Reconstitute Dried Spackle




About: Professional front-end web developer and hacker since I was a kid. I'm constantly working on many personal projects and/or tinkering with something random.

I found an old jar of Spackle that was hard and clumpy but rather than throwing it away you can make it as good as new in 30 seconds.

Step 1: Water

Add a liberal amount of tap water. The jar I had was about half full of dried spackle, I filled it to about 2/3 full with water.

Step 2: Mix

Break up the dried clumps and mix it with the water just a bit. You won't reconstitute it but you just want to get it so the water isn't just pooled up on top.

Step 3: Nuke

Put the jar in the microwave for 20 seconds. After 20 seconds take it out and mix it a little bit more.

Step 4: Nuke It Again

Put it back in the microwave for another 30 seconds. Afterwards take it out and mix it thoroughly. You should have a nice mixture of ready to use spackle.

If it's still too watery drain out some of the water and microwave it for one more round.



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9 Discussions


Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

I don't believe there are any hazardous, volatile components in joint compound. Also, keep in mind that people used to make soap in their kitchens, and some still do. The lines separating workshops, kitchens and laboratories are mostly the creation of the regulatory, nanny state.


Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

True, I stiil do embalming part- time in my kitchen, it supplements my retirement income. ;-)

This particular spackling consists of 65.0-70.0% Calcium Carbonate 0.1-1.0% crystalline silica and 1.0-5.0% polygorskite or attapulgite. THE MSDS safety sheet reports potential health effects of overexposure to these chemicals as: Inhalation: Nose irritation. Skin Contact: Dry skin. Eye contact: Eye irritation. Ingestion: None.

It is also not going to
achieve a gaseous state in this process which I imagine would be a
requirement for any contamination to occur.

Exciting it in the microwave really only does one thing.. heat up the water,
making it easier to mix. You could alternatively just use hot water
(microwave the water in a coffee cup before mixing it into the plaster)
or boiling the water. Or you could not heat it up at all and just mix
it with the water but you'll be putting a lot more effort and time into
it to achieve the same result.

Side note:

If you want to do similar with Plaster of Paris. It consisting mostly of calcium sulfate hemihydrate
(CaSO4•1/2H2O) and is generally non-toxic.


3 years ago

Do not add too much water or it will get too wet and it is actually not that easy to remove water. My can was frozen solid in the garage, so I waited to thaw, microwaved, and then added water. It surprised me how quickly the mixture liquified under prompting from a flathead screwdriver. Easier than homogenizing oil layer in peanut or other nut butters that have been standing around for a while.


Spackle is really great stuff, I use it to fill plywood edges before painting, gives a nice smooth finish.