Tag Archives: How to clean up caulk from tub

Clean Er’ Up!!

28 Mar

In order to get our tub in ship shop shape and ready for the tile install and grouting process, we had to make sure everything was spic, span and ready to go. Since the previous tile was grouted to the side of the tub, there was a lot of residue that we had to remove prior to our install. Picture this:

How to remove caulk from tub

Caulk on Tub

It’s gross, it’s sticky and it’s hard to remove. Oye. Plus, I was pretty concerned about our options for cleaning it up, since I didn’t want to use anything too caustic that would scratch or discolor the side of the tub. After searching around our house for different cleaners we had laying around, we oddly enough landed on this one, which is technically meant for laytex paint removal. We tried using Simple Green first, but found that there was just too much residue, so we pulled in the big guns 🙂 This solvent was safe for fiber glass tubs (which is what we have), so we moved on to our vintage paint remover (which was actually left by the last homeowner…).

How to clean caulk off tub

Cleaner for Side of Tub

In addition, we had a plastic putty knife laying around, which helped us get under the caulk and remove as much as we could that way as well. With a decent amount of elbow grease, a combination of everything seemed to do it in the end.

How to remove caulk from tub

Removing Caulk

After we installed the tile, it was time to caulk it right back up. Funny but true, you actually have to fill up the tub full of water before caulking, to prevent the caulk from cracking due to the change in pressure. You don’t have to do this with a cast iron tub, but since we have a fiber glass tub, it was part of the routine, hence, all the water in our tub with these shots 🙂

How to caulk tub

Caulking Tub

We’ve had many rather not so good experiences with caulk, but I’m proud to say Jay has officially graduated into the pro-caulking category (probably from all his practicing) 😉 The key, is to push the caulk gun vs. pull it along, and to good ole’ wet finger. Not to be confused with a wet willie. Although, I’m sure you could successfully achieve both, if desired. 🙂 Another helpful hint – with the big gaps – go through once to get an initial coat of caulk down. Then after 45 mins or so, come back through with a second coat. That way your final coat has something to adhere to. The larger the gap, the more passes you need to do to get a smooth final finish.

How to Caulk Tub

Caulking Tub

Wetting your finger is really the key – I mean check out the action shot above. Since we had an ample amount of water just chilling in the tub, this step was relatively easy and pretty straight forward. Plus, now the bathtub is totally sealed and almost ready to go! Just need to seal the grout along the tiles and spray paint the gold hardware, and this guy will be ready for prime time.