Written by Dale Richardson - Updated: June 23, 2023
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Silicone comes in a lot of forms and products. But when it gets on your clothes, that's a step too far - especially because it can be a pain to remove if done poorly.
The best ways to get silicone out of clothes are freezing, dish soap, alcohol, or vinegar.
There are a few other ways to remove silicone, depending on what form it's in (gel or solid) - so keep reading to learn more. And check out our article on keeping stains out of clothing.
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Below you'll find a good list of the best ways to rid your clothing of silicone. That's it - no fluff, no messing about.
This is generally the best place to start if you've got silicone on your favourite shirt or pants. Freezing silicone won't make it brittle, but it will make it more rigid. This, in turn, makes it easier to remove. Try throwing your clothing in question into the freezer for a few hours.
Once the silicone has hardened, you'll be able to scrape the silicone off. Try using something like a spoon; it should come right off. Just be careful not to using something sharp (like a knife of any form), as you can obviously still damage your clothes.
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Once you've got the large chunks of silicone off, it's time to work on the stained area and get as much out of the fibres as possible. Dish soap like Dawn (preferably without dyes) will gently remove the silicone and won't stain it further.
Mix a teaspoon of dish soap with 1 litre of warm water and slowly apply it to the problem area with another (sacrificial) soft cloth. Gently dab and blot the area, remove excess moisture, and then go over it again with fresh water. This will prevent the stain from getting rubbed deeper and remove any excess soap and silicone.
Both alcohol and mineral spirits can rather easily remove silicone from clothing, especially if it's in the form of silicone caulking. The former is good when you use high alcohol products (isopropyl alcohol - not vodka), while the latter is, essentially, paint thinner.
If you opt for either, be sure to test them on a discreet area of clothing before applying liberally - you don't want to accidentally ruin the clothes you're trying to save. And if you choose to use mineral spirits, do it in a well-ventilated area - nobody wants to pass out while cleaning clothes. Or worse, have your headstone read, "bested by a lack of windows and a short fall."
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To those of you who've cleaned a thing or two in your life, this won't come as a surprise. But for the remainder - vinegar is great for cleaning just about anything . This, not so shockingly, is also true for silicone.
Silicone and vinegar contain acetic acid, making vinegar a great choice for removing small remainders of silicone in your favourite shirt. However, it won't work quite as well as the two options above - you just don't need an open area to do this step, so that's nice.
Below is a list of products claiming to remove silicone of various forms, though some are not designed for clothing . Just keep that in mind before buying - it's generally better to try the above approaches first. Now without further ado, these things can also get silicone out of clothes.
If you've gotten silicone on your clothes, there are a few things to avoid. Most hot things like washing and drying machines will heat up enough to screw with silicone. While it may not run or spread, it is possible to make it set more .
In general, avoid heating it any more than needed - this means using warm, not hot water.
Also, if you catch the silicone on your clothing early, try to get it off as soon as possible. Dab it off and then wash as normal - hopefully, it'll all come off. If not, refer to the above steps.
If you get silicone in your clothes, it's not the end of the world. While it'll take longer than other materials to get out of clothing, it can be done . To get silicone out of your clothes, follow the steps above and try the more gentle methods first.
If you know you're going to be near silicone, perhaps consider choosing a sacrificial outfit that's already stained. Better to stain that than your favourite Hawaiian button up. Maybe even have some isopropyl alcohol at the ready, just in case, too. If you catch it quick enough, you won't have to go through the weirdly uncomfortable process of freezing a shirt.
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