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Person using flexible plastic blade to remove silicone sealant in between tiled wall and toilet.

Overview

You can freshen up your whole bathroom just by removing silicone that's discoloured, stained or untidy. We show you how to cut and scrape out the old silicone. Plus, how to take off any residue so the surface is clean and ready for resealing.

Steps

1Cut along where the silicone joins the wall

Use a sharp knife and cut along the silicone, running the metal blade along the wall. Then gently run a flat-blade chisel against the tiles so the silicone pops out.
Person using box cutter knife to loosen silicone sealant between tiled wall and toilet.

2Scrape inside the gap

Use a flexible plastic or metal blade to scrape out the deeper remaining silicone. Push and pull the blade backwards and forwards between the gap. The silicone will grip the surface of the blade and start to come loose. 
Person using flexible plastic blade to remove silicone sealant in between tiled wall and toilet.

3Wipe the surfaces clean

Once you have removed most of the silicone, wipe the remnants off using a cloth. You can make the job a bit eaiser by soaking the cloth in methylated spirits. The methylated spirits act as a solvent, breaking down the last of the silicone, making it less sticky and easier to wipe up.

Person wearing gloves pouring methylated spirits into cloth.

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More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.