How to properly remove and reapply caulk.

If the caulk around your bathroom, kitchen, windows or doors is cracking, crumbling or hardening, you may wonder what you did wrong. But it may not be you - it may be the product that was used. Over time, acrylic caulks and so-called "silicone-tough" acrylics can harden, shrink, crack and crumble, so the caulk may need to be replaced.

Silicone
Non-Silicone
Silicone
Non-Silicone

STEP 1: Choose the right replacement caulk.

This time, re-caulk with GE-branded 100% silicone or paintable silicone caulks. They create a long-lasting, flexible, waterproof seal that never shrinks or cracks when applied properly - so you can avoid re-caulking the area again and again. Think about it: If you can wash acrylic caulk off with a little soap and water, how can it keep water and moisture out?


Silicone
Non-Silicone
Silicone
Non-Silicone

How to properly remove and reapply caulk.

If the caulk around your bathroom, kitchen, windows or doors is cracking, crumbling or hardening, you may wonder what you did wrong. But it may not be you - it may be the product that was used. Acrylic caulks and so-called "silicone-tough" acrylics can harden, shrink, crack and crumble over time, so they may need to be replaced.

STEP 1: Choose the right
replacement caulk.

This time, re-caulk with GE-branded 100% silicone or paintable silicone caulks. They create a long-lasting, flexible, waterproof seal that never shrinks or cracks when applied properly - so you can avoid re-caulking the area again and again. Think about it: If you can wash acrylic caulk off with a little soap and water, how can it keep water and moisture out?




STEP 2: Clean the surface.

Remove old caulk. It will typically need to be cut, scraped or chipped away using a utility knife, putty knife or painter's multi-tool. Then, rinse the area thoroughly with soap/cleanser and wipe off excess water. Be sure to remove any soap scum, as caulk struggles to adhere to this residue.

TIP: Ensure no soapy residue is left behind by wiping the joint with alcohol or window cleaner.

STEP 3: Open the tube and seal.

Cut the nozzle of your caulk tube to the desired bead size. Pierce inner seal with seal punch found on most caulk guns and then insert cartridge into caulk gun. Squeeze with even, consistent pressure to control the rate the caulk comes out of the tube.

TIP: Before applying caulk, apply masking tape to either side of a joint to create a straight edge.

STEP 4: Smooth the seal.

Use your finger or wet caulk-smoothing tool to smooth caulk into joint within two to five minutes.

TIP: If you applied masking tape in the previous step, remove immediately after smoothing the seal.

STEP 5: Clean up.

Before caulk cures, wipe away excess sealant on surface, hands and tools with a dry cloth.

What's the Project?

Whether you're re-caulking a kitchen, a bathroom or around windows and doors, our Projects Page has helpful tips and GE-branded silicone caulk product recommendations for your specific project.


Where to Buy

Find GE-branded 100% silicone and paintable silicone caulk near you.