How to Make Your Own Caulk Dissolver

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Caulk is a great and inexpensive sealer applied with a caulking gun for precise work.
Caulk is a great and inexpensive sealer applied with a caulking gun for precise work. (Image: glazier image by Greg Pickens from Fotolia.com)

Caulk is the go-to sealer for tight spaces that need to be filled, like gaps between windows, insulation and bath fixtures. One of caulking's virtues is its tenacity in clinging right where it sets, and the only way to really remove caulk is to scrape it out. However, the job is easier if you first dissolve the caulk using either a commercial caulk-dissolving compound or one of three methods that require ingredients you probably already have around the house.

Things You'll Need

  • Razor (or) box cutter
  • Rag
  • Water
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Powder surface cleaner

Dissolving Caulk

Scrape out all of the caulk that you can, or cut it away with a razor. It is easier to dissolve or weaken smaller areas of caulk than entire caulk strips.

Soak the rag in water. Roll the rag into a tight cylinder the length of the caulk strip. Place the wet rag over caulk. Leave the rag on caulk for 24 to 48 hours. Moisten the rag as needed.

If the caulk is not saturated and easy to scrape out after 48 hours then remove the rag from the strip.

Soak the rag in isopropyl alcohol and apply to the caulk. Leave the rag for up to three days. Moisten the rag with more isopropyl alcohol regularly.

Mix the powder surface cleaner together with water into a paste. Wipe the paste along the length of the caulk strip. Allow the paste to soak in for one hour. Attempt to remove the caulk with the scraper. If the paste softens the caulk continue to apply and allow to set in.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always attempt to pull out old caulk before attempting to dissolve caulk. Use a razor and cut along the length of the caulk strip on both sides and then at the ends. Use the side of the blade to pull up a section of the caulk large enough to grasp with your fingers. Pull the caulk strip slowly and it should pull away from the surface in one long strip. Dissolve the smaller pieces using the above steps.
  • Wear protective gloves when working with caulk and with harsh cleaning products.
  • Keep the razor out of the reach of children.

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