Asked on Mar 09, 2015

Caulk won't stick in tub/shower combo

by Lori
I wanted to re-caulk where the tile meets the tub in my tub/shower. I scraped out all the old caulk, cleaned it really well and let it dry for 2 days before applying the new caulk. I let the new stuff dry for 3 days and within a couple of weeks it was peeling! I did the whole process over again and it happened again! What am I doing wrong????
  8 answers
  • Adrianne C Adrianne C on Mar 10, 2015
    You didn't say what kind of caulk you were using, or how exactly you cleaned the surface before applying the caulk. Usually you need to go over the surface with denatured alcohol, even a glass cleaner to get off whatever residue might linger on the finish. Careful not to damage the finish however. Generally use a silicone based caulk made specifically for this purpose.
  • Red Cottage Chronicles Red Cottage Chronicles on Mar 10, 2015
    We had this same problem and I discovered we had used the wrong caulk. Make sure it is for kitchens and baths. We paid a bit more for a premium brand this time. After stripping off old caulking we cleaned it well with vinegar and water, dried it thoroughly and reapplied new caulking. My husband uses his finger dipped into hot water to smooth out the bead of caulking which works well for a nice clean line. So far the neck caulking is holding up well.
  • Ruth Ruth on Mar 10, 2015
    Make sure you fill the tub at least 1/2 full before you caulk and leave the water in until the caulk dries.
  • Tiffani Tiffani on Mar 10, 2015
    I wonder if u lightly sanded just the area you were going to put the caulk down if that would help any? It might give it some rough edges to really grab into. I know you shouldnt mess up the finish of the tub & shower but if u just use a thin strip of sand paper & only do it where you were going to lay the caulk down at it might help. We had the same problem & even had the kitchen & bath caulking, still came up even after cleaning really well & it was on a new tub & shower too. We didnt get a chance to try the sanding because we had moved before gettin a chance to recaulk. Left it to the a-hole landlord that didnt want to fix anything or pay for anything that needed fixed!
  • Meyndert Borrie Bornman Meyndert Borrie Bornman on Mar 10, 2015
    A good caulker will use a good dish washing liquid to apply to the areas they do not want the caulking to stick for easy cleanup afterwards. You do not say how you cleaned it but I will bet that you used something that prevent the caulking to stick. If you use a magnifying glass and read the preparation for caulking instructions on the holder they will direct you to what the cleaning agent for that caulk is. Make sure you have caulk that is for both the surfaces, tile and acrylic or what ever the bath is.
  • Linda Alessi Linda Alessi on Mar 10, 2015
    Clean it with TSP. Let it dry, then caulk.
  • Amanda Amanda on Sep 14, 2020

    I just want to caution future ppl with this question that TSP can damage tile, grout, metal, and glass! I wouldn't use that cleaner for this job.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Sep 29, 2021

    you need to wipe it well befor you start to apply