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How to Replace Shower Caulk

Over time mildew and grime can build up on the caulk around the seams of your tub and shower. Knowing how to replace shower caulk gives you a relatively easy way to clean up your shower’s appearance. If you can’t complete the job all at once, refrain from using the shower until you finish applying new caulk. You don’t want water to penetrate into the walls or floor.

Silicone caulk products come with different durability ratings. To ensure a long-lasting seal for your shower, you should select a caulk labeled to last at least 15 years. It may cost a little more but will remain attractive and functional longer than a cheaper product. As for caulk colors, you’ll have a choice between white and clear. Use your judgment as to which one would look best with the color of your shower.

How to Replace Shower Caulk Detailed Instructions

  1. Use a plastic putty knife to scrape away the old, soiled caulk.
  2. Place scrapings in a bag as you work to keep the area tidy.
  3. After you think that you’ve removed all the old caulk, inspect the seams. Lingering bits of caulk are likely still stuck in place. Continue scraping until all old materials are gone.
  4. Wet a rag with mineral spirits.
  5. Scrub and wipe the seams with mineral spirits to clean away caulk residue.
  6. Getting the seams perfectly clean is vital when learning how to replace shower caulk.
  7. Sprinkle the seams with baking soda.
  8. Wet a sponge with water.
  9. Wash the seams with the sponge. The baking soda will act as a mild scouring agent.
  10. Wipe and rinse the seams with the sponge until all baking soda and soap scum are gone.
  11. Leave the shower to dry for a while. You do not want to caulk over a wet surface.
  12. Slice off the tip of a caulk tube with a utility knife at a 45-degree angle.
  13. Unfold the needle from your caulk gun and insert it in the tube until you puncture the seal.
  14. Wipe off the needle and fold it back into place.
  15. If your caulk gun has lost its needle, use a long nail or stiff piece of wire to puncture the seal.
  16. Load the tube into the gun.
  17. If you haven’t caulked anything before, run a few practice beads on an old board. You’ll get the feel for how to operate the gun quickly.
  18. When learning how to replace shower caulk, you don’t have to apply a thick bead of caulk. Try to keep the beads thin.
  19. For vertical seams, you’ll find it most comfortable to work from top to bottom.
  20. Move the caulk gun slowly and try to create a continuous flow of caulk into the seam.
  21. Once you complete a caulk bead, wet your finger and smooth the material into the seam. Wipe and rewet your finger as necessary while you work.
  22. If the caulk is too thin or there are gaps, apply more caulk and smooth into place.
  23. Use a wet rag to clean off any caulk that dripped or smeared in unwanted places.
  24. Give the caulk a day to dry before you run the shower again.

Tools & Materials

  • Utility knife
  • Plastic putty knife (A metal putty knife could scratch porcelain.)
  • Rags
  • Sponge
  • Caulk gun

Is Installing a New Shower Better Than New Caulk?

Replacing the caulk in your shower will definitely improve the appearance, however, age or an out-of-date style cannot be cured by caulk alone. Your bath might need a full shower replacement to look fresh and modern again. PJ Fitzpatrick specializes in shower replacements throughout the Mid-Atlantic. We can also convert your bathtub to a shower or install a new Jacuzzi shower system. Contact us today for a shower replacement estimate.

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We have trained professionals that can help. Contact us today. 1-877-246-4354

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