How to Remove Old Caulking

Опубликовал Admin
4-10-2016, 08:30
5 099
Caulking keeps water from soaking into hard to reach areas where mold and mildew can form. Sinks, bathtubs, showers and floor tiles need to be watertight in order to perform properly and maintain sanitation. Caulking can grow mold and erode over time, making it necessary to replace. Use these steps to remove old caulking.


  1. Clean the caulking with soap scum remover. You can also use medium-strength bathroom cleaner.
    • Making sure the surface is clear of any loose dirt or oils will prepare the caulking for removal by providing a non-slip surface.
  2. Cut the caulking with a razor blade to determine what kind of caulking it is.
    • Caulk that is silicone-based will feel like soft rubber when you try to cut it. Water-based latex caulk or PVA caulk is harder and more prone to chipping.
  3. Chip away at the caulking with a putty knife or chisel.
    • Periodically spraying the caulking with water from a spray bottle will lubricate the surface and help avert chipping tile or the bathroom fixture on which the caulking is placed. You will not be able to chip away every bit of caulking during this step.
  4. Direct a heat gun at the caulking. Use the gun's lowest temperature setting.
    • Heat will soften water-based caulking. Target areas of the caulk that are most difficult to remove, such as the corners. Hold the heat gun in 1 hand and your scraping tool in the other so you can scrape as the caulk softens.
  5. Soak the remains of the caulking with rags for 2 to 3 days.
    • For water-based caulk, saturate the rags with rubbing alcohol and balance them onto the caulking. The alcohol enlarges the molecules in the caulking and separates it from its previous setting. The rubbing alcohol method will not work for silicone-based caulking.
  6. Slice the rest of the caulking with a razor blade.
  7. Vacuum the crevice. This will remove caulk debris that has fallen into the crack or become stuck in the sides.
    • Scrub the area with denatured alcohol. Apply a mildew eliminator. This removes the mold or mildew that grew under the old caulking.


  • Cut the top and bottom of the silicone-based caulking with a thin razor blade. This allows you to peel the caulking away with your hands.
  • When choosing a replacement for your old caulking, consider mildew-proof caulking to prevent having to remove it again in the future.
  • Mix oven cleaner with water to create a paste and then spread that paste onto the silicone-based caulking to speed softening.


  • Do not re-apply caulking the same day you remove the old caulking. Wait 1 day to make sure all the moisture has evaporated.
  • Do not apply new caulking over the existing caulking. Patches might work temporarily, but you'll have hard time removing old caulking later when you have to remove 2 layers.
  • Chemicals that remove or soften caulking are very powerful and toxic. Always wear the proper protective gear when using strong chemicals.

Things You'll Need

  • Soap scum remover
  • Putty knife or chisel
  • Spray bottle
  • Razor blade
  • Water
  • Heat gun
  • Rags
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Vacuum
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Mildew killing product
Users of Guests are not allowed to comment this publication.