How to Load a Caulking Gun

If you have caulking to do and decide to do it yourself, you will need to purchase a caulk gun, which is used to apply the caulk. However, these guns can be a bit confusing at first.  But, keep in mind it is a fairly simple process to load, and don’t overthink it. This gun can be used for window caulking and all other types. Let’s get started on your caulk gun loading instructions now. We use a Pasco caulking gun for all our silicone work.

Step 1: Trim the Caulking Tube Tip

The tube tip will need to be cut to allow the caulk to flow. Take a look at the seam you intend to caulk before you begin. The seam size should be roughly equal to the size of the hole in the caulk tube.

You’ll want to cut the tube’s end at a 45-degree angle. You’ll get a nice even bead of caulk when you depress the trigger. It doesn’t matter what side of the tube you cut the angle, as you can spin the tube around in the caulk gun once it is cut.

Most caulking guns have a small circular cutout in the handle specifically designed for this purpose. Simply insert the end of the caulk tube at a 45° angle through the cutout, then squeeze the trigger handle to cut the tip. (This is the part that even the experts don’t always realize.)

If your caulking gun lacks this feature, you can accomplish the same result with a sharp utility knife.

Always err on the too-small side when cutting. You can always make the hole bigger, but you cannot make it smaller once cut.

Step 2: Break the inner seal of the tube.

Most people don’t realize that there is a seal at the base of the caulk tube, just before the nozzle.  This seal will need to be pierced with something for the caulk to flow out.

Once you have cut the tube open, you will need to locate the poker to poke open this seal.  This is usually a small wire-like instruction on the caulk gun somewhere.

Step 3: Load Cartridge into Gun

It’s now time to load your cartridge!  You’ll need to slide the metal rod back to make room for the caulking tube. Keep in mind that every caulking gun is a little different.

Some guns require you to depress the trigger to slide the rod back; others have a different method of releasing this rod. You may need to take a moment to figure your caulk gun out, but remember that it is a simple device, so don’t overthink it.

Load the cartridge into the gun by inserting it nose-first. Be sure that the opening is facing the direction you want it to. Then, insert the cartridge back.  You will most likely have to depress the trigger many times to get the metal piece up against the caulk, then compress until the caulk comes out of the nozzle. Pre cut your nozzle especially for window caulking

What Is the Best Way to Unload a Caulking Gun?

Unloading a caulking gun is essentially the reverse of the preceding steps.

The first step is to locate the mechanism for releasing the cartridge. Depressing the metal lever behind the trigger, in my case, allows you to retract the rod and release the cartridge.


Check out our articles on Advantages of using caulking for waterproofing your home & When to remove tape after caulking