Bath sealant is the bit that’s applied to the edge of your bath and tiles to stop water running down and damaging the floor.
It’s important to use a sealant, but it does eventually get dirty, faded, mouldy or crack as it ages.
Never fear! Replacing your bath sealant is an easy job and it makes such a big difference to the overall look of your bathroom.
But first, you’ve got to get rid of the old stuff because applying new sealant on top of old never works. Sealant needs to form a tight bond with the bath and tilework to perform properly.
But that old stuff sticks tight, it’s gotten harder than astrophysics and fingernails aren’t going to cut it.
What’s more, hacking at it with a screwdriver or saw is going to damage your bath and your tiles leading to a whole load of expense no-one wants.
Here’s how to remove bath sealant safely and easily
1. Buy a sealant softener
These are also known as silicone eaters and they have mixed reviews.
Some people swear by softeners, some people swear at them. Give them a go if you’re not confident tackling sealant with tools.
2. Buy a silicone remover tool
Believe it or not there is a tool created specifically to remove silicone sealant.
They work well and minimise risks to your hands, bath, and tiles but they are one of those tools you’ll rarely use.
They do double up as a tool to smooth new sealant into place if that makes spending the cash any easier!
3. A chisel and a Stanley knife
Gently tap the chisel into one end of the sealant and see if you’re lucky enough to pull the whole section free. If it breaks off, bad luck. You’ll need to work on the next section.
Make sure you hold the chisel sideways and don’t chop straight down into the tub. Take slivers of sealant and don’t rush it.
Keep your face well away from the chisel and knife and wear thick gloves to protect against slips.
If your sealant is stuck fast using a combination of softener with a chisel or sealant remover tool will get it off.
Clearing the Bits
There are always bits left after you’ve removed the bulk of sealant. It’s easily cleaned away with white spirit or white vinegar.
Pour white spirit onto a soft cloth and rub it back and forth. It’ll take a few passes to get the pieces off but it will work. Give it some time to absorb the acid if the mess is stubborn.
Any really stubborn pieces may have to be worked on individually.
Once you’re sealant-free clean the whole area. Old, cracked sealant breeds bacteria and germ in the gaps and you’ll want a fresh start with your new application of sealant.
Make sure everything is totally dry before you apply any new sealant or it won’t form a watertight seal.
Finally, have a relaxing cup of tea because removing bath sealant is a fiddly and annoying job that gets everyone’s blood pressure up.