So, what are the characteristics of the best caulk remover?
Well, to find out the answer you must gather a compact knowledge about the phenomena of caulking. You have to know the type of caulk you are going to remove and which remover will suit best accordingly.
While 3 in 1 or 5 in 1 caulk scraping hand tools work just fine in some cases. At times, you have to resort to a strong chemical solution for caulk removal.
Buying a commercial caulk remover like the ones I have reviewed in this segment can be the most suitable option for you in speeding up the process of removing hard, old and moldy silicone caulk or any other types.
On hardened caulk, you just have to spray the solution liberally and let it sit for some time before it becomes soft enough to be scraped off. Caulk remover/softener also helps you get rid of various kinds of stains, grease, and wax from a number of surfaces.
Tired of not getting any results using your existing caulk remover? Or, perhaps looking to buy a strong commercial caulk remover for the first time?
I’ve got your back with this review article.
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|3M Caulk Remover||
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|Goo Gone Pro – Adhesive Remover||
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|Dap Caulk-Be-Gone, Caulk Remover||
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Need help choosing – the right caulk for you? read here…
Also read my review article on – caulking guns…
7 Best Caulk Removers Reviewed:
Well, Commercial caulk removers are available in abundance in the hardware stores today. Choosing the product that’s best suited for the type of caulk or stain you are trying to remove is no mean feat.
For this segment, I made it a point to include products that can work on both non-acrylic water-based and water-based acrylic caulks, individually. I checked out the combination of chemicals used in the formula, there potential benefits and side effects before featuring the products in my article.
Last but not least, I made sure that the products I am choosing aren’t limited to just removing caulks. They should also be able to remove different kinds of tough stains, gum, tree sap oil, debris and tar from various surfaces, ranging from soft cloth fabric to strong metals.
1. Goof Off FG658 Professional Strength Remover
As you may already know, caulk is quite hard to remove when dried. If you accidentally create a mess while working in your workshop, ordinary household cleaners would be ineffective. That’s why make sure to keep something as strong and effective as Goof Off FG658 handy.
This is incredibly easy to use adhesive remover works on a variety of surfaces without harming the fabric. Be it carpet, clothes, furniture, upholstery, floor or any tough metal- the FG658 penetrates the toughest surfaces in an instant.
From lipstick stains on your clothes to unsightly chewing on your carpet, from caulk, graffiti, tar, oil, marker stain to dried paint- it lets you clean just about any mess off any surface without breaking much sweat.
And it is quite amazing that the solution doesn’t affect the paint finish while removing wax from a car. It is also effective in removing spray paint off a wall. Simply spray the Goof Off FG658 on the paint and gave it a quick wipe and voila!
Another good thing about this product is that it evaporates quickly off the surface and the smell also goes away in a minute. However, you need to note that the remover is primarily for long-chain hydrocarbons. If you try to remove an acrylic like super glue, sadly, this won’t work.
|Cons: – Won’t remove an acrylic like super glue.|
2. Professional Strength 3M Caulk Remover
Our next pick not only removes rigid caulk effectively but also creates a surface for new caulk. I love the flip-flop squeeze bottle that makes applying the remover a breeze. Be it latex or silicone caulk, the special formula of 3M can penetrate and soften simply any type of caulking in a jiffy.
After the caulking is softened, you can easily clear up the residue with soap and plain water. If you are looking for a professional strength remover for scraping off silicone beads around cast iron tub or shower, this is the best thing to lay your hands on.
All you have to do is apply the solution generously around the tub, let it dry for 4 hours and then manually scrape off the gunk. On old caulk, you might need to apply the solution liberally 5-7 times and let it rest for almost 12 hours.
Although the waiting time is long.
But after seeing the results, you will notice why it’s totally worth the wait. One thing you need to remember is that this product is no magic solution. I strongly advise you to keep a few quality caulk removal tools handy to remove the caulk after it has been softened.
|Cons: – Needs to sit on the surface for quite a long time to soften the caulk.|
3. Goo Gone Pro Power – 8 Ounce – Surface Safe Adhesive Remover
The adhesive remover instantly penetrates nearly any surface you can imagine including cloth fabric, granite, glass, and automobile parts. This specially formulated remover can be used to get rid of sticky residue on carpet, caulk, dried spray paint on the fence, tree sap, grease, as well as debris and tar from your car body and commercial glues.
Trying to remove silicone residue from the glass but worried about the stain? Fret not! Just wash the surface with regular soap and water after use and it will be shiny as new.
So, Goo Gone might be the best thing. I found the product to be best suited for peeling off stickers off clothes and furniture. It also works wonders on removing ink stain and chewing gum from carpets and upholstery.
The potent formula takes roughly 10 minutes to get the job done. What more can you ask for?
|Cons: – Needs to rest in the area for a while to work properly.|
4. Dap 18026 Caulk-Be-Gone Caulk Remover 5.5-Ounce
The Dap 18026 Caulk remover, unlike most other competing products, can be used with equal ease over a variety of surfaces without any side effects.
The product while being extremely effective also has a fresh scent that sets it apart from most other removers. The gel softens up potential caulks and sealants and ensures that they are removed with minimal effort.
When it comes to performance, the caulk remover works like a charm. It is advised for the users to let the solution lie for around two hours before scrubbing. The USP of the product is the fact that it could be used both internally and externally.
Most caulk removers cannot be used internally and are, therefore limited in their applications. The Dap, however, can be used inside machines with air conditioners and washing machines with relative ease.
However, I would advise you to use latex gloves while applying the product since it could react harshly with the human skin.
|Cons: – The gel is runny.|
5. SILICONE CAULK RMVR 3OZ by MCKANICA
The Silicone Caulk Remover does not aim to be a premium product. Unlike the Dap offering, it does not boast of an all-around performance. However, in its own niche space, it manages to beat just about every other competitor in terms of performance and efficiency.
The product can be used to remove caulk from materials like plastic, ceramic, fiberglass shower and tub, aluminum, glass and most painted surfaces like windows or frames.
While the product itself is a bit mild, it does act efficiently enough to remove tough industrial silicone and even strong adhesives. Obviously, the mild strength of the gel does mean that you would have to scrub a bit harder than usual.
But the strength of the gel is in no way compromised.
The sit-in period of the gel is a bit longer and might have to leave the bathtub overnight after applying the gel to ensure a thorough clean. Another persistent problem that people have with caulk removers is the smell. But this product does get around the problem by being completely odorless.
|Cons: – Requires greater effort at scrubbing.|
6. Orange-Sol De-Sovl-it Contractors Solvent
The Orange-Sol is a caulk remover with a difference. Since it is a petroleum-based product, it is handy not only to remove caulk but also to get greasy stains out of shirts. On the performance front, the product is potentially unmatched.
It comes in an easy to spray bottle which greatly helps while using the product and thus ensures minimal use of hands. Therefore, you would not need to invest in latex gloves or other protective equipment to remove the old caulk from your shower.
The product can be used virtually on any surface including skin and hair.
The unique selling point of the product is the absolute non-toxic formula of the solvent. The product does not use any benzene or chlorinated solvents and is therefore completely non-toxic and safe to use on the skin.
The essential non-toxic nature of the product also ensures that it is biodegradable and eco-friendly. The solution thus can be disposed of easily without the additional worry of the toxicity of the liquid. However, there exists a slight drawback.
Since the remover is a petroleum-based formula, the product has a light petroleum odor and that might be a problem for some users.
|Cons: – The product has a light petroleum smell.|
7. Goof Off FG675 Foam and Caulk Remover, 8-Ounce
The Goof off FG675 true to its name can be used to clean up virtually any amount of caulk. The product is especially useful for cleaning up after the mess made at new construction sites.
Unlike most other products, the caulk remover is not a diluted formula. The density of the product is quite thick and is especially useful for cleaning heavy-duty, old caulk. The turret top bottle that the product comes in also helps in easily applying the product without using hands.
An extremely helpful feature that the product has is the sticky nature of the liquid. The liquid sticks to the area applied on and do not drain off. This essentially increases the efficiency of the formula. The product does have a strong smell but it eventually goes away.
A word of caution one must keep in mind while using the product. The Goof off FG675 is an extremely concentrated product and therefore even latex gloves dissolve in it after a while. Therefore, one must be careful that it does not come in direct contact with the screen.
|Cons: – Too concentrated for daily use and toxic for human skin.|
How to use liquid Caulk Remover
So, what is the best way to remove caulk using these commercial caulk removers? If you are using a remover for the first time, this can be a messy and time-taking experience. But, don’t worry, you don’t have to spend a fortune calling in professionals to teach you how to use them. Here are a few DIY tips for you –
Step 1: First things first, you need to purchase a good caulk remover/softener and a sponge brush.
Step 2: Put on your safety gloves as some caulk removers are toxic to the human screen.
Step 3: It is recommended to test the liquid remover in a small portion like 10-15 inches to get the best result. Once you understand the action procedure, you will be able to hit in a big.
Step 4: So, apply the remover carefully. Some certain types might take a long time to soak and make the old caulk lose enough to be scraped off the surface (Hence note that these types might not be suitable for a painted surface).
Step 5: Once the caulk softens, you can now scrap it out with a sharp-edged or just scrub it out with a sponge or steel brush (I recommend using a Razor scrapper or, a knife).
Step 6: If the caulk lining becomes very soft, you can also pull it out by hand. The final step would be to clean up the caulk residue.
Pro-tips: For more effective caulk removal results:
- Use sharp objects and heat to remove old caulk
- Use solvents to dissolve silicone and acrylic caulk
- Isopropyl alcohol can dissolve the non-silicone caulks
Things to Consider Before Buying Caulk Remover
There are specific types of caulk removers for specific areas. You cannot use an acrylic latex caulk on rooftops or, a fireproof caulk in bathtubs. Can you?
Similarly, caulk removers also cater to specific caulking substances only. Listed below are a few things you should consider before investing in a caulk remover: –
- The ingredients and flexibility of the caulk: Consider a remover that can work on both silicone and non-silicone caulks.
- Ease of use: Check the packaging and usage of the caulk removal agent, it should be safe and user-friendly.
- The type of caulk: Different types of caulking agents have different removers.
- Versatility: choose a remover that works well on multiple surfaces, both indoors and outdoors.
- Cost: Lastly, look at the price tag, obviously! There’s no need of spending a fortune on a caulk remover if you will only need for removing stains of your clothes and cleaning debris off your car’s rim.
Caulk removers are extensively used in almost every construction activity. Let us look into the different types of caulk removers, their composition, uses, and benefits.
What is caulk remover made of?
Caulk removers are formulated to serve the purpose of removing old or, moldy caulk and also sealants from almost all kinds of surfaces without affecting badly on it.
It is simultaneously applicable for indoor and outdoor uses. The biodegradable identity makes it a perfect product to use in your shower and tub surroundings, baseboard, glass, vinyl floor, trim porcelain, stone, marble, and many others.
Caulk removers contain a special formulation that can be easily absorbed by the adhesive. Once it is absorbed, the formula breaks down the bond between the caulk and the host surface. The chemical structure of each formula depends on the kind of caulk it is made to remove.
Most caulk removers sold in the market are solvent-based and are toxic in nature. But these are also the most potent caulk removers you can get your hands on. This kind of caulk removal compositions contains active ingredients such as –
- mineral spirits
- methyl ethyl ketone
- and toluene
(the volume of each chemical varies from product to product).
To remove the pungent odor of these chemicals and to give each solution a different color, oil-based fragrance and colored dyes are also used in the formula. Solvent-based caulk removers are best suited for removing silicone-only and silicone-latex caulking. Sometimes, dry ice is also used to break the bond between old caulks and acrylic-blend like super glue. Some milder formulas may contain –
- sulfur etc.
These are more environment-friendly than their solvent-based counterparts. Besides, you will find soy-based removers that are mainly used for peeling off sticky residue like a sticker or chewing gum from a number of surfaces. Now let’s come to the different types of liquid caulk removers that are easily available in the market.
Types of Caulk Remover: (Liquid/chemical)
Chemical and organic products soften hard caulk and can be used with mechanical tools and scrapers. Here are some simple and easily available chemicals that you can use either separately or with the caulk removing tools.
1. Solvent-based Caulk Removers
These types of caulk removers are available in almost every home improvement store. From automobile repair, construction to home repair- it is used by professionals as well as homeowners for removing industrial glue, silicone caulking from shower and tub, especially old caulk. Its potent chemical formula can break the bond of any type of adhesive without affecting the host surface in any way.
- Very easy to use.
- Removes old caulk easily.
- Works best on silicone and acrylic-based caulks.
- It doesn’t cause any harm to the host surface.
The easiest and quickest way to remove caulk stuck to the surface is to soften it with bleach. Old and hard layers of caulk can be the breeding ground for mold and mildew. Bleach helps you clean out the mess. Just sprinkle some saturated bleach (you can even use the diluted version) on the affected area, leave it for a while and then scrub off the grime with a washcloth.
- Easily available
- Quick and thorough cleaning
- Minimum effort required
3. Hot Water and Alcohol
A mixture of hot water and alcohol work pretty much like bleach in removing the caulk. All you have to do is saturate the area with the solution and then wash it off after a few hours. For best results, I can recommend you to use isopropyl alcohol (saturated) to separate the caulk from the surface.
Benefits of Using Liquid Caulk Removers
Caulking your bathroom or, around a window, door frame protects these surroundings potentially. It keeps the moisture, mold, and mildew away from the area. Different caulk varieties have their own features and advantages. But with time, the caulking can come off or worse attract mold and mildew formation, thereby causing considerable damage to the surface. Removing old and deteriorated caulk lining the walls and windows is therefore important.
- User-friendly and are easily available.
- It is biodegradable and has a low-VOC formula.
- Suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications.
- Ensures a clean and smooth surface for re-caulking.
- Serve as multipurpose remover besides caulk and sealants.
- Easy to use and speed up the process of removing old caulk.
- The blades and brush tools are detachable and exchangeable.
- The tools remove hard, soft and well-attached caulking alike.
- It comes with different types like – Brush or, Spay application.
- Certain removers can take action without harming the surface.
- Can soften even the most stubborn caulking in just a few hours.
Final Words: So that was it for today’s segment folks! I hope the top picked and reviewed products above are already sorted in your mind as per your need. If you have never bought a caulk remover before or unsure about why your existing caulk remover isn’t working as advertised, it’s high time you consider the kind of problem you are dealing with.
To make this easy, I have listed the types of caulks and their respective advantages as well. Hope this helps you find the product that best suits your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Question: Does bleach kill mold? How do I prevent mold in my shower?
Answer: Yes, bleach kills mold. However, it is important to note that bleach does not have the capacity to penetrate porous surfaces and as such, will only work on non-porous surfaces. In order to prevent mold in your shower, control moisture. Be sure to dry all wet areas, right away and ensure that you have proper ventilation. Caulk all the gaps so as to prevent mold growth.
2. Question: Is mold in shower toxic?
Answer: Mold in your shower is toxic and dangerous for your health. Most types of mold can make you sick and will affect your breathing and cause problems to your respiratory system. This may result in excessive coughing, headaches and sneezing in the long run.
3. Question: Can mold grow under ceramic?
Answer: When water finds access to go under ceramic, this can cause mold growth. As long as the area is wet and damp, it creates the perfect environment for mold to thrive. Mold is very dangerous and you should remove water under the ceramic and caulk all gaps to prevent the growth of mold.
4. Question: Will caulk remover damage paint?
Answer: NO they will not damage your paint as long as you use it in the proper manner. Because, caulk removers are specially formulated with ingredients like – petroleum, hydrotreated light, and distillates that are not very aggressive to the paint. But make sure to read the user manual and apply accordingly so as to ensure safety.
5. Question: How do you get silicone off your hands?
Answer: There are a number of ways that you can get silicone off your hands. Use powdered detergent to clean your hands. You can also use Windex with paper towels to get the silicone off. Alternatively, just rub your hands and you will have small glueballs, which will come off easily.
6. Question: How do you remove roof sealant from hands?
Answer: Soak your hand in soapy water and then use a pumice stone to buff the roof sealant from your hands. There are detergents that contain pumice, which you can also use. Cooking oil or mayonnaise can also be applied to your hands and then scrub off gently with a pumice stone.
7. Question: What chemical dissolves silicone caulk residue?
Answer: White vinegar is one of the best chemicals that you can use to dissolve silicone caulk residue. The acetic acid that is in vinegar will soften and dissolve silicone caulk.
8. Question: How do you remove excess dried silicone caulk?
Answer: To remove excess dried silicone caulk, use a sponge and wet it with warm water. Wipe the surface with the warm water until the caulk is removed. You can use a sharp razor to scrape the remaining residue.
9. Question: What will remove silicone adhesive, Can you use acetone?
Answer: There are a number of tools and chemicals that can be used to remove silicone adhesive. A utility knife or a razor can be used for this purpose. Acetone is also an effective solution for removing silicone adhesive. Before using acetone, you should scrape off as much caulk as possible.
10. Question: Does Goo Gone remove caulk? Can you use Goo Gone on wood cabinets?
Answer: Goo Gone is a super effective chemical caulk remover. You can use it on wood cabinets as it will break down the caulk and leave your wood safe, without any damage. Apply the Goo Gone on the caulk and wait for about a minute before wiping the surface.
11. Question: How do you remove mold from shower and bathroom caulk, naturally (without bleach)?
Answer: The best way to do that naturally is using white distilled vinegar. You should spray the moldy caulk with vinegar and allow it to soak in for about an hour and then wipe it clean with water.