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Old 12-02-2013, 06:48 AM   #1
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Removing old caulk from vinyl windows


As part of another project I pulled the old wood trim from around my windows and am going to install new. The windows are older vinyl inserts that fit into the original opening and then they caulked the joint where the trim met the window. They didn't do such a great job (pretty sloppy) so I'd like to get the existing stuff off to start over when I install the new trim. Any suggestions for doing this without gouging or damaging the vinyl? I think the caulk is an old late acrylic or something. It's pretty hard now (not rubbery like silicone)
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Old 12-02-2013, 06:59 AM   #2
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Removing old caulk from vinyl windows


Most things don't stick very well to vinyl and you may be able to cut it off with a single edge razor and a 20 pound sack of patience. WD-40 will help if the caulk still has some tack to it.

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Old 12-02-2013, 07:05 AM   #3
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Removing old caulk from vinyl windows


I use a plastic putty knife sanded to a point at a slight angle. (to steep an angle and it will dull easily) Then a white Scotch Bright pad.
The white ones have no abrasive on them.
A green one will scratch it.
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Old 12-02-2013, 07:43 AM   #4
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Removing old caulk from vinyl windows


Thanks pole and joe. This stuff is stuck like glue so the putty knife and scrubbing pad sound like the best chance yet. I'm a little anxious about using a razor scraper to get the old stuff off. joe do you use water or any solvents with the pad?

Methinks I'll need the 20lb bag of patience with either method.
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Old 12-02-2013, 08:43 AM   #5
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Removing old caulk from vinyl windows


I'd never use any type of solvent.
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Old 12-02-2013, 12:27 PM   #6
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Removing old caulk from vinyl windows


You don't want to use a razor scraper. Just a razor blade. The single edge type rather than box cutter sort. You slide it along the edge of the caulk at a very shallow angle. If you have a surgeon's touch you can use a razor sharp wood chisel with less hand cramping.
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Old 12-02-2013, 04:28 PM   #7
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Removing old caulk from vinyl windows


I wasn't to keen on using solvents because I had a feeling it would be bad for the vinyl. The razor blade is a last resort. I might try that and/or the chisel idea in a spot that will get covered up with the trim before I run with it all over.
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Old 12-02-2013, 05:37 PM   #8
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Removing old caulk from vinyl windows


If you're going to use solvents -
Mineral Spirits with lots of "elbow-grease" -
careful with razor blades!
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Old 12-09-2013, 06:03 PM   #9
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Removing old caulk from vinyl windows


Silicone spray also works to clean off excess but if you are going to re-caulk, nothing sticks.

Mineral spirits works well.
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Old 12-09-2013, 06:23 PM   #10
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Removing old caulk from vinyl windows


I was messing around with this yesterday and it seems like the only thing that worked well was the razor blade. Plastic scraper was getting chewed up by the old hard caulking and as long as I was very gentle the razor wasn't gouging the vinyl. I need to try to find the white scotch brite pads to get the last bit of residual off but I think that will work. Thanks guys!
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Old 12-11-2013, 05:21 AM   #11
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Removing old caulk from vinyl windows


WD-40 and an eraser. Large one like a draftsman would use.

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