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3 Best Plumbers Putty Options (Tested by a DIY Expert)

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My wife and I have been homeowners for several years now. Every now and then we’ve had issues with our sink leaking or toilet seal needing to be fixed.

Plumber’s putty has been the ace in the hole for quick fixes.

We’ve tested a few different brands over the year and we’re ready to share the best plumbers putty options.

best plumbers putty

The 3 Best Plumbers Putty On the Market

If you’re looking for plumbers putty for your next project, any of these options would be great! It just comes down to what you need most.

1. Overall Best Plumber’s Putty – Sta Put by Hercules

sta put plumbers putty

This is by far the most popular plumber’s putty and is used by the majority of plumbers in the field. We’ve been using this putty since we’ve moved it and it’s been fantastic.

It is by far the highest quality putty in the market.

You can use this putty on any number of plumbing fixtures including basin cocks, bowls, sink faucets, sink frames, bowls, plugs and strainers.

Warning: Do NOT use this putty on “natural products”. This would include granite, marble, quartz, sandstone, etc. Sta Put contains oil in their mixture which can leach out and stain these materials!

If you’re installing a fixture using one of these materials, use the next putty that I recommend.


  • Extremely high quality putty from a reputable company.
  • Highly recommended by plumbers so you know it will work.
  • Super durable
  • Affordable. Significantly less than the more speciality options below.


  • Cannot be used with granite, quartz/sandstone, marble, etc.
  • Not permanent – It will eventually dry out, but that’s true for all plumber’s putty.
  • The air in the plastic container can sometimes cause the putty to dry out. Using some plastic wrap can be helpful.

2. Best for Natural Surfaces – Stain-Free by Oatey

oatey stain free plumbers putty

Stain-free plumbers putty is the only putty that I use when working with natural materials. It is manufactured by the same company as Sta put but with a very specific application.

Unlike Sta Put, Stain-free DOES NOT contain any oil so it’s safe to use with granite or stone. Since there is no oil, it cannot leach out and stain the material. Hence the name; Stain-free.

Oatey has been around for quite some time and has established themselves as a leader in their industry and very reputable. Why else would the vast majority of professional plumbers use their product?

Just like Sta Put, this is a dependable, robust product. It will provide a watertight seal every time. And because it’s a product from Oatey, this compound will last a very long time without breaking or cracking while being used.


  • Does not contain oil so it’s safe to use on natural materials.
  • Durable and high quality sealing compound.
  • Easy installation, handling and clean up.


  • You cannot use this product on ABS pipe or fittings.

3. Best Plumbers Putty for Stainless Steel – Sta Put Ultra by Hercules

sta put stain free plumbers putty

Before you go out and purchase Sta Put Ultra because you think it’s a superior product, you need to make sure you actually need it. For the majority of plumbing projects Sta Put is a perfectly decent putty to use.

Sta Put Ultra was created for applications where stainless-steel is used. Like Stain-free, this polymer has no oil in so it’s safe to use on porous surfaces.

Not only can it be used on natural materials such as granite or stone, but can also be safely used with plastics, fiberglass, or rubber.


  • This putty is permanently pliable and will never harden.
  • Can be used on “any” porous surfaces.
  • It is non-toxic, odorless and will adhere to almost any surface.
  • Sta Put Ultra won’t melt, dry out, crack, or rot.


  • Cannot be used on ABS piping or fittings.
  • Can be a bit greasy.

Ways to Use Plumber’s Putty

Plumber’s putty by nature is a very soft and pliable sealing compound. The main ingredient is powdered clay and linseed oil, lending to its ease of use and mess free handling.

Plumber’s putty is used when you need a watertight seal between two hard surfaces.

One of the most common ways to use plumber’s putty is sealing your sink and faucet connection points.

using plumbers putty on sink drain

Other uses for this compound would include sealing sinks to drains, bathtubs to drain pipes and certain fittings. You can even use plumber’s putty to seal leaks depending on the severity.

This was before the wax ring became more common. If you’re in a bind and happen to have a lot of plumbers putty and no wax ring, plumber’s putty can be a temporary solution to installing a toilet.

How to Use Plumbers Putty on Kitchen Sink

It’s super easy to learn how to use plumbers putty on a kitchen sink. If you’re trying to fill in around a drain, simply pull out a hunk of putty, roll it between your fingers so that you have a thin, long worm-like piece. Press it around the drain firmly.

installing Plumbers Putty on Kitchen Sink

If you’re installing the drain, then do the same thing, but press the drain on top of the putty ring and it will create a nice water-proof seal.

Comparison: Plumber’s Putty vs Silicone

I’ve seen a bunch of people recommend silicone as an alternative to plumber’s putty.

Silicone caulk is a semi-transparent solution that fills up the cracks or any sealing gaps between surfaces. It’s waterproof and stays the same color over time.

We’ve done a test recently comparing plumbers putty vs silicone. Plumber’s putty won the day, but silicone can still work well if it’s all you have on hand.

The great thing about silicone is that it only takes about 30 minutes to fully seal up and be ready for water exposure.

It can work well on windows, doors, kitchen, bath, or gutters. However, we don’t recommend it for plumbing uses as much.

The main issue with silicone is that it just doesn’t last as long as putty. Dirt or particles can cause the silicone to slowly crack and become less effective over time.

The main advantage of silicone is that is is adhesive. If you have two surfaces that you want to stick together, silicone is more effective. Plumber’s putty does not have adhesive properties.

How Long Does Plumber’s Putty Take to Dry?

We recently did a whole article on how long plumber’s putty takes to dry. The short answer is that plumber’s putty actually doesn’t have to “dry”. Once you’ve applied it, it’s good to go.

The putty sets in place and creates a water tight seal. The point is that it keeps water out so it wouldn’t work if it had to “stay dry” in order to be effective.

How to Remove Plumber’s Putty?

Plumber’s putty is easily removed. Since it’s a clay like material and soft you can usually simply wipe it away. If it’s been recent, simply roll it up into a ball and you can reuse it.

There are four ways to remove plumber’s putty, but here’s a quick guide…

Installing Fixtures: Excess putty will seep out between the two parts you’re connecting. You actually want to have some excess. If you don’t have putty seeping out, you may not have enough putty in there to create a good, packed seal. After you have tightened these down, use a rag or paper towel to wipe the excess putty from the fixture.

Removing Fixtures: When you are removing a fixture, it may be a little more difficult. Depending on the amount of time the putty was used, you might have a dried up mess. A putty knife or X-Acto knife can be a huge help to scrape off old putty.

remove plumbers putty with a putty knife
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Richmond Howard

Richmond Howard started My Plumbing DIY in 2022 to help people solve all their home plumbing issues. He and his wife have been problem solving DIY issues all around their fixer-upper house they bought in 2018. His goal is to build My Plumbing DIY into the one stop shop for home plumbing needs so that people can save money and time.

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