Author Topic: Spray foam cans & multiple uses  (Read 1319 times)

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Offline 4nthony

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Spray foam cans & multiple uses
« on: January 23, 2023, 10:12 PM »
Every time I've purchased a can of expanding spray foam, I use it once and then I'm never able to use it a second time because the hose or nozzle clogs.

The last can I bought said to form a foam ball over the tip of the nozzle after use. I did that about 2 weeks ago and after attempting to use the can today, everything was clogged after removing the ball. I unscrewed the nozzle and cleared everything of dried foam as best as I could, but still nothing. There's still foam and aerosol in the can as it works with just the stub, but I can't get the foam where I need it to go with just the stub.

What tips/tricks do you all use to get multiple uses out of your spray can nozzles/bottles?

Thanks!
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Offline Packard

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Re: Spray foam cans & multiple uses
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2023, 11:59 PM »
They address this around minute 6.


Offline ChuckS

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Re: Spray foam cans & multiple uses
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2023, 12:32 AM »
The new nozzle and hose solution suggested in the video never worked for me because the clogging happened inside the can after some time. My solution has been to plan and try to use up the whole can in one go whenever possible.

Offline bobtskutter

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Re: Spray foam cans & multiple uses
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2023, 04:14 AM »
I turn the can upside down and then press the trigger for a few seconds.  The gas blowing through the nozzle / tube helps clear it out.  There's usually a small amount of foam left over but not enough to block the tube.
Regards
bob

Offline six-point socket II

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  • formerly @the_black_tie_diyer
Re: Spray foam cans & multiple uses
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2023, 05:36 AM »
Ditch the single use containers and get a (reusable) spray foam gun, matching container(s) and cleaner(s).

Spray foam container goes on the gun, use, remove container from gun and replace with container containing the cleaner. Spray until only clear cleaning solvent comes out. Put spray cap on cleaning container, clean top of spray foam container, connector of spray gun and if necessary also the outer surfaces of the gun. (Cleaner can be used to clean fresh foam from other tools, hands, clothing as well ... But just be aware that this stuff, like so many others, is not exactly a "healthy" choice to clean hands and a regular hand wash + some moisturizer is highly recommended afterwards.)

There are tubes and other accessories for the gun if needed. When using tubes, do not solely rely on the threading of the guns nozzle, use some tape to secure it and beforehand adjust pressure. They love to burst off.

Pictured is my spray foam gun and the two containers (1x foam, 1x cleaner) I'm currently using. As you can see, totally clean, ready for use. You might notice the "A" I wrote on both containers, my way of identifying open/in-use containers in storage or my workshop.



Kind regards,
Oliver
« Last Edit: January 24, 2023, 07:36 AM by six-point socket II »
Kind regards,
Oliver

"... . Say yes to stuff, and it will take you interesting places." - Anne Richards, CEO Fidelity International

Offline ChuckS

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Re: Spray foam cans & multiple uses
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2023, 07:29 AM »
I turn the can upside down and then press the trigger for a few seconds.  The gas blowing through the nozzle / tube helps clear it out.  There's usually a small amount of foam left over but not enough to block the tube.
Regards
bob

I tried that and it worked only for other sprays like 3M self adhesives or paints, but not foam sprays. What brand did you use? I got mine from HD or Lowe's.


« Last Edit: January 24, 2023, 08:07 AM by ChuckS »

Offline bobtskutter

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Re: Spray foam cans & multiple uses
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2023, 07:38 AM »
@ChuckS it was screwfix No Nonsense expanding foam.  I don't think they trade in the US.

https://www.screwfix.com/p/no-nonsense-expanding-foam-hand-held-750ml/75470

Regards
bob

Offline ChuckS

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Re: Spray foam cans & multiple uses
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2023, 08:04 AM »
Thanks, Bob. In the Q&A, one guy said he could reuse his spray after 8 months. The kind I had couldn't work after 8 days, let alone weeks or months! I'll Google to see if something similar can be found in N.A.

Offline six-point socket II

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  • formerly @the_black_tie_diyer
Re: Spray foam cans & multiple uses
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2023, 09:32 AM »
You can also use the cleaner on the single-use cans, just be very thoroughly - and if you have new tubes, that could do the trick.

Personally I just never found keeping/re-using single-use cans worth it.

That said, not sure about North America or the UK though, we can get small single-use cans. They are called "Mini" and manufactured by Soudal.

Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

"... . Say yes to stuff, and it will take you interesting places." - Anne Richards, CEO Fidelity International

Offline Packard

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Re: Spray foam cans & multiple uses
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2023, 09:37 AM »
While you can paint over this stuff, the residue is impossible to clean off.  If you are spraying around a room AC for example, it is best to apply masking tape before spraying.  No amount of scrubbing will remove the residue and solvent that might work, will likely damage the factory paint and plastic on an AC unit.

I used it in hopes of making the install insect-proof.  It seemed to work, but it also brought in a layer of ugly that was not there before.

Offline xedos

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Re: Spray foam cans & multiple uses
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2023, 10:00 AM »
s-p-sII ........ those guns are great if you frequently use foam, or just like having nice tools around.

For most people though, the disposable cans with xtra straws are a better proposition.  It's difficult or impossible to get small (low volume) cans for dispenser guns here and they are more expensive (usually).   You can only clean them with the cleaner designed for guns.  The disposable ones can be cleaned with acetone from any can or source and a Q-tip cotton swab, and uses much less acetone.

If you're doing a whole house, or use foam every month, then yes, the gun is the way to go. 

Offline six-point socket II

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Re: Spray foam cans & multiple uses
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2023, 10:16 AM »
What I don't understand then, is why bother to keep/store a used single-use can in first place? If they are so cheap and bought because using them is a onetime occurrence, one might as well simply trash it after use, or not? (And then buy a new one if there's another onetime occurrence.)

But yeah, for one time use the initial and recurring costs of gun & corresponding consumables don't make economical sense.

Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

"... . Say yes to stuff, and it will take you interesting places." - Anne Richards, CEO Fidelity International

Offline ChuckS

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Re: Spray foam cans & multiple uses
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2023, 10:17 AM »
I use the foam to plug lawn holes (to keep voles away), and just need half a can as the holes pop up. A few weeks later...I may have to get another can. [sad]

I just checked. Great Stuff foam at HD says it uses new technology and can be reused up to 30 days. Claim not verified as I have had no success with re-using any spray foam.

P.S. Voles can survive in -30c winters!
« Last Edit: January 24, 2023, 10:23 AM by ChuckS »

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: Spray foam cans & multiple uses
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2023, 10:36 AM »
The basic spray foam cans are only cheap in comparison to the professional level kits. Would you be okay with a can of spray paint if you had to use the whole can in one session or throw it away?

Packard, for sealing around an air conditioner the low expansion foam is probably better, although the bugs might find it easy enough to chew through. Also, considerable pressure can accumulate as the regular pu foam expands and hardens. As for clean up after the pu foam cures the only way I’ve done it is by cutting and sanding.

Offline six-point socket II

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  • formerly @the_black_tie_diyer
Re: Spray foam cans & multiple uses
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2023, 10:50 AM »
Is the spray paint can question for me?

I honestly don't know the last time I've used spray paint, but: If I need something I buy it. If it has a shelf life/ if it can go bad that's the way it is and I will trash it (at some point) if I have unused leftovers. If it is truly single-use and hardens/clogs/*whatever* it gets trashed immediately after use. It's the price of doing a project, I don't loose any sleep over it.

Just like I have used spray foam, thought there must be a better way, bought the kit and never looked back. To me, it's more about handling and dispensing the stuff, than it is about the added benefit of re-usable cartridges.

But again, that's just me.

Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

"... . Say yes to stuff, and it will take you interesting places." - Anne Richards, CEO Fidelity International

Offline Cheese

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Re: Spray foam cans & multiple uses
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2023, 11:14 AM »
I'm with six-point on this one...just purchase the reusable gun style and you'll be a happy camper...that's a promise. Before the release of the reusable gun style I was also trying to get more than 1-day use from a can of foam, that insanity is what drove me to spend the $$ on the gun style, one of the cheapest solutions I've ever arrived at.

Once you use the gun style, the foam will remain liquid in the gun for about 2 weeks. If you don't expect to use the foam within 2 weeks, just remove the foam can and attach the can of cleaner and clean out the gun, it takes about 1 minute. Remove the can of cleaner, store the gun and a year later you can reattach the foam can and have at it again. The foam remains useable in the can up to at least 2 years for me.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/GREAT-STUFF-48-oz-Gaps-and-Cracks-Insulating-Spray-Foam-Sealant-Kit-KTGS-1557/319676322


Offline ChuckS

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Re: Spray foam cans & multiple uses
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2023, 11:36 AM »
Cheese,

The kit is not that expensive at all. Here, a single can is $14.67Cdn plus tax at HD. (P.S. The kit you linked to is not sold in HD Canada [mad].)
« Last Edit: January 24, 2023, 11:48 AM by ChuckS »

Offline Cheese

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Re: Spray foam cans & multiple uses
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2023, 11:51 AM »
Cheese,

The kit is not that expensive at all. Here, a single can is $14.67Cdn plus tax at HD.

No Chuck you're right...when I first purchased the gun it was around $85 but that was back about 10 years ago, now they're in the $50 range. A can of cleaner is about $6 and a 24 oz can of foam is about $12. Compare that to the standard 1-use-only product which is only a 12 oz can.


Offline 4nthony

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Re: Spray foam cans & multiple uses
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2023, 12:11 PM »

I just checked. Great Stuff foam at HD says it uses new technology and can be reused up to 30 days. Claim not verified as I have had no success with re-using any spray foam.


My problem was with a can of Great Stuff Big Gap Filler. I bought it two weeks ago to fill a hole where a mouse was coming in. Yesterday I found another spot off the garage and noticed the can was inoperable.

I don't use the foam very often but it would be nice to have some on-hand when the need arises. Maybe I'll look into getting a kit with a gun and some cleaner. I'm sure over my lifetime it'll be less expensive than buying a new can each time I need to fill a hole.

Thanks guys!
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Anthony

"The best way to get a correct answer on the internet is to post an obviously wrong answer and wait for someone to correct you." - Kevin Kelly

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 10275
Re: Spray foam cans & multiple uses
« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2023, 01:41 PM »
Anthony here's something right up your alley...Pro Pestblock.  [big grin]



FYI...here's the rest of the product line. Gaps & Cracks, Window & Door and Construction Adhesive.

https://www.greatstuff.dupont.com/product-gallery.html?filters=dupont:pcg/foam-sealants






Offline WastedP

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Re: Spray foam cans & multiple uses
« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2023, 03:46 PM »
P.S. Voles can survive in -30c winters!

Especially if you insulate their homes for them!

Offline rst

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Re: Spray foam cans & multiple uses
« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2023, 05:08 PM »
I've reused the disposable cans by cleaning the straw and can spout with acetone.  I use the gun now and the large containers.  I always remove the can and clean with the cleaner which is just acetone under pressure and with a lab dispenser of acetone.  I use mine enough that I've taken the gun assembly apart and soaked in pan of acetone on occasion especially needed when using different foam formulations.

Offline ChuckS

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Re: Spray foam cans & multiple uses
« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2023, 05:23 PM »
P.S. Voles can survive in -30c winters!

Especially if you insulate their homes for them!
They actually dig tunnels and shelter under the snow as if it's an igloo. They hate the foams because they stick to their teeth if they try to fight their way out.

Offline bobtskutter

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Re: Spray foam cans & multiple uses
« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2023, 03:52 AM »
@ChuckS The foam isn't biodegradable, at least the stuff I've used isn't.  Do you worry about having lumps of yellow foam all over your back yard?

Offline ChuckS

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Re: Spray foam cans & multiple uses
« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2023, 08:30 AM »
I covered the spots (mostly along the sidewalk) with soil.

Offline eschumac

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Re: Spray foam cans & multiple uses
« Reply #25 on: January 27, 2023, 04:34 PM »
I've had great luck with the newer "resuable" disposable foam cans at the box stores. I've kept them around and re-used them months later with no issue. Surprised me to be honest. You have to pick the ones with the weird looking straw.