clogged caulk tube

Handy Hacks- fixing the plugged caulk tube blues

Caulk tubes are one of my most common tools and biggest wastes

As a handyman for small businesses like property management or local stores one of the most common things I do is caulking.  I use a caulking tube for windows, doors, gutters, sinks, tubs, basins, around vent holes and much more.  Caulking is one of the perennial jobs of a handyman.

I use a lot of caulk.  Often enough that I buy it by the contractor box rather than individually.  I like to have it handy for spot jobs that come up suddenly.  I go bonkers bonkers only using part of the contents of a tube of caulk and wasting it.  In the time between jobs it can dry out and be useless.

Have you tried to close a tube of caulk again?

You can do it if you have something to plug the hole.  However, it helps if you make sure the tip is as clear of excess caulk as possible.  If not, there’s a good chance that the caulk in the tip will dry out and make the tube unusable.  That means tossing out caulk in the tube that could have been used.  It’s wasteful and inefficient at best.  I hate wasting useful materials.

It isn’t just caulk either.  It’s anything that comes in a caulk type tube.  I’ve used concrete repair and even construction adhesive in caulk type tubes with the same issues.  Those things really start to cost big if you get to wasting them because only a portion was used.

So here’s the tube hack I use

I used to use a variety of ways to clean and wrap the tip of a tube to prevent waste.  I’ve used rags, bags, nails and even sticks to jam up the tip and keep the material inside from drying out.  I bumped into a display at a local Menards home improvement store that has a variety of unique items primarily useful for paint.

Its name is a “Seal-A-Tube” and comes in two different size.  A small one and a larger one.  This is to accommodate tubes that have different size openings in the tips for application purposes.  All they are is a little plastic plug that is shaped to fit snugly into the inside of a cone tip of a caulk tube with a little ring on the end for ease of removing it for the next use.

tube plug big

Large Seal-A-Tube

tube plug small

Small Seal-A-Tube

It doesn’t take a lot to make a difference

I’m a one man operation and I use a lot of caulk and other tubed materials.  I have three “guns” that I keep for the most common material I use.  

For example, I keep one loaded with exterior window, door and siding caulk.  I also have one prepped with interior plumbing type caulk for working around sinks, tubs, etc…  The third one I keep ready is for a bigger tube of material such as concrete repair or filler, asphalt patch, that kind of stuff.

I generally have six of the Seal-A_Tube things around in my tool box or in a tube.  I have four small ones and to big ones.  This way, If I have one tube I need to seal back up, I can seal a second, different tube if it switch for some reason.

These are very handy to have around and use on the fly.  They save a lot of caulk from being wasted and keeps me less bonkers.  Sort of.  If you’d like to get a few yourself, you can get them at Menards for sure  Either at your local store or online here.

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