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10 Best Caulk Removers of 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

using Crown Tuff Strip Ultimate Caulk Remover

using Crown Tuff Strip Ultimate Caulk Remover

Caulk is a sealant that’s so strong we trust it to keep the windows and doors in our homes sealed. We use it around bathtubs and showers, sinks, counters, around vents, and in many more places. Pretty much anywhere you need to prevent water and air from seeping through, caulking is the go-to solution.

Once you apply it, the caulking is permanent. If you get some on the carpet or another area you don’t want ruined, or you decide that you must remove the caulking for some other reason, you’re in for a difficult task. Caulk is meant to stick, and getting it to let go isn’t easy.

Luckily, caulk removers provide an efficient way to loosen up the caulking and remove it. They range in effectiveness though, and not all caulking removers are worth trying. To save you the hassle of getting your hopes up just to be disappointed, we tested out as many caulking removers as we could find to figure out which ones are most effective; information we’re about to share with you in the following reviews.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Crown Tuff Strip Ultimate Caulk Remover Crown Tuff Strip Ultimate Caulk Remover
  • Works in just 2 hours
  • Clings to surfaces and won’t run
  • One bottle removes up to 47 linear feet of caulking
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Rust-Oleum Krud Kutter Adhesive Remover Rust-Oleum Krud Kutter Adhesive Remover
  • Works in just 2-5 minutes
  • Works on silicone and latex caulking
  • Priced affordably for the amount you get
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Orange Sol 10022 Contractor Solvent Orange Sol 10022 Contractor Solvent
  • Safe on skin and hair
  • Doesn’t damage the surface underneath
  • Won’t hurt the paint
  • Dap Caulk-Be-Gone Caulk Remover Dap Caulk-Be-Gone Caulk Remover
  • Works in just 2 hours
  • Won’t damage most surfaces
  • Easy to work with gel formula
  • Goof Off FG658 Professional Strength Remover Goof Off FG658 Professional Strength Remover
  • Affordably priced
  • Can be used to remove other adhesives as well
  • Professional strength for stubborn caulk
  • The 10 Best Caulk Removers – Reviews 2021

    1. Crown Tuff Strip Ultimate Caulk Remover – Best Overall

    Crown Tuff Strip Ultimate Caulk Remover

    Many of the products we tested for this list are multi-purpose removers that are formulated to remove a variety of substances like glue, paint, sticker residue, and more; not just caulking. But the Crown Tuff Strip ultimate caulk remover is a different type of product that’s specifically made for removing caulk. As such, it’s not too surprising that it turned out to be our favorite caulking remover.

    The number one reason we liked this product is that it worked. Apply this remover and wait for just 2 hours. Then, your caulking is ready to be removed with just a little scraping. A single bottle can remove up to 47 linear feet of caulking, making it easy to figure out how much remover you’ll need. It’s effective on both silicone and latex caulk, effectively making it a one-bottle solution for all of your caulking removal needs.

    We found that this formula works well on horizontal and vertical caulking since it clings well to surfaces and doesn’t drip or run as much as other products. However, you do have to be careful when using it on sensitive surfaces as it can damage some materials.

    Pros
    • Works in just 2 hours
    • One bottle removes up to 47 linear feet of caulking
    • Clings to surfaces and won’t run
    • Effective on latex and silicone caulk
    Cons
    • Can damage sensitive surfaces

    2. Rust-Oleum Krud Kutter Adhesive Remover – Best Value

    Rust-Oleum Krud Kutter Adhesive Remover

    Rust-Oleum is known for making coatings and paints that fight corrosion and stand up through just about any conditions. Their Krud Kutter adhesive remover is on the opposite end of the spectrum though; designed to remove the same types of products that Rust-Oleum is known for producing. But this adhesive remover works on a wide range of materials, including silicone and latex caulking. Best of all, it’s very affordable; especially considering how much you get for the price.

    While many caulk removers take hours to work or even have to be left all night, the Rust-Oleum Krud Kutter works in mere minutes. Spray it onto whatever caulk you wish to remove and in 5 minutes or less, you’re ready to start wiping the old caulk away.

    Similar to other high-powered adhesive removers, this product can damage sensitive surfaces, so you’ll want to be careful when applying it. We also found that the sprayer on this bottle is awful. It clogged up and started spitting random droplets in all directions. Given how well the remover works on caulking and how much product you get for the price, we still think this is the best caulk remover for the money.

    Pros
    • Works in just 2-5 minutes
    • Priced affordably for the amount you get
    • Works on silicone and latex caulking
    • Has a wide range of applicable uses
    Cons
    • Can damage sensitive surfaces
    • The spray nozzle is no good

    3. Orange Sol 10022 Contractor Solvent – Premium Choice

    Orange Sol 10022 Contractor Solvent

    Orange Sol is more than just a caulking remover. This contractor solvent is a heavy-duty solvent remover that’s highly effective at removing a wide range of different materials. We’ve used it with great luck on both silicone and latex caulk, without the harsh odors that are commonly associated with similar products.

    One of our favorite things about Orange Sol is how safe the formula is on skin and sensitive materials. After applying this solvent on old caulking, you’ll be able to wipe it away in a few minutes without damaging the paint beneath it. Likewise, it’s completely safe for your skin and hair and will only damage the caulking you wish to remove.

    On the other hand, this is pretty pricey stuff. You get 12 ounces for about twice the price of 16 ounces from other brands. But few of those products can boast the incredible effectiveness of Orange Sol. And remember, this solvent can be used on more than just caulk; it might even become your new favorite heavy-duty cleaner! Just be aware that the spray bottle it comes in is pretty low-quality and you’ll often get drips from the spray nozzle.

    Pros
    • Safe on skin and hair
    • Doesn’t damage the surface underneath
    • Won’t hurt the paint
    • No harsh odors
    Cons
    • It’s a bit pricey for the amount
    • Cheap, low-quality spray bottle

    4. Dap Caulk-Be-Gone Caulk Remover

    Dap Caulk-Be-Gone Caulk Remover

    Dap is a company known for making and selling caulking products. It would make sense if their remover was one of the most effective formulas we tested. Overall, it’s a great product, though it’s a bit expensive for the small amount you get. What made this worse was that a lot of the product in the tube had hardened and wasn’t any good to use.

    This product is tough on caulk but easy on other surfaces, so it won’t damage most of the surfaces that your caulk is likely to be adhered to. It comes in a thick gel that’s easy to work with. This formula doesn’t run or drip, so it will stay wherever you apply it, working its magic until the caulk is easy to remove by hand. It takes just 2 hours to work, saving you time and allowing you to carry on with your life. If more product came in the tube or the price was more reasonable, then this product might break into our top three.

    Pros
    • Works in just 2 hours
    • Won’t damage most surfaces
    • Easy to work with gel formula
    Cons
    • Some of the product was no good
    • Small amount for a high price

    5. Goof Off FG658 Professional Strength Remover

    Goof Off FG658 Professional Strength Remover

    All Goof Off products are meant to remove stubborn messes that regular cleaners won’t work on. The Goof Off FG658 is their professional strength remover, offering more cleaning power than standard Goof Off. You get 16 ounces in a bottle that’s far cheaper than most competitors, making it a good value.

    This product is effective. In our experience, it removes both silicone and latex caulk with just a few applications. It can also be used to remove other adhesives, though we only tested it with caulking.

    The problem is that it’s so powerful it can quickly damage the surface beneath your caulk. If you’re removing caulk from a window or door, the Goof Off can easily remove paint beneath and even damage the wood. The harsh chemical odor is also a major turn-off for some people. You’ll need substantial ventilation to work with this product inside.

    Pros
    • Affordably priced
    • Professional strength for stubborn caulk
    • Can be used to remove other adhesives as well
    Cons
    • Can damage surfaces if left too long
    • Very strong odor

    6. Motsenbocker’s Lift Off 41145 Silicone Caulk Remover

    Motsenbocker’s Lift Off 41145 Silicone Caulk Remover

    In a bottle of Motsenbocker’s Lift Off silicone caulk remover, you’ll get just 4.5 ounces of product. That’s not going to spread a very long way, and considering the price, it’s far from the best value on this list. That said, this product works much better than many alternatives, so we can’t discount it entirely.

    This product is safe for most surfaces. You’ll still want to double-check before applying it, but it’s not going to damage surfaces like paint, wood, and metal. It’s an eco-friendly formula that breaks the caulk’s bond instead of dissolving it, which means it doesn’t have to be quite as powerful to be effective.

    But you’ll notice a harsh chemical smell when applying this product. That’s from the high VOCs in it. Most people would prefer not to fill their homes with volatile organic compounds, so that’s a major negative mark for the Motsenbocker’s.

    Pros
    • Safe for most surfaces
    • Breaks caulk’s bond rather than dissolving it
    • Eco-friendly formula
    Cons
    • Expensive for the small amount you get
    • High in VOCs

    7. Goo Gone Pro-Power Adhesive Remover

    Goo Gone Pro-Power Adhesive Remover

    Goo Gone specializes in creating cleaning products that can remove the toughest stains and adhesives. Their Pro-Power adhesive remover is stronger than their other formulas, making it a great option for many situations. Best of all, it’s a good value, offering an impressive 24 ounces for an affordable price.

    Unfortunately, this remover isn’t caulk-specific. It’s very strong and definitely removes caulking, but it also removes a lot more. If you use it on a sensitive surface, you can expect to see some damage afterward. It will easily remove paint and other finishes.

    This is a quick-working product. Just a few minutes after you apply it, you’ll be ready to wipe it off. But we found that it requires several applications to be truly effective. After a few coats, the surface beneath is likely to be very damaged, which is why this isn’t one of our top choices for removing caulk.

    Pros
    • You get a lot for the price
    • Works on silicone caulk
    • Doesn’t take long to work
    Cons
    • Takes off more than just caulking
    • Requires several coats to remove caulking

    8. Motsenbocker’s Lift Off 41116 Silicone Caulk Remover

    Motsenbocker’s Lift Off 41116 Silicone Caulk Remover

    Meant specifically for removing silicone and latex caulk, the Motsenbocker’s Lift Off 41116 is a water-based formula that’s safe for use on most surfaces. It’s unlikely to damage your paint, tile, ceramic, porcelain, or most other materials, though it can’t be used on fiberglass. If you have a fiberglass tub, you’ll want to skip this product.

    The Motsenbocker’s 41116 works quickly, but it takes several coatings to loosen the caulk enough to remove it. Even still, the caulking doesn’t come off as easily as with other products. We had to really scrape and scrub to remove the caulk and get down to a clean surface. This product seems to just soften the caulking rather than dissolve it or break its bonds to the surface beneath.

    Pros
    • Water-based formula
    • Safe for use on most surfaces
    • Works quickly
    Cons
    • Can still be difficult to lift the caulk
    • Can’t be used on fiberglass
    • Only seems to soften the caulking

    9. FOLLOWIN Caulk Stain Cleaner

    FOLLOWIN Caulk Stain Cleaner

    This product from FOLLOWIN is more of a caulking cleaner than remover. It’s great for getting rid of the mold and black stains that appear in your caulking; particularly in areas with a lot of moisture like bathrooms and around windows. However, it won’t actually remove the caulking from anywhere.

    We noticed that this cleaner doesn’t have a very strong odor compared to other products we used. Of course, this is likely because it doesn’t have to be nearly as powerful to clean mold as it would need to be to strip caulking. Even though it’s only cleaning the caulk, it still takes several hours to work. Overall, we’d skip this one in favor of something that really breaks the caulk down.

    Pros
    • Less odor than other products
    • Cleans up stains in caulk
    Cons
    • Takes several hours to work
    • Doesn’t remove caulking

    10. MXY Gel Caulk Remover

    MXY Gel Caulk Remover

    MXY calls this a caulk remover, but that’s not really what it is. Rather, this is a caulk cleaner that will remove black spots and mold from your caulking. The gel consistency doesn’t run, making it easy to apply and work with. But we’re in the market for caulking removers, not cleaners, so this product was a disappointment.

    To be fair, it did work well at cleaning up our caulk. The black spots were gone and we were left with shiny white caulk again. The problem is, we still had just as much caulk as when we started!

    This product comes in a very small bottle. It’s pretty darn pricey though, making it an awful value on top of the false advertising that makes you believe it’s a caulking remover when it really only cleans caulk. Altogether, we think it’s safe to say you can skip the MXY Gel Caulk Remover.

    Pros
    • Gel consistency doesn’t run
    • Cleans up old, black caulk
    Cons
    • Doesn’t actually remove caulking
    • Overpriced
    • You only get a tiny amount

    Buyer’s Guide

    There’s no shortage of products to pick from when you’re looking for a way to remove old caulking. But caulking is stubborn and choosing a formula that will be effective can prove to be quite difficult without actually testing all the products first.

    Luckily, we did the testing for you, simplifying the decision-making process. That doesn’t mean the decision is made though. If you’re still on the fence, then this short buyer’s guide is designed to help you choose with confidence.

    Choosing the Right Caulk Remover

    With so many caulk removing products available, how do you pick just one? We suggest starting with a few questions and considerations. Ask these questions about any caulk remover you’re considering, to determine how well it will work for you.

    How Effective is it?

    It’s pretty hard to know how well a product performs without using it. That’s why we put together these reviews. At this point, you should have a good understanding of how each of these products performs. But if you’re looking at other caulk removers, then you’ll want to read reviews and see what experiences other users had with that product. If it doesn’t remove caulk, then it’s not going to be much use for your needs; regardless of what other adhesives it might be effective on.

    How Much do you Get?

    This question is more about value. If you only get 5 ounces of a particular product for the same price as 16 ounces of another product, then it’s clear which of these products should last longer and allow you to remove more caulk total. Of course, that’s dependent on both of them being effective products, which is why how much you get from each is the second consideration.

    Is it Safe on Surfaces?

    Next, you’ll have to make sure it’s not going to damage anything you want to keep in good condition. You’re removing caulk, but you might want to keep the paint beneath. Some of these adhesive removers are incredibly strong and can damage just about any surface they’re left on too long. There are even some that will damage underlying surfaces in mere minutes. The more sensitive the surface your caulking is adhered to, the more cautious you need to be about removing the caulk to avoid damaging the surface beneath.

    using Motsenbocker’s Lift Off 41145 Silicone Caulk Remover

    Harsh Odors

    Odors affect everyone differently. What seems like an offensive odor to some may not seem so strong to you. It’s entirely subjective. Still, some of these cleaners have very harsh odors that just about anyone would agree smell like strong chemicals. Some even have high levels of VOCs — volatile organic chemicals that you don’t want to breathe in. If you’re sensitive to scents, you’ll want to be double careful about which product you choose. Even if you’re not, you’ll want to make sure the product you pick is safe for use indoors.

    Messy and Runny Products

    Not all caulk removers apply the same. Our favorite formulas are usually gels. They’re thick and won’t drip or run, making them easier to work with. Liquids can still be effective, but they’re harder to deal with and prevent from getting on surfaces you don’t want to be damaged.

    Other Uses

    Only a few of these products are specifically made for removing caulk. While many of the other products are still effective at caulking removal, they’re meant for removing any type of adhesive. This means that you’ll be able to use that product again for other jobs, like removing tape residue, crayon from the wall, or glue that spilled. If you have kids in your house, then keeping such a product around could prove to be invaluable over time.

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    Conclusion

    Caulking is intended to be permanent. Removing it can prove to be a rather difficult task that’s often accompanied by frustration and exasperation. But with the correct caulking remover, it can be nearly as easy to remove the caulking as it was to apply it in the first place. We’ve used effective and useless caulking removers in the process of writing these reviews. But after all was said and done, we did find three caulking removers that we’re confident in.

    Our top choice for the best caulking remover is the Crown Tuff Strip ultimate caulk remover. A single bottle can remove up to 47 linear feet of caulking and it takes just 2 hours to work. Plus, the thick formula doesn’t run or drip, making it easy to work with.

    For a budget-priced option, we recommend the Rust-Oleum Krud Kutter adhesive remover. It’s a highly effective product that will easily remove silicone and latex caulk, as well as a wide range of other substances, in less than 5 minutes.

    Orange Sol contractor solvent is our premium choice pick. Despite being incredibly powerful and easily removing caulk and other adhesives, this formula is safe on skin, hair, paint, and most other surfaces.

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