The caulk around your bathtub is important to keep water from sipping through any gaps in the joint and resulting in mildew and mould. Forget the fact that you may not see these unsightly and unwanted mildew or mould, but some species of moulds are harmful to humans as they may release poisonous gasses. If such moulds are present, your relaxing long soak in the bathtub after a long day’s work might be introducing harmful substances into your body instead. Over a long period of time, these substances may cause health problems and in some cases, death, depending on the type of mould you have been exposed to. If you notice hardened, dried-up caulk, it is time to re-caulk your bathtub. This can be done as a do-it-yourself project without the need of help from experts. All the tools and supplies that you need can be easily bought from your local hardware store, home improvement store or department store.
- You will first need to remove all of the old caulk from around your bathtub using a Caulk-Away tool that you can purchase from any home-improvement store. You may also use a penknife instead although you should take extra precautions if you do as the blade of the pen knife may break while you are removing caulk.
- Make sure to clean up any remaining residue with a single-edge razor tool. You should also thoroughly clean the joint using your vacuum cleaner with a crevice-tool attachment. After that, swab the joint with rubbing alcohol to remove any soap scum, body oils and other residue. The joint has to be perfectly clean for the new caulk to adhere well. This is because if there are old caulk left, these bits and pieces of old caulk may dry up later on as well, causing the new caulk to fall off.
- Once the joint is dry, fill the bathtub with water without getting any onto the joint. If you accidentally wet the joint, leave the bathtub to dry for another day or so without drying the tub. Do not start work before that as some of the water might have sipped into the joint. If you caulk up the area, mould will still be able to grow inside the closed up area.
- Apply a fresh bead of silicone sealant to the joint and smoothen it out using a wet fingertip. Alternatively, you may also purchase special caulk-shaping tools to get a more professional looking caulk line.
- Let the caulk cure for at least 24 hours before using the tub.