Reopening and Cleaning a Caulking Tube Nozzle
When I finish a project, I am often left with a partially used caulking tube. I’ve tried sealing and reopening the tube various ways: caps, sleeves, tape. No matter what I used, I found I was still trying to pull out a cured plug from the tapered nozzle weeks later, particularly from silicone tubes.
One of the best ways I have found is to insert a nail head first into the nozzle, and extrude the caulking out around the nail, leaving the nail tip exposed. If I have a cap with the tube, I use it over the nail. Best to use the longest and widest head nail you can fit into the nozzle. The nail head helps create a barrier inside the nozzle, to prevent too much caulking from drying out. When you need the caulking weeks later, simply pull out the nail with pliers, which pulls the cured plug out, and you’re ready to go!
Allow the caulking to cure and self-plug the tube around the extraction nail.
For silicone tubes, I find I may need to cut the taper off the tube to remove the plug. If done before inserting a nail, one can insert a longer & larger headed nail. This helps with storing tubes for longer periods.