Plumber’s Putty Review: On Plastic, Alternatives and Silicone Caulk

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Are you looking for a new sealant?

If you are tired with inefficient materials and want to find the best way to seal all leaks you have, Plumber's Putty might be the perfect solution for you.

Let’s go through all the characteristics and learn more about this product.

Plumbers Putty Review

Plumber’s Putty Review

Plumber’s Putty is material used for watertight seals between surfaces in and around faucets, sinks, and drains, with the main aim of connecting pipes and countertops.

The main characteristic that differentiates it from others is the fact that it will remain soft for a longer period of time after it is applied.

With this characteristic, Plumber’s Putty takes the title of the most ideal one, when it comes to the seals that need to be reversed later.​

It should be noted that, due to the fact that it stays soft for such an extended amount of time, you should never apply Plumber’s Putty on pipes that are keen to experience any amount of water pressure. Seals are not able to hold such pressure.

The Plumber’s Putty is quite easy to use and if you make a mistake, you can easily wipe it out. Let’s discover further characteristics and get to know better the main differences.

Plumber's Putty vs Silicone Caulk

If you really want to understand which one is better for you to use, we have to clear all the differences. It's worthy to mention that the similarities are quite obvious as they both close up cracks around the bathroom, look quite similar and both have the amazing power of flexibility.

However, they are applied differently and that’s where their main difference lays.

Plumber’s Putty exists on the market for a quite some time now, while the silicone caulk is a pretty recent invention.

Plumber’s Putty is mostly made from the high calcitic lime and linseed oil – it’s these exact oils that enable it to stay firm for an extended period of time.

Silicon caulk also lasts a long time but it’s usually just over 10 years, which is quite short compared to the Plumber’s Putty.

Plumber’s Putty is recognized for the absence of need for maintaining in order to last longer. On the other hand, silicon caulk’s expiration date cannot be prolonged, such as Plumber’s Putty, but sometimes it can be stronger from the start.

plumbers putty vs silicone caulk

If we were to ask other people who regularly use both of these products, they would say that the Plumber’s Putty is mostly used for the small leaks – any detailed job, while silicone caulk for the bigger, less precise jobs.

Plumber’s Putty is, as mentioned previously, quite easy to apply and use generally, and that's what makes it pretty useful and completely adequate for smaller spaces, whilst silicon caulk is not that handy in those situations.

However, if you are working on a bigger surface that's not too complicated to maintain, silicone caulk is the solution.

If you are in a hurry and need to finish the job as soon as possible, it will be useful to know how much time it takes for these products to dry.

In this category, the silicone caulk is an absolute winner as it can dry much faster, which gives you a chance to go to your next task almost instantly and finish your job quite quickly.

Plumber’s Putty has a reputation of drying slowly, with approximately several days to dry; however, many people choose to use in a need of a quick job to hold something in place.

Can You Use Plumber’s Putty on plastics?

Although plumbers putty is well used, known to be useful and versatile material, the truth is that it is not quite a good fit for plastics.

Plumber’s Putty might be one of the basic and most used “tools” for plumbing nowadays, but it’s been proven that it’s better to avoid plastic materials when it comes to using this product.

Putty remains a popular sealant mainly because it sticks well enough to surfaces to prevent leaks, but can usually be removed easily even years after installation.

Science says that the Plumber’s Putty is mostly petroleum based. This component gives it the ability to keep the material pliable and resistant to water throughout the time.

What is less known, is the fact that petroleum in the putty causes the chemical reaction, resulting in all of the plastic materials degrading or breaking down.

It is fascinating how even the most rigid plastics, on contact with Plumber’s Putty, can become completely brittle – as brittle as breakable with your own fingers.

This effect can be noticed in almost all plastic components that are put under pressure, for example, drains that are tightly threaded or fittings.

Instead of creating watertight seals between surfaces in and around faucets, sinks, and drains, you will end up with an even bigger problem, as the combination of plastic materials and plumbers putty will definitely cause cracks, leading to leaks and damage, all over again.

Considering everything mentioned above, it is always recommended to choose some alternative when you are working with plastic materials. For example, silicone caulk can be used in this kind of situations, as it is completely plastic-friendly.

Plumber's putty alternatives

If plumbers putty still didn't make to the top of your list of must-have tools in the household, we'll try to give you some alternatives so you can choose the best fitting for you. We'll cover the largest and most common brands, and in the end, you will have all the information you need to solve your problems once and for all.

Oatey 25605 Hercules 6-Ounce White Tube Plumber’s Caulk

You probably have heard about this product, or at least about the manufacturer. Oatey is a well-known company in the world of plumbing and this product reminds us again why they are so good in their business.

This alternative plumbers putty product consists of the siliconized acrylic-latex caulk, which is used instead of the putty. It comes in the tube and the good news is that it never hardens or crumble. When being applied, there is a really smooth flow for consistent placement without shrinking, which guarantees a good job.

Some of the pros refer to the product being quite durable and strong, and it almost unbelievable how affordable it is. The material is completely waterproof, which makes it great for fixing the leaks.

One downside that you should bear in mind is that the tube is not that big enough and that even though it's affordable, you will need to buy more tubes.

We love Loctite! This company considers reality when it comes to pricing and has a pretty good balance between quality and price, which makes it perfect for many households.

This alternative to plumber putty can be used for sealing on a variety of materials. For example, brick, glass, aluminum, rubber, plastics, and steel are only some of the materials that work well with this product. Being applicable to so many materials makes it useful for all different leaks around the house.

Some of the positive things are that it dries completely transparent - which makes it more appealing than other alternatives, a longer period of time for drying – which allows you to re-position it if you are not quite satisfied.

Besides all of that, it is completely watertight and leak resistant. Similar to the alternative above, this product comes in a smaller tube, so the biggest downside is that you would need to buy a bigger amount of it.

This product is made of silicon rubber and is recognizable for its easy and efficient usage, making it handy and really popular for the beginners in this field.  The biggest downside is that it has a white finish after using it so it might be harder to fit in your home installations.

If you can bear with the white finish line, you will be glad to realize how easy this product is to install and use efficiently throughout the house.

Final Word: On Plumber's Putty

Whether you've been familiar before with plumbers putty or not, we hope that you have a clear picture of this product now. Its efficiency can't be deniable, and in the end, it is up to you to choose the best alternative for you!