CommunityCaulking a Tub or Shower: Proper Removal of Old Caulking and a Few Tricks of the Trade Create Beautiful Results

Caulking a Tub or Shower: Proper Removal of Old Caulking and a Few Tricks of the Trade Create Beautiful Results

I need to re-caulk my tub and shower.  What is the best way to remove and replace the caulking around sliding shower doors and a bathtub? Can you explain this step-by-step?

The Money Pit Answer
Caulking a shower or bathtub is an easy home improvement project that can deliver very attractive results. But application is the easy part! Removing the old caulk is not nearly as much fun, unless you're armed with a few tricks of the trade. Step 1:  Use a "caulk softener." This nifty product helps soften and loosen the old caulk, making it easy to remove. It's sort of like a paint stripper but not nearly as caustic or difficult to use. Step 2:  Using a bleach-and-water solution, wipe down the areas where old caulk has been removed in order to clean and kill any mold spores left behind. Step 3:  Re-caulk! Make life easy by cutting the end of the caulk tube on a slight angle (about 20 degrees). If the caulking gets sloppy, remember that your finger is usually the best caulk trowel available. If it really gets bad, though, you can always remove the old caulk with a damp sponge and then start again. Bonus Tip:  Here's one more secret to successful caulking of a bathtub. Fill the tub with water before caulking; then, after the caulk dries, drain the tub. This compresses the caulk so it won't fall out.