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Question
Hello,

How can I effectively remove Silicone Grease from my mustache?
(After snorkelling on holiday, it is a bit much to go to breakfast with a mustache with silicone grease remainders stuck in it!)

Is there some effective household remover, for example alcohol, which will remove it?
(I only bought this on the last few days of my holiday, and didn't get around to asking what would remove this.)

I live in Europe.

Answer
HI Chris,

Wow...you have pretty much stumped me with this question but I'll try to offer some suggestions which might help you.  After all, this isn't a hypothetical question...you've actually got the problem and need a solution!!

Here in the shop, we remove silicone grease using heated commercial cleaners but that's not an option for you.  I did some internet research and also some experimentation here in the shop and found some possible solutions for you.  Needless to say, this is a problem we've never encountered before and no one had a proven solution.

First let me say that these are NOT recommended uses of these products so please be careful and use them at your own risk.

Denatured alcohol worked pretty well.  I applied it, rubbed it in and then wiped it off with a warm soapy rag before the alcohol evaporated and redeposited the silicone.  Applying alcohol to your mustache means that you'll be exposed to inhaling the fumes of evaporating alcohol. This method left a slightly slick feeling but it removed all the visible silicone.  Most people don't have skin reactions to alcohol so an allergic reaction isn't likely although inhaling alcohol fumes probably isn't a good idea either.  Standard rubbing alcohol is 20% alcohol and 80% water and wasn't effective at dislodging the silicone.

I also found success using a commercial product, WD-40.  I don't know if this stuff is available in Europe and it's certainly not recommended for this use but it worked about as well as the alcohol and the fumes weren't as objectionable.  Again, I wiped if off using a warm soapy rag.  An allergic reaction to this product doesn't seem likely and I've used it for several years on various projects...primarily as a lubricant.  Since this product will leave an odorous residue in your mustache, I'd probably use this only as a last resort...if at all.

I did not try any stronger solvents since they may cause physical harm to your skin, mustache and/or respiratory system from inhaling fumes.  We also thought about industrial strength hand cleaners but didn't have the opportunity to try any of them.

We sell a product in my shop that is silicone based and is made to help make a seal between  a mustache and the mask skirt.  It looks and feels like a less viscous form of silicone but is designed to wash out with soap and water.  It's called "Mask Seal" and is sold by Trident Diving Equipment.  It may be available in Europe as well.

Chris, I wish I had some better suggestions for solving your problem. Perhaps these ideas will help you rid your mustache of the silicone.  Please be careful, though, since neither of these solutions has actually been "field tested" and you need to be especially careful of inhaling vapors.

Best wishes for a successful solution to your problem.

Mike

Scuba Diving

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Mike Giles

Expertise

I am a Master Scuba Instructor with over 6000 dives. I can answer questions on general diving techniques, diving education and diver training. I can offer suggestions on the use and selection of proper dive equipment, general maintenance of dive equipment as well as diving equipment repair. I can also offer suggestions on air conservation techniques and buoyancy control. As a dive shop owner for 19 years, I can offer suggestions on starting/running a dive business.

Experience

I have been diving for 55 years, teaching diving for 50 years and owned a diving business for 19 years. I am a certified regulator repair technician for several different brands and a certified scuba cylinder inspector.

Organizations
I am currently a member of the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), Divers Alert Network (DAN), International Resort and Retailer Association and the Better Business Bureau

Publications
Undercurrent magazine and Divers Chapbook

Education/Credentials
I am a Master Scuba Diver Trainer with 15 distinct specialty instructor ratings, Rescue Diver Instructor, Medic-First Aid Instructor and I have degrees in Chemical Engineering, Biology and Radiologic Technology.

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