How To Remove Old Caulk in 6 Easy Steps – On the House

How To Remove Old Caulk in 6 Easy Steps

By on March 24, 2018
remove old caulk

Before you can put a bead of nice, fresh caulk around your bathtub or window, you need to completely remove the old caulking. We’ll teach you how in 6 easy steps!

 The caulk around a bathtub looks pretty nasty when it begins to peel away. Before you can re-caulk the tub, you need to remove the old caulking entirely. It can be a time-consuming task, but it’s worth it because your new caulk will look better and bond more easily to its target.

  1. The first step is to soften the caulk by applying caulk remover (I like 3M’s product).
  2. Next, slice through the softened caulk using a utility knife with a fresh blade. If you’re lucky, most of it will fall free.
  3. On the other hand, if there are several layers or if the caulk is very thick, you may need to pull the material from the joint with a pair of needle-nose pliers.
  4. Rake remaining chunks of caulk from the joint using the hook end of a painter’s five-in-one tool or a sharp putty knife.
  5. The final preparation step is to clean the surface and remove mildew. Use a non-ammoniated bath cleaner to remove soap scum. Do not use an ammoniated cleaner prior to applying bleach because, when mixed together, they give off poisonous fumes. Kill any mildew on the surfaces using a solution of 1/3 cup bleach to 1 gal. of water. Use a paintbrush or foam brush to apply the solution and to work it into the gap left by the removed caulk. Scrub the area with a brush or plastic pad, rinse, then dry the surfaces with a clean rag.
  6. Finally, apply a bead of tub-and-tile caulk that contains a fungicide such as DAP Kwik Seal Plus or Red Devil EZ Caulk Tub and Tile Sealant.



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