How to Remove Silicone From Tile

Corey M. Mackenzie

Silicone is often used to caulk the gap between tile and a shower or tub. It is very strong, and once it sticks to a surface it is not easy to remove. When silicone is placed where it is intended, this is a good feature. When a stray bit of silicone dries on top of the tile, however, its strength can seem annoying.

Fortunately, there are products that will soften silicone, making it much easier to remove from tile surfaces, or just about anywhere else it ends up.

  1. Use a putty knife to get as much of the silicone off the tile as you can. The more you get off by scraping, the easier it will be to get the rest off with the chemical remover.

  2. Put on protective gloves. You should also open a window, at the least, to ventilate your work area.

  3. Cover the silicone with silicone caulk remover. Give the chemical time to work. This can vary but usually takes at least 10 to 15 minutes.

  4. Scrape away the newly softened silicone with a putty knife. If some of it is still difficult to remove, apply some more silicone remover and wait a while longer.

  5. Wet a cloth in soapy water. Wash the tile clean of any silicone remnants and remover. Polish the tile with a soft cloth.


Sharp-bladed putty knifes work better than dull-bladed knives for this; just be careful not to scratch the tile or cut yourself.


Products used to remove silicone may be flammable. Always use in a well-ventilated area.

You may still be left with a visible mark where the silicone was, depending on the type of tile and color of the silicone.

Avoid getting the remover or the dissolved silicone on your skin. If this occurs, wash it off with soap and water.