How To Remove Bathroom Sealant

Easily remove unsightly sealant in your bathroom or toilet with the help of our step-by-step guide.
Written By: Richard Morgan | Updated:
How To Remove Bathroom Sealant
Richard Morgan/DIY Works

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 of how often you clean it.

Luckily, removing sealant is a relatively easy DIY task that anyone can carry out themselves. However, if you remove the sealant, you’ll need to be prepared to replace it afterwards to ensure the fitting is watertight before using it again (i.e. running a bath).

To ensure that the removal of bathroom sealant goes according to plan, we’ve created the guide below to walk you through the process.

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 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 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.

how to remove silicone from a bath

Richard Morgan/DIY Works

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 remove 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 it’s only coming off in small pieces, you will be better off 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 them with a cloth and white spirit to reduce their 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 buildup of mould behind the sealant. Therefore, removing any mould before applying new sealant to the surface is good practice. This can be achieved in several 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:

  1. Ensure the surface is completely dry.
  2. Attach the sealant to the cartridge gun.
  3. Work from one end to the other without stopping.
  4. Apply consistent pressure and speed.
  5. 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.

Conclusion

Removing bathroom sealant is relatively straightforward, and although it can be achieved without any specialist tools or materials, you are advised to do so anyway. 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.

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.

Related Reads

Follow #DIYWorksUK

Copyright © 2024. All rights reserved.