How to Recaulk a Bathtub or Shower

There’s nothing that will brighten up your bathroom faster than recaulking an old, mildewed bathtub or shower.

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Up next in Bathroom Repair (13 videos)

Learn how to fix many bathroom plumbing problems yourself with the step-by-step instructions in this Howcast video series about bathroom repair.

You Will Need

  • A utility knife
  • Bleach
  • A small bucket of water
  • A toothbrush
  • A tube of caulk
  • A clean rag
  • Silicon caulk remover
  • A plastic caulking tool
  • Painter's tape

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Remove the old caulk

    Using a utility knife, cut along the edge where the caulk meets the tub. Scrape out all the old caulk.

  2. Step 2

    Clean the area

    Pour a capful of bleach into a small bucket of water. Using a toothbrush, scrub the area with your bleach solution to help prevent mildew and mold from returning.

  3. If you are having trouble removing all the caulk, spread some silicon caulk remover on the area and let it sit for several hours.

  4. Step 3

    Let it dry

    Allow the area to dry for at least two hours.

  5. Step 4

    Fill the tub

    Fill the tub with water to weigh the tub down, creating more space to fill with new caulk. Leave the water until your new caulk fully dries.

  6. To make cleanup easier, put strips of painter's tape along the tub and wall bordering the area you will be caulking.

  7. Step 5

    Apply caulk

    Cut the tip off the tube of caulk at the point indicated. Starting at one corner of the tub, slowly squeeze the caulk into the gap in a smooth and even line.

  8. Don't be cheap. Invest in higher-quality caulk if you don't want to have to replace it again in a few months.

  9. Step 6

    Even out the caulk

    Wet your finger and run it along the new caulk to smooth it out evenly. Wipe any caulk that gets on your finger onto a damp rag.

  10. There are plastic caulking tools you can buy to even out the new caulk, although your finger will work just fine.

  11. Step 7

    Wipe up excess caulk

    Use your finger and a paper towel to wipe up any excess caulk.

  12. Step 8

    Let it dry

    The new caulk needs to harden for at least 24 hours before you shower or bathe. So it's a good idea to take your shower before starting this project!

  13. In January 2008, teacher Becky Bridger of Offham, England, took a six-hour bath in baked beans to raise money for her school.

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