How to Remove Wet Silicone Caulk That Will Not Dry

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If you've occupied a home for several years or bought an existing home, a time comes when caulk needs to be removed and replaced. If the room that needs recaulking is the bathroom, it can be a balancing act to avoid using the room until the caulk is dry. Depending on your climate inside and outside of the home, caulk may dry in minutes or days. If you've caulked an area of your home with silicone caulk and it will not dry, you can remove the silicone caulk and try a faster-drying caulk that is more suited to your home's climate.

Things You'll Need

  • Humidifier (optional)
  • Caulk removal tool or putty knife
  • Razor blade (optional)
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Place a caulk removal tool or plastic putty knife at the bottom edge of the caulk and work it beneath the caulk line.

  • Push the tool or putty knife forward along the caulk line, lifting the caulk from the surface. If you cannot lift the caulk with the removal tool or putty knife, you can use a razor blade, but be very careful not to scratch the surface of anything than cannot be easily repaired, such as bathtubs or tile.

  • Clean the area thoroughly with rubbing alcohol before recaulking. Consider using an acrylic caulk the next time as it works better in dry climates.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consider attempting to dry the caulk before removing it. Technically, silicone caulk cures rather than dries and it requires moisture in the air to do so. If you live in an area with particularly dry climate, consider placing a humidifier in the room and closing the door for a day to speed up the drying process of the caulk.
  • Fast drying caulks are probably available at your home improvement store. Ask a store employee to assist you in selecting the right caulk for your job.
  • It is nearly impossible to remove caulk from clothing, so be careful when using caulk.

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