Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Let's Talk Caulk

...Or, just replace it, depending on how mildewy and moldy you've allowed your bathtub or shower caulk to get. Honestly, how do you expect to get clean in an enclosed space that is that dirty? And all that steam is just opening up your lungs so you can breathe in more spores. Nice.

But, even if you've cleaned it religiously, eventually your caulk is going to start pulling away from the wall and looking shabby- it's in caulk's nature to make your life miserable, and it should be replaced every year to two years (depending on if you're one of those "my hair looks better the day after I wash it" people). Also, once the caulk starts to pull away or crack you risk letting water leak down the wall and create a big ole mess underneath your tub, potentially leaking into your downstairs neighbors apartment and ruining their priceless collection of vintage Playboy magazines. Is that what you want to happen?

You might look upon this chore with dread and loathing, but in reality- you guessed it- it is actually really easy. And kind of fun, if you get off on making things that are ugly look better, which, obviously, I do. (Incidentally, if I ever get asked to do Playboy, that is going in my "turn-ons" list - it doesn't exactly take a genius to come up with sexy innuendo about "caulk").

Here's what you need:
A razor blade or box cutter
Mold and mildew cleaning product
hairdryer (or time)
Latex gloves
paper towels
A tube of caulking (acrylic or silicone are fine). If you are just caulking one tub, a simple tube is easier to use than a caulking gun.

Here's what you do:
1. Remove all the old caulk with the razor blade or box cutter (being careful not to cut or scratch the tub or tile, itself).
2. Use the cleaning product to clean the whole area of any mold or mildew. Dry completely with the paper towels, and then with the hair dryer (or allow to dry overnight). This is a super important step because if you put the caulk on a wet surface it will just pull up again, and then where will we be?
3. Put on the latex gloves, and cut the end off the tube of caulking- don't make the hole too large to begin with- start small and then cut further up the tube if need be.
4. Squeeze a 1/4-inch line of caulking right along the seam in the wall/edge of the tub. Dampen an index finger and gently smooth along the line, wiping away any excess or sloppy-looking caulk.
5. Allow caulk to dry for at least 24 hours, or following instructions on tube of caulking.
6. Draw a bubble bath, climb in and soak, enjoying a glass of champagne and reading one of your favorite magazines. You know, because you like it for the articles.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Not really catching the "sexy innuendo" related to cauk. Is it because it is a gooey substance which can be used to fill a crack?

Lily said...

I was thinking more in a homophone kind of way, but, as they say, if you have to explain a joke...

Anonymous said...

Got it! (Finally) But wouldn't you need to pronounce "caulk" with a Boston accident for the homophone to truly work?

Christine said...

Love these DIY posts...you always inspire me to get off my behind and actually do some of our "to-do" projects around the house!

Anonymous said...

Dear Author www.acharmedwife.com !
I think, that you have misled.

Lily said...

Dear Author Anonymous comment !
I think, that you should explain what you mean better. And, also, maybe take a refresher course in English grammar.