Friday, February 15, 2008

Replace That Moldy Caulk

Moldy caulking in the bathroom not only looks bad but it can be a health hazard to those who may be sensitive to mold. If you've scrubbed and cleaned the moldy caulk to no avail, it's definitely time to replace it. Here are a few tips to help you replace moldy bathroom caulk.

Step 1:
Gather your tools first. You'll need a pointy instrument to remove the old caulking. A small screwdriver will work in most cases. For that stubborn caulking, you may need to use a razor knife. You'll also need rubber gloves, mineral spirits, a stiff brush, rags, and plastic bags as well as the new caulking tube, or caulk and a caulking gun. Make sure it is tub and tile caulk.

Step 2:
Clean the tub or shower area in the bathroom that you'll be working in. Remove shampoo bottles, soaps, washcloths, towels, razors, toys, sponges, rubber duckies or whatever else is in the area you'll be working in.

Step 3:
Remove the old moldy caulk by carefully inserting the screwdriver under a loose section of caulking. Pull the caulk towards you instead of trying to scrape it to avoid scratching the surfaces. Pull as much caulking loose as possible, then use the razor knife for the more stubborn areas. Try cutting smaller sections of caulk with the razor knife to remove them.

Step 4:
Clean the area that had the moldy caulking before replacing it with the new caulk. Wipe out any small specks of left over caulking with a dry rag. If the area to be caulked is deep, you can use a paint brush to sweep it free of the old caulking. Next, make sure to remove any old caulking lines with the mineral spirits. Dampen a rag,wipe it over the line and use a stiff brush if necessary. Allow the mineral spirits to sit a few minutes for it to work, then wipe it off with the rag. Remember, wear gloves during this process. Allow everything to dry.

Step 5:
Apply the new caulk using a tube of caulking or a caulking gun. Using a smooth and steady motion, apply a bead of caulk for the full length. After you've applied the new caulking, wet your index finger then apply a small amount of pressure and run it over the new caulk in the same smooth and steady motion. Your wet finger will make the caulk more uniform in appearance. Whether using a tube of caulk or a caulking gun, try using only one long stroke to apply the caulk.

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