Clear Caulk VS White

Clear Caulk VS White: How Do They Differ?

Tiles in a kitchen or bathroom see a lot of water and wear and tear. The caulking around your tub, sink, and backsplash needs to be able to withstand all of that. If you have a specific look in mind for your home, you might wonder whether clear caulk vs white caulk is better.

Clear caulk and white caulk are both types of sealants that are used to fill in the gaps between surfaces. They are commonly made of polymers such as latex, silicone, rubber, or any combo of them. However, these two caulking types have some key differences.

This article discusses a quick rundown of the variations between each type of caulk to help you make the best decision for your needs. Let’s dive in.

Clear Caulk Vs White: What’s The Difference?

Silicon is the main ingredient in both clear and white caulk. When it dries, it becomes very hard and difficult to remove. So once you apply either type of caulk, you need to make sure that the area is clean and dry before you start.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at the key differences between these two types of caulking.


Clear caulk has no pigment added to it, so it is completely clear when dry. This type of latex caulk is often used in applications where a seamless appearance is desired, such as in shower ceramic tile joints or around windows.

On the other hand, white pure silicone contains titanium dioxide, which gives it a white color. In most cases, white caulk is used for interior applications where it will be painted over. However, it can also be used in exterior applications where white color is desired.


The texture of clear caulk is smooth, while white caulk has a slightly rough texture. This difference is due to the fact that white caulk contains fillers, which give it a more textured appearance.


Excellent adhesion is the ability of one substance to stick to another. In the case of a caulk, this means that the caulk will adhere or stick to the surface it is being applied to.

The adhesion of clear caulk is better than that of white caulk. This is because clear caulk contains solvents that help it to bond better with the surface it is being used on.

Although the white caulk adheres well to a baseboard door trim, it is not as strong as the clear caulk. For this reason, white caulk is common in applications when it will be painted over.

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Flexibility is the ability of a substance to bend or flex without breaking. When it comes to caulks, this means they’ll be able to move with the surface it is applied to without cracking or breaking. A clear caulk is more flexible than a white caulk. Clear caulk contains additives that enable it to be flexible.

Temperature Tolerance

Both clear and white caulk has a high-temperature tolerance like red caulk. However, clear caulk can withstand higher temperatures than white caulk. This is because clear caulk not only has a higher melting point but is also less likely to crack at high temperatures.

Shrinkage and Durability

When caulk dries, it loses water and solvents, which causes shrinkage. Clear caulk has a lower shrinkage rate than white caulk. This is due to the fact that clear caulk contains less water and solvents. As a result, clear silicone caulk is more durable than white caulk. It is less likely to crack or break over time.

When to Use Clear or White Caulk?

After knowing the types of caulking, the next thing is to determine when should I use white or clear caulk with a caulking gun?

Clear Caulk

Clear caulking is mainly used for areas that are constantly exposed to water, such as around a toilet tub, shower, or sink. It’s also great for sealing up cracks and gaps in windows and doors. Some people prefer to use clear caulk for plumbing fixtures.

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White Caulk

White caulking is better suited for areas that don’t see as much moisture, such as around baseboards, crown molding, or doorframes. It can also be used for sealing cracks and gaps around doors and windows.

For proper adhesion, it’s always best to use masking tape around the area you’re caulking. This will help ensure that you get a clean, straight line.

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Frequently Asked Questions

There are a few questions that we often get asked about caulking. Let’s take a look at some of the most common questions and their answers.

1. Does Clear Caulk Turn White?

Clear caulks are usually white when they are first dispensed from the tube, but they become transparent after they cure. In the presence of moisture, clear caulks can turn white. This happens because the water causes the material in the caulk to expand and become visible.

2. Can You See Through Clear Caulk?

Yes, you can see through clear caulk after it cures. This is because the curing process causes the caulk to become transparent. Cured caulk is also flexible, so it can be used in a variety of applications.

3. Does Clear Caulk Turn Yellow?

Clear silicone caulking is a popular choice for many because of its clarity. However, over time, it can yellow and blacken, especially when exposed to water and humidity. This discoloration is caused by exposure to rust and the formation of mold.

4. Can Silicone Caulk be Easily Painted?

The 100 silicone caulk is a great sealant to use around the home, but it cannot be painted. While oil-based paints may cover the caulking when initially applied, they will begin to flake and peel right off the surface once dry.

Related Article: Is silicone caulk safe to use with paint?


Now that you know the difference between clear caulk and white caulk, you can make an informed decision about which type of caulk to use for your next project. Consider the application, the environment, and the desired aesthetics when choosing between clear and white caulk in the product catalog.

Most importantly, remember that both clear and white caulk have their own advantages and unique benefits. Just because one type of caulk is better suited for a particular project doesn’t mean that it’s the only option.

Experiment and have fun with different types of caulking to see what works best for you. Thanks for reading.

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