How to Remove Silicone Caulk From Porcelain
Removing silicone caulk from porcelain can be one of the most difficult tasks when renovating a bathroom. Even if you are not replacing your bathtub, the caulk itself may need to be updated if it is moldy or cracked.
You must be patient and thorough when removing silicone caulk to be sure all traces of the old caulk are gone, or you will not be able to get a solid seal with the new caulk.
Clean the area around the caulk before you start cutting into it.
Use a razor blade or box cutter to cut along both edges of the silicone caulk, breaking the seal with the wall and porcelain fixture. Make a vertical cut somewhere along the caulk to give yourself an end to pry up from the porcelain.
Pry up one end of the silicone caulk with a putty knife. Grab the loose end with your hand and start pulling the caulk off of the porcelain. As you pull, use your putty knife to loosen the caulk in front of you. Go slow to make sure you get as much of the silicone removed as possible. It is much easier to pull the caulk off than to scrape it off with a blade.
Scrape off the silicone caulk that remains with a razor blade or box cutter. Be careful not to scratch the porcelain surface with your blade. Once you have scraped off as much caulk as possible, use a rag moistened with rubbing alcohol to remove the leftover residue.
Things You Will Need
- Razor blade or box cutter
- Putty knife
- Rubbing alcohol
Cleaning the area around the caulk before you start this project makes it easier to see and remove the caulk if you do not have to deal with soap scum and mildew in your way. You would have to clean this area anyway before installing any new caulk. Cleaning while the old caulk is still in place also prevents water from seeping into the walls and floors.
Make sure you have completely removed all of the old silicone caulk, especially if you will be re-caulking this fixture. New caulk will not stick to the porcelain if there is any old caulk remaining on the surface.
Denise Sullivan has been writing professionally for more than five years after a long career in business. She has been published on Yahoo! Voices and other publications. Her areas of expertise are business, law, gaming, home renovations, gardening, sports and exercise.