Any ideas for using hardened plumber's putty?

I bought a tub of this to fix my sink and only used a tad.  Despite it saying "Will not separate, harden, or crack" it does all that.  Unfortunately, they don't give warranties with this stuff, so I was left with a life time's supply of plumber's putty that is hardening as I speak.  Please, if you have ANY ideas on how to use this or soften it, do pass them along.  Thanks!  :)    =^..^=

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rickharris5 years ago
If it was REAL putty then:

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-plumbers-putty.htm

If not totally hard add linseed oil and mix to soften.

If you can recover nay wrap tightly in plastic bag for storage it's the evaporation of the linseed oil that hardens it.

The rest is just whiting (mainly chalk or lime)

In fact even with hard putty you may be able to grind the whitening down to a fine powder and add linseed oil.

Modern products may use different materials but normally come in a caulk gun rather than a tub.
edfirn3 years ago

The same happens all the time. I have found that if you take a chunk of the hard stiff putty and put it into very very hot hot water and let it sit for about 3 minutes and then pour out the water and knead the putty it will come back to the new original softness.

jwinterton4 years ago
My older brother is a plumber. I've never heard any uses for it but I'll ask him and see what he knows.
thiagorulez4 years ago
Well if you aren't plumbers and you pull this off, then I'm impressed. Because I tried using it, and I bonded my fingers together.
EmmaCay4 years ago
I would suggest checking with the Red Deer plumbers, they are professions and would know the best answer. But my dad always used flaxseed oil. Good luck.
thardy54 years ago
So I am having the same problem but already applied the putty as a sealant for my toilet. Should I call a Calgary plumber, that's where I live, or is there a solution for my problem?
ginny7894 years ago
Interesting question! I have a couple of friends who are Calgary plumbers, so just in case none of these answers work (which I'm sure they will), I could ask them for you.
liamm13204 years ago
I'm glad you asked this, I've been having the same question. I've been hoping to find a good Lethbridge plumber to come help us out. Thanks for all the good answers.
liamm13205 years ago
I'm so glad that I found this. I've actually been having the same question. My friend has recently been working with some plumbers in scottsdale, az and is still learning. I'll have to share these answers with him.
If it were me I would try to talk to a couple different Bellevue plumbers to see what suggestions they have. I'm sure they run into that all the time, and my guess is they have tips on what to do. You will have to tell us what ends up working for you and what doesn't.
canucksgirl5 years ago
The only thing that I know of that will soften up hardened plumbers putty is linseed oil. Pour some on top and close the container for a few days, then stir it up and then let sit some more (depending on the size of the container).

In the future, take the stuff out of the container when you're done using it and put it in a resealable bag and get all the air out before you close it. Vacuum sealing bags will work better. You can always put the bag inside the container.
I forgot to mention that you could also use flaxseed oil because linseed oil (also known as flaxseed oil) comes from the flax plant. But if you don't want to use that, and you just plan on replacing the container, then I'd just use the putty as a medium to create something. Think of it like a modeling clay and carve something out of it. Its better than throwing it out. :)
blkhawk5 years ago
Maybe adding mineral spirits to it will make it good again.
I can totally see that! Once I trusted my friends advice and I hired one of those Calgary plumbers and they ruined my walls! So I used some mineral spirits and it cleaned it up lickity-split! Thanks for the post!