While you can not deny the great uses of caulk, how to get caulk out of clothes is still an obnoxious annoyance that many people are struggling to find a solution to.
You had just applied the caulk in household items when you accidentally discovered that your favorite t-shirt had had caulk on it? How to remove this?
Do not worry too much because no matter how stubborn the stain is, there is a way to treat it. You must take the time “as quickly as possible” in the caulk removal process. Therefore, please note the following instructions to remove them most thoroughly.
But if you have left caulk on your clothes for a long time, do not panic because I also have a solution for you to solve it. Come on, take it easy.
What Is Caulk?
Caulk or commonly known as caulking – is a material that helps to seal joints in the construction industry. Currently, caulk is widely known as a sealant. Caulk is considered an essential material helping seal the gaps between joints and structures in the building.(1)
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Applications Of Caulk
Caulk is a versatile glue that has a wide range of applications. That is why it is considered an essential material in the construction industry.(2)
Glue For Construction Works
Caulk is not only an ordinary glue but also a chemical glue with perfect sealing ability. It can apply waterproof properties to any construction.
Seal The Joints
Caulk is versatile, able to help you seal the narrowest joints and tiniest cracks. It then creates a strong seal that ensures weather resistance.
Sound Insulation Materials
Caulk can be used as noise and air canceling material and works with damping fields.
How Many Types Of Caulk?
With caulk, the most commonly used glues in your house are latex and silicone. However, the varieties of caulk are more than two.
- Latex Caulk: One of the most popular types of caulk with a durability of up to 20 years. However, this type of caulk is not appreciated for its adaptation to temperature.
- Acrylic Caulk: Used to seal small and narrow gaps. Elasticity, high performance
- Siliconized Acrylic or Latex: Contains silicone components to increase durability. This type of caulk can be used outdoors because of its good temperature adaptation.
- Vinyl Latex: More durable and lasts longer than acrylic latex adhesives.
- Polyurethane: Ensure durability, professional aesthetics, and high VOC content.
8 Cost-Efficiency Ways To Eliminate Caulk From Clothes
The first thing that you need to pay attention to is whether the caulk on your shirt is dry or not. In case it is new, act now. If it is already dry, do not panic. Follow the instructions below to remove them.
Method 1: Using Freezer And Ice Cubes
Freezing stains, especially caulk stains, can help you get rid of them quickly. You can choose 1 of the 2 methods below to freeze caulk.
- Ice cube
- Butter knife/Scissor
- Rubbing alcohol
- Clean cloth
Step 1: Freeze caulk on fabric in two ways; the first is to use ice cubes. Place several ice cubes directly onto the caulk stain. Let the ice rest until the caulk solidifies. The second way is to put the fabric in the freezer for a few hours, then check if the caulk has hardened.
You should spray the stain with some water for dried caulk and then place it in the freezer.
Step 2: After freezing the caulk, you will scrape the caulk on the fabric surface as much as possible. Scrape the caulk with a butter knife or a scissor. Once the stain has solidified, you are able to peel the caulk on the outside of the cotton fabric.
If the caulk is deeply embedded inside of the fabric, use a brush to brush it out.
Step 3: Check a care label or do a spot test on your fabric when proceeding to the next step. Make sure your material works well with this cleaner. Rubbing alcohol is only suitable for cotton, color-fast denim, and poly-cotton blends.
If you want to be more sure:
- Do a spot test in a hidden part of the fabric.
- Wait to see if a reaction occurs.
- If nothing happens, jump to the next step.
Step 4: After shaving most of the caulk, it may leave some excess caulk. Clean the residue with rubbing alcohol. Dab a little alcohol on a clean cloth, then rub it over the stain. Continue scrubbing until the stain is gone.
Step 5: Wash with regular detergent after removing stains.
Method 2: Using Commercial Silicone Remover
For silicone sealant – one of the most stubborn stains, you can choose specialized stain removal products. These solutions have chemical ingredients that can loosen the silicone in the caulk.
Consider the caulk stain removal products on the market like Krud Kutter, Goo Gone, or Goof Off.
- Ice cube
- Butter knife
- Commercial silicone remover
Step 1: To easily remove caulk stains, freeze them first. The cold air will help the caulk to harden and be easier to handle. You can do the same step 1 and 2 as method 1.
Step 2: Check the fabric’s care label, make sure your material is suitable for the chemical composition of the stain removal products. To be more confident, you should pretest on old clothes to avoid damaging the fabric.
Step 3: Apply the product directly to the stained surface. Blot the chemical on the remaining caulk and continue scraping any excess that remains.
Step 4: Wash as usual after rechecking the stain.
Method 3: Blotting The Fabric
When the caulk stain is still wet and shows no signs of drying, apply this method. Quickly treat stains to achieve the best effect.
- Clean cloth
- Rubbing alcohol/ laundry stain remover
- Washing powder
- Bleach solution
Step 1: You can blot the caulk stain with water. Using a white cloth or paper towel, wet them and then blot the stain. Use strong force to press the caulk part. Repeat that action several times to let the moisture soak into the fabric and gently scrape the caulk with your hands.
Remember to change the towel or paper often when having too much caulk. After removing most of the stain, use a clean cloth to wipe the stain outwards gently.
Besides blotting the stain with a cloth, you can wash it with a regular wash cycle. Combining washing powder with the bleach solution for white clothes will help you solve caulk stains more effectively. New stains that have not yet dried will quickly come off.
Step 2: After removing most stains, you can clean them thoroughly by rubbing alcohol directly on the fabric. Dab a clean cloth with alcohol and then place it on the fabric. Pat the cloth vigorously so that alcohol can penetrate deeply into the fabric.
Repeat several times to remove stains. Change the cloth if there are too many stains.
Another option is that you can use a laundry stain remover to remove any caulk remains.
Step 3: Once the stain has been completely removed, wash the garment with a normal cycle as usual. Check the stain after washing. If not, repeat the process. Only let it dry when there are no stains left.
Method 4: Baking Soda
Baking soda has always been considered an effective stain remover, especially caulk stains. Mixing baking soda and water can make the caulk removal process more straightforward.
Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate – a base with excellent chemical structure and mild abrasive properties to remove the most stubborn stains.
- Baking soda
- Clean cloth
Step 1: Spread the cloth on a flat surface, wet the stain with water
Step 2: Pour baking soda on the stain directly, using just enough baking soda to cover the entire stain. Mix baking soda with water and form a paste on the fabric
Step 3: Rub the mixture on the stained surface. Continue rubbing until the caulk starts to come off. The abrasive particles of baking soda will break down the caulk.
Step 4: Check to see if the stain remains. If it does, continue rubbing.
Step 5: After thoroughly removing the stain, wash as usual
Method 5: Combine Baking Soda And Vinegar
To increase the effectiveness of baking soda, you can combine it with vinegar. Both are considered gentle bleaches that are safe on some fabrics, especially with white and color-fast fabrics.
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- Clean cloth
Step 1: Mix water and baking soda together.
Step 2: Leave the solution directly on the stain. Use a clean white cloth to absorb the powder.
Step 3: After most of the caulk has been removed, dab white vinegar on the fabric to eradicate any remaining caulk. Let it sit about 3 – 5 minutes, and do not let the vinegar dry.
Step 4: Wash as usual
Discover other brilliant vinegar and baking soda cleaning hacks around your house
Method 6: Using Hand Sanitizer
Hand sanitizer is a fast evaporator, and an excellent stain remover. Its main ingredient is alcohol, so it is suitable for removing stains such as caulk from clothes.
- Hand sanitizer
- Tissue/A clean cloth
Step 1: Apply hand sanitizer to the caulk stains. Use a damp cloth or tissue to gently remove the caulk layer on the surface of the fabric. If stains are stubborn, apply the liquid several times to remove them.
Step 2: Rinse the cloth with water
Step 3: Wash as usual
Method 7: Using WD-40
For stubborn stains, WD-40 will be a great lifesaver. You can use WD-40 as an effective caulk stain remover.
- Butter knife
- Clean cloth
Step 1: Apply the stain with WD-40. Then, use a sharp, non-edged object like a butter knife to scrape off most of the adhesive on your fabric. Try to shave as much as you can to get rid of them completely. You can add more WD-40 and repeat the process if the stain remains.
Step 2: Flush your clothes with clean water.
Step 3: Wash as usual; check the stain before drying.
Find out more awesome WD-40 life hacks besides eliminating caulk.
Method 8: Washing Stain With Regular Cycle
You can remove caulk with the usual washing cycle. You have never heard any way easier than this one, right? Let’s explore!
- Ice cube
- Butter knife
- Laundry detergent
- Laundry stain remover
Step 1: Dry the caulk by freezing. The caulk stain, when hardened, will make it easier for you to remove it. You have 2 options like method 1.
Step 2: Once the caulk stain has frozen, use a butter knife to scrape the stain. Remove any stain remains with laundry stain remover.
Step 3: After removing most of the caulk, it is time to apply the cleaning method. If washing clothes by hand, mix laundry detergent and water. Submerge and swirl the clothes in the solution.
You can use a soft brush to rub residue until it is no longer visible. Soak the clothes for 20 minutes. Rinse and dry as normal.
Step 4 (Optional): Wash as usual with a washing machine and regular detergent. Apply more stain remover if you still see the stain, and repeat washing. Feel free to dry if the stain is removed thoroughly.
More Don’ts Than Do’s
The following notes will help you avoid many troubles of caulk stains removal. Keep these things in your mind; it will help you a lot.
Do Not Use Chemicals With Bare Hands
When using chemicals to remove stains, wear full gloves. Avoid using bare hands in direct contact with chemicals. You do not want to ruin your hands, do you?
Do Not Work In Closed Spaces
When using chemicals for caulk removal, you should choose a well-ventilated space. You should select cool areas and wear a respirator to protect your health.
Do Not Apply Before Testing
Each chemical in stain removers is suitable for different fabrics. Therefore, it is advisable to pay close attention to care label instructions before applying. Alternatively, you can use the test on an old cloth to be more confident of your choice.
Below are frequently asked questions about caulk stains that you can refer to your stain removal. Keep scrolling down to find your answer.
The Sooner, The Better
The essential thing in the caulk stain removal process is time. It would help if you captured the time as quickly as possible to make it easier to remove the caulk.
As soon as you detect traces of caulk on your clothes, you should immediately apply the instructions above to shorten the completion time.
However, don’t worry too much about missing the golden time to get rid of it. What you need now is patience. While it’s harder to get rid of old caulk stains on clothes when they’re new, follow the tips above, and you’ll soon be successful.
Did the above tips help you? If yes, please share it with me. Comment below to let me know your results. I promise to reply right away.
- “Caulk- Wikipedia”. En.Wikipedia.Org, 2021.
- “Applications and Uses of Caulk Silicone”. Foam Sealant Pty Ltd, 2021.