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Hardscape Basics

How to Open Caulk & Save a Tube of Caulk Correctly

clean caulk gun new silicone caulking
DIY with WI

We’re here to help you take the hard out of hardscaping.

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Imagine you have a tube of caulking. You only need to use a little bit but you don’t know how to save the rest of the tube from drying out. Many hardscape DIYers have come across this issue. In this DIY with WI tutorial, we will show you our four-step system to saving that tube of caulking.

To properly accomplish this caulking task, you’ll need a few tools. Here’s the shortlist of tools we use in this tutorial.

  • Pruning shears
  • Long screwdriver
  • Caulk gun

There are many ways to save a caulk tube, however, we’ve found that this system works best. That said, let’s get started! Here’s a four-step process on how to correctly open and save a caulk tube.

1. Cut open the caulk tube

Take your pruning shears (or a knife) and cut the tip of the tube about ¾” from the very top. Make sure to save the end that you cut off!

You can adjust the width of your bead by cutting more or less of the tip. For example, if you only cut ¼” from the tip, your caulk bead will be much thinner. On the contrary, if you cut 1” from the tip, your bead will be thicker. Trimming ¾” from the tip provides our recommend width for caulking or gluing concrete block.

2. Puncture the seal

To allow the caulking to flow out when you use the caulk tube, you must puncture the inside seal. Take a long screwdriver or a wire and push it down the funnel. 

Push in the screwdriver completely until the handle is flush with the entrance of the hole or until you feel the seal pop.

3. Use the caulking

To use the caulk tube you will need a caulk gun to push the caulking out of the tube. 

When you pull the trigger, start out pulling lightly. As the caulking becomes thinner, you can squeeze the trigger harder to increase the flow. When you’ve finished caulking, wet your finger and run it against the caulking that you just placed to ensure a proper seal.

4. Plug the hole

This is the most important part. To save the caulking, plug the hole with the end of the tip (the one that you cut earlier) by inserting it upside down in the funnel, creating a makeshift cap. Apply pressure to the “cap” to make sure it fully seals.

Now, you know how to open and save a caulk tube! Cut open, puncture the seal, use the caulking, and plug the hole. That’s it! You’re now ready to open and save your caulk tubes.

Take the hard out of hardscaping

Here at Western Interlock, we’re on a mission to take the hard out of hardscaping. That’s why we publish DIY tips, tricks, and step-by-step tutorials at DIYwithWI.com.

If you have any questions, you can visit our Paving Stone Display at our Manufacturing Facility in Rickreall, OR. Or, give us a call to our team of hardscape experts at 503-623-9084.

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  • Hi, I'm
  • and I need
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  • . I'm interested in
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  • . I live in
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