How to Remove Caulk Easily

Apply a caulk remover to simplify the job of removing old caulk from joints. It loosens the caulk so you can easily dig it out.

Simplify old, moldy caulk removal by applying special caulk remover over the caulk to soften it and break the bond. Then simply scrape the old caulk away.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Remove old caulk

Scraping out moldy caulk from around a bathtub is a tough, tedious job. And if you get too aggressive, you'll chip a tile or mar the tub finish. Make the job a lot easier by first softening the caulk with a caulk remover (inexpensive at hardware stores).

Application is simple. Just squeeze the remover onto the caulk, making sure it covers the edges (Photo 1). Let it sit for several hours (or as directed on the package). Then start scraping out the old caulk (Photo 2). The caulk remover works by destroying the bond between the caulk and the tub or tile, so that instead of chipping at the caulk with a razor blade, you just pull away big chunks of it with a putty knife. Most removers work on both silicone and acrylic latex caulks.

Clean off the residue with soap and water, let dry and then recaulk.

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Putty knife

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

  • Caulk remover