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How to Re-Caulk a Bathtub

Re-caulking the bathtub or shower is an easy way to fix any seals that are broken or cracked, and it will help prevent mildew build-up.

More in Bathroom

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  • Time

    1 hour

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty

    Easy

Here's How You Do It:

Step 1: Remove the Old Caulk

Apply caulk softener to the existing caulk. Let it stand for at least two hours.

Remove the old caulk with a putty knife or 5-in-1 tool (Image 1). Clean the area with a cleanser that contains bleach or rubbing alcohol to ensure against mildew (Image 2). Get rid of all soap residues and let dry. Fill the bathtub with water before applying new caulk to ensure the strongest seal (Image 3). Optional: Lay painter's tape an 1/8" on either side of the seam to keep the application neat.

Step 2: Apply the New Caulk

Load white silicon caulk in the caulk gun and cut the tip to a 45-degree angle (Image 1).

Start on one of the short walls. When squeezing the trigger keep moving the trigger along. Always pull the gun in the opposite of which way the gun is pointing. Keep constant pressure on the trigger and don't lift the gun until you reach the corner. Clean the tip with a paper towel between applications. Push a fresh bead of caulk around the seams. Release pressure as you reach a corner to avoid pooling.

When finished applying caulk, run a wet finger along the silicone line to smooth it and remove excess caulk (Image 2).

Step 3: Let Dry

Let the caulk dry according to directions on the canister and then remove the tape carefully.

Tip: While in the bathroom, check the door hinges for rust. Also check for rust on the shower rod. Rust could be a sign that the air vent or fan needs a cleaning. Also, check around the toilet for leaks.

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