How To Clean Caulk

Caulk is used throughout your home but particularly in the bathroom to protect tiles, sinks, and tubs from water damage. With the passage of time, however, mold and mildew may reside in the caulk, leaving it discolored and unpleasant. To keep your bathroom looking clean and new, it is important that you clean the caulk. Here’s how.

  1. Prepare your cleaning solution and tools. You will need to use bleach and powdered detergent. Prepare a sponge or nylon brush, too. Rubber gloves may also be necessary when cleaning bathroom caulk.
  2. Mix the cleaning solution. In a container, mix the powdered detergent and water. Make sure the powdered detergent is completely dissolved. Add a few drops of bleach to disinfect.
  3. Apply the cleaning solution to the caulk. Pour a quarter of the cleaning solution to the caulk. If necessary, you can directly pour a few drops of bleach over it. Leave the solution for about 15 minutes, so it can thoroughly break down mold and mildew.
  4. Scrub the caulk. Scrub the caulk with a nylon brush or sponge dipped in the cleaning solution. You can also use an old toothbrush for this. Remember to apply strong force when brushing, especially on areas with stubborn stains. However, be very careful not to damage the caulk. If excess force is used, the caulk may peel off.
  5. Rinse with warm water. After scrubbing, you now have to rinse the caulk with warm water. Remember to rinse thoroughly. By this time, stains, mold, and mildew should be gone. If not, you may have to use peroxide and water solution to remove tough stains. Apply the said solution to the caulk, scrub it with a nylon brush or sponge, and then rinse.
  6. Replace the caulk. Re-caulking is necessary when the stains are impossible to remove. To do this, you need to strip off the old caulk using a utility knife or blade. Be very careful when you do this, so you won’t end up injuring yourself or damaging your tiles or tub. There are certain chemical solutions that can help you remove the caulk. Alkaline solution, for instance, can be used to peel off silicone caulk. Isopropyl alcohol, on the other hand, is proven effective in removing acrylic caulk. If all old caulk has been removed, you can now apply new caulk with your fingertips to the now open joint. Spread the caulk evenly and wipe off excess using a sponge. To prevent mildew growth, you can use caulk that has mildewcides.

Although you cannot completely avoid mold and mildew, you can do some measures to at least slow down their growth. You can, for instance, open the fan vent in your bathroom, so your walls, tiles, and tub will dry much more quickly. Remember that mold and mildew favor moist areas, and keeping your bathroom, especially the shower area, always wet may speed up the development of mold and mildew. You can also rinse the tiles and walls to remove soap suds. These are likely to accumulate in the caulk, and as a result invite mold and mildew.


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