How to Replace Bathtub Caulking

How to replace bathtub caulking

What is bathtub caulking? And why do I need it? Bathtub caulking is the seal between the wall and the bathtub, and you need it, so water doesn’t get behind the tub wall or leak into the walls causing damage.

Our bathtub caulking began to show signs of mildew, and no matter what cleaner that I tried it always came back.

I like to take on these projects myself, as this one is really not that difficult. You really don't need to be an expert. All you need are the proper tools, somewhat of a steady hand, and some patience.

 I replaced my bathtub caulking just the other day. The job only took me about an hour, and the following step-by-step is how I did it.
Step 1 – Remove the old caulking
Remove bathtub caulking
Start by removing the old caulking. Tools required for this are a utility knife or putty knife. As you can see in the picture I chose a putty knife.

Start in a corner and get the tool under the old caulking either from the wall or the tub.
Once under the caulking push along the surface to remove the old caulking.

If your tool is on the surface of the tub be careful not to scratch the tub. Especially if you’re using a utility knife. Continue until all of the old caulking is away from the wall and tub.

If you have some difficult spots try some De-Solv-it Caulk Remover. You may even want to apply this before you start. This will soften up the old caulking and make it so much easier to remove. 
Step 2 – Clean the area

Now, you will want to clean the area. Wipe the entire area around the tub and wall with clean rags or paper towels. 
Avoid using soap, or any kind of house cleaner. This will create a film that the new caulking may not stick to.

After that, clean the area using rubbing alcohol. This should remove any unwanted residue left behind.

Step 3 – Apply new caulking

Apply the new caulking
Now that the area is clean and free of residue.

It’s time to apply the new caulking. I use DAP Kwik Seal, Kitchen& Bath Adhesive Caulk.

I use the tube, but you can also buy it in a canister. 

If you buy the canister will need a caulking gun. Cut the tip of the tube at a 45-degree angle.

Apply the caulking by squeezing the tube or pulling the trigger, if you’re using a caulking gun. Apply steady and easy pressure around the tub.
Step 4 – Trim the caulking

I use this handy little tool to trim out the caulking. You can find one at any hardware store or buy a complete kit that includes the caulking and the trim tool.
Just remember to keep the tip focused on the caulking and the adjacent edge flat on the tub.

 Wipe the excess caulking from the tool with a paper towel frequently.

Step 5 - All done 

The completed job and all nice and neat.

You don't want to use your tub for at least 24 hours. Follow the instruction on the tube of caulking.


  1. I always use DAP, and I have to be the worst person on this planet to do caulking. It eventually looks all right but certainly not "expert" when I caulk. I will use the alcohol as I've only used cleaners I've had in the past. Thanks for the review!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I know caulking is just a pain. If you don't have one of those trimming tools try one they work great. thanks Daphne :)

  2. I do need a trimming tool, I am sloppy.

    1. I know what you mean Angie. I could never get it to look good without that tool. That little tool is just the best it really make it easy. thanks for stopping by.


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