How to Remove a Cartridge From a Caulking Gun

glazier image by Greg Pickens from

One of the more tedious tasks in home maintenance can be caulking around windows, doors and in the bathroom around the toilet and tub. Thank goodness for F. Karl Schneide for, according to Albion Dispensing Solutions, he invented the caulk gun in the mid 1930s and by 1937 was awarded the patent for the trigger action caulk gun that we use today. Loading a cartridge into a caulking gun may be easy but removing it can sometimes be difficult.

Rotate the rod 90 degrees to release the tension on the rod; this can only be accomplished on older caulking guns. On newer models, release the tension on the rod by depressing a small metal lever located at the very back of the gun beneath the rod. The rod is a shaft of metal that sticks out of the back of the caulk gun and generally has a curve on the end. Its tension increases on a caulking gun every time the trigger is pulled, forcing caulk or adhesive out the nozzle.

Pull the rod directly back and away from the caulking gun. This action will pull the rod from the cartridge of adhesive or caulk, releasing the cartridge.

Grasp the cartridge in your hand and pull it up and out of the caulking gun. This is easier if you pull from the front of the cartridge near the nozzle.

Clean the empty caulking gun to remove residual caulk or adhesive according to the directions for cleanup provided by the manufacturer of the product you were using.

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