How to caulk the kitchen sink

A proper seal around your kitchen sink prevents water from seeping down below and destroying your kitchen cabinets. Therefore, you need to ensure a proper caulk around the kitchen sink.

Although you might have the rim already present around the sink, this tends to crack up with time. So, you need to timely caulk the sink to prevent any damage due to moisture. And you do not have to call a plumber for the task, we will guide you on how to do it yourself!

6 Easy Ways to Caulk around a Kitchen Sink

How to caulk the kitchen sink

Scrub and clean

Begin by scrubbing and cleaning the area around the sink. Hygiene is important, so make sure you clean off the stains before you remove the caulk. Once you are done cleaning, follow the steps mentioned below to change/caulk your kitchen sink.

Removing the old caulk

Removing the old caulk might seem a bit tough, but if you use a knife or a cutter for the purpose you will be done with the task in no time. Make sure you rip off all the old caulk. And at the same time ensure you dry the area. We say this because the new caulk will not stick to your old caulk neither will it stay on wet surfaces. You may clean up any residue with alcohol to ensure that the surface is completely clean.

Applying the caulk

Now its time to apply the new caulk, but you need to prepare your sink for that. Begin by applying painter’s tape to the sink edges. When applying you must make sure that you leave some space to apply the caulk. Although this is an additional step, the tape will ensure that a neat caulk is applied and that too in a straight line.

Now grab your caulk tube and cut off the tip of the tube. Make sure the width of this cut is almost like the space between your sink and the painter’s tape. This will ensure minimum mess and a clean caulking experience.

The caulk Gun

Now its time for some real action! Insert the caulk tube into the caulk gun after cutting off its tip. Make sure the plunger does not get stuck during the process. Once inserted you can test the caulk on some rough paper and see if you are okay using the gun.

You may pull the plunger too much or too little depending on your hand movement. Try adjusting your hand to the gun and then begin with the caulking process. Starting from the edge of the rim, put the tip of the gun and press lightly to caulk the edge. Continue the motion and move your hands in the direction of the painter’s tape. Make sure the tip is near the space so that a firm caulk is done.

Wind up

After you are done caulking the entire sink edge, move the painter’s tape you applied earlier. To make a firm seal, apply some water to your finger, and firmly press it over the caulk. Smooth all the caulk you applied in this way.

This step will ensure that the caulk is firmly in place with no protruding edges either with the sink or the countertop. You may need to wet your finger frequently to speed up and smoothen the process.

Cleaning up

After the application of the caulk, it is time to check if there is any cleaning required. If you used the painter’s tape, you may not need to follow this tip. However, if you happen to see the caulk spread, or move much away from the rim, you can clean it up with a wet paper towel. This will remove any excess caulk and give you a great clean finish.

Finally, you must leave your sink dry and unused for 24 hours, for the caulk to set in. If you do not follow this, the caulk may scrape off and all your hard work may go down the drain. Kudos!! You are done caulking your sink, without having to call a plumber. You will feel great after completing this task on your own; do let us know if you have any more tips to speed or improve the process.

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How to caulk the kitchen sink

Pat is the former Luxury Sales Specialist of Groupe Deschenes. He has experience of 15+ years in the home improvement industry. He is now the Senior Sales Officer at The Rubinet Faucet Company.

You can easily recaulk the weathered caulking of your kitchen sink. The caulk layering around the sink gets damaged due to sustained exposure to moisture and smoke found in the kitchen space. You don’t need to hire professionals or plumbing contractors for re-caulking the sink. Just follow the simple instructions, detailed below.

Step 1: Cleaning Caulked Surfaces

Turn-off the sink’s water supply. Kitchen sinks are prone to developing layers of grime deposits and soot filming. You should use a strong cleaning solution to remove the settled grime. You can use a soap solution prepared in lukewarm water for this purpose. To remove the old grout layering, use a utility knife. It is very useful for peeling-away the old grout. Using a scraper, remove the loose caulked bits to ensure a uniform, clean surface for re-caulking. You can access the hard-to-reach caulked surfaces behind the sink with a screwdriver. Remove any mold or mildew that is often found along the underside of sinks. Ideally, you should disinfect the entire sink and surrounding surfaces with rubbing alcohol. This ensures that none of the fungal spores are passed into the new caulking layer.

Step 2: Preparing Caulked Surfaces for Re-caulking

Often the caulked sink surfaces are in close contact with laminates. These are fabricated materials used in the finishing of countertops and often extend to the edging of the kitchen sinks. If you find that the weathered caulk bits have delved into the laminates, you need to clean the laminate edgings. Using a vacuum-cleaner, suck out any bits of damaged laminate edging. Weathered sinks often allow moisture to seep into the surrounding laminates. This moisture can seep back into the new, caulking. Hence, you need to dry-up the laminate layering. Slightly lift the laminate to allow greater circulation of air. Using a blow-dryer or fan, dry the uplifted laminate. Secure the laminate layering using a standard, laminate adhesive.

Step 3: Drying Prepared Sites

Allow the prepared, caulking site to dry. This is critical for the caulking surface to form a strong and uniform bond with the new caulking layer. Avoid any activity that may cause moisture seepage into the prepared site, including cooking in the kitchen that can introduce water vapor.

Step 4: Preparing Re-caulking Seam

It is better that you create a ¼-inch wide seam along the caulking area. This helps to lay down the caulking without worrying about over-spilling the caulk. Use a painters tape or a masking tape for this. Apply the tape along the outer edge of the prepared site.

Step 5: Re-caulking Prepared Seam

Using the utility knife, slice the tip of the caulking tube. The size of the opening should be about the size of the caulking edge that you are about to recaulk. Insert the caulking tube into the caulking gun. Squeeze the trigger mechanism of the caulking gun. Do this slowly, to ensure that a smooth, uniform layer of caulk emerges from the gun. Apply the bead of caulk along the inner side of applied seam. Keep your pressure on the gun’s trigger steady—any changes can cause over or under-caulking. After laying down the first layer of caulk, press upon the re-caulked line with the wedge tool. Tooling the caulk helps to press-in the caulk among the deeper, hard-to-access surfaces around the sink. There are no strict rules to calculate the number the caulking seams that you apply. Usually, two to three layers are advised.

Step 6: Finishing Re-caulked Layer

Remove the tape. Remove any excess caulk with the scraper. Let the caulk dry according to packaged instructions. Using a putty knife, cut-off any hanging beads of caulk. Wipe the re-caulked layer with a slightly wet rag.

How to caulk the kitchen sink

Knowing how to caulk a sink is essential for any kitchen remodel. Not just any caulk will do for this project – you’ll need a high performance caulk or sealant that gives your customers long-lasting results. High quality sealants are more durable and, for a contractor, that means fewer repairs for your team and less hassle for your customers. Read on to learn how to caulk a sink and why the type of caulk you use makes a difference.

Why You Need A High Performance Caulk For The Sink

A high quality sealant is a worthwhile investment for your kitchen and bathroom projects. Why do we keep using the word sealant? It’s all about elasticity and performance! Not only are quality sealants easier for your team to work with, but they also make a better end product for your customers. Sashco’s innovative sealant products, like CleanSealⓇ and LexelⓇ , use innovative formulas that provide longer-lasting results, especially around the sink.

One of the most important things to look for in a sealant is its adhesive properties. The formula needs to adhere very tightly to the surrounding surfaces.. This creates a water-tight seal that won’t crack off, even with the natural wear and tear that kitchen sinks experience. This seal is also very important for preventing water damage, especially in areas like the kitchen that see a lot of moisture.

How to caulk the kitchen sink

It’s also extremely important for your sealant to be elastic This is because sinks and countertops can move over time with house-shifting or as appliances bear weight on them , putting strain on the caulk. Changes in temperature can also cause a house to stretch and contract. Your caulking needs to stretch and contract with it while staying intact, whereas lower quality caulks will eventually break off with this movement.

Finally, the caulk you use should prevent mold and mildew growth. In moist areas like the kitchen and bathroom, mold and mildew grow very easily. Residue from soap or food can also fuel mold and mildew growth. Once these fungi have started to grow on your sink, it can be very difficult to fully remove them. A caulk that has inherent mold and mildew resistance will help to prevent these problems.

How to caulk the kitchen sink

Sashco makes multiple products that provide the high performance you need for kitchen and bath projects. CleanSealⓇ is a unique formula that’s designed specifically for kitchen, bath, and other humid indoor environments. It uses active enzymes to prevent mold and mildew from growing. It works by preventing oils from building up on the caulk. Without these oils, there’s nothing for the mold to grow on, which keeps the caulk nice and clean.

How to caulk the kitchen sink

LexelⓇ is a durable, rubber-based sealant that works on virtually any surface throughout the house. It’s extremely elastic, so it doesn’t break even if the sink moves. It creates a tight waterproof seal. Lexel dries clear, so the final product looks great, especially any place a white product might detract from the design.

Pro Tips For Caulking A Sink

1. Prep Your Surface

Before you start applying caulk, you’ll want to make sure your sink and the surrounding surface is clean. Prepping your surface will make it easier to apply the caulk neatly and evenly. If the sink has been caulked in the past, you’ll want to make sure you’ve fully removed any product that’s been left behind. You may need to use a utility knife to scrape away any excess that’s still stuck to the sink.

Water and rubbing alcohol are very effective for washing away any traces of caulk that have been left behind. Scrub thoroughly to remove any residue. If you are removing silicone you’ll need a specific caulk remover product as other cleaners will not remove the oily silicone film. Once your surface is clean and dry, you can start applying the caulk.

2. Use Painter’s Tape

Painter’s tape is one of the easiest ways to get a clean and attractive final product. Before you start, line up your painter’s tape on the edges where you’ll be caulking. The tape will catch any excess caulk, and you’ll get clean, straight lines as a result. The aesthetic of the sink is just as important as its functionality and painter’s tape ensures that the final result looks clean and professional . Just be sure to pull the tape right away before the caulk begins to form a skin.

3. No More Micro Beads!

In a 90 degree joint use a bead ¼” – 3/8” wide on the face. This will ensure enough caulking to absorb movement. Larger beads, when done well, will add to both the aesthetic and performance.

To ensure you’re using just the right amount of caulk, you’ll want to make sure you cut the nozzle at a 45 degree angle. The nozzle is tapered, so you’ll get a smaller bead if you cut towards the top, and a larger bead if you cut lower. For the most precise application, you can measure the area that you need to caulk and then line that up with the nozzle.

When you are applying the caulk, you’ll want to pull the cartridge backward toward you, instead of pushing it forward. This pulling motion ensures that the caulk comes out evenly. It’s also much easier to guide the caulk around corners this way.

How to caulk the kitchen sink

How To Caulk A Kitchen Sink

When you have the right products, caulking a kitchen sink is actually very simple. Here’s the summary of how to caulk a sink in five easy steps.

  1. Prepare the surface. Wipe away any dirt or debris on the sink and surrounding areas. Make sure there are no traces of caulk or other adhesives remaining from previous projects.
  1. Apply painter’s tape around the area where you’ll be caulking. Make sure the tape is straight and even, as this will have an effect on the look of the finished project.
  1. Carefully cut the nozzle of the caulk bottle at a 45 degree angle. Be careful where you cut on the nozzle – you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the right size bead for your project.
  1. Apply the caulk around the joints of the sink that you’ve taped out. Pull the bottle back toward you as you do so for easier application. You’ll want to make sure that you’re applying a consistent amount of pressure the entire time so the caulk comes out even.
  1. Smooth down the edges of the caulk for a clean finish and let dry. You can do this using your finger or using a caulk finishing tool. Remove the tape and wipe away any excess caulk.

When you have the right products, caulking a kitchen or bathroom sink can be a very simple process. Sashco’s high performance sealants are sure to keep your customers satisfied for years to come.

How to caulk the kitchen sink

These days, granite countertop has become a fashionable trend for most kitchen décors. It not only adds durability but also with tons of color variations brings refreshing feelings into the kitchen. And a stainless-steel frame is preferable since it is suitable for most materials such as granite.

However, most kitchen users complain that their granite and stainless steel aren’t sealed to prevent humidity and water. So, we are going to discuss how to caulk a stainless steel kitchen sink as well as how to seal the kitchen sink to granite.

So, are you up for it?

How To Caulk A Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink

If you want to add a stainless-steel sink in the bathroom and also want to be durable, you must seal it. And you can do it caulk. The process is pretty straightforward, and so, you shouldn’t need any professional help. However, to accomplish the caulking, you will need the following things-

How to caulk the kitchen sink

  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Caulking Gun
  • Rag

We recommend you use the Swan brand rubbing alcohol for the process. So, let’s start the journey.

Step 1

At first, you should prepare the countertop for sealing. It includes cleaning, disinfecting, and looking for any other manufacturer defects. Rubbing oil is the best solution to clean and disinfect the countertop. You will only need to dampen a clean cloth in rubbing alcohol and then use it to wipe out the debris from the countertop.

Step 2

Then measure the kitchen sink to ensure that you need to readjust the sink to the countertop size. Once you are sure about the proper measurement, move on to the next steps.

Start with the outline using the caulk where you want to position the sink. The best and most convenient way of outlining is to lift the stainless-steel kitchen sink using a wire. This way, the caulking gun will easily fit beneath the sink and help you to outline.

You will need to create at least ¾ inches caulk line with the caulking gun so that the kitchen sink will fit onto the countertop securely.

Step 3

It’s time to secure the kitchen sink. Depending on what type of kitchen countertop you have, you may need to attach nuts and bolts to fasten the sink.

But before that, you need to position the stainless-steel kitchen sink on the caulking carefully. To place the sink, apply slight pressure on it. Once you are fully confirmed that the sink is set correctly, you may move to the next step. report this ad

Step 4

Now, slightly move up the sink and check if there’s any place left without caulk. If so, use the caulking gun to apply caulk on those areas to ensure proper sealing that will last for an extended period.

Now, tighten the sink using a screwdriver to fasten the screws.

Step 5

While you set up the kitchen sink, some excessive caulk may come out from underneath of the tub. Use a cloth to clean the excess caulk. This should be a pretty easy task.

Step 6

Lastly, wait for the caulk to dry out. You may need anywhere between 24-72 hours to confirm that the sealing is appropriately done.

How To Seal Kitchen Sink To Granite

The sealing of the kitchen sink with granite countertop is identical to the stainless-steel kitchen sink caulking with other regular countertops. The experts from Hunker also describe the same, and if you are interested, you can go through it.

How to caulk the kitchen sink

Once you clean the granite countertop with rubbing alcohol, apply the caulk for sealing with the caulking gun. You will have to move the sink slightly upwards for the caulking. Ensure that the sealing is ¾ inches deep to hold on to the sink correctly.

Once you rest assured about the proper caulking, place the kitchen sink in the sealed area. Then allow the caulk to sit in for the next 72 hours, and you are all set to use the sink.

Isn’t the process seem easy?


The granite countertop is a sturdy one. Once you can seal your stainless-steel sink with it, you are confirmed to get a durable kitchen cleaning tool for the next few years to come.

So, don’t get bog down with the process. It’s pretty straightforward, and you shouldn’t face any difficulty. In case you don’t understand any parts of how to caulk a stainless-steel kitchen sink, you may reach us also.

How to caulk the kitchen sink

First step was to remove all the old caulk. Since the color of the caulk changes over time I wanted to do the whole seam rather than patch the spots that were missing caulk. To remove the remaining caulk, we took a razor blade and ran it along the caulk line and then the caulk came out very easily. Next we cleaned the area by vacuuming up all the little bits, wiping down the area, and drying it.

Once the site was free of caulk and clean and dry we were ready to re-caulk. Getting a good caulk line is not easy and I’ve developed a simple trick over the many years of working on my house. I put a piece of painter’s tape on either side of the area to be caulked creating a straight (or as straight as I can get it) line on both sides. Then I run a small line of caulk in the opening and smooth it over with my finger. As I’m smoothing it, I don’t worry about making a mess because the overflow goes onto the painter’s tape. Once the whole line is put down and smoothed over, I remove the painter’s tape and voila!, a clean, straight caulk line.

The hardest part of the whole thing? You can’t get the new caulk wet for 72 hours, especially right behind the sink!

Do you have some tricks for easy DIY projects at home? If so, tell me about them in the comments section below…I would love to hear them.

Caulk is a fabulous little invention for us DYIers.

You may even find yourself becoming obsessed with it once you discover its magical ability to seal around fixtures in one easy motion. So, is it a good idea to use caulk around your kitchen sink?

The short answer is “probably”, but with a couple of key things in mind.

Drop In Sinks

How to caulk the kitchen sink

Caulking is typically a better idea for a drop-in sink, like this one. Flickr Commons image via

Caulking a drop in sink is likely a good precaution against water damage as well as a way to keep dirt, food and general grime out of the seam where your sink meets your countertop. That said, take a look at the place where the sink meets the countertop to determine how much space is there and whether the original caulk needs to be replaced. (We’ll take a look at how to replace caulk later.)

In some cases a sink’s lip can be so extremely thin that caulk is not even necessary, but to be on the safe side, it is usually a good idea to go ahead and caulk around a drop-in sink.

Undermount Sinks

How to caulk the kitchen sink

Undermount sinks are awkward but can still benefit from caulk around the edges. Flickr Commons image via Brian Kennedy

These sinks can be a little bit more tricky to caulk simply because the angle is slightly more awkward.

In most cases caulking an undermount sink, like a farmhouse sink, is necessary because of the way it is installed. There will naturally be more space between the sink and the edge of the counter. The sink will be supported and held in place by clips and epoxy. Since you won’t be able to see the hardware responsible for holding the sink in place you may be less likely to notice the need for caulk to seal all those little cracks.

Also, keep in mind that these sinks are usually big and heavy and made from a mold which keeps the edges from being thin like a stainless drop in sink making caulking around the edges that much more important.

How To Caulk Your Sink

I realize you didn’t ask this question, per say, but it might be helpful to go over a quick step-by-step to caulking around a kitchen sink in case you were wondering. (You’re welcome;)

Steps to Caulking a Sink

  1. Remove old caulk and dirt and buildup at the seam where the sink meets the countertop using a razor blade. Gently slide the blade along the seam where the sink meets the countertop and wipe clean. Repeat over the same place along the sink applying a bit more pressure. Wipe blade clean.

Keep in mind that it is always a good idea to work in a small space at a time before moving on around the parameter of the sink, making sure each area has been sufficiently wiped to remove excess before you continue.


And there you have it! In summary, you should usually caulk your kitchen sink and the good news is this is an easy project that beginners can tackle. Who knows, you might enjoy it and want to go caulk around all the fixtures in your house now.

Also if you need to add caulk down the road – clear matches clear.

For the joint between the counter top and the tiles, you can use any flexible, preferably mold resistant, caulking from your local hardware store.

You should also be able to find it in a color that matches your grout.

How do you caulk a stainless steel sink?

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How-to Install a Stainless Steel Drop-In Sink | Moen Installation

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How do you remove silicone from kitchen sink?

How to Remove Silicone From a Stainless Steel Sink

  • Soak the silicone with undiluted white vinegar and let it sit for five to 10 minutes.
  • Scrape off the silicone using either a razor blade or putty knife.
  • Squirt a small amount of dish detergent on a damp sponge and clean the affected area of the sink to remove any remaining silicone.

How do you remove old caulk from kitchen sink?

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How to Remove Old Caulking from Kitchen, Bathroom, and More

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What do you use to seal kitchen sink?

Reseal the sink into place with a caulk made for use in kitchens and bathrooms. This may be a latex or silicone caulk. It may be clear or tinted to match the sink or counter. Apply the caulk via a tube that has a very small hole cut in the tip; too large a hole can lead to too much caulk coming out at one time.

How do you seal around a sink?

How to Seal around A Bathroom Sink

  1. Clean Area. Ensure the area is clean and dry with no soap residue on, around or behind the basin.
  2. Apply Silicone Sealant. Cut the tip of the silicone sealant tube to the width of the crack between the basin and the wall.
  3. Smooth Out Sealant. Prepare a solution of 50% washing up liquid and 50% water.

Can I use plumbers putty on stainless steel sink?

Some newer sinks, even stainless steel ones, are not made for use with plumber’s putty. You won’t have to wonder about this, however. If plumber’s putty is not compatible with your sink, there will be a clear warning on the packaging. To install a sink strainer for this type of sink, you should use a silicone sealant.

How do you fix a gap between countertops and sinks?

From the top side, scrape away as much existing caulk from the joint between the sink and countertop and clean the surfaces thoroughly with denatured alcohol. When the joint is clean and dry, apply the recommended silicone sealant or caulk around the top edge of the sink, sealing the gap with the countertop.

How to caulk the kitchen sink

Granite countertops are the most popular type of countertops for a nice modern looking kitchen . These countertops are not only gorgeous but are durable and extremely easy to clean. Usually, we love to partner up our granite countertops with a shiny stainless steel kitchen sink. These kitchen sinks need to be installed with caulk to ensure that water does not get under your kitchen sink.

What You’ll Need:

  • Rubbing Alcohol (the “Swan” brand is the best one to use. You can get it here.)
  • Caulking Gun
  • Rag
  • A Little TLC (tender loving care)

How To Caulk a Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink – (In 5 Easy Steps)

Step 1 – Prep the Granite Countertop

First, make sure to clean off the granite countertop. Rubbing alcohol makes a great way to disinfect and clean caulk residue off from the granite countertop. If you previously had another kitchen sink that required caulk, then it is very important to scrape off the old caulk to ensure that your new sink has a polished finish. The old caulk can easily be scraped off with a sharp tool like a knife or even a razor blade.

Step 2 – Trace/ Measure the Sink

Second, put the sink in to make sure that the measurements taken prior to purchasing the sink are accurate. After you have ensured that you have purchased the perfect match for your granite countertop, it is time to get the caulking silicone in place.

With the caulk outline where your sink will sit. While doing this step, try to lift the stainless steel sink high enough to allow the tip of the caulking gun to fit under the sink. Place about a ¾ inch of caulk silicone on the edges of the corner where the sink meets the granite countertop.

Step 3 – Secure the Sink

Securing the sink may be different based on your granite countertop. Some countertops will require you to secure the sink with nuts and screws. You may find exact instructions for your model inside your owner’s manual.

TIP: make sure to read this prior to starting the caulking process.

Next, slowly put the sink down and add slight pressure to the top of the stainless steel sink where you placed the caulk underneath. Once you place the sink down excess caulk may come out on the borders. Do not be concerned, this can easily be cleaned off on this step with a rag.

Step 4 – Add the Caulk

Follow the last steps by slightly lifting up the stainless steel sink just high enough to where your caulking gun can fit. Trace the remaining parts of your sink to fully seal all the edges of the sink. This process may be sped up by grabbing a glove and putting caulk on your finger. Carefully push the caulk into any remaining gaps that can be seen. Make sure to clean off any excess caulk from the edges to ensure that once it dries it will have a smooth and professional look.

Step 5 – Let It Dry

Now the waiting game begins! Before using your stainless steel sink, you need to wait at least 72 hours to allow for the caulk to fully dry up. Using the sink before it dries can cause movement, gaps, and an unsuccessful finish.

TIP: Plan accordingly prior to replacing your sink. You will not be able to use it what so ever, so treat your family out to dinners or use a different sink if needed meanwhile

Step 6 – Final check

Once the 72 hours are up, go back to your sink and run a thorough check to ensure that the caulk has fully dried and that it was applied properly on all the edges. Even the smallest hole can allow food, water, and unwanted substances to get under your sink.

Final Thoughts On Properly Caulking a Kitchen Sink

Installing the stainless steel kitchen sink with Caulk will ensure that mold does not form under your sink. If you enjoy doing DIY projects, then installing your stainless steel kitchen sink would be something quite easy for you.

Obviously, make sure you have the right measurements before purchasing the sink. We actually did a review on the best stainless steel kitchen sinks, which we go more in depth about getting the right measurements along with purchasing the most reliable kitchen faucet brand for your kitchen theme. The actual installing process can be done in a simple 6 steps. Make sure to keep in mind that you will have to let the caulk dry for 72 hours prior to using the sink.

About Us

How to caulk the kitchen sink

My husband Jeff & I have been remodeling kitchens for 8 years & blogging for 5. We love to share advice on what works for your kitchen & what doesn’t! Along with sharing a healthy lifestyle.