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Does anything dissolve silicone?

Posted by sahoyaref Alberta z3a (My Page) on
Thu, Nov 18, 04 at 13:14

We have an unused 20 gallon tank sitting around that I would love to turn into another terrarium =) but it was formerly a sump for my husband's reef tank, and as a result it has some pieces of glass siliconed directly to the sides of the aquarium. As in, they are flat against the glass. No way of getting a razor in there to just scrape them off. So either the tank is garbage/recycling, or we fix it and I use it. But we need something that can dissolve silicone to do it, and preferably something very cheap, cheaper than buying a new 20 gallon tank. My first thought is vinegar, because silicone smells like vinegar as it is curing, so I would assume that it is actually acetic acid (vinegar) that keeps the silicone 'liquid' until the acid evaporates and it cures. If vinegar works, we would just fill the tank with vinegar and water, let it soak at least overnight, and then just remove the glass pieces easily. I think 10 gallons of vinegar and 10 gallons of water would do it, so that's pretty cheap. But I don't want to buy all that vinegar and then find out that it doesn't work! So, does anyone know for sure? Or does anyone know of anything else that would work that is just as cheap or cheaper?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Does anything dissolve silicone?

  • Posted by GaWd z9/10 NorCal (My Page) on
    Thu, Nov 18, 04 at 15:29

I think you hit the nail on the head. The only product I can find to remove silicon is vinegar and mechanical methods like razors.


RE: Does anything dissolve silicone?

I find that cleaning vinegar (the strong stuff) works quite quickly. I don't think you'll need to fill the tank up, just wipe it on pour in a few cups in the bottom and put the lid on. The vapour should do its magic. If it is the clear stuff it will go white fairly quickly.

I've heard that acetone also dissolves silcone rubber, but I don't know if this would be any more effective. I've put my experiences on cleaning up terrariums on my website.

RE: Does anything dissolve silicone?

Let us know if that works?? I have a 150 that got cracked during the storms. I have a line on some replacement glass but dred trying to take it apart!! I know acetone will work but you end up with a terrible mess.

RE: Does anything dissolve silicone?

Good link Nathan, thanks! I don't want to use acetone because it's not exactly the best stuff to breathe in. I'll look for some super-strong vinegar though. Do grocery stores usually carry it?

RE: Does anything dissolve silicone?

We get super-strong vinegar in the cleaning products aisle.

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