How Long Does Plumbers Putty Take to Dry?

When it comes to creating watertight seals around faucets, drains, and sink fixtures, plumber’s putty is a commonly used product that hardens over time. Unlike caulk, which can be challenging to remove, plumber’s putty offers a simpler solution. Its convenience lies in its ease of use.

In the following sections, we will discuss the correct method of using plumber’s putty and provide tips for dealing with hardened putty.

The putty is easily accessible and affordable, typically packaged in a small plastic container. It has a soft and malleable texture, making it easy to apply using the following method:

Creating a Putty Rope: Take out a portion of putty from the container and roll it between your hands in a back and forth motion. The length of the rope should be adjusted according to the size of the gap that needs to be filled.

Positioning it on the Area: Take one end of the putty rope and form a loop, then continue until the two ends meet. If the rope is too short, start over and make a longer one. If there is excess, it can be easily removed.

Apply Gentle Pressure: Gently press down without altering the shape of the putty. Use just enough force to secure the putty when flipping the part over. As you place the part, the putty will flatten and form a seal.

Assemble the Component: When working with putty, it is common for some to ooze out of the sides of the component. Make sure to fully tighten the component and remove any extra putty that may have accumulated. If the putty is still clean, it can be saved for future use.

Is it Okay to Use Hardened Plumber’s Putty?

Plumber’s putty can become solid even when stored in a well-sealed container for months or even years. Instead of trying to use it, you may consider purchasing a new tub if it has become dry or starts to crack while being molded. In such cases, it would be wise to get a fresh supply of putty.

There are alternatives available in case your plumber’s putty becomes hardened. Instead of purchasing a new one, you have the following options:

Submerge in Water

Store the putty in its original container or transfer it to a jar. Cover it with lukewarm water and leave it to soak overnight. The following day, fill a big bowl with hot water and put the container inside. Knead and compress the putty until it becomes pliable again.

Combine Water and Hand Lotion

First, prepare a spotless and level surface and place the putty on it. With gloves on, add approximately 2 tablespoons of water to the putty and work it with your hands. You will notice that it becomes more malleable. Next, add a small amount of hand lotion to the plumber’s putty to further soften it.

Coat it with Linseed Oil

Allow the oil to permeate the putty for a period of one or two days. After that, attempt to manipulate the blend to achieve the desired consistency, while wearing protective gloves. This method should effectively restore the flexibility of the putty. Alternatively, cooking oil can also be used as a substitute.

Heat in the Microwave

To soften the plumber’s putty, place it in a microwave-safe bowl and mix it with hair gel. After kneading it to soften the compound, microwave it for 2 minutes and allow it to cool. Check the consistency and repeat the process if needed until the desired softness is achieved.

Is it Possible to Stop Plumber’s Putty from Becoming Hard?

It is possible that by replacing the lid, the plumber’s putty can stay soft. However, if it is not used, it may still harden after a couple of months. To prevent hardening, one can pour water on the putty before sealing the lid to maintain its malleability through the air-tight seal.

The substance should remain pliable for a longer period. To reuse the putty, simply uncover the container, empty out any excess water, and soak up the remaining moisture with a cloth or paper towel. The putty can then be reused as necessary. It does not completely harden and is not a form of adhesive. As a result, it is not durable enough or appropriate for application on pipes.

What is the Setting Time for Plumber’s Putty?

The setting process of plumber’s putty typically takes a few hours. Once the putty has been applied, it is possible to use the drain or tap right away, but for optimal results, it is recommended to wait for a few hours. As the putty dries, it tends to expand, which can help create a more secure seal.

Get in Touch with Plumbing Company Pros for Assistance

At our company, we offer a wide range of services including plumbing repairs and installation in Charlotte, North Carolina. Our team of licensed technicians is equipped to handle various tasks such as drain cleaning, kitchen and bathroom remodeling, and even provide 24/7 emergency plumbing services.


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