Silicone acrylic caulk is used to seal small cracks to prevent drafts or moisture damage. However, over time, the caulk with become old and will not seal the cracks. At this point, it must be carefully removed and reapplied. Although the reapplication is straightforward, completely removing the old caulk can be tricky.
Step 1: For large beads of caulking that cannot be easily pulled off of the material, you can use sheetrock clippers or nippers. This tool will clip off pieces of the caulk nearly flush with the material. This is the quickest way to remove stubborn silicone acrylic caulk, but it is also easy to damage the surrounding material by clipping too close.
Step 2: Soak a rag in warm water and place it over the silicone caulk you want to remove. Leave the rag on for at least 20 minutes.
You can start with this step if you don’t have sheetrock nippers, or you can start this step after you’ve removed as much caulk with the nippers as possible. You should avoid this step if the underlying material is easily damaged by water, such as sheetrock.
Step 3: Remove the softened silicone caulk with a paint scraper. Be sure to wear safety glasses for this step.
Step 4: If the silicone caulk was not sufficiently softened, you can try using rubbing alcohol instead of warm water. In this case, be sure to spot test the surrounding material in an unobtrusive area to make sure that the rubbing alcohol will not stain or lift the color of the surrounding area.
Step 5: Try removing the silicone caulk after you have soaked it in rubbing alcohol, using the plastic scraper.
Step 6: You can also try to use a utility knife to carefully cut away the silicone caulk.
Step 7: For hard surfaces, try using warm, soapy water and a plastic scrub brush to remove the last of the silicone caulk.
Step 8: Clean the area after the silicone caulk is removed with warm water or rubbing alcohol, as the material permits.