How do you remove old caulk from brick?

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Old 04-20-10, 01:13 PM
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Question How do you remove old caulk from brick?

I recently replaced the rotting wooden crosshead and pilasters surrounding the front door on my home. To replace them with identical millwork would have cost many thousands of dollars, so we opted for the closest match currently in production, which looks just fine and was much more reasonable as far as price goes.

However, the old crosshead was taller than its replacement and you can see the outline of the old caulk on the brick above the new crosshead. See the public photo album link here: John Bragg's Photos - doityourself.com forums | Facebook

I was originally planning on using a stiff brush, maybe steel bristles, to remove it but my wife is concerned this could damage the brick surface, which I did not know/think/realize was a concern.

Can anyone suggest tools, products, and/or methods to remove the remaining caulk from the brick without causing damage to the exterior brick?

Thanks in advance
 
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Old 04-20-10, 02:23 PM
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It may take a wire brush but you don't want to just attack it with a wire brush or your wife will be saying 'I told you so'

I'd start with some detergent and water [heavy on the detergent] It might help soften the caulk but mainly it will be a lubricant for your putty knife and wire brush. Try to scrape off what you can with the putty knife before resorting to the wire brush.... and go easy with the brush so you don't damage the brick!!
 
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Old 04-20-10, 06:43 PM
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Thanks! Any suggestions on specific detergents? Are you talking about something like liquid dish detergent?
 
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Old 04-21-10, 06:12 AM
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Spic and span, laundry detergent or similar would be better but dish soap should work too. A stronger detergent might help to loosen the caulk some but any soap will work good as a lubricant for the putty knife and brush.
 
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Old 04-21-10, 06:53 AM
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Great! I'm certainly not opposed to picking up something that will work better. Thanks again.
 
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