I have a granite counter top, and a small granite backsplash that sits on the counter and goes up about 3 inches. There's about a 1/8" gap between the two that had silicone caulk which I am trying to remove so that I can replace it.

Most of it is out. However the upper side of the gap is almost impossible to get perfect. Wondering if there is a tool, material, or technique that I could use that I just don't know about.

4 Answers 4


A utility knife works pretty well for me.

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If it truly is granite, it is difficult to damage with steel blades, except by repeated slashing.

Of course you won't be able to remove every shred of the old caulk, but as long as there is significant clean and bare edge in the gap, it is good enough to hold a new application.

A powerful shop vacuum mated to a crevice tool slowly run along the gap should do great job of getting all the dust and crud out and maybe remove some loose old caulk unreachable with the knife..

  • So that works for the bottom... but the top is too low to get any leverage. I have kinds of designed a quick tool - basically, some old paper for height, and a piece of sand paper... that seems to be getting more of it.... not perfect, but still. Points for the shop vac too...
    – NinjaCat
    Commented Feb 20, 2015 at 0:32

When I set the splashes on my granite tops, any ooze that occurred with the silicone, I wiped to the best of my ability. with paint thinner. The trick is to govern the amount you use so it lessens the mess. That said, with the ooze that did happen, since the paint thinner made everything so shiny, even with many, many repeated wipes with a moistened cloth, I still left a bit here and there.

To remove the excess, I used a razor knife blade, without a handle, the handle of a razor knife forces you at an angle, so the whole edge of the blade cannot make contact with he countertop surface. I did make a duct tape handle. It took a good number of wraps to make it thick, no more than a 1/4". blade.bmp

This will not be kind to the fingers, it will hurt, it may even be a bit dangerous, mainly behind the faucet, but it worked for me, it got the corners precise, the surfaces clean. Always use a new blade!!! If you have a lot to do, say over 20-30 ft., change blades, keep the edge pristine!


Dimethyl adipate, softens silicone caulk. Sometimes marketed as caulk remover. http://www.noblegov.com/media/catalog/product/msds/N399C37.pdf


If you're the kind of person who likes a specialized tool for every job, companies make "Caulk removal tools" (Google it!) that usually look something like this.

Caulk removal tool
(source: vancouvertool.com)

Unnecessary for most people, but it is plastic instead of metal so if you're really worried about scratching something, it might be a good choice.

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