Latex bathtub caulk should be easy to remove, but it does not always peel right off as many people expect. In some cases it peals off without help, but more often than not this happens by accident and before it should. When wanting to remove old bathtub caulk, it sometimes ends up breaking off in small segments, and it endlessly clings to the surface it was meant to seal. In any case, old bathtub caulk must be eventually removed. Caulking that does not become moldy and dark in color ultimately turns yellow or hard, and it should be removed and replaced instead of covered up with paint or new caulk. When completed correctly, it really is very easy to remove old bathtub caulk, and the following tips will help you get started.
Soften it with a Hair Dryer
Bathtub caulk that was once soft and pliable can become very hard as it ages, and it becomes very difficult to remove. When it becomes hard it no longer works to seal the joints because it pulls away from the bathtub and adjoining wall. Although in many cases it is very difficult to remove, it can become somewhat pliable again with the help of an ordinary hair dryer. Simply heat up the hardened caulking using a handheld blow dryer. As it softens, try to remove the bathtub caulk using one of the following easy ways. Once it has been removed, the surface must be thoroughly cleaned and dried before applying new caulking according to product label instructions. It is really very easy to remove when taking the time to heat up the old material.
Use a Thin Putty Knife or a Razor Scraper
Many people make the mistake of using a flathead screwdriver when trying to remove caulking from the area around a bathtub. Not only will a screwdriver make the job more difficult, but it can also cause damage to the bathtub and wall. Instead of using a screwdriver to remove old caulking, use a putty knife with a thin blade or use a razor scraper. These items will effectively remove old bathtub caulk without causing damage.
When old bathtub caulking is too strong to remove with an ordinary scraper or putty knife, buy a tube of Caulk-Be-Gone. It comes in a tube that ironically looks like caulk, and is made by the Dap Company, but it contains green gel. The gel softens the old caulking and makes it easier to remove with a putty knife or razor scraper. Caulk-Be-Gone saves time and muscle, and it is well worth the cost when trying to remove old caulk. Shop online for Caulk-Be-Gone, or visit a hardware or home improvement store to find this innovative product that helps make bathtub maintenance much easier.