A caulk removal tool is a tool designed to assist people with the removal of caulk. Caulk is a compound used to seal joints and cracks, and it can be made from a variety of polymers as well as other compounds. There are numerous situations in which it may be necessary to remove caulk, and having a tool can make the process faster and much safer than adapting a tool which is not suitable. Many hardware and home supply stores carry these handy tools, often near the caulking supplies so that people can find them easily.
One common reason to strip caulk is to remove caulk which has become moldy or mildewed for the purpose of replacing it. People may also want to change the color of caulk, to work on the joint the compound is sealing, to fix badly applied caulk, and so forth. The problem with caulk is that it is an excellent adhesive, a trait which is appreciated when it is doing a job as a sealant, but not so delightful when one is trying to remove it.
Caulk removal tools have scraper blades which are designed to lift the caulk without gouging the underlying surfaces. A caulk removal tool is often made from plastic, although metal scrapers are available, and some have several blades so that people can choose between the different blades. This can be especially useful when people are dealing with awkward angles, and when people want to get all the way inside the joint to remove ingrained caulk.
Ideally, a caulk removal tool should have a comfortable handle which has been engineered for easy gripping to make it more comfortable to use. People should get in the habit of moving the caulk removal tool away from themselves as they scrape at the caulk, because if it slips, it can cause an injury.
Even with a caulk removal tool, it is not uncommon to find that some scraps of caulk are left behind. Numerous hardware stores carry chemicals which can be used to dissolve small amounts of caulk so that scraps can be wiped away. While using such chemicals, it is a good idea to wear protection over the face, as they can be dangerous to inhale. It may be tempting to skip this step when stripping caulk because it adds some inconvenience, but caulk which gets left behind can present problems later, so it's better to make sure that the surface is totally clean as long as one is taking the time to remove caulk.