Bathtub caulk

I use the GE silicone caulk which claims "no mold for ten years"
Yeah right.
Does anyone know of a bathtub caulk that just plain will not mold?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
|I use the GE silicone caulk which claims "no mold for ten years" | Yeah right. | Does anyone know of a bathtub caulk that just plain will not mold?
I like Phenoseal for almost everything: caulking trim and woodwork for painting, as well as caulking tubs. I don't know of anything that's actually mildew-free. (I assume you mean mildew and not mold.) But I have found that silicone is *worse* than other types of caulking when it comes to encouraging mildew.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
'philo*[_2_ Wrote:

No, I don't know of any bathtub caulk that won't mildew, but I clean mildew off the silicone caulk around my 20+ bathtubs all the time, and I'm very good at it.
Get yourself: 1. A box of 20 Mule Team Borax which you should be able to find in the laundry detergents aisle of any supermarket 2. At lease a quart of bleach. Chlorox and Javex will be 6.25 percent NaOCl, whereas no-name bleach will be 5 percent NaOCl. Get the stronger stuff. 3. A roll of Saran Wrap, or any cling wrap. Nowadays, I use a 6 inch wide tape called "Pre-Mask", but I used cling wrap for years with the same good results. Cling wrap can be hard to work with because it sticks to itself, but if you're willing to throw the odd piece out cuz it's mucked up, you can use cling wrap instead of an adhesive tape.
A. Add some bleach to a mixing container and add Borax powder. Mix with a strong spoon. The mixing container will get quite warm. Keep adding borax and mixing until you get a slurry that will more or less hold it's shape. (It's the bleach that's the active ingredient in killing mildew, so you can mix the bleach with any powder, but I find Borax works best because boron is a natural fungicide and the borax/bleach mix tends to be stickier and so it sticks to vertical surfaces well.)
B. Mix the slurry until reasonably smooth with the large spoon, and then scoop slurry out of the mixing container with the large spoon and spread it over the mildewed silicone caulk with a tea spoon, or any size spoon that will cover the caulk completely.
C. Cover the bleach/borax slurry with cling wrap. Here it's best to have a helper cut the cling wrap to lengths for you. You want to cover all of the bleach/borax slurry to keep it from drying out.
D. Leave the bleach/borax slurry on the mildewed caulk overnight, or longer if possible. In my case, I typically leave it on for several days or even weeks when a suite is empty, but it's not necessary to leave it on for that long. If you leave it on even overnight, your silicone caulk should be white as Manitoba snow when your remove the slurry with a putty knife.
E. Borax is highly soluble in water, so any dried up borax slurry that you don't remove will be washed away by the shower water.
I clean the mildew off of silicone caulk after every tenant vacates. The only time I don't need to do that is when the tenant had baths instead of showers.
--
nestork

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 7/21/2014 12:12 AM, nestork wrote:

20+ bath tubs. Is there a doctor in the house? Calling Dr. Freud!
--
.
Christopher A. Young
Learn about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I should say that when the mixing container gets warm to the touch, the borax and bleach slurry will get stiff and quite difficult to mix. Just keep adding small amounts of bleach and mixing it in with the stiff borax until the heating stops. Continued mixing will result in a reasonably smooth and spreadable slurry. This stuff remains effective for days, so don't rush the mixing process. You're better off to spend more time mixing so that you get a smooth spreadable slurry than mixing less and having lumps of borax in your slurry.
I really don't know what causes that exothermic reaction when you mix bleach with borax, but it happens every time.
--
nestork

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

No. It's true. There's no mold from year 30 to year 40.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

stronger

with

adding

it's

mildew,

size

cover

that

That's great info, nestork! I will give this a try here. I know from other types of cleaning, that one of the key points is to let the cleaner sit, then scrub a little, and let it sit some more.
You probably have a tip for this, too.... Shower stall is tile. I have used 1 cup bleach, 1 cup Spic-n-Span powder in a gallon of hot water. Sponge it on, let it sit and scrub it off. Last time I couldn't find Spic-n-Span anywhere, and used TSP instead. This works find if the mildew is not too bad.
One shower was badly stained where the floor meets the sides, and I have never been able to get it. To make it worse, someone (me) tried sealing it and covering up the stain with caulk before I knew any better. It's near impossible to scrape the caulk off.
Anyway, that's were I'm at now. Any ideas how to deal with this?
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 21 Jul 2014 06:12:05 +0200, nestork

I'm not sure if this is the same as Boraxo Powdered Hand soap, but I want to praise that. Other than the creams that come in cans or plastic tubes that take the grease and oil out of pores, Borax Powdered hand soap is the best soap there is for really dirty hands, Probably don't need a brush when you use it.
Although I've been looking for a hand brush that isn't too soft or hard, and I ended up going with a brush meant to wash the car, shapped like the bottom of an iron or a rowboat.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks for the replies.
I did find something that does a great job of cleaning the tub.
My wife uses "Bristle Magic" to clean her paint brushes and we tried it on the tub and it works very well.
Too bad the caulk needs to re-done once a year no matter what.
I will try the cheap non-silicon stuff next time.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
| Get yourself: | 1. A box of 20 Mule Team Borax which you should be able to find in the | laundry detergents aisle of any supermarket | 2. At lease a quart of bleach. Chlorox and Javex will be 6.25 percent | NaOCl, whereas no-name bleach will be 5 percent NaOCl. Get the stronger | stuff.
Your method may be the best. I haven't tried it. But in most cases I find that 2 "paintings" with full-strength bleach is enough to make mildew disappear within a few minutes. I guess I've never explored anything more thorough because usually if there's bad mildew, the tub caulking needs to be redone, anyway. And it's not really a lot of work to just scrape it off and redo it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 7/20/2014 10:39 PM, philo wrote:

There is no such animal. The secret is, first, applying to an absolutely dry and CLEAN surface.....scrub/scrape off all soap/residue, rinse, wipe with full-strength bleach, let dry, and for a finishing touch wipe with denatured alcohol. Then, apply caulk that is absolutely smoothe, with no ditches, bumps, lumps so that it doesn't trap moisture and crud that mildew feeds on. Then, ventillate the room so the area dries; I keep shower curtain open on both ends when not in use so it doesn't hold moisture. In an older bath, I put in a timer on the exhaust fan so it would clear steam after showers.
There is no mildew in present bathroom or the last. I found out while regrouting a tiled shower stall that clean appearing (matte) tile can hold an amazing amount of soap film; I couldn't figure out why, after scrubbing the tile, I could still smell soap....until I took out my razor-blade scraper and scraped off a considerable amount of old soap film (35 y/o tile install).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 7/20/2014 10:39 PM, philo wrote:

Use a good cleaner on a regular basis and you won't get the mold.
Step one is to buy a good squeegee. Oxo makes one with a suction cup and it can be put right in the shower. Takes 20 to 30 seconds to get rid of most of the moisture after a shower.
I use a cleaner from the Dollar Tree call Amazing Awesome Cleaner. You really can beat this stuff. It is like the expensive versions of 409 but concentrated. Best deal for cleaner int he world, IMO.
Also helps to keeps the bathroom from getting too humid. Vent fan or crack the door open while showering.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 07/21/2014 12:12 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

My wife and I aren't known for cleaning.
I'm going to remove the old stuff and re-do it soon.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Guv Bob;3262069 Wrote: >

> other types of cleaning, that one of the key points is to let the > cleaner sit, then scrub a little, and let it sit some more.

> used 1 cup bleach, 1 cup Spic-n-Span powder in a gallon of hot water. > Sponge it on, let it sit and scrub it off. Last time I couldn't find > Spic-n-Span anywhere, and used TSP instead. This works find if the > mildew is not too bad.

> never been able to get it. To make it worse, someone (me) tried sealing > it and covering up the stain with caulk before I knew any better. It's > near impossible to scrape the caulk off.

To remove silicone caulk, use a Dap product called "Silicone-Be-Gone" which you should find in the paint and caulking aisle of your local home center. This product is really nothing more than gelled mineral spirits, and mineral spirits will SOFTEN cured silicone caulk. Mineral spirits will not dissolve cured silicone caulk, only soften it so that it can be removed by mechanical means, such as scrubbing with a Scotchbrite pad.
Often, people have trouble getting silicone caulk to stick to tub and tile after supposedly removing the old silicone caulk. The reason they're having a problem is that they haven't removed the old silicone caulk COMPLETELY. The way to tell if you've removed all of the old silicone is to wipe off the Silicone-Be-Gone with a damp sponge. Then sprinkle a fine powder like portland cement onto the area where the silicone caulk was and rub with your finger. The powder will become embedded in the soft silicone caulk, revealing the location of the remaining silicone caulk. Now, use the Silicone-Be-Gone on only the areas where there's remaining silicone caulk. Repeat this procedure until all of the portland cement powder wipes cleanly off tub and tile indicating there is no remaining silicone caulk. NOW, the new silicone caulk will stick well.
If you're having trouble removing mildew from old grout, the usual cause is that the bleach you're applying is not being drawn by capillary pressure INTO the grout, and the usual reason for this is that the porous surface of the grout is all clogged up with soap scum. Use a phosphoric acid based toilet bowl cleaner to dissolve that soap scum. Phosphoric acid toilet bowl cleaners will be gelled so that they're thicker. After applying the phosphoric acid, use a rubber squeegee to remove the toilet bowl cleaner to the grout lines and let it sit for a minute and then scrub the grout lines with an old denture brush or any stiff nylon bristle brush. That will remove the soap scum from the surface of the grout so that when the wet surface of the grout dries, it will wick bleach in by capillary pressure, and that's the key to cleaning grout with bleach.
If you're going to be cleaning mildew off silicone, it's important to have a STRONG and large spoon both for mixing the bleach and borax slurry and for scooping it out for spreading on the silicone with a teaspoon. Go to any place listed under "Restaurant Equipment & Supplies" in your yellow pages and buy a DESSERT SPOON for $2 or $3. The strongest spoon in any place setting will be the dessert spoon because it's meant for digging into hard ice cream and fudge. The tea spoon and soup spoon are weaker because they're meant for use with liquids; not for eating hard ice cream or fudge. You need a strong spoon like a dessert spoon to mash the borax against the side of the mixing container to make for a smooth and spreadable slurry.
--
nestork


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

the

plastic

don't

hard,

Borax is different from Boraxo, but hard to find. Not enough profit it for most stores to carry, compared with the proprietary cleaners.
Target carries a small pkg. Walmart has 76oz box at almost the same price as the small one at Target.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You

Their stuff is definitely awesome. I buy their liquid soap 1/2 gallon for $1. It's just plain old utility hand soap - no lotions or perfumey stink. Probably not something for baby. Burns like hell if you get it in your eyes. But then your eyes are really clean.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Guv Bob;3262530 Wrote:

I've never had any trouble finding 20 Mule Team Borax in the laundry detergent aisles of supermarkets.
Once again, the powder you mix with bleach doesn't HAVE TO BE borax. You'll get the same good results if you use talcum powder (magnesium silicate) or any other powder. So, if Boraxo is a powder, I'd use it. The problem is that some powders are heavier and tend to segregate to the bottom of the mixing container. Borax does that too, but quite slowly, so if you mix your slurry periodically, you'll keep the borax well suspended. Also, the reason I use Borax is that the slurry you get is a little stickier than using other powders, and that helps when applying the slurry to vertical surfaces or even overhead. But, the whitening action is entirely the work of the bleach, so if you can't find Borax, use whatever powder you can get. The cleaning action will the the same regardless of what powder you use.
Also, Borax in the factory cardboard box tends to get lumpy from absorbing moisture from the air, so maybe salvage the next 2 liter pop bottle you're about to throw out and use it as a moisture proof storage container for your borax.
And, of course, bleach gradually turns into salt water given time, so it gets weaker with age. But, I've found that using old bleach cleans up the silicone caulk as well as new bleach, or at least I haven't noticed any difference in performance.
--
nestork

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Any caulk will mold over time. The best you can do is
1. Have ventilation when you bathe(ceiling vent fan, or open window).
2. Afterwards, leave curtain or showerdoor open to let moisture out.
3. Wipe excess water off caulking.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.