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What are some effective ways of sealing an opened tube of caulk so that the contents do not dry out? In the past I've used a large nail and some tape, but that doesn't seem to last for more than a few weeks.

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9 Answers

Plastic wrap (Saran wrap) and an elastic band.

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I have used plastic wrap also, works great. for short term storage, the plastic caps in the paint dept of box stores also work pretty good. 2 caps for like $3.00 –  shirlock homes Jan 14 '11 at 19:43
    
I usually use black electrical tape (unlike elastic bands, I always have some in my main tool box), and I've had caulk that's lasted for a year that way. If you relieve the pressure and cover it, naturally there will be no air in it and so it stays ready to use. –  gregmac Oct 9 '12 at 1:52
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I always leave a blob of caulk on the tip that's large enough for me to grab onto. It dries and seals the rest of the tube. When I'm ready to use the tube again, I just pull it off.

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I've always used a drywall screw. It seems to last a few months depending on the type of caulk.

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I too have used this method. IMO it does not work great but is better than nothing. –  auujay Jan 14 '11 at 15:12
    
Some will rust in the nozzle and then stain the caulk. –  Rob Oct 8 '12 at 12:02
    
Galvanized does pretty good at preventing that, plus the screw can draw the set plug or bore through it if long enough. I've had caulk set despite using the red rubber caps and end up driving a drywall screw in anyway. –  Fiasco Labs Oct 8 '12 at 14:53
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I use screw on electric caps. I always seem to have a few around, and you don't need a screwdriver or drill to get it on the tube. It works well, but like most of these solutions it is only a short term solution, once you open a tube of caulk it has a shelf life and if you don't use it you lose it.

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The actual name is "wire nuts" or connectors and is my preferred method. And "lose" is spelled l-o-s-e. –  Rob Oct 8 '12 at 12:01
    
@Rob Actually, they are Twist-on wire connectors. "Wire nuts" are Ideal Industries version. –  Tester101 Oct 8 '12 at 16:38
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Lee Valley Nozzle Caps or Twist and Seal Stoppers
CB

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anyone know of a UK supplier? –  flamingpenguin Jan 18 '11 at 15:38
    
They ship Internationally so I called to see what the estimated cost of shipping 1 unit of each of the above items to London would be. The shipping came in at roughly $9-17USD for UPS so definitely not economical. She couldn't give a better estimate without a full shipping address. –  CapitalBoo Jan 19 '11 at 19:01
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My dad uses electrical tape. It will eventually fall off, about the same time that the caulk would be useless anyway. Has the advantage that the black tape is easy to spot and is a reminder that the tube has been opened.

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The best solution I've found is to fabricate a container out of PVC pipe and two end caps, found at any hardware store. I cut the PVC pipe to about 12", permanently glue one end cap onto the pipe and use the other end cap to seal the pipe without glue. I place a small rubber cap from my junk drawer onto the open/cut tip, spray a small amount of Bloxygen into the PVC pipe, insert the caulk tube and place the second cap onto the pipe. I keep the containers standing upright with the tip facing downward to ensure that the Bloxygen encapsulates the tip instead of any air that might remain inside. This is because Bloxygen is heavier than air. I've also used clear acrylic tubes with caps, which work better because I can see what's inside and they have a flat bottom, which enables them to stand up while stored. It's just hard to buy a small quantity of these since they're sold in bulk. You can find out more about Bloxygen at: http://www.bloxygen.com/ It costs about $11.00 per can plus shipping. Note: I have no connection with, or interest in, Bloxygen other than as an end user of the product.

No, this is not spam. As I mentioned, I am an end user of the product and have no connection whatsoever with Bloxygen. I'm just a guy in the same boat as many in trying to find the best way to save partially used caulk tubes. I came across this product a while ago and have been able to save a lot of expensive paint, adhesives, caulks, etc. I just thought my suggestion might be helpful to someone. If not, just ignore it.

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I'm not sure if this is spam or not... It does answer the question, but it also sounds kind of promotional... –  ShoeMaker Apr 5 '13 at 0:13
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I use clear packing tape. Cut a 6-inch section, fold it over the caulk tube tip so the sticky sides face each other, press down and twist. Gives you a good seal and is easy to remove.

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I tend to use a 3" deck screw. The coating makes it less likely to rust (but I still squeeze out some caulk into the trash until it runs clean). And the 3" is usually long enough to reach the caulk that hasn't dried. The benefit of the screw is that you pull it straight out with a pair of pliers and it will take any dried caulk out with it. If there's too much dried caulk to pull it straight out, I'll often cut the tip larger.

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