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How to Remove Old Caulk

How to remove bathroom caulk? With patience — and plenty of it. It’s not hard to do, but if you rush it, you’ll regret it. Plus, a little patience pays off by making the job much, much easier.

How to Remove Old Caulk in 4 Easy Steps

Step 1. Apply a caulk remover, such as 3M caulk remover or McKanica silicone caulk remover gel. Then be patient. Very patient. The directions say to wait 2 or 3 hours, but the longer you wait, the easier it will come off. Overnight is good. If it’s a particularly tough job — such as very old, hardened caulk or multiple layers — wait 24 hours.

While you’re waiting for the caulk to soften, browse our pictures of home improvements gone bad. They’ll inspire you to do the job right while tickling your funny bone.

Step 2. Use a caulk remover tool to pry the caulk loose. (See video below.) Pros use a utility knife or blade, but don’t be tempted unless your hands are as steady as a surgeon’s. Otherwise, you could damage the tub, sink, shower, or wall you’re trying to improve. Most of the caulk should come off easily in long strips, although you might need to use needle-nose pliers or tweezers to pull out some bits.

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