The caulk problem

So you've finally gotten around to caulking those cracks and seams on the outside of the house you've been meaning to get to someday. Went out and bought some really nice stuff, like Sikaflex. Used about half the tube, stuck a 16-penny nail in the spout and threw the gun and tube in a crate.
Now, 3-4 months later you need to caulk something on a job. Just one little hole in the wall. You've brought the caulk gun, with the tube of Sikaflex still in it. Pull the nail out--unnnnnh! Shit, it's in there tight. Twist it out, along with a string of dried caulk. Try to squeeze out some caulk--damn, I know that tube's still half-full! Nothing.
Last time that happened, I just ripped the goddamn spout off the tube, dug out what caulk I needed, then threw it away. What a waste.
So my current take on things is that caulk ain't for saving. Use it for the job at hand, then just toss that shit. Ain't worth messing with dried-up tubes when you need it.
How do other folks handle this stuff?
--
Washing one\'s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the
powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.
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On Wed, 17 Dec 2008 23:50:45 -0800, David Nebenzahl

http://caulksaver.com /
Or use a bigger nail like the long aluminum nails that are used to hang gutters.
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On 12/18/2008 12:51 AM snipped-for-privacy@mucks.net spake thus:

Interesting. A bit expen$ive at $7.50 a pop, but hey, if they work, could pay for themselves after a couple-three tubes of expensive caulk. Have to check w/my local Ace Hardware store.
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I always push out a bit/extra blob of caulk, and then use a large electrical wire nut screwed on the end to make an airtight seal. Works 100% of the time on regular caulk. Nothing works reliably on Silicone rubber unless you get every last bit of air out before you reseal it.
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Vaseline or similar petroleum jelly int the open spout.
It makes a waterproof, airproof seal. The first bit of caulk out of the tube goes into a paper towel and you are ready to go.
I picked up a tube that I now keep in my toolbox so it is my very own tube and is not subject to use by the rest of the family.
Charlie
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

over the tip. Seems to work nicely. You can also buy little covers for the tips. Why the mfg. don't just hang a tip on the tube to begin with is beyond me. Rusty nails don't work :o)
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Some caulks cant be stored or saved, silicone out of date is often bad new unsealed, if you call a manufacturer because the silicone wont cure the first thing they want to know is the date it was made. Once air is in the tube the chemical reaction to cure often cant be stopped. A small metal squeeze tube is a good way to buy a product to extend it life. Latex caulks usualy can have some salvaged, but its a gamble with many products. One of those food vacume sealing bag machines might be best, buy one for the wife for christmas, so you can seal caulk in a vacume with it. The best gift is one you use if she wont. Get her a new LiIon drill with light and battery meter too.
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Just like you did. Except I throw it away after the first use and don't even attempt the use later.
s

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David Nebenzahl wrote:

Interesting. I starting looking at caulk tubes on US websites and also "how to vidoes". It would appear that the products are different on the UK and US markets. Here in the UK, the tubes have a separate nozzle that can be detached from the cannister. After doing some beading, I undo the nozzle, wash it out and then place a small piece of cling film over the cannister hole and screw the nozzle back on. I've kept caulk in a usable condition for literally years that way.
http://www.decoratingdirect.co.uk/viewprod/s/SIRDC /
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Clot wrote:

bottle/tub with vasoline. Stick the open nozzle straight into the vasoline in the small bottle. The vasoline goes into the open nozzle and all around it (leave the bottle in place on the end of the caulking tube). works great
paul
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alt.home.repair:

I've been wrapping the spout with a little plastic kitchen wrap and a rubber band. It works sometimes, but not always. Better than the nail trick, which never works.
I'll try the wire nut trick next time.
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Popular Mechanics reviews the "Pro Caulk" - the amazing set of caulk squeegees that enable a palsied monkey to make perfect caulk lines! Only $19.95 if you call in the next 30 minutes! We'll even throw in this good-looking model and a clothesline!
http://www.popularmechanics.com/blogs/home_journal_news/4296174.html
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Miss Manners would gently suggest to use duct tape to cover the tip of the caulk tube. She would also suggest storing the tube out of the caulk gun, so that doesn't stick together. For the next application, use a utility knife to slice off the duct tap. The caulk will probably work fine.
If the caulk hardens in the meantime, go prepare yourself a nice cup of tea. Watch some news on the TV, and realize you have plenty to eat, and drink. You live in a nice healthy home. Your life is nearly perfect, compared to the starving stick figure kids in Africa. Why, your life would be perfect if it weren't for that hardened tube of shit you had to throw the bitch in the goddamned trashcan. Bon appetit!
--
Christopher A. Young
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You need to SEAL the tip. A 16-penny nail ain't gonna do it. It needs to fit tightly in or over the hole at the end of the spout.
Last tube of caulk I bought came with a replaceable cap for the tip. I've used it twice now with many months in between. So far so good.
Regardless, as soon as you open the tube, its days are numbered. The tighter you can seal it up the longer it'll last, but it won't last forever.
If you are buying caulk for occasional use, get one with the capped tip. Only buy the regular tubes if you're going to use the entire tube.
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On 12/17/2008 11:50 PM David Nebenzahl spake thus:

Now that folks have responded, what have we (I) learned about caulk?
1. Pretty stupid of me to think that a nail would seal the tip of the tube. Won't try that again.
2. I like the wire nut idea. Will try it next time.
3. Suggestion for "caulk savers" is interesting, may try it.
4. Points to Stormin' Mormon for a little perspective on the subject with humor.
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On Fri, 19 Dec 2008 10:57:28 -0800, David Nebenzahl

I find that a screw makes an excellent sea, and is easy to remove. Use one that is large enough diameter that it stretches the tip a little.
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