Before you can apply new caulk around your shower, sink, or bathtub, you first have to remove the old one.
The reason is that new and old caulk does not stick together, so the new one won’t be able to form a waterproof seal if the old one is not first removed.
Caulk is best removed with chemical removers together with manual tools.
It takes some time for chemical caulk removers to penetrate the caulk, so if you don’t want to make use of chemicals or if you’re in a rush you can also use only hand tools to remove the caulk.
Using a caulk removal solution is an easy way of starting the caulk removal process.
This chemical will break the bond between the tub, tile, or sink and the existing caulk, allowing it to come out of crevices and cracks very easily.
Liquid caulk remover costs between $10 and $20 for a small bottle, which is enough to remove caulk of around 20 linear feet (bathtubs).
The manufacturer’s guide should be followed for use.
Use of Chemical Caulk Remover
Squeeze the chemical caulk remover on the existing caulk bead so as to cover it completely.
Allow it to sit according to the manufacturer’s guide. Some reports say allowing it set overnight helps to maximize its effectiveness.
Scrape off the existing caulk using a plastic putty knife or a similar tool. If you can, try to peel off in strips while scraping.
Carefully inspect the area, using the tool to take out any leftover caulk. At this point, you can make use of a razor scraper or caulk removal tool.
Use a clean, rubbing alcohol-dampened cloth to carefully clean the surfaces. Allow to dry entirely before new caulk is applied.
Use of a Caulk Removal Tool
Tools for removing caulk are often contained in toolsets which consist of tools for smoothing and applying new caulk, and are available from several manufacturers.
Those tools made of polished steel or plastic are better since they won’t scratch surfaces.
Additinally, they come with blades and angles for scraping caulk from narrow corners and crevices.
While caulk removal tools may be used alone, they can also be used right after the chemical remover has been applied.
After the existing caulk has been scraped out, check that it has been completely removed from the joint.
Prior to new caulk application, remember to clean the surface carefully with a clean cloth dampened with alcohol.
Also, make sure to allow the surface to dry entirely.
Use of Razor Scraper
A conventional razor scraper is another tool which works well.
However, the blade should be very sharp and you should ensure its edge stays flat on the surface.
This will ensure that you avoid scratching the finish.
Generally, it is advisable to scrape the back of both the caulk bead side edges in order to detach it from the surface, and then try to peel off in lengthy strips.
Ensure to keep the blade’s corners off the surface to avoid scratching.