Home Maintenance Series – How to Remove Caulk

Here are 4 Easy Steps to Remove Caulk. This can be useful information, especially if you are thinking about changing out counter tops as part of a kitchen or bath renovation. This was written by Lara Edge at Houselogic.com

How to remove bathroom caulk? With patience — and plenty of it. It’s not hard to do, but if you rush it, you’ll regret it. Plus, a little patience pays off by making the job much, much easier.

 

4 Easy Steps to Remove Caulk

Step 1. Apply a caulk remover, such as 3M caulk remover or McKanica silicone caulk remover gel. Then be patient. Very patient. The directions say to wait 2 or 3 hours, but the longer you wait, the easier it will come off. Overnight is good. If it’s a particularly tough job — such as very old, hardened caulk or multiple layers — wait 24 hours.

While you’re waiting for the caulk to soften, browse our pictures of home improvements gone bad. They’ll inspire you to do the job right while tickling your funny bone.

Step 2. Use a caulk remover tool to pry the caulk loose. Pros use a utility knife or blade, but don’t be tempted unless your hands are as steady as a surgeon’s. Otherwise, you could damage the tub, sink, shower, or wall you’re trying to improve. Most of the caulk should come off easily in long strips, although you might need to use needle-nose pliers or tweezers to pull out some bits.By the way, did you know that the word “caulk” originated from boat builders who needed something to seal their boats? Today, most manufacturers label home-use caulk as “sealant.”

Step 3. Using a small putty knife, toothbrush, and/or the hook end of a 5-in-1 painter’s tool (see picture below), scrape any remaining bits of caulk lose (this step, too, requires a bit of patience).

Step 4. Clean the surface using alcohol. Then kill any mold or mildew with a mixture of 1/3 cup bleach to 1 gallon of water. Allow to completely air dry (again, patience) before applying new caulk.

TIP: If you’re planning to re-caulk a tiled shower or bathtub wall, deep clean the tile before you remove the old caulk. Soap scum and other surface grime can inhibit the caulk’s ability to adhere. You don’t want water to get behind the tile and into your wall, which can create a nasty mold and mildew problem.

Are You Remodeling?

Check out these bathroom remodeling tips from home owners who’ve been through it.

Replacing a tub? A roundup of tub options.

Try adding a bathroom backsplash for a stylish touch.

And for something completely different, how do you feel about bathrooms with no walls?

 

About gvenice

I have over 25 years of electrical engineering and business management experience. I previously owned and managed a multi million dollar engineering firm. My work took me all over the globe, managing the construction of manufacturing plants where I built a reputation of providing superior service, getting projects done on time and within or under budget. My dedication to the fine details and logical approach to accomplishing tasks provide a huge benefit to my Real Estate clients. After selling my business and retiring to this area, I found a new passion in the Real Estate business and I bring to this business the same level of professional skill and conduct that has made mr successful in the past. My global exposure and extensive travel are also an asset when dealing with a customer base that is located worldwide. An avid boater, I have a thourough understanding of the waterways of East Tennessee and the intricacies involved in dealing with the TVA and the Army Corps of Engineers.
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