Keeping Glue Bottle Nozzles from Plugging Up?
Issue: Issue 359
Posted Date: 9/2/2014
When I store my glue, a big clog tends to accumulate in the cap. I can get rid of it by poking through the clog with a screw, which pulls it out – but that also tears open the glue cap. Any suggestions for better storage, or better ways to get rid of the glue clogs? – Dirk G.
Tim Inman: What kind of glue? I'm going to assume ordinary white or yellow wood glue for my answer. It depends on how frequently you revisit the glue bottle. If you use your glue bottles daily or weekly, my little trick might help you. I cut pieces of upholsterer's foam and slide them down over the glue tip. I wet the foam, so it keeps the glue tip nice and clean. It takes a while for the foam to dry out. I suppose you could put a baggie over the foam cover if you need a longer lasting solution.
Another option that I used way back when I was teaching was simply to keep a spare set of glue bottle tips on hand. I recycled the tips from empty bottles. I found that I could soak the old glue tips in a pan/jar of soapy water and they were easy to clean. When the “new” tips got clogged, I just swapped them out with clean ones. This worked much better for students than to try getting them to put some kind of lid or cap over the bottles when they were finished using them.
Chris Marshall: Glue clogs the tip because it has a chance to dry. If you invert your glue bottles in a rack of some sort, the tip will stay wet because the air compartment inside the bottle will move from the top of the container to the bottom, opposite the glue tip. That said, I've found that the slotted-style tips on my quart-sized bottles of Titebondｮ glues are easy to unclog, just by squeezing the tip and pulling the dried crust out. That's the glue bottle size I use most, so clogging isn't much of an issue for me. But, I do remember that the glue bottle tips that rotate up and down to open and close were much more of a hassle to unclog.