What are your caulk recommendations?
May 24, 2005 6:26 PM   Subscribe

My tub was/is moldy. Out of frustration over smell and look, I decided tonight to take care of it and destroy the offending mold for the 90th time. I've had really bad luck with caulk in the past and I don't think I'm up to spending another 6 hours thoroughly cleaning it when the caulk I've been using fails again. What are your recommendations? Both for caulk types and caulking tips?

So far I've used DAP's Kwik Seal Plus Easy Caulk for Kitchen & Bath, GE's Max 3500 for Window and Door, and MD's Kitchen & Bath caulk. For all of these I have followed the directions and left a proper amount of time (much to the sadness of my boyfriend) before using water in the area. Everything has either stayed soft and mushy or has molded.

I appreciate any and all suggestions. Thanks.
posted by tozturk to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I had a nasty shower the ceiling was deeply infected, clorox made it disappear for only a short time. The cure lasted more than six months, the cure was mixing one ounce of tea tree
oil in the paint (latex sheen enamel) I think mixing the tea tree oil in latex caulk might be worth a try. Fill the tub with water
and get in to apply the caulk .Your combined weight opens the gaps around the tub enclosure , easier to get the caulking
in. after you drain the tub put a lamp in the tub, the radiant heat will help cure the caulk.
posted by hortense at 7:26 PM on May 24, 2005

Might also use 35% H2O2 to kill the mold. Not that you'll ever actually accomplish a complete killing. But at least it'll set it back.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:50 PM on May 24, 2005

Just out of curiousity, does that bathroom have a fan? Does it seem like the tub never dries after you use it?

I had an old apartment where there was no fan and the window in the bathroom was painted shut. It was so hard to keep the bathroom dry. I resorted to keeping an extra towel on a hook in there and dried out the tub after each use. This eliminated my mold problem. Although it seemed like a pain each time I had to dry it out, I actually saved time cleaning because very little dust and dirt "stuck" to the tub after it was wiped dry...
posted by jeanmari at 8:06 PM on May 24, 2005

I bathroom without proper ventilation is illegal in these parts.

Why don't you use Oxyclean? If they sell it on TV, it must work.
posted by jsavimbi at 8:57 PM on May 24, 2005

Response by poster: jeanmarie, it is an old apartment. The building is a renovated house shelled out to college students. And it is extremely hard to keep dry. I'll try your towel suggestion, thanks.

And hortense, I've heard of tea tree oil for acne but not for anything else. I'll try it. Thanks.
posted by tozturk at 9:02 PM on May 24, 2005

You need to be sure you're using a silicon caulk, and that you lay down a single, continuous line.
posted by trondant at 10:27 PM on May 24, 2005

Take out the old caulk. I use screwdrivers, single edge razor blades in a holder, plyers, a utility knife, whatever works. Be careful! Don't use water, brush the residue off & wipe surfaces where the caulk will go with rubbing alcohol. When the surface is completely dry replace with mold resistant caulk available at hardware stores & let it dry at least as long as it says in the directions on the product.
posted by BoscosMom at 12:51 AM on May 25, 2005

Best answer: As someone who did this kind of thing for about a year as my job -

Get a tube of 'GE Bathroom Silicone II' caulk (red/white tube) and caulking gun at local Home Depot or hardware store.

Use a razor, or buy one of the handy razor holders that exposes all of the blade surface. The blades for this are square, not the trapezoid razors that are in box knives. Scrape off all of the old caulk. If it's really bad and has lost its seal, this shouldn't be too bad. Make sure you get all of it, this is important. If you don't, your chances of the new caulk losing its seal are pretty good. Brush all the areas down, clean them, and let completly dry. Run the new caulk, use the tip of your finger to run down the caulk line to smooth it and seal at the edges. Personally I'd let it dry 24 hours, but should theoreticly be good in 4-8.

I'm going to pile on the comments advising a bathroom fan. This is usually the main reason for problems with mold in a shower. If a ceiling mounted fan and duct would not be feasible (easy if the bathroom ceiling happens to be right below attic space), is there a window you might be able to set a small fan by?
posted by efalk at 3:16 AM on May 25, 2005 [1 favorite]

A friend of mine attacked his shower with a razor blade as described above. He then took a strong bleach mixture to anywhere that even so much as looked like it might get or be moldy, and then he dried it bonedry with a hairdryer.

Obvioulsy, this was done with good ventilation. Aim a big fan in the door if you have to.

He then recaulked. So far, we have heard no tales of moldy woe.
posted by Medieval Maven at 7:14 AM on May 25, 2005

Best answer: Many tile instillation experts will tell you that it is essential to dry your shower, tub, area after every use to prevent a myriad of problems...just a second to jeanmari
posted by flummox at 7:51 AM on May 25, 2005

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