Nothing can be more unsightly in your bathtub than silicone caulk that has mildewed or become moldy. Bathrooms and tub areas are more vulnerable to mold because of the high moisture levels in the bathroom. Other cleaning products used in the bathroom such as soaps, shampoos, oils and so forth also can contribute to mold growth.
The following steps will assist you in preventing the future mildew growth and in removing mildew from your silicone caulking.
Step 1 – How to Prevent Future Mildew Growth
Although it will take effort to prevent future growth of mildew spores, you should try to eliminate excess moisture in your bathroom and tub area. You can do a few simple things to reduce the moisture. Wipe off your tub or shower each time you bathe or shower. Wiping away the moisture and soap scum will reduce the likelihood of the future mold growth.
Running a fan when you use your bathtub, particularly if you have a small bathroom with no ventilation, will also help in preventing the growth of mold.
Mold’s enemy is light; therefore the more light you have in your bathroom, the more it will prevent mold from developing.
Step 2 – Manually Remove the Silicone Caulking
There is no method more simple for removing caulking than doing it manually. With a razor blade, putty knife or other scraping tool, slowly scrape away the caulking in the areas that have mold. If the mold is excessive, you will want to ventilate the room well and use a mask to prevent inhalation of mold spores. You may also wear gloves to protect your hands while you use a sharp object to remove the mold. When removing the silicone caulking, you should work slowly and carefully to prevent injury to yourself or your tile.
Discard the old silicone caulking in a trash bag and dispose of the bag in your garbage can.
Unfortunately, silicone caulking is the most difficult to remove because few safe products exist that will soften the caulking and make it easier to remove. If you find that your silicone caulking is very difficult to remove, try mixing a strong cleanser with water to form a paste that you can swab onto the caulking. Also try swabbing an oven cleaner onto the caulking surface in the same way. Leave it for a while to soften the silicone. When using the oven cleaner, ensure the room is well-ventilated. Avoid getting either of these chemicals on your tile or fiberglass.
Step 3 – Replace the Silicone Caulking
Once you have completely removed the old silicone caulking, replace it with a new caulking that is mildew-resistant.