How to Recaulk a Kitchen Sink

  • 3-6 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-1,000
What You'll Need
Soap solution
Warm water
Vacuum cleaner
Laminate adhesive
Utility knife
Rubbing alcohol
Caulking tube
Caulking gun
Masking tape/painters tape
Wedge tool
Putty knife
Moist rag

You can easily recaulk the weathered caulking of your kitchen sink. The caulk layering around the sink gets damaged due to sustained exposure to moisture and smoke found in the kitchen space. You don’t need to hire professionals or plumbing contractors for re-caulking the sink. Just follow the simple instructions, detailed below.

Step 1: Cleaning Caulked Surfaces

Turn-off the sink’s water supply. Kitchen sinks are prone to developing layers of grime deposits and soot filming. You should use a strong cleaning solution to remove the settled grime. You can use a soap solution prepared in lukewarm water for this purpose. To remove the old grout layering, use a utility knife. It is very useful for peeling-away the old grout. Using a scraper, remove the loose caulked bits to ensure a uniform, clean surface for re-caulking. You can access the hard-to-reach caulked surfaces behind the sink with a screwdriver. Remove any mold or mildew that is often found along the underside of sinks. Ideally, you should disinfect the entire sink and surrounding surfaces with rubbing alcohol. This ensures that none of the fungal spores are passed into the new caulking layer.

Step 2: Preparing Caulked Surfaces for Re-caulking

Often the caulked sink surfaces are in close contact with laminates. These are fabricated materials used in the finishing of countertops and often extend to the edging of the kitchen sinks. If you find that the weathered caulk bits have delved into the laminates, you need to clean the laminate edgings. Using a vacuum-cleaner, suck out any bits of damaged laminate edging. Weathered sinks often allow moisture to seep into the surrounding laminates. This moisture can seep back into the new, caulking. Hence, you need to dry-up the laminate layering. Slightly lift the laminate to allow greater circulation of air. Using a blow-dryer or fan, dry the uplifted laminate. Secure the laminate layering using a standard, laminate adhesive.

Step 3: Drying Prepared Sites

Allow the prepared, caulking site to dry. This is critical for the caulking surface to form a strong and uniform bond with the new caulking layer. Avoid any activity that may cause moisture seepage into the prepared site, including cooking in the kitchen that can introduce water vapor.

Step 4: Preparing Re-caulking Seam

It is better that you create a ¼-inch wide seam along the caulking area. This helps to lay down the caulking without worrying about over-spilling the caulk. Use a painters tape or a masking tape for this. Apply the tape along the outer edge of the prepared site.

Step 5: Re-caulking Prepared Seam

Using the utility knife, slice the tip of the caulking tube. The size of the opening should be about the size of the caulking edge that you are about to recaulk. Insert the caulking tube into the caulking gun. Squeeze the trigger mechanism of the caulking gun. Do this slowly, to ensure that a smooth, uniform layer of caulk emerges from the gun. Apply the bead of caulk along the inner side of applied seam. Keep your pressure on the gun’s trigger steady—any changes can cause over or under-caulking. After laying down the first layer of caulk, press upon the re-caulked line with the wedge tool. Tooling the caulk helps to press-in the caulk among the deeper, hard-to-access surfaces around the sink. There are no strict rules to calculate the number the caulking seams that you apply. Usually, two to three layers are advised.

Step 6: Finishing Re-caulked Layer

Remove the tape. Remove any excess caulk with the scraper. Let the caulk dry according to packaged instructions. Using a putty knife, cut-off any hanging beads of caulk. Wipe the re-caulked layer with a slightly wet rag.