How to Remove Sanded Caulk From Granite

Once you’ve installed granite countertops, you need to caulk the areas where the counter and backsplash meet so that water and dirt cannot get in the cracks and create problems in the future. Sanded caulk primarily is primarily for larger cracks than you’ll have after installing countertops. You may need to use sanded caulk for large areas between appliances or when the counter abuts a large space next to a wall. Ideally, you want to get as little caulk on the granite as possible when applying, but it is fairly easy to remove once it happens.

  1. Keep a clean, damp cloth nearby as you apply the caulk. After each application, wipe the excess caulk off the granite immediately before it has a chance to dry.
  2. Turn the rag or use another clean rag to wipe off any residue that may be left so that the granite is thoroughly cleaned before you continue caulking. Change the rinse water often to avoid spreading caulk over clean areas.
  3. Dust the granite once the caulk dries if you missed spots during the application, or run a small hand-held vacuum over the dried caulk. Repeat until all the caulk dust is gone.
  4. Wash the area where the sanded caulk penetrated the granite. Use a mild detergent or soapstone and a clean rag. Wipe the granite dry after washing.
  5. Make a poultice if the caulk has set deep into the granite, leaving an obvious stain after you’ve dusted all the excess off the granite and washed it with soap. Mix a liquid cleaner with white paper towels or cotton pads until you have a pasty mixture.
  6. Moisten the stain with distilled water and set the pasty paper towel over the spot. Cover it with plastic and tape down the edges. Leave the poultice in place for 24 to 48 hours and then remove it. The poultice draws the caulk to the surface, where you can rinse it away with distilled water. Repeat up to five times to thoroughly remove deep stains caused by sanded caulk left on the granite for too long.

Seal the granite once the caulk dries. This will not only protect the granite from spills and stains but also will help maintain the integrity of the caulk.

Don’t seal the granite before you caulk. The sealant may spread slightly onto the caulk line, making adhesion difficult. While you may think you’re protecting your granite before applying caulk, you’ll mitigate the protective barrier formed by the caulk if it doesn’t adhere properly. Additionally, the caulk is more likely to chip off when applied over granite sealer.

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Ben White has written thousands of articles on everything home improvement. He has had the privilege of writing for such websites as the Huffington Post, DeWalt,, HGTV, and many others.

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