I found this tube of clear washroom GE caulk in the closet that hasn't been used in over a year. When I tried to apply it yesterday, it was like goo even after drying it for 24 hours. I want to know if caulk is supposed to be gooey after being unused for a long time or I simply need to wait longer for it to dry (even though the instruction I need to wait 3 hours before exposing the caulk to water). I am used GE Premium Waterproof Silicone Clear - 3 Hr Shower ready.
Yes. Silicone caulk has a surprisingly short expiry date. My nonprofit has loads of the stuff all over the shop; people love to donate it when it's expired. Into the trash it goes.
It is degraded and will not work. It won't take longer to cure; it won't work at all.
If the stuff is not behaving as you expect, don't chance it. Bad caulk is like bad paint: It will ruin your project and make you spend hours cleaning it off for good product to stick.
The caulk tube certainly has an expiration date stated on it. If it's not obvious, try rotating the tube in the caulk gun. This date is valid if it's stored at room temperature - if it's stored in a hot attic or cold garage, all bets are off.
If it's so old that no expiry date is stated, then it's way too old.
Wait another few days before you start being concerned.
When caulk goes bad it doesn't even come out of the tube.
3 hours before exposing the caulk to water, and probably at least 48 hours for full cure. Even after that, if it's good caulk, it will still feel a little gooey. Quit poking at it. You're done here.