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From what I've found online, caulking takes 24-48 hours to dry. For my purposes, I need to apply caulking to my kitchen sink.

However, I am in a time crunch, so I would like to know how caulking dries. Specifically, can the dry time be sped up to less than 24 hours if I direct some fans at the caulking? Can apply a heat fan help too?

  • if it is a silicone caulk, which is what would be recommended in a kitchen, then increasing the humidity will speed the cure. I will often lightly spray some water mist on the bead to help it cure. Latex-based caulk will cure faster with heat. – Paul Mar 19 '15 at 3:04

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The tube of caulk should include drying and curing times. It will vary based on the product so you definitely want to go by the manufacturer's recommendation and not some general guideline on the web somewhere.

You are not the only person who does not want to have to wait a day or two before using their sink and bathtub and the caulk manufacturers know this. It should be easy to find caulks that dry much faster than this. Bathroom caulks are frequently advertising their "shower ready" time which is how long before it can get wet. It may take a day or two to fully cure but many caulks will be able to get wet after a few hours.

Like many "fast drying" products the downside is that you have less time to work with the product before it starts setting up. The last time I caulked my bathtub I used a very fast drying product that claimed it was "shower ready in 1 hour". I am not a perfect caulker so I kept adding more and smoothing it out; unfortunately it started "clumping up" after maybe 20 minutes so I ended up with lumps. If I had used a product that took longer to dry I would have had more time to smooth it without it starting to dry and get a skin over the top.

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For your sink-to-countertop re-caulking both gentle heat (no more than ~100 Degrees F) and ventilation (not just a fan) to remove vapors released during curing will shave off a few hours extra at best.

Humidity is bad for curing silicone and latex/silicone mixtures. Ordinary latex caulk w/o silicone will quickly fail in a sink install. ==> Lower humidity, fresh air exchange, nice warm day and you can cut that 24 hour cure time down to only one day....NO SHORTCUTS, especially if inexperienced. Practice in your garage first.

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The general answer to this is "read the instructions". Each product has different drying times. I did a Google search for "Quick drying caulking" and the first product that came up was a DAP product claiming "ready to paint in 30 minutes".

I would not recommend trying to speed up the process with heat.

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Applying heat directly to silicone caulking will soften it up and could cause it to lose its adherence to the surface. Heating silicone aids in removal.

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If it is 100% silicone mix dish soap and water about 20% dish soap . This will make it cure faster . Found this out using silicone to make a mold disk soap acts as a catalyst to silicone

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Better solution! Heat up your your sink water if you're doing your tub, use the same routine if you were to work on your sink. You will feel the humidity in the bathroom!

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I found, after making and molding a toy out of acrylic white "speed-demon" - all caulking and about two inches thick. I put the project into one of my inoperable vehicles to bask in the heated climate; in two days it was solid dry. The heat averaged 119-degrees. It worked great,but needless to say, I'll use a hairdryer next time for speedier results. She was glad to see it finally done!

  • Two days doesn't seem fast. The original poster wants to have it dry much faster... – milesmeow Jun 21 '16 at 16:13
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One of those Vick vapor rub steam humidifiers in the room will help greatly so long as it's 100% silicone cahlk. If it's a mix or water based then just streight up heat. A portable heater set at full blast should heat the whole room enough as long as you keep the door and windows shut.

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I've been experimenting with silicone. I found that silicone 2* / 2*+ [ammonia cure] is very flexible in terms of the stuff you can do with it.

You can add dye to it.

It will adhere to itself if you need to go back and apply extra

you also can make it cure faster by vigorously mixing it before applying.

You can thin silicone 2* by mixing in silicone oil.

You can give silicone 2* a gloss like finish by adding silicone oil to the surface and then brushing over it with a popsicle stick.

I also experimented with silicone 1* [vinegar cure]. I found that silicone 1* won't mix with oils and it won't adhere to itself.

It sets too fast if you pour hot water over it. it also yellows for some reason and takes a long time to get rid of it's odor.

Silicone 1* is probably not the best for a bathroom, however it might work well as an adhesive to hold something to a flat surface.

Although silicone 2* takes longer to cure, it doesn't yellow which would help if you're using white silicone.

Note:I'm referring to GE brand silicone.

  • Can you specify the products you are referring to better? (I suspect you are referring to the GE consumer silicones, but I'm not 100% sure...) – ThreePhaseEel Mar 29 at 23:08
  • Yes, It's GE silicone. As far as experience goes, it seems to work better than its acrylic counterpart. It's not as transparent as acrylic though which is a drawback. – zero umashi Mar 31 at 7:41
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You can speed up the drying of silicone wih a fan. Room temperature, not heated.

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Heat gun can make it dry way faster

  • For all types of caulk, in all situations? I highly doubt it. If you can back up your answer with a source and add some qualifiers, I'll remove my downvote. – Doresoom Aug 11 '14 at 18:23

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