How To Clean Silicone

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Silicone is a synthetic polymer that has been used for many years in the medical field, but also in many other industries.

Today it is used in manufacturing products that are resistant to high temperatures and also to lubricate the product for comfort. Silicone can be washed with water but it might be a good idea to clean it with specific products designed for this task only. 

In this article, we will explain to you how to clean silicone products.

Let's dive deep into this topic. 

Cleaning silicone is not as difficult as it seems

Let's start with one fact: silicone is a synthetic polymer (more precisely, siloxane). 

How to Clean a Silicone Phone Case
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The structure of silicone is built so that it can be in contact with human skin for extended periods without adverse effects.

Here are some recommendations for you:

  1. Use only neutral detergents (no acids or alkalis.). Detergents like “D-20” in a concentration of 1% – suitable for cleaning all types of non-porous materials. 
  2. Do not use high temperatures while cleaning silicone products with the help of a steam iron.
  3. Pay attention to the smell – if you detect something unusual, then immediately wash it off with running water and soap.
  4. You can also clean silicone without detergent, but only with warm soapy water and a soft sponge.
  5. Store silicone-based products in closed containers to prevent absorption of dust from the air.

Cleaning silicone: What to do?

To clean non-porous materials (i.e., not absorbent) we should take into account several factors. First, choose the appropriate cleaner based on the material used for manufacturing products. In this case, silicone is a polymeric material and as such should be washed with any detergent that contains phosphate.

phosphate detergent
Image Credit: Kitchen Infinity Photo

Cleaning silicone: What not to do? Here are some recommendations for you:

  1. Never wipe the surface of silicone products with a dry cloth or tissue. The probability of “pulling out” the protective layer will increase and your product will lose its properties. In addition, when rubbing dry (especially clothes), chemical compounds released from clothing materials can be absorbed by plastics and affect their quality (discoloration, etc.).
  2. Do not put silicone products on aluminum foil or utensils made from it – in contact with aluminum-based alloys used in metal packaging products, there may be a chemical reaction. It can cause discoloration, so the product will be ruined.
  3. Do not wash silicone products with abrasion. This may damage the protective layer and cause harm to the material itself (detergents contain particles that can erode it).
  4. Do not soak silicone in water for extended periods – this is fraught with a decrease in strength and disintegration of materials used at high temperatures. Water also facilitates penetration into structures made of expanded polystyrene foam packaging, causing their deformation due to an increase in density of these sections during drying out.  
  5. Never use chemicals when cleaning silicone. In principle, it should not be cleaned with a solvent. This can cause a change in the shape and structure of the material, which is unsuitable for contact with human skin.

If the material is in contact with an organic solvent, it can lead to severe dermatitis further, causing allergies.

  1. Silicone is very resistant – if you decide to use detergents containing phosphates (such as Windex), do not forget that they are tested for more delicate materials. As silicone is much more “stubborn” than glass and plastics containing polycarbonate, this means that they are cleaned at their own risk. 

Is it dangerous to clean silicone? 

No, if you follow our guide carefully, you won't encounter any problems with cleaning.

What are the most common ways of how to clean silicone?

1) By hand

2) With a brush

3) With white vinegar and baking soda solution.

Does vinegar work on cleaning silicone?

Yes, It does. Vinegar is considered to be a great cleaning agent that restores the original properties of silicone. In addition, vinegar can remove mold and mildew from silicone too. It can also be used when cleaning other kitchen items, even in the case of cleaning kitchen cabinets so having vinegar around is definitely a good idea.

What can be used to clean a silicone baking mat?

Baking mats are one of the most useful silicone products you can find in stores. To clean a baking mat, simply wash it with mild soap.

How To Clean Silicone Baking Mat
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Rinse well to remove all food oils and grease from the silicone surface before drying it with a towel.

How do I clean a silicone strap?

To start cleaning your strap, first put vinegar on it to get rid of bacteria and mold. Then use dishwashing liquid diluted in hot water for about ten minutes. Wash the strap using warm soapy water afterward, then leave it alone to dry fully before storing or wearing it again.

Can I put my silicone product in the dishwasher? 

Yes, you can. If there is no specific care instruction on the product, then you can put it in the dishwasher. Try to wash it on the top rack only if possible and use a mild soap or even just water. Remember, you can't be too careful with washing silicone products.

Final thoughts on how to clean silicone

In conclusion, when it comes to cleaning your silicone home products, the safest and best way to remove silicone oil is to use a non-abrasive sponge.

For cleaning your silicone products for food, you can use warm soapy water. If the product is stained on the outside from cooking with it, you can use an abrasive sponge to remove the stain.

Finally, if you are having trouble removing a stain from your silicone product, then use bleach. Do not pour the bleach directly onto the silicone, instead, spray on some water first and add the bleach afterward. Make sure you allow it to sit for a few minutes and rinse thoroughly before wiping with a dry cloth. 

Kevin Farrugia

Kevin Farrugia

Kevin is a household and appliance enthusiast and loves to follow the latest trends in kitchen and house decoration. He also loves to walk the isles of Home Depot and Lowes to review products and materials in person. Before joining Kitchen Infinity, Kevin owned a handyman company.

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