Acetone is a strong solvent that can dissolve many things. For example, many people use it to remove paints or glue traces from surfaces. Because of that, you may be wondering if acetone dissolves silicone.
Acetone does dissolve silicone, and when they mix, the acetone spreads out over silicone instead of soaking substances nearby. Acetone breaks down the silicone particles, forming a solution. Because of this, acetone is commonly used to remove silicone and dried paint from surfaces.
Read on for more information on how acetone dissolves silicone, the best way to use this compound to remove silicone from surfaces, and the risks that come with doing so. I’ll also provide alternative methods to remove silicone.
How Acetone Dissolves Silicone
Acetone comprises hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen molecules. When this compound mixes with silicone, their particles collide. In that process, the silicone particles spread further apart to create a solution.
This process is also attributable to acetone’s properties. Notably, it has a surface tension that makes it spread out over silicone rather than soaking into any other substance nearby.
How To Remove Silicone With Acetone
To remove silicone with acetone, you need the following tools:
- A paint scraper/ spatula
- 2 cups of acetone
- 1 cup of distilled water
- Rubber gloves and a respirator for protection
- Use the paint scraper or spatula to scrape off as much of the material as possible.
- Pour about two cups of acetone into a plastic container and slowly stir in one cup of distilled water. This will create an emulsion that is effective at breaking down silicon bonds once it comes in contact with them because both are non-polar solvents, which means they dissolve oils but not polar compounds like salt or sugar.
- Put on rubber gloves, so you don’t get any chemical exposure, dip your hands into the mixture, and start rubbing until all evidence of silicone has been dissolved from its surface.
- Wash your hands thoroughly when finished for safety purposes.
Caution: Never use acetone near children or if you’re sensitive to chemicals.
The Risks of Using Acetone for Removing Silicone
There are significant risks involved with using acetone to remove silicone from your skin or other surfaces. They include:
- It can dissolve most types of material, including oils, plastics, and rubber.
- It can also irritate the eyes and nose and cause headaches if inhaled for an extended period.
- It can cause increased heart rate, unconsciousness, and coma.
Acetone Alternatives for Silicone Removal
Due to the risks associated with using acetone, I recommend the following safer silicone removal alternatives:
Cornstarch is an excellent alternative to remove silicone because it is non-toxic and affordable. All you need to do is sprinkle your hand with corn starch, rub the area with silicone on all sides for about 30 seconds, then wipe it clean.
Here’s a video explaining how to remove silicone using cornstarch:
Cream of Tartar
Cream of Tartar is an excellent alternative to remove silicone because it does not contain any harsh chemicals that can damage surfaces. All you need to do is mix cream of tartar with water in equal amounts, and then apply the mixture to your hand or cloth and scrub away at the silicone residue.
Baby oil works well on removing silicone from countertops because it has natural oils which provide extra lubrication while cleaning. Simply pour baby oil onto your hands/cloth/sponge, rub gently over the area affected by silicone until clean (may take more than one application).
Washing soda removes excess grease without damaging the surface when used correctly. Nonetheless, It should only be applied sparingly and left on the surface until it naturally foams and bubbles. After you have scrubbed off the entire residue, rinse with water to ensure no leftover residue before using your item.
Lemon juice can be used as a natural cleaning agent for removing silicone from surfaces such as countertops and clothing. It has acidic properties that break down silicones quickly without causing damage to other items in contact with them.
Simply squeeze lemon onto the area affected by silicone. Let sit for five minutes, then wipe away any excess liquid after letting it dry for another ten minutes.
If you prefer this approach, I recommend using the Simple Green Industrial Cleaner from Amazon. It’s non-abrasive, non-toxic, and safe for all surfaces.
In a nutshell, acetone dissolves silicone. However, using it comes with risks, such as breathing difficulties, skin and eye irritation, headaches, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.
Therefore, it’s safer only to use this compound as a last resort. Also, I advise against using it if you have children in the home or are sensitive to chemicals.
That said, suppose you have to use this compound. In that case, ensure you put on rubber gloves and a respirator to protect yourself.