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How To Remove Old Caulk From Bathtub Like A Pro

How To Remove Old Caulk From Bathtub Like A Pro

Do you have old or moldy caulk around your bathtub? Is it cracked in several places, no longer provides a good seal and just an unsightly mess?

Well, here’s how to remove old caulk from your bathtub like a pro.

If you don’t know by now we’re really big on assembling the right tools for the job.

You wouldn’t send a fireman into a burning house without personal protective equipment or bunker gear, a fire helmet, a heavy-duty water hose, and lots of training on how to put out different types of fires.

Doing the job effectively requires a specific skillset, tools, and equipment.

The same principle applies when it comes to removing old caulk from your bathtub. You need the right tools and the know-how to get the job done right the first time.

So let’s get you the tools and the basic skills you’ll need to complete this DIY job successfully.

Tools You’ll Need To Remove Old Caulk From Tub

  • Goof Off Foam and Caulk Remover
  • Caulk Removing Tool
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Bleach
  • Sponge
  • Clean Cloth
  • Rubber Gloves

Step 1

Apply the Goof Off foam and caulk remover to soften the caulk. It’s easy to use and it’s non-corrosive.

It will help you safely remove the caulking around your bathtub.

What’s really impressive about this product is that it removes caulking when it’s wet or when it’s dry.

In some cases, you may be able to skip this step to soften your caulk if you notice that your caulk is going to be relatively easy to remove.

It really all will depend on how old the caulk you’re removing and how long it’s been attached to the surface.

If it’s really hard to lift off easily then you definitely should use a caulk softening product.

An 8-ounce bottle of Goof Off will cost you about $8 at one of the box office stores in your city like a Home Depot.

goof off foam and caulk remover (2)

Step 2

Slice into the softened caulk with the 3-in-1 caulk tool. It’s exactly what you need to scrape off and replace mildewed caulk around your tub.

Many times you will be able to pull out long strands of the caulk once you get the removal started.

You can pick one of these up on Amazon for about $7.

It is the perfect tool to help you remove old caulk. It definitely beats razors and utility blades and that 8 feet of caulk around your tub will be off in minutes.

Be sure that you completely scrap away any remaining chunks of caulk that may be hiding in the joints with a pair of needle nose pliers.

Scrape off any remaining caulk with your 3-in-1 tool.

Place old and mildewed caulk in a plastic garbage bag and dispose of in the trash.

caulk removing tool

Step 3

After all of the old caulk is completely removed you need to clean the surface that you just treated.

Clean the area with a solution of ⅓ cup bleach per gallon of water to and remove and mold or mildew. Use a sponge to scrub away any remaining soap residue as well.

water and bleach

Step 4

Rinse the area well, wipe it with a clean cloth and allow it to air dry.

If the caulk softener is able to soften the old caulk it could prevent the new caulk from sticking well this is why you want to make sure you clean the surface well.

wipe bathroom grout after removal

Other Tips:

  • Never caulk over old caulk. When you remove the old caulk you are also able to also remove any mold or mildew that may have accumulated on the caulk. Also, going over existing caulk causes it to get moldy and the new caulk will not hold up as well.
  • Always make sure that your tub’s surface has been thoroughly cleaned and is free from any grease, dirt, grime, dust or soap scum before recaulking.
  • Only use caulk removing tools that will not scratch your tile or tub.
  • Grout is very hard and it tends to crack quicker. Caulking will last longer as long as you take care of it. The proper way is to wipe down your tub or shower in the corners after you use it. Do not leave bottles of shampoo or soaps sitting in the corners. Make sure you remove them because if you don’t it leaves moisture which turns into mold. If you don’t have proper ventilation in your bathroom you’ll tend to get mold quicker. Read our article grout vs caulk to learn the difference between the two.
  • If you have a shower with a glass door enclosure leave it open after use to help keep out the humidity where mold loves to form.
  • Get a squeegee to keep in the shower and wipe down the shower walls after every use.
  • You can identify the type of caulk you have by touching it with your fingernail. If the caulk is soft then you have a pure silicone caulk. If the caulk is extremely hard it’s a latex caulk and if it’s slightly soft then you have what is known as a siliconized latex caulk. If you plan on recaulking your tub a good choice would be a caulk that is pure silicone and also mildew resistant.

latex vs silicon caulk (1)

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