How to Remove Stubborn Caulk

Re-caulking a bathroom tub or shower surround is something homeowners should do every two or three years.

Removing old caulk in preparation for a new caulk job is generally very easy. In some cases, however, stubborn caulk can cause headaches for do it yourselfers who are trying to maintain their bathrooms. A simple technique to remove caulk will save you unnecessary hassles.

Trim the old caulk with a utility knife, being careful not to scratch the finish on the tub or shower surround.

Use the putty knife to scrape out as much caulk as possible. Not all of the caulk will come out at this stage, but scrape out the majority of the caulk with the putty knife or paint scraper.

Apply a silicone caulk remover. The caulk remover may take several hours to work. Follow the manufacturer directions. Use the putty knife to remove the remaining silicone caulk. The caulk remover will make this step easier.

Use rubbing alcohol to clean the area. A mixture of one part chlorine and three parts water will also work. Scrub the area with the mixture and a toothbrush or bristled scrub brush. Rinse well when finished.

Wipe the area with a dry rag. Let the area dry completely before applying new caulk.

Things You Will Need

  • Utility knife
  • Putty knife or paint scraper
  • Silicone caulk remover
  • Rubbing alcohol or water and chlorine
  • Toothbrush or bristled scrub brush
  • Cloth rag

References

About the Author

Cadence Johansen is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about travel, marriage, family relationships, caregiver support, home improvement and money. Johansen has been writing professionally since 2008. She holds a master's degree in family studies from Utah State University.