How to Remove Caulk from Brick

Caulk is used around windows and other openings to provide a barrier to air and moisture. Over time, the caulk will become hard and need to be replaced. Or when you are using caulk, you may find that you have accidentally smeared some caulk on the brick exterior of your home. Either way, you’ll need to remove the caulk, without leaving a tell tale white smear. If you are reapply caulk in the same location, you’ll also need to make sure that the brick surface is exposed, rather than simply reapplying over existing caulk.

Fresh Caulk

Step 1: Remove as much of the caulk as possible with a putty knife. Try to remove it carefully, without smearing the caulk.

Step 2: Use a rag saturated with paint thinner to remove any remaining residue.

TIP: If necessary, you can also use a wire brush to remove caulk from any brick crevices.

Step 3: Clean the surface of the brick with warm soapy water to remove any paint thinner residue.

TIP: If you need to apply more caulk, let the brick wall dry completely. Then you can apply the caulk as usual to the area.

Old Caulk

Step 1: Remove any old, crumbling caulk with a metal edged putty knife.

Step 2: Heat the remaining caulk using a heat gun that is 10 to 12 inches from the surface. Scrape away the softened caulk with a putty knife as you go.

TIP: If you are removing caulk that is also adjacent to wood, such as window, be careful when using the heat gun. The heating gun could blister the paint on the woodwork, or in extreme cases scorch the wood.

Step 3: Remove the remaining bits of caulk with a wire brush dipped in paint thinner. If needed, you can saturate a rag with paint thinner and press it against the caulk, then scrape or brush it away after a 10 minutes.

Step 4: Clean the brick with warm, soapy water to remove residue.

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