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UpsideDown 07-19-2014 11:21 PM

Dried out glue sticks?
I don't know about you but this one is such a pain. Busy working and need the glue… only to find out it's unusable. Some of this is common sense. Keep the lid and tube threads clean -- a baby wipe works, might need to use a finger nail to scrap a bit. If the lid fits it will seal shut properly. If the glue is hardly sticky or completely dry you might be able to rescue it.
- if totally dried out cut the end of the glue itself off a tiny slice
- fold a bit of paper towel to fit inside the tube
- get the paper towel wet but not drippy
- put this on top of the glue itself
- screw the lid back on
- wait a few hours or over night
- pull out the paper towel and test it out
- repeat if necessary
I use Uhu and this always works even when I've left the lid off for several days. I've had luck with two other brands as well but not as great.

Note: this also works for acrylic gel medium. I use Golden Extra Heavy Gel and have had it dry out -- it's so expensive I panicked! I took a larger piece of paper towel and did the same thing. 24 hours later is back to it's smooth magic self… minus a few chunks I picked out.

Susanlhl 07-20-2014 05:33 PM

Thank you for that tip. I will use it next time I have a dried out glue stick. I was just throwing them away!

fab 07-22-2014 12:41 PM

I also have seen tacky glues start to thicken too much. Before they solidify into a plastic mass, I stir in a few drops of water at a time to rehab. Let stand overnight and usually it continues to work just fine. In this very dry climate I sometimes need to do it after working with the glue for just an hour or so. I like to use it in a small lidded container so I can get into it with a toothpick to use.

UpsideDown 07-22-2014 06:22 PM

Great ideas, Fab! Try as I might my regular white glue gets thick and clogs. Water. Simple. Thanks!

Susanlhl 07-22-2014 06:24 PM

Good tips, Fab. Thank you.

I keep a straight pin with my Crystal Effects to break into the nozzle if it has hardened over. I also store this glue tip down in a small plastic bag, so the glue has less chance of hardening in the tip.

Actually, I store most types of glue tip down in a small fabric tote so they prop each other up. No more shaking bottles to bring the glue to the top, and I hardly get any dry outs this way, except for glue sticks.

fab 07-22-2014 08:12 PM

Glue sticks in a dry climate are useless in about 3 weeks.

UpsideDown 07-23-2014 02:27 AM

3 weeks? What have you tried? Maybe an airtight container like a good jar or tupperware? I know painters on the desert us Saran Wrap for jars and tubes of paint and medium -- put it over the opening and screw on the lid. The thing with glue sticks is the package is cheap and is not airtight on both ends. A heavy duty ziplock, maybe? But then again there are plenty of other options. I'm a tape runner type myself, but my t.v. watching couch and travel kits have a glue stick. In my studio I go for gel medium.

fab 07-23-2014 12:32 PM

I just don't buy them anymore. I prefer the tape runner with the adhesive in small dots.

UpsideDown 07-26-2014 10:13 PM

I actually use just about anything to stick stuff down. I did learn from a professional repairer who said to use the right stuff for the right substance so I try to be more careful now. Glue stick is for flat paper, nothing textured or plastic. There are even specialized white glues (new to me!). E6000 is different then epoxy, etc. I was doing some ICAD today and used tape runner to get the big parts and glue stick for the corners and the small bits. I have all different sizes of glue dots but I don't like the bump they cause so they only get used for buttons and other ephemera. I do use just about anything. I did a collage once with a bandaid. Staples are perfect for Poloroid pictures and anything grunge. Anyway I just posted about glue sticks because I've read a lot of people complaining about them drying out. I'm into anything that will save money on craft supplies.

Don 08-17-2014 02:48 PM

Stuck on glue? Here's a chart.

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