How to Remove Caulking From Toilets

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Caulking is used around the base of a toilet to help keep water and sewer gas leaks sealed inside. The type of caulk typically used for this job is silicone, because it is both water and mildew resistant. Nonetheless, silicone caulk can break down over time if it isn't taken care of properly. You should first remove caulking from toilets if you want to reseal the toilet with a new bead of caulk.

Things You'll Need

  • Utility knife
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Mineral spirits
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Safety gloves
  • Run the edge of a sharp utility knife between the caulk and the edge of the toilet. Switch to the other side of the caulk and run the knife between the caulk and the bathroom floor.

  • Grab the end of the caulk with a pair of needle-nose pliers. Gently begin pulling the caulk from between the toilet and floor. Work slowly and try to pull off as much as possible, as this is the easiest way to remove the caulk.

  • Scrape up any bits of caulk still clinging to the toilet or the floor with the utility knife.

  • Soak a rag in mineral spirits or denatured alcohol. Apply this to the caulk residue. Rub the rag gently across any caulk still stuck on the surface of the toilet.

  • Use a very fine grit sandpaper and gently rub it against any stubborn bits of caulk or residue. Don't press too hard, or you could damage the toilet and/or the floor.

Tips & Warnings

  • In some cases, it may be easier to work with a razor blade by itself than trying to hold it in a utility knife.
  • Wear safety gloves to protect your hands as you work.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images
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