated… just tired

But I put a few drops of acetone into the groove and wipe it off with a piece of paper towel. Brings up all the residue in a matter of seconds. DO NOT DO THIS ON PLASTIC, ONLY METAL.

Whatever procedure you choose, make sure the chemical won’t hurt the material your yoyo is made of

Yes, it can make it so the fresh silicone doesn’t bond as well, decreasing the longevity

I just use some mineral spirits. I paint yoyos and I don’t remove the Sili before I let it sit in mineral spirits. Next thing you know that silicone came out in a perfect circle. And grew in size.

This is all true. I remodel kitchens and baths for a living. I’ve tried EVERY chemical that the hardware stores sell to clean up silicone residue and have found nothing that works. In my yoyo’s I just use a wooden tooth pic and just work at it until it’s gone.

Acetic acid (vinegar) will break down silicone to some degree. It can be used to clean up uncured silicone. Of course your yoyo will smell like pickles.


What’s wrong with pickles? My cologne smell like pickles! It’s a Special Edition ;D pretty cheap too! I got it for $5 at some corner near a 7-Eleven.

Dear Lord, tell me you do not wear that… cringes so bad, start flailing around in disgust

I always just use lighter fluid. I fill the response with it, let it sit for a few, then wipe it out with a Q-tip. I only recently started doing this cause i was tired of using my trusty wood tee lol. I shaved it down like a flat head screw driver to the size that fit right in most grooves. That works well to but not as fast The wood prevented any scratching so I might keep old faithful for those stubborn goobers :slight_smile:

I usually just pour little bits of lighter fluid in it, and use some tissue paper to wipe of the silicone, the old silicone should come out easily.

I love pickles but find it smells nothing like vinegar

A certain type of pickle (most pickles, I would argue) are made by putting them in a vinegar solution… so for it to not smell like vinegar would be surprising!

It doesn’t smell exactly like opening a bottle of vinegar, but for it to smell “nothing” like vinegar… I can’t even conceive of that!

I always just put lighter fluid on a Q-tip and rub it around in the recess before the lighter fluid dries. It works great for me. Not recommended on plastic yoyos though.

Polycarb and delrin, the two most common plastics used in yoyos are not affected by lighter fluid (zippo & ronsonol).