The caulk around the tub gets a disgusting look from the mold forming on it after years of water exposure. The additives keep wearing out with time and the caulk also gets peeled off. These signs say it’s time to remove the caulk and re apply it.
Removing caulk is a Straight forward job. However it's a bit time consuming. With enough patience and right tools, you can make this job simply a matter of time.
In this guide we’ll see how you can remove old caulk from tub - Step-by-step.
Step 1 - cleaning the surrounding surface -
This is an optional step. most likely you will apply new caulk after removing the old one. in that case taking this step will make things easier for you.
Right before the cleanup you can clean the surface with soap. you don't have to deep clean in this moment. just a little surface level cleaning is fine as it will make the area clear of any oily, slippery substance that can cause you to slip your hand.
Step 2 - Check caulk texture -
With a knife make some small cuts on the caulk and check its texture and hardness. By pressing on to the sealant with the knife, you can recognise the type of caulk has been used.
Latex, or water based caulks are hard and brittle. Silicone caulk will feel like a rubber and it’s very easy to remove than the other ones. After assessing the kind of caulk, go for the next step.
Step 3 - Weaken the caulk and remove it
With a knife tip slice the caulk along the midway. Slice through the edges to weaken the sealant. If you find it easy to do, then there is no need to use additional remover or weakener.
Repeat the process for every edges. This will weaken the caulk Bond and allow you to remove it without any external instruments.
If the caulk seems harder to remove it by knife, try heating it up with a heat gun. In most cases, applying heat will soften the Binding material. but if it doesn't work do not put extra pressure as that might cause some damage around the tile.
If you fail with heat method, then try using a caulk remover. Spread a small amount of caulk remover along the edges and let it work for some time. For the amount of caulk to be used and time, check manufacturer's manual to know.
Allow the caulk remover to work depending on the initial assessment. If the adhesive was too hard and breakable, then give it more time to soften up. With time, the sealant will absorb the remover and become weaker.
After the caulk is resolved, try removing it with a putty knife. Start slowly and do not rush. Start from a corner and push your way around the corners.
Keep the knife flat against the surface and wipe the caulk away. Do this with a continuous swipe at the first try. The caulk will come off in strips and after all the strips is removed, use a plier or tweezers to pluck the broken bits off.
Step 4 - Clean the surface
Use a brush To clean off of small bits of caulk stuck in between the edges. After cleaning all the remaining pieces, clean the surface by soaking a towel in a light soap mix. After wiping the walls, clean the area with a dry towel.
As an optional step you can use store bought mildew killer To prevent any chance of of mould growth inside the gap Between the tub and the walls.
Step 5 - Final Step
Now that you have removed the existing old caulk and cleaned the surface afterwards. allow At least 24 hours to let the are completely dry before re-caulking it. If you’re in a time shortage, use a heat gun to dry the surface quickly.
Now that you know how how to remove for easily, hopefully you can do it yourself. keep in mind that rushing may do more harm then the benefits. so have enough time and do it slowly. The end result will surprise you, if you do it right.