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How to clean silicone caulk: A glimmering guide to clean caulk lines

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A build-up of black mold makes bathrooms an unsightly mess. Thankfully, we’ve got the guide on how to clean silicone caulk! So, grab some bleach and a roll of paper towels and let’s go!

Why is silicone sealant cleanup necessary?

You made the right decision and selected a mold-resistant caulk for your bathroom, great job! But choosing a mildew resistant sealant alone doesn’t get you off the hook when it comes to cleaning the caulk. 

If left uncleaned, even the strongest silicone caulk will eventually mold, crack and break down. If the seal is compromised, you’ll have to replace the entire bead line, which is a time-consuming yet necessary project. 

Fortunately, cleaning mold from caulk in a shower is simple and easy. As long as you don’t wait too long, cleaning bathroom caulk is simple and only takes a few minutes. 

How to clean mold off bathroom sealant: Choosing the right solvent

Cleaning silicone sealant is straight forward, but depending on the extent of the mold, you need to choose the right solvent for the task.  

For light mold:

If your mold buildup is minimum, lighter solvents will do the trick. To clean caulking around tub, use a common bathroom sealant cleaner or a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water in a spray bottle.

For heavy mold:

Standard bathroom silicone cleaners claim to eradicate mold, but don’t always work. To attack serious mold a 1:1 mixture of water and bleach is the best bet. 

If you want to try a less harsh chemical, you can make a paste with vinegar and baking soda. Simply spread the paste mixture over the mold spot and let it soak for a moment. Then gently scrub with a soft brush or cloth. 

Tools for cleaning mold off silicone sealant

Now that you chose the appropriate shower sealant cleaner, here are the tools you need to clean your caulk lines:

  • gloves
  • paper towels
  • cleaning solution of choice
  • soft bristled brush or cleaning cloth
  • spray bottle (if mixing your own cleaning solution)

How to clean silicone caulk: The paper towel hack!

Have you taken several passes with a bleach solution, and the mold won’t budge? Sometimes bleach just won’t stay in place long enough to work its magic when you spray it. It quickly streaks down the tub and into the drain. The trick to maximizing your bleach solution is the paper towel hack! Here’s how to clean silicone caulk using this handy trick:

  1. Roll several squares of paper towels into small tubes that are roughly the size of the grout line. 
  2. Place the rolled-up paper towels along the perimeter of the caulk line. 
  3. Spray the paper towels with the bleach solution until saturated. 
  4. Press the paper towels into the grout line with a gloved finger. 
  5. Leave the paper towel to sit for 2-12 hours, or until the mold has completely vanished.
  6. Remove the paper towels to reveal your glimmering new grout line. 
  7. Rinse the surface and clean the grout with a vinegar-based bathroom cleaner to make sure all the mold is dead. 

By stuffing bleach saturated paper towels into the grout line, you create a sponge-like cover that will keep the bleach in place, right where you want it. 

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