Removing caulk from your bath tub with the goal of replacing your bathtub or bathtub enclosure can be a tough job to handle. In fact, the job of removing caulk can really stress any person out. Fortunately, there are a number of tricks that you can place up your sleeve to successfully enact and complete the job.
Clean the bathtub. The first step of the endeavor will involve the total and thorough cleaning of your bathtub. Get a clean rag to wipe and use water to wash the tub to remove any scum or mold that has infested the place. These buildups can really make your bathtub look like a decayed tomb and can accelerate the degeneration of its body. You can use white vinegar or bleach like Clorox to clean the tub further. Its acidity should clear the tub from the scum, molds, and mildew.
Figure out the kind of caulk used. To efficiently remove the caulk holding your tub in place or sealing the holes in the tub, you must first determine and identify the caulk used. Silicone caulk is a type of caulk that is soft while PVA and latex caulk tend to be hard and stubborn. The difference lies in how easy it will be to remove the caulk. Silicone, since it is soft will be easier to remove. PVA and latex will need to be softened before you can even attempt to remove it.
Scrape the caulk. If you have determined that silicone caulk was used in your tub, then you can remove this instantly and immediately by scraping the caulk off. Purchase a caulk scraper from your local hardware store. Once you have the tool, locate an area where the caulk seems to be peeling off. Start scraping from that area to make it easier for you. Use a razor blade to create edges that you can scrape off as well. Be persistent and sooner or later your tub will be caulk-free.
Soften the caulk. For PVA or latex caulk that has hardened, you will need to soften this up by running hot a hair dryer on it. Position the hair dryer a few inches from the caulk and move it around the line of caulk. This is enough to heat it up and soften it. Scrape off any softened caulk with a caulk scraper or razor blade.
Consider using commercial caulk remover. In your local hardware store, you should be able to find many brands of chemical caulk removers. These chemical caulk removers are better tools to use if you want to easily remove the caulk without too much work. The solution will soften the caulk enough for easy scraping. Apply the solution as instructed and scrape off the softened caulk with your scraper or razor blade. For hard to reach places, you may want to use a pair of pliers to get the caulk out of there.
With enough time, effort, and patience, the caulk adhering to your tub will be removed and you can now easily replace or repair your bath tub. Remember that since the job is a tough and tedious job, try to leave a whole day free for you to work on and complete the job.