Guest Author - Dale Y the Maintenance Guy
Long ago and far away, I first met silicone on my fathers old workbench. He had a small tube of this stuff in among all the other small tubes of goop that were lying around. Much to my surprise, the silicone tube still remained pliable and easy to squeeze, while all the other tubes had long since dried up from never being used.
I pried off the cap, and the silicone underneath was all rubbery and hardened, so, being the curious kid that I was, I punched a hole in the side, and all of this clear smelly goo began to ooze out. Knowing nothing about what this stuff was, I got it on my fingers, and couldn't get it off. I rubbed it on my pants, and it wouldn't come off of them either! My hands quickly became covered, and there were numerous splotches of silicone on my jeans as well. YUK, what a mess, and I tossed that stuff directly into the garbage.
For days afterwards, I remember peeling this dried silicone from my hands, as if I was shedding a new skin, since it refused to be washed off or be removed any other way. The stuff that had gotten on my pants had made big dried rubbery splotches, also impervious to detergents, and anything else I used to try and remove it with. The funny thing was that, I actually liked the way it felt all dried and flexible on my jeans. It kinda felt like a giant eraser, and I recall some of my friends rubbing these splotches and smiling when they did so, because it really did feel wierd. And so began my love for this special type of goo.
If ever there is an award for the most versatile gooey stuff one could ever find, silicone would win hands down.
Most people think of silicone as the caulking around their bathtub, or windows, and that sort of thing. While true, and probably similar to almost everyone in those applications, there is a whole lot more anyone can do with this stuff.
First of all, it makes a great adhesive. I will use it first and foremost to repair anything ceramic that breaks. A little dab of the stuff flows into the pores, and when dry, it would take a crane to pull them apart again. Material gluing or patching is another silicone specialty. Once again, it flows into the pores, and when done, it literally keeps them locked together.
Any water or pipe gaskets can be made with silicone. Just goop some where you need a gasket, screw the pipes together and let it dry for about 4 hours. You will have a sealed pipe that may never drip again. Automotive silicone can be used to make car gaskets, sealing metal to metal in all applications, and high temp silicone can be used as either an adhesive or a gasket maker, where other types would melt.
If the wiring on a plug becomes frayed or slightly separated from the plug itself, silicone is a non-conductor of electricity and therefore, it can be used as a temporary covering until the cord and/or plug can be replaced.
Use mineral spirits to remove it when wet PRONTO, otherwise, you’ll discover out how much fun it is to peel it off of your fingers! And if you drip some on your clothing, you too will be able to have a nice eraser like rubbery spot, to show all of your friends.