How to use Plumber’s Putty?

How to use Plumber’s Putty?

Plumbers putty is a basic tool in any plumber’s tool bag. Flexible and pliant in texture similar to play dough. Inexpensive material used to make watertight seals around sinks, pop-up drain fittings and prevent them from the leak. Usually hidden under the flange, lip, edge of the fixture not visible when installed.

How to use Plumbers Putty

How to use Plumber’s Putty – The Complete Process


  1. Take a scoop of plumber’s putty out of the tub and warm it with your hands until it is soft and malleable.

Putty is hard and cold at first when taken out of the tub.

  1. Roll it into a ball by rubbing it between your palms firmly and quickly. Stop rolling when you are able to stretch and pull it.
  2. Form a long skinny shape like a snake out of play dough which is long enough to cover the area where you are applying it.

If long putty doesn’t seem apt mould it into a shape that will fit.



  1. Wash the surface with soap and water where you need to place your putty until it is free of any dirt.
  2. Make sure to dry the surface with a rag or towel as putty won’t stick to the wet area.

Don’t get it dirty again while drying.



  1. Disassemble the parts fixing a leak to have better access to the area where putty is needed.

For toilets, loosen the bolts at the base and gently remove the bowl from the floor.

For drains, undo the nuts under the sink and push the drain to remove it from the base of the sink.

  1. Spread the putty around the surface you need it on, mostly it is put on a circular area.

Wrap it around the area leaving no gaps.

Don’t apply putty into multiple layers.

  1. Firmly press the putty using your fingertips to apply pressure and stop it when putty seems secured. It will get tightened into place further later.
  2. Set the fixature into the place where it belongs and tighten it

For drains, you will press the drain into the sink and tighten it using bolts

For toilets, spread the putty around the base where it touches the floor.


Also Read: How to Remove Sink Drain? 



  1. Clean the excess putty away using a towel or rag, which seeps out from the sides while placing fixture.

Touch the fixture to make sure it isn’t loose.

  1. Leave a clean area after using putty. Scrub the area with a soapy sponge to make sure no residual traces are left.


Leakage Problem

If you notice water seeping out from under the toilet or drain. You may need new putty.

Remove the existing putty thoroughly and reapply new one. If it still doesn’t work check other sources of leakage like broken gasket or seals.


Also read: How Long Does Plumber’s Putty Take To Dry?


Cautions to keep in mind

Putty should be pliable and easy to roll, in case it is hard or cracks appears it is too old and dried out, of no use.

Don’t be in a hurry to use let it dry out premature use may cause it to seal to break.

Check the label of plumbers putty before using, petroleum-based can stain some materials like granite. Stain-free forms of plumbers putty can be used on stone and other porous material.


It is the most affordable solution to any sealing and leakage of fixature. Easy to remove if you ever need to replace it. Remember playing with play dough as a child and making shapes, replace the dough with plumbers putty. Play with it and seal or fix  leakage of a fixature in playing.


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