Whether you have used bathroom sealant around the bath, sink or tiles, it’ll eventually need to be renewed after a few years. As you can see in the above photo, sealant can begin to discolour or become mouldy and this can happen regardless to how often you clean it. It may also begin to wear away due to the fact that water is getting in behind it.
Luckily, removing sealant is a relatively easy DIY task that anyone can carry out themselves. However, if you do remove the sealant, you’ll need to be prepared to replace it afterwards to ensure that the fitting is water tight.
To ensure that the removal of bathroom sealant goes to plan, we’ve created the below guide to help you out.
What You’ll Need To Remove & Renew
- Sealant remover gel or WD-40 (optional)
- Stanley knife
- Remover & smoother tool
- Mould remover
- Bathroom sealant (for renewing)
- Cartridge gun
How To Remove Bathroom Sealant
1. Apply Sealant Remover Gel or WD40 (Optional)
Although optional, using a sealant remover gel or WD40 is a great way to prepare the sealant ready for its removal. It’s as simple as rubbing/spraying it onto the old sealant and allowing it to get to work for a few minutes.
2. Cut Through The Sealant
The next step is to cut through the sealant in order to break the seal between the fitting (i.e. bath) and the wall. The easiest and most effective way of doing this is to run a Stanley knife through the sealant as shown in the below photo.
3. Pull Away The Sealant
After the sealant has been softened with a gel or WD40 and cut with a Stanley knife, you can proceed to removing it. There are two ways of doing this and the first is by using your fingers to pull the sealant away from the surface. However, if its only coming off in small pieces, you will be better of using a dedicated remover tool to scrap the sealant away.
4. Check That All Sealant Has Been Removed
Before proceeding, you’ll want to check that all of the sealant has been removed. If there are small chunks that you are struggling to remove, you can try rubbing it with a cloth and white spirit to reduce its stickiness. If any sealant has found its way down any gaps, you can try to retrieve and remove it using tweezers or long reach pliers.
5. Remove Mould
After the sealant has been removed, you may notice a build up of mould that was behind the sealant. Therefore, its good practice to remove any mould before applying new sealant to the surface. This can be achieved a number of ways but our preferred method is to liberally spray the area with a high quality mould remover.
How To Renew The Sealant
When you are ready to renew the sealant, you’ll want to prepare the area beforehand. For example, you’ll want to ensure that it’s completely dry and any mould or debris has been cleared. You’ll then want to choose a suitable sealant and if you haven’t already got one to hand, we wrote a guide that lists the best rated bathroom sealants on the market.
Below is a brief guide to renewing sealant upon a range of fittings:
- Ensure the surface is completely dry.
- Attach the sealant into the cartridge gun.
- Work from one end to the other without stopping.
- Apply consistent pressure and speed.
- Smooth down the sealant with a tool or a wet finger.
If you are sealing a bath, we wrote a detailed guide that walks you through how to seal a bath with photos of each step.
Removing bathroom sealant is relatively straightforward and although it can be achieved without any specialist tools or materials, it’s advised that you do. The saying “work smarter, not harder” is very much true when it comes to removing sealant. It’s also safer to use a dedicated tool that costs very little because it’ll avoid any costly damage too.
Hopefully our guide to removing bathroom sealant has answered all your questions but if not, feel free to get in touch and we will try to help out where possible.