Needle nosed pliers ARE the appropriate tool. You are unlikely to damage the boot unless YOU are a tool. A $50 specialty item is nothing more than a gimmick.
I also cleaned out my boots before they got accordianed back into place, but I used braked cleaner with a brush, not silicone.
2006 McLareghini Bugatterrari, Storm Titanium... installed: air horn, Scroth 4-point ASM harnesses, Sector111 halon extinguisher and mounting bracket, Von Hep exhaust and rear panel delete, Pagid brake pads, red Volks CE28n wheels, Toyo RA-1 tires, Nitron SA coilovers, Sector111 (WorksBell) quick-disconnect steering wheel kit. awaiting installation: Scroth "pull-up" lap belts, Sector111 RTD Brace, Tony's heater bypass mod, and dropped steering rack mounting plates.