Silicone sealant is a great multipurpose material that has many uses around your home. Getting a smooth, even bead where you're applying it often requires that you use your fingers, so getting this product on your hands while working is a common occurrence. Follow the steps below to make the removal process as quick and painless as possible.
Note: If you know in advance that your project won't require you to smooth the sealant with your fingers, avoid this problem altogether with a pair of rubber or latex gloves.
Step 1 - Remove While Still Wet
The best way to remove sealant easily is to attack the problem before the material has had a chance to dry. First, finish the area you're working on. Stopping midway through laying silicone sealant can disturb your process and create a sloppy uneven look, so it's best not to compromise your work to get your hands clean a couple minutes faster. Afterward, simply take a paper towel and thoroughly wipe the skin clean. This will remove all of the large globs of silicone, but there can be some residue left behind regardless. In this case, continue with the rest of the following steps.
Step 2 - Remove Large Pieces and Wash Hands
If the sealant has partially dried on your skin, removal will be a little more difficult. First, you will want to peel or chip off as much of the product as you can by simply picking at it with your finger nails. After removing the biggest chunks, wash your hands several times with soap and warm water to soften what remains.
Step 3 - Apply Nail Polish Remover
Using a cotton pad, apply nail polish remover to the sealant or residue on your hands. Make sure the remover you're using says that it contains acetone, as some do not. Also when working with acetone, a powerful solvent, be sure to ventilate your area to protect yourself from any harmful fumes.
As the acetone in the nail polish remover begins to dissolve the silicone sealant, rub the product off with your hands or with another paper towel.
Step 4 - Wash Hands Again
After you have removed all of the remaining sealant on your skin, wash your hands in warm, soapy water once again. Since soap and acetone may dry skin, consider applying a moisturizer to your hands afterward. You will want to minimize the amount of times you have to use these methods for getting dried sealant off so you don't have to dry out your skin any more than necessary.