As caulk (silicone, sealant, silicone sealant, silicone adheaive, glass glue, glass silicone) dries out over time, it can begin to peel and crack, leaving the joint beneath it vulnerable to moisture and mildew. If the caulk has shrunk away from the joint as it dried, removing it should be fairly easy, but if it has cracked and separated less uniformly, the job can require patience and a steady hand. Be especially thorough with silicone-based caulk, because you must remove every trace from the joint so that your new caulk adheres to the surface properly.
Open a window for ventilation. Apply caulk remover to the caulk if it's hard. Wait while the caulk remover softens the caulk so that you can cut it out of the joint more easily.
Cut along the bottom of the line of caulk with a sharp utility knife, separating the caulk from the surface beneath it. Make another long cut between the caulk and the vertical surface behind it. Pull the strip of caulk out of the joint with your fingers or with a pair of needle-nose pliers.
Hold a glass scraper at a very shallow angle to one of the surfaces. Scrape the caulk residue off the surface the way you would with a razor blade. Repeat this with the other surface. Pull out the slivers of caulk with the pliers.
Apply more caulk remover to the joint to soften any remaining caulk that is still sticking to the surfaces. Let it work for several minutes, then shave the pieces off the surfaces with the glass scraper and pull them out with the pliers.
Scrub the joint lightly with an abrasive pad to remove any lingering particles. If the old caulk was silicone-based, soak the pad in mineral spirits first. Wipe the joint clean with a cloth.
Things You Will Need
Caulk remover, optional
Mineral spirits, optional
Mineral spirits are flammable, so don't bring any open flames into the room while you work with them. The fumes can be harmful, so ventilate the room as well as possible
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