There are certain parts of your home that you probably aren’t thinking about. And one of them is almost certainly the caulk that seals your bathtub, backsplash, baseboards or sink. But while it may go unnoticed, it’s one area you’ll want to keep clean and working as intended. And we’re showing you exactly how to keep it looking its best (plus an easy tool to help replace it). So let’s talk Caulk!
Whether it’s in the bathroom, kitchen, or anywhere else in your home, caulk serves an important purpose. It’s used to seal gaps around windows, doors, plumbing, and pipes – and prevent water or air from leaking through. So you’ll definitely want to make sure it’s in good shape- especially if you live in an older home where caulking may require more maintenance.
Keep scrolling to learn everything you need to know about cleaning, maintaining, and replacing caulk.
Check out some of our best cleaning tips for the bathroom: The Better Way To Clean (And Brighten) Your Grout and This Shower Cleaner Has 11,000 5-Star Reviews – And Will Save You Lots Of Scrubbing.
How To Properly Clean Caulk
Any caulk in the bathroom or kitchen can be cleaned with the same product you’re using on your grout. (We recommend Zep Grout Cleaner). A weekly clean and scrub should keep caulk in peak condition. If you do have stubborn mold or mildew that remains after cleaning, you can also try soaking cotton balls in bleach and leaving them on the caulk line overnight, then wiping excess away with a clean towel the next day. For caulk on baseboards or around window frames, simply wipe down with a clean cloth and water.
When Do You Definitely Need To Re-Caulk?
While most caulk can be cleaned, sometimes it’s better to simply start from scratch. If you have an older home with caulk that is totally yellowed, pulling up, or damaged, you’re definitely going to want to replace it. And if there is any extreme mold or a pink slimy substance (a bacteria called Serratia marcescens) on the scene, it’s also time to seriously consider re-caulking.
What To Know Before You Re-Caulk
Once you’ve decided to re-caulk, there are a few essentials you should know before taking it on. (And yes, you CAN do it yourself!) The location will first help determine what type of caulk is best. The two most common caulks are: Acrylic Latex Caulk (mostly used for dry areas like sealing around baseboards and wood moldings, and Silicone Caulk (a water and moisture-resistant caulk used for bathrooms and kitchens that is not paintable.)
Also, be sure to match the color of the new caulk to any existing caulk in the space. If you’re replacing it all, opt for a shade that’s going to blend in. (When in doubt go white in the bath or kitchen, and clear for any other room). Caulk also comes in black, gray and some wood tones to match baseboards or window framing.
The Secret Tool For Re-Caulking (That Anyone Can Use)
Ready to get your DIY on and start re-caulking? You’ll definitely want to pick up this super handy tool first. Its functions as a 2 in 1, allowing you to easily scrape away the old caulk, and then use the triangle block head to smooth the caulk line at a perfect 45-degree angle. It takes all the struggle out of a task that could be a total pain – and will leave your new caulk looking totally professional. Not quite sold? Check out some of the 500 five-star reviews and you’ll be itching to recaulk in no time!
Check out this step-by-step tutorial to learn how to easily re-caulk in just 10-20 minutes!