How to Clean Bathroom Shower Caulking

If your shower caulking does not come clean, you may need to replace it.
If your shower caulking does not come clean, you may need to replace it. (Image: Bathroom image by Nikolay Okhitin from Fotolia.com)

Caulk is placed in a bathroom shower to keep water from seeping behind the tile or shower surround. Just like any other surfaces in the bathroom, caulk will become dirty over time. Mildew, mold and dirt are common factors that contribute to dirty bathroom caulk. You can clean shower caulking with common household products. It is easiest to clean dirty caulk at first sight before the dirt and debris have a chance to settle into the caulking.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • Rags
  • Empty spray bottle
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Old toothbrush
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. baking soda

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Fill a bucket with 1 gallon of warm water. Add a few drops of dish soap and use your hands to mix up the soap and water.

Dip a rag into the soapy water. Scrub the dirty caulk thoroughly with the rag. Rinse out the rag often while cleaning to avoid reapplying dirt to the caulk.

Rinse the caulk with a rag and clean water. If your caulk is only lightly soiled, this may be all that is necessary to get it clean. If the caulk is heavily soiled, continue with stronger cleaning products.

Fill a clean, empty spray bottle half full with chlorine bleach. Spray the dirty caulk with a liberal coating of the bleach. Let the bleach sit on the caulk for about 15 minutes.

Scrub the caulk with an old toothbrush. Use light pressure when scrubbing so you do not damage the caulk.

Scrub the caulk again with a rag and soapy water to remove any bleach residue. Rinse the caulk with clean water.

Wipe down the caulk with a dry rag to remove excess moisture.

Combine 1 gallon of warm water, 1/4 cup white vinegar and 2 tbsp. baking soda if the caulk is still dirty. Scrub the dirty caulk with an old toothbrush and the cleaning solution. Rinse with clean water, dry with a clean rag and repeat as needed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear rubber gloves and old clothing when using chlorine bleach. Work in a well-ventilated area.

References

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