Skip to Content

How To Get Caulk Out Of Clothes

Whenever I use caulk, I always get more on my clothes than the task at hand. Usually, it’s all over the legs of my jeans or on my sleeves. As I like my garments to be caulk-free, I need to find out how to remove the gloop. This leaves me with a very important question. How to get caulk out of clothes?

There are several ways to get caulk out of clothing. Using chemical removers such as Goo Gone is quick and effective. A vinegar and baking soda solution also works well. Another tried and tested method is to put the garment in the freezer and then scrape off the frozen caulk.

Finding caulk all over your clothes can be annoying. Fear not, the caulk can be removed. Read on to find out the best methods for getting caulk out of your clothes.

How To Get Caulk Out Of Clothes

Can You Wash Caulk Out of Clothes?

Yes, you can wash caulk out of clothes. Depending on the type of caulk or sealant you are using, you may find some are easier to wash out than others. The amount of time the caulk has been on your garments will also make a difference to the ease with which it can be removed.

Removing the caulk as soon as it lands on your clothing is the best way to ensure you can get rid of it easily. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible. Most of the time, the blobs of caulk are dry before they are noticed.

For dried-on caulk, you may need to treat the stain before washing. Caulk is a type of adhesive designed to seal joints or gaps around the home. You can even use silicone caulk to seal the tiles in your bathroom or the edge of your bathtub.

The bad news here, caulk tends to be waterproof. Which can prove a little problematic for removing the substance when it gets on your clothes. Especially when it has dried on.

You might have to add a chemical remover if the caulk stain is particularly stubborn. Breaking down caulk’s resistance to water will help cut the bond between it and the fabric in your clothes.

What Is the Difference Between Caulk and Sealant?

Caulk and sealant tend to be interchangeable words to describe a substance used to seal gaps and cracks. Both products are used to keep water out, so it’s easy to see why they are considered to be the same thing. Especially as both caulk and sealant are applied using a caulking gun.

The main difference between caulk and sealant is down to flexibility. Sealants tend to be silicone-based. Silicone has a high level of elasticity and can be used in areas that expand and contract due to high moisture levels or temperature fluctuations. You’ll find silicone sealants in bathrooms, kitchens, and around the edges of exterior windows and doors.

In contrast, caulk is inflexible and water-based. It can contain latex or acrylic and doesn’t have the same level of water resistance as silicone. That makes caulk better for internal applications with lower exposure to moisture. Sealing the gap between walls and wood fixtures like baseboards and molding, for instance.

A downside to silicone sealant’s flexibility is it’s not as simple to remove from your clothes as a water-based caulk. Caulk will wash out with soap and water. Removing silicone may require the help of chemical removers.

How to Get Caulk Out of Clothes

Whenever you are using caulk, it’s pretty much guaranteed you’re going to get some on your clothes. Whether it’s through rubbing a blob off your fingers onto your jeans or an accidental blob falling from a ceiling molding, caulk gets everywhere.

There’s no need to panic, though. Your clothes are not ruined! There are methods you can use to remove the sticky gloop from the fabric of your garments.

Bear in mind some fabrics can be damaged by moisture. As many of these remedies involve water, always test them on a small hidden area of your garment first. If your clothing has a special finish, seek the advice of professional cleaners before attempting any of the suggestions in this article.

Let’s take a look at the different methods you can use to remove caulk. We’ve put together a handy step-by-step guide so you can achieve the best results.

1. Blotting and Dabbing

If you have a fresh glob of gloop on your clothes, you need to act fast. The best way of removing caulk from your shirt or jeans is to get it off before it has time to dry.

This method should work on both caulk and silicone sealants as long as the blob is still wet. You may find it gives better results on caulk, though. A silicone product may require a combination of this method and another solution.

You will need:

  • Clean cloth
  • A small amount of cool water
  • Washing machine and detergent
  • Laundry stain remover

Step 1

Dampen the clean cloth with cool water. Gently dab the cloth on the caulk blob with a blotting motion. As you blot, the wet caulk should transfer to the fibers in the cloth. If it doesn’t, add more water to the cloth. Keep adjusting the cloth as you blot so you don’t accidentally reapply any of the caulk to your clothing.

Step 2

Once you are happy, the cloth has removed as much caulk as possible, spray the area with stain remover. This is to ensure any residue can be removed. Put the garment in the washing machine and wash on your normal setting using your usual detergent.

2. Freezing and Scraping

This option can be used on partially dry or completely dry caulk. As with the method above, it should work for latex or acrylic caulk and silicone products. However, you may find silicone can be stubborn, so combining this with another option may be necessary.

You will need:

  • A freezer
  • Ice cubes
  • Water spray
  • Spatula or flat edged tool
  • Washing machine and detergent
  • Laundry stain remover

Step 1

Spray water onto the caulk spots to add a little more moisture to the gloop. This will help moisten the caulk and aid the freezing process.

Step 2

There are two ways to do this method. You can either put the whole garment into the freezer or apply ice cubes to each glob of caulk. Whichever option you choose, you need to freeze the caulk until it is brittle.

Step 3

Once the caulk is showing signs of cracking, remove the ice cubes or take the garment out of the freezer. Using your fingernails or a spatula for tougher globs, gently lever the caulk fragments up and away from the fabric.

Step 4

When all the chips of caulk have been lifted away from the fabric, you can apply the stain remover. This will help take any residual caulk away. Put the garment into the washing machine and wash as normal.

3. Regular Washing

Most caulks can be washed out of fabrics fairly easily, particularly if they are water-based. Rather than using the previous two methods, you can put your garment straight in the wash.

This solution may be less effective on silicone-based sealants. You may find you will need to use a different method for that type of caulk.

It doesn’t matter if you wash by hand or use a washing machine. However, you will get better results if you use a machine.

You will need:

  • Basin, sink, or bowl and warm water
  • Soft brush
  • Washing machine
  • Detergent suitable for hand or machine washing
  • Laundry stain remover

Step 1

Scrape off as much caulk gloop or dried-on caulk as you can using either of the previous two methods. Apply stain remover to the affected areas to remove any leftover residue.

Step 2

Decide if you will be hand or machine washing and select the suitable laundry detergent. For hand washing, fill the bowl, basin, or sink so the garment can be submerged completely. Swirl the clothing around in the water and detergent mix.

Lift the garment out and with a soft brush, gently rub at the stained areas. Continue until you are happy the caulk has been removed. Allow to soak for 20 minutes and then rinse and dry as you would normally.

Step 3

Using a washing machine, simply wash your garment on the usual wash cycle using your normal detergent. Once the cycle is complete, check your clothing for signs of staining. If you are happy, all the stains are gone, dry as normal. If there are still areas of concern, add more stain remover and repeat the wash process.

4. Goo Gone

Goo Gone Adhesive Remover - 8 Ounce - Surface Safe Adhesive Remover Safely Removes Stickers Labels Decals Residue Tape Chewing Gum Grease TarFor stubborn caulk stains, especially silicone-based sealants and caulks, you can use a chemical remover like Goo Gone. Using a chemical remover takes the hard work out of removing stains like caulk from your clothes.

The best thing about Goo Gone and other chemical removers, they can be used for other stains like chewing gum, grease, tar, and even annoying sticky labels. They are easy to apply too. Available in spray bottles or wipes, the simplicity of chemical removers makes cleaning up caulk stains a breeze.

You will need:

  • Goo Gone or similar chemical remover
  • Washing machine and detergent

Step 1

Read the instructions on the packaging of your Goo Gone or another chemical remover. Apply the product as directed to the blobs of caulk on your clothes. Be aware that chemical removers can’t be used on all surfaces. Double-check the packaging to make sure your product is suitable for use on your garment.

Step 2

Once the chemical remover has done its job, wash your garment in hot soapy water to remove the Goo Gone.

Step 3

Wash as normal using your usual wash cycle and detergent. Check you are happy all the caulk has gone before drying. If some residual staining is still present, repeat the wash cycle.

5. Baking Soda and Vinegar

ARM & HAMMER Pure Baking Soda 8 oz (Pack of 6)Two of the most useful cleaning products in the kitchen, baking soda and vinegar, can remove caulk from fabric. As a natural alternative to chemical removers, they are effective and safe on most surfaces.

This option is effective on partially dry to completely dry spots of caulk gloop. Test on an inconspicuous spot first to ensure the baking soda and vinegar combination will not harm your clothes.

You will need:

Step 1

Mix baking soda with water until you get a solution with the consistency of a runny paste. Gently rub the solution into the caulk blobs. Baking soda is abrasive, so it will help to break down the caulk.

Step 2

Use a clean cloth to blot the treated areas to remove the baking soda paste. Keep moving to a clean portion of cloth to make sure all the baking soda is lifted away from the fabric.

Step 3

Once you are sure all the baking soda has gone, apply a small amount of vinegar to the stained areas. Vinegar is a natural stain remover and will lift any remaining caulk residue from your garment. Allow the vinegar to soak into the fabric for no longer than 5 minutes. You don’t want the vinegar to dry on the fabric. As soon as it looks like it is drying, move on to step 4.

Step 4

Wash your clothing as you would normally using your usual wash cycle and detergent. As soon as the wash cycle is complete, remove the garment from the machine and check for stains.

If you are happy, they have all gone, dry as normal. If some residue still exists, spray on a little more vinegar and repeat the wash cycle.

6. Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol

Dealmed Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol 70% USP, First Aid Antiseptic, 16 fl. oz, (2 Pack)Isopropyl rubbing alcohol will do the same job as vinegar. The alcohol is a natural stain remover. As it’s a strong substance, it has the power to eat through caulk, even when the gloop has dried.

As with all the methods suggested in this article, test a small hidden area of your clothing to make sure the alcohol isn’t going to damage the fabric or color of your garment.

You will need:

Step 1

Pour a small amount of isopropyl rubbing alcohol onto a cotton wool ball. Not too much; you want damp, not wringing wet. Apply the cotton wool ball to the caulk blob and gently rub the alcohol into the stained area. Allow the alcohol to soak into the caulk and fabric for around 5 minutes.

Step 2

Wash your garment as normal using your usual wash cycle and detergent. As soon as the cycle has stopped, check the clothing for signs of caulk. If you are happy they have all gone, dry the garment as you would normally. If some residual marks are still visible, repeat step 1.

How to Get Caulk Out of Your Carpet

If you’re using caulk in any carpeted area of your home, you can be sure you’ll get a glob or two on your carpet. Caulk seems to be attracted to fabric like bees are to honey and your carpet is just as susceptible to staining as your clothes. As it’s fabric, the same methods of removal you use on clothes will work on carpet. The only difference, you can’t put your carpet in the washing machine.

The easiest options are Goo Gone, vinegar, or isopropyl alcohol. Make sure to remove as much of the caulk gloop as you can first, then apply one of the above products. You will need to wash the product out of your carpet with a bowl of soapy water. Rinse well and allow to air dry. Blotting any excess water with a dry towel will help the drying process.

How to Get Silicone Sealant Out of Clothes

Silicone sealant is waterproof. You may find many of the water-based solutions mentioned in this article struggle to lift a silicone product out of the fibers of your clothes.

Your best option when dealing with silicone is a chemical remover. Goo Gone and similar chemical products are specifically designed to eat away at adhesives like silicone sealants.

Follow the instructions on the tin or bottle and apply Goo Gone to the blob of silicone. Once treated, rinse the garment in hot soapy water to remove the Goo Gone. Then simply wash your clothing as you would normally.

How to Get Dried Silicone Out of Clothing

If the silicone has dried onto your garment, you will need to take extra steps before grabbing your bottle of Goo Gone. The first thing to do is get rid of the globs of dried gloop from the fabric surface.

Putting the whole garment in the freezer is the most effective way to do this. For smaller stained areas, you can apply ice to the affected spot. By freezing the silicone, it will become brittle and cracks will start appearing. You will find you should be able to pry the silicone away from the fabric with your fingernails or a spatula.

Once the hard areas of silicone are gone, you can use Goo Gone, isopropyl alcohol, or even vinegar to get rid of the remaining residue. If you use Goo Gone, use hot soapy water to remove the product before putting the garment in the wash. For alcohol and vinegar, send the garment straight to the washing machine and wash on your normal cycle.

How to Remove Flex Seal From Clothes

Flex seal is liquid rubber used as a sealant for any surface. It can be problematic to remove but not impossible. For best results, use a chemical remover. Products like Goo Gone can work wonders on even the toughest, dried-on flex seal stains.

Follow the instruction on the chemical remover’s packaging carefully. Be sure to test on an inconspicuous area of the garment first to ensure the remover won’t damage the fabric. Once applied and the chemical remover has done its work, wash it out with hot soapy water.

Next, put the garment in the washing machine and wash as you would normally. There’s no need to use any special detergent, your usual one is fine.

Flex seal can be stubborn, so you may have to repeat the process. The key to this kind of stain is patience. It will come out but may take longer than other sealants.


Getting caulk out of clothes isn’t as difficult as you think. Using any one of the methods in this article will banish your caulk stains for good. As they are all equally effective, the one you use is up to you and your situation.

Let me know in the comments if you liked the article. Have you ever got caulk stains on your clothes? How did you remove them? Did you try a home remedy or a chemical product like Goo Gone?