Whether the silicone caulk in your bathtub is old or new, sloppy or well-done, removing it can be tedious. It’s often necessary, though, especially if it’s cracked or becoming mildewed. To replace the silicone caulk, it’s essential to remove all traces of the silicone, so that you can get a smooth bead and a good seal with the new silicone. You need a few household tools and a lot of patience to remove the silicone from a bathtub.
First get the sharp Stanley knife cut along the silicone. Go along the back and trim out all the silicone
Once you’ve made a few knife cuts into the silicone, you’ll need to use a flat chisel to clean up against the tiles.
Secondly, gently scraping along, and the silicone should just pop out from where you trimmed
Thirdly, once you’ve gotten rid of a fair bit of the silicone with the blade and the chisel, you can use a plastic scraper and start working it into the gap, working all the way along the get the silicone out.Fourthly, once all of the silicone has been removed with the plastic scraper and you’re quite happy that all the big chunks are gone, it’s now time to clean up the residue with methylated spirits on a rag. It’s always good to put some protective gloves.Methylated spirits is not good for your skin. As you’re cleaning the silicon residue off, you can see the bits of the silicone flacking off onto the rag, this is what you want to happen. When using methylated spirits, it’s always good to use it in a well ventilated room, open some windows in the bathroom.
Now that the area’s been thoroughly cleaned with methylated spirits, you are ready to apply the silicone to reseal
Silicone removal products
There is a vast choice of products on the market, dependant on your budget and extent of cleaning required. Some products remove caulk without chemicals, so it is good to shop around.
Once you have removed the old sealant you will probably want to replace with new, this is best done with a skeleton gun or mastic gun and a new tube of silicone or bathroom sealant.
Position the tube length ways along the surface/joint to be sealed and squeeze the trigger as you move the sealant tube along the join leaving a nice even trail of sealant. Repeat this until you reach the end of the joint or area to be sealed.
If this job you find to daunting to tackle why not try a specialist company that will take on the whole job from start to finish.
Cut away the seal between the silicone and the bathtub using a box cutter or razor blade. Cut along the bottom and along the top, loosening the silicone.
Pull the silicone caulking away from the tub by gripping it firmly in your hand and gently pulling. Use the razor blade or putty knife to loosen the silicone as you go. Very likely, only part of the silicone will come up as you pull. This is normal.
Rub away any remaining silicone with rubbing alcohol.