Removing & replacing bathroom sealant

Say goodbye to worn and tired-looking tiles with our tips on how to remove and apply silicone sealant.

19 July 2019

white bathroom sink with mixer tap
Bathroom Cleaning

Key steps

To remove and replace bathroom sealant follow these key steps:

  1. Get rid of the old sealant with a chisel and white spirit.
  2. Prepare the surface before applying new sealant by cleaning and drying thoroughly.
  3. Use a sealant gun for a professional finish.
  4. Apply new sealant with an even pressure and wipe with a wet finger to smooth out.
  5. Clean your bathroom thoroughly once everything has dried.

Cleaning bathroom sealant regularly will usually keep it in good condition but for those who have recently moved home or had the same bathroom for a while, it may be necessary to replace it entirely. Here we provide a step-by-step guide to both removing sealant and adding a new layer where necessary.  

Use effective bathroom cleaners like Cif and Domestos to clean your bathroom after these renovations. A quick wipe over will get your bathroom gleaming!

How to remove silicone sealant: 4 quick steps

If you’ve got some very old sealant and you need to get rid of it here’s our guide on how to remove silicone:

  1. Check whether your sealant needs to be replaced – it may just want a good clean! The same applies to the grout between your tiles. Read our article on grout cleaning for more help with this.
  2. Get all the tools you need. To remove silicone sealant, you will need a knife or chisel, a bucket to put the removed sealant in, and protective gloves. You may also want to put dust covers down to protect your bathroom floor.
  3. Start to remove the sealant, carefully. Simply use the knife or chisel to gently chip away at it until it’s gone. Work slowly and carefully to avoid damaging the tiles or any surrounding surfaces. You also don’t want to damage the wall underneath.
  4. For any remaining strands, use a bit of white spirit to remove them. Simply dab at the leftover sealant with a cloth dampened with white spirit until they dissolve.

How to apply silicone sealant: 7 easy steps

Now you’ve learnt the best way to remove silicone it’s time to learn about applying silicone sealant to replace it. Applying silicone sealant can be tricky, but once you’ve got the hang of it it’s actually quite a fun DIY project. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Prepare the surface. Make sure you’ve given the tiles and surrounding surfaces a thorough clean and dried them fully. Sealant may not set properly on wet surfaces.
  2. Get together everything you’ll need. You want a sealant gun, a tube of new sealant (or more, depending on the size of the area), and protective clothing.
  3. Use a sealant gun to achieve a professional finish. Place the sealant tube in the gun and cut off the top of the tube to open it then squeeze the trigger until the sealant starts to push out of the end.
  4. Apply a controlled trail of sealant each join, working methodically from one side to another. Position the gun lengthways along the joint to be sealed and then press the trigger. Keep an even pressure to get a steady flow of sealant through the gun.
  5. Wet your finger and run it across the newly applies sealant. This will even it out for a neater finish and make sure that you’ve reached all the tricky places, like corners.
  6. Repeat steps 3-4 until you’ve applied new sealant to all joins. Allow it to dry for at least 24 hours.
  7. When you’re finished, give the tiles and sealant a thorough clean to get it back to spotless. Read our article on tile and grout cleaning for more tips.

Now you know how to remove silicone sealant and replace it with new, your bathroom will never look better!

 Wear protective clothing and ensure the room is well ventilated when using white spirit. Always store and use chemicals out of the reach of children or pets.