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Squeezing That Extra Bead Out of a Caulk Tube

Make sure it's all gone before you toss the tube

Good to the Last Drop
Illustration by Narda Lebo
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Every time you toss out a what seems to ben empty tube of caulk you're wasting money. That's because the plunger on most caulking guns doesn't extend all the way to the end of the tube. As a result, a ½ inch or so of caulk usually remains.

The next time you're at the end of a tube of caulk, remove it from the caulking gun and cut a 1¼-inch-diameter X 3-inch-long section of dowel. Slip the wood dowel into the empty tube and place the tube back onto the gun. As you squeeze the trigger, the plunger will press against the dowel and dispense every last bit of caulk. Remove and save the dowel before tossing out the spent tube.

caulk plunger
Illustration by Narda Lebo

Every time you toss out a what seems to ben empty tube of caulk you're wasting money. That's because the plunger on most caulking guns doesn't extend all the way to the end of the tube. As a result, a ½ inch or so of caulk usually remains.

The next time you're at the end of a tube of caulk, remove it from the caulking gun and cut a 1¼-inch-diameter X 3-inch-long section of dowel. Slip the wood dowel into the empty tube and place the tube back onto the gun. As you squeeze the trigger, the plunger will press against the dowel and dispense every last bit of caulk. Remove and save the dowel before tossing out the spent tube.

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