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Old 11-15-2007, 02:21 PM   #1
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should this be a chemical or mechanical removal?


The rail / frame system for my shower doors has <caulk? silicone?> that is just completely disgusting and only half there lol.

Before putting new, white silicone in there I know I need to deal with what's currently there (see pic), but don't know the best way to approach this. Chemicals? Manually work through the whole thing?

(also, should I do a quick bleach wash/rinse/dry after I've removed that stuff / before the new silicone goes in?)


Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-15-2007, 02:22 PM   #2
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should this be a chemical or mechanical removal?


AH! It's like every other post I forget to include the pics!!



here it is:
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should this be a chemical or mechanical removal?-old-gross-caulk-silicone.jpg  
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Old 11-15-2007, 08:19 PM   #3
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should this be a chemical or mechanical removal?


carefully cut out as much as you can with a sharp razor knife, then use a rough rag or nylon pot cleaner to "sand" the rest off. I can't tell what the tub is in the photo (enameled steel, porcelin, or fiberglass/acrylic) so go gently and watch the finish. From the mess the caulking appears to be, my guess is that it is a latex caulking, so it should remove much easier than if it was silicone. There are some "caulk removers/dissolvers" for latex caulking, but I would not use them if your tub is fiberglss or acrylic, as they are basically an acetone based product, and may damage the finish. Try to apply any "mildew killing" solution you use with a small paint brush to minimize it's application to the shower door frame. The gold anodizing on aluminum frames is easily spotted by many household cleaners.
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Old 11-16-2007, 09:56 AM   #4
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should this be a chemical or mechanical removal?


Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly_b View Post
Oh man, that's disgusting.
isn't it! 2nd to the fridge/freezer, that was the worst spot when I got this place! In all honesty, that's almost a distant second to the fridge/freezer if you can believe that! I can't even remember how much bleach went into that cleaning

Quote:
Originally Posted by troubleseeker View Post
carefully cut out as much as you can with a sharp razor knife, then use a rough rag or nylon pot cleaner to "sand" the rest off. I can't tell what the tub is in the photo (enameled steel, porcelin, or fiberglass/acrylic) so go gently and watch the finish. From the mess the caulking appears to be, my guess is that it is a latex caulking, so it should remove much easier than if it was silicone. There are some "caulk removers/dissolvers" for latex caulking, but I would not use them if your tub is fiberglss or acrylic, as they are basically an acetone based product, and may damage the finish. Try to apply any "mildew killing" solution you use with a small paint brush to minimize it's application to the shower door frame. The gold anodizing on aluminum frames is easily spotted by many household cleaners.
Thanks for the tips guys, psyched to finally get to this (wanted to finish the bathroom's other projects and do new silicone / clean grout lines after all the other stuff I did in there).

About the gold I'll be careful, although I'd be lying if I said I wasn't still contemplating somehow getting that gold out of there, perhaps just making it a white gloss or something. I hate the gold accents and that's the *last* in my house, it's ridiculous the amount of random stainless steel or satin nickel products I ended up getting to replace every light switch, faucet, doorknob, hinge, fixtures, etc etc etc out. That gold frame for the shower is the last spot!! (hmm, maybe if I just evenly apply abrasive chemicals I can get a metal look instead of gold.... )
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Old 11-18-2007, 09:21 AM   #5
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should this be a chemical or mechanical removal?


As long as you use new plastic spackling scrapers and are careful with the blade edge of the knife, the bulk of the silicone should come out easily. As for the nuisance thin skin of silicone residue that remains behind, there are several silicone caulk removers that will "soften" the stubborn residue and that are non-injurious to the metalwork, porcelain or fiberglass.
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Old 11-21-2007, 11:30 AM   #6
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should this be a chemical or mechanical removal?


used a brush with bleach and a razor blade, went pretty well!
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Old 11-21-2007, 12:15 PM   #7
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should this be a chemical or mechanical removal?


You need to remove the bottom brass to do the job correctly. Under the brass are small bugs crawling around amongst the slime.
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Old 11-21-2007, 12:31 PM   #8
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should this be a chemical or mechanical removal?


ya I figured that out when I was doing this yesterday, I really needed to remove the entire frame to do this job properly, but, well, wasn't about to start that . I've actually been trying to find somewhere that sells just the frame pieces so I can do a rebuild with my current (plexiglass?) panels there, as that's the last gold accent in my whole house!! You have no idea dude, the whole house was gold accented, fans/outlets/fixtures/accets/etc/etc, I've gotten everything either swapped or refinished except this and I can't think of a good way besides just getting a new frame and building it up again.

Since I plan to do something with it I didn't want to rip it out just to do the full caulk / silicone clean and swap, this will have to do for now. At least for the time being it's not the eye sore in my otherwise finished bathroom that it was before
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Old 11-22-2007, 07:25 PM   #9
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should this be a chemical or mechanical removal?


I installed new shower doors a year ago. Either I didnt wait long enough for the caulk to dry or the caulk had frozen in my front room last winter. It looke pretty much the same way. Im going to dismantle the whole thing (4 screws) and use a scotchbright pad for cleanup. Then reinstall with new caulk.
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Old 11-23-2007, 09:10 AM   #10
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should this be a chemical or mechanical removal?


That '4 screws' comment is haunting me lol! I look at the setup and think 'damn that looks like a 5 minute take down, maybe I should just remove fully and to a proper clean/re-silicone)..

But half the time I get that feeling, I find myself on a 3 day project all of a sudden!! I think I'm just gonna try to scope around a bit for somewhere that would sell loose pieces for these, I saw the basic ones of these units for around $99 at home depot, and I wouldn't even need the big plexiglass (or whatever they are) sheets, just the frame/rails. Hopefully somewhere will have them in some finish besides gold..

Failing that, there's a part of me that thinks if I remove, properly clean/scuff sand, that I could get a high strength white gloss spray paint to work on that. The thing drives me nuts, literally the last gold accent in a house that was gold-themed, it's the only one I really am not sure how to get rid of w/o a full swap out, not yet anyhow!
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