How to Re-Caulk Your Bathtub Cleanly

Many homeowners hate the way their bathrooms look, but not all of them have the money to redo the whole room. Rather than replace the whole thing, you can make small improvements one step at a time. Out of all the improvements you can do, sprucing up the bathtub will make a dramatic difference. If you are looking to replace it, you should plan on fixing up a large portion of the bathroom. Bathroom plumbing tips are great, but one of the easiest and best things to do is re-caulk your bathtub yourself.

Out with the Old

The first step you are going to have to do is remove the old caulk. While this used to be a harder task, there are now plenty of products that can make it much easier. Add some caulk softener to the old caulk and allow for it to sit a while. Most package directions suggest letting it sit for at least two hours to make sure that the old caulk is really soft and ready to remove. At that point, grab your putty knife and start removing the old caulk.

Cleaning the Area

Find a typical cleanser that you would normally use for the bathtub. For the best results, make sure that it contains something that will definitely get things clean from germs and mildew like bleach or rubbing alcohol. These are usually in these cleaning products, but just in case, you should check. Clean your bathtub as well as the basin to make sure that everything is really clean, including no soap residue on the wall surrounds or the bathtub sides. After you feel like you have gotten it as clean as possible, make sure that it is completely dry by letting it sit for a little while.

Prep the Area

To ensure the strongest seal, you should fill up the bathtub with water before applying any caulk. If you want a really clean looking caulk line you should try and find some really good painter’s tape and put it around where you are going to seal. The size of the gap you should leave for the seal is only about one-eighth of an inch so that it looks minimal, but clean.

In with the New

Take your bottle or tube of white silicone caulk and cut off the tip at an angle that is approximately forty-five degrees. Insert the tube into a caulk gun for an easier experience. Pick your starting point on one of the short walls and start squeezing the caulk around the edge you have taped off. You should be making sure that you are applying an even, constant pressure to ensure that you are not ending up with more in one spot and less in another. When you reach a corner you should stop and wipe the tip before starting on the next wall. Another good tip when approaching corners is to release the pressure a bit so that the caulk does not start pooling there. After you have gone all the way around the top of the tub, wet your finger and run it along the line to make sure it is smooth and even. Remove any excess caulk.

Let it Dry

The last step is the easiest because all you have to do is let the caulk dry. Each tube will list the appropriate amount of time to dry on the back, so consult the instructions. After everything has dried sufficiently, you are then allowed to go in and remove all the tape that you have put around. Be sure to remove it slowly and carefully so that you do not remove the caulking with it.