Getting Rid of Old Grout and Caulking

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Everyone either has it or has seen it before... disgusting old, moldy grout and caulking in the bathroom. We inherited an entire tub and shower full of it when we bought our house and decided on a simple "refresher" to get rid of it, rather than gutting the whole thing and re-tiling from scratch. We're so happy we gave it a shot because now it looks brand new! Before we go into the quick "how-to", here's a shot of what we were dealing with...
Time: 1-2 DaysCost: $50-75Difficulty: Medium
  • how to get rid of old grout and caulking, bathroom ideas, cleaning tips, home maintenance repairs, tiling
See the yucky caulking around the tub and the yellowing grout between the tiles? No amount of cleaning products or scrubbing was doing any good, so we decided to remove and replace both. Step One: Scrape out the old caulking. I used a putty knife.
  • how to get rid of old grout and caulking, bathroom ideas, cleaning tips, home maintenance repairs, tiling
Step Two: Grind out the old grout. I used a combination of a hand tool (you can buy them at the hardware store for a few bucks) and an electric multi-tool with a rounded blade. Here is the shower with some of that old grout gone (and no more caulking around the tub either!)...
  • how to get rid of old grout and caulking, bathroom ideas, cleaning tips, home maintenance repairs, tiling
Once you have all of the old stuff out, it's time for Step Three: Re-grouting. Using a grout float, wipe your grout (I used the pre-mixed kind) at an angle across the tiles and make sure it gets into the cracks. Tip: Do a small portion at a time because it dries FAST!
  • how to get rid of old grout and caulking, bathroom ideas, cleaning tips, home maintenance repairs, tiling
After you've gone over a small section with the grout, go back over that spot with a damp sponge to wipe off the excess. Tip: Your sponge should be only a little damp- not sopping wet! A too-wet sponge and using too much pressure will only result in wiping out all of your hard work completely! Take it from a couple who learned the hard way...
When you've grouted the entire space and removed all of the excess, it's time for Step Four: Sealing it. Make sure to read all of the instructions on both the grout label and the sealant label for appropriate dry and application times.
Step Five: Re-caulk the areas where you scraped out the old caulk. Tip: Use painters' tape to create straight lines first...
  • how to get rid of old grout and caulking, bathroom ideas, cleaning tips, home maintenance repairs, tiling
Apply the caulk and smooth it with your finger along your lines. Tip: One of the employees at Home Depot told us to make sure to have the bathtub filled for this step. The weight of the water will help keep the tub in place for caulking and help you avoid cracks in the caulk in the future.
  • how to get rid of old grout and caulking, bathroom ideas, cleaning tips, home maintenance repairs, tiling
Peel off the tape and let it dry. And now stand back and admire your fresh, clean, and "feels like new" shower and tub!
  • how to get rid of old grout and caulking, bathroom ideas, cleaning tips, home maintenance repairs, tiling
Click the link below for more details on the process as well as a TON of extra before and after shots of our "new" space!
PS. Please note... the Cost and Time information given for this post may vary depending on your situation. The cost could be more or less depending on the size of your space and how many materials you will need to purchase. The time indicated does not include drying time.

Suggested materials for this project:

    Leslie

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