Thursday, July 9, 2015

How do they get the glue back in the toothpaste tube?

Here's a goofy little post, about a silly (but fun) little project I did making glue squeeze bottles.

A couple of years ago, I snagged a mostly-full gallon of Elmer's glue at a yard sale for, I dunno, a dollar.  A gallon jug is too large to use conveniently for most projects, so I decanted a bunch into a smaller container -- an empty mustard bottle.  Eventually, the plastic on the mustard bottle cracked and split.  Even before the bottle broke, though, the glue would harden at the top, making it hard to get out of the bottle.  Time not only for a new bottle, but also a new design.
So, here was my most recent experiment on a new glue decanter, including a what-worked and what-didn't.  

I took some empty lotion squeeze bottles and snipped off the top end.

Even "empty" squeeze bottles aren't empty, so I did copious amounts of Lotion Removal after the snipping.
[Frugal Memo:  Even when not making Glue Decanters, 
remember to snip off the ends to get at the remainder 
before tossing lotion or toothpaste that seems to be empty.  
Surface tension means that there's still a lot of good stuff inside that tube!!!]

Once I'd removed as much lotion as I could and then washed the tubes with soap and water, I poured in some glue.

  • What worked:  Easy to pour glue into those open holes.
  • What didn't:  Don't fill the bottles up too high!  When you squeeze them closed again, it compresses the space a lot and glue spills out. (See a small bit of glue spillage in the picture below).

I added labels to clearly mark these (oog -- imagine attempting to put lotion on your skin and accidentally putting glue on your skin instead!).   I also sealed things up with binder clips.

  • What didn't work:  The binder clips.  They still allow too much leakiness out the top, and if they accidentally come off, disaster!
  • What did work:  Staples.  Go figure!  It's good to know I can use staples on plastic.  
  • What sort-of worked:  The binder clips were a good intermediate step; they helped hold the bottles together while I got ready to staple.  Plus if there's going to be overflow/spill, I'd rather get glue on a binder clip than on my stapler.  
I am hoping that having the opening down at the bottom of this container will minimize the dried-glue problem, because it keeps the opening of the glue away from the air. But only time will tell. 

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