Sugru lets you fix, improve and avoid clutter

A few weeks ago I wrote to Erin and said, “I’d like to review Sugru for Unclutterer.” She was intrigued, so I ordered a set, and after weeks of using the product I wanted to share the results of my test-drive with you.

Sugru is a “self-setting rubber” invented by Ireland’s Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh. It feels like Play-Doh when initially removed from its package and then hardens, yet remains flexible, after being exposed to air for about a day. People are doing all sorts of creative and useful things with it, and that’s why I wanted to review it.

For me, part of being an unclutterer means a commitment to frugality, and I use the New England definition of frugal: nothing is wasted. Since Sugru lets you repair or improve on a huge number of devices in and around your home, it prevents those things from becoming clutter.

Packaging

The Sugru packaging includes a list you can populate with future projects, instructions, many photos, use ideas, and a super handy color chart. I received four colors (other combinations are available), and the chart explains how to combine them to produce a variety of hues, so that you can match whatever you’re trying to fix or improve. The Sugru itself comes in sliver, 0.17-ounce packages that resemble the condiment packs you might find at a fast food restaurant.

Use

My goal was to both fix something and improve something; both were met easily. As mentioned earlier Sugru is nice and soft out of the package, with that “I just want to squish it forever” feel. (Note: that the color does come off onto your fingers. Not a lot, and it’s easily removed with a wet wipe, but still worth noting.) Its consistency made it an obvious choice for my two projects.

The first thing I did was to fashion a DIY iPhone cable holder out of a LEGO minifig. I put a bit of black Sugru on his back, pressed him to an inconspicuous area of my bed’s headboard* and the next morning he was ready for cable-holding duty:

The second project was the “fix.” I have an Amazon Fire TV that runs a little hot. So, I decided to add some feet. After molding some black Sugru into little balls and sticking them on the bottom, the device now has a nice cushion of air between itself and the surface it occupies.

At this point, I had the bug. There’s a cabinet in our house that never stays shut. It’s old, the latch is misaligned and the humidity of summer makes things even worse. There’s a perma-gap that lets the door swing freely. Sugru to the rescue! I applied enough white to fill the gap, let it harden and now the door stays shut and only opens when we want it to. Wonderful.

The only caveat I found was that, once a pack is opened, you best use all it contains. I was unable to re-seal a pack and even putting it in a tiny zip-top bag — with as much air pushed out as I could manage — didn’t prevent the leftover from hardening into a solid, unusable slab. Fortunately, each pack contains just 1/17th of an ounce, so it’s easy to use the whole thing.

Conclusion

In the end, it’s great stuff. It’s occasionally obvious that you’ve used Sugru, so if a clean look is what you’re after you might be a bit bothered by the homemade look of your fix. Color matching helps, as long as you have the colors required to mix your target color. I like it, though, because it can help prevent slightly broken things from becoming clutter. Be sure to check out the Sugru gallery for more ideas for how the product can be useful around your home and office.

*My wife’s insistence. Really.

5 Comments for “Sugru lets you fix, improve and avoid clutter”

  1. posted by Yvonne on

    One very small quibble: if you don’t use all the Sugru within about 6 months, it cures, leaving you with a package of clutter in your toolbox/freezer. Admittedly, this is only an ounce of unrecyclable clutter….

  2. posted by David Caolo on

    Yvonne, that’s a good point and something I should have mentioned. The packaging says you’ve got 13 months to use it, and storing it in the fridge will “triple” that number.

    But once you start, you’ll get hooked and use it all up. 🙂

  3. posted by Andie on

    We used it because we have two balcony chairs that we found on clearance and LOVED but one had a leg that was a smidge too short and it would rock and drive you crazy. We sugru-d the chair leg and it’s perfect!

  4. posted by Per Edman on

    I too am hooked on Sugru! I personalized my camera grip with it, I have put feet on the rounded undersides of remote controls, a monitor-side hanger for my headphones, and once I open a packet I always tend to find a use for all of it.

    One tiiiny correction: 0.17 is not the same as 1/17th. 1/17th is more like 0.05. That was all.

  5. posted by Don on

    I used most of an order of sugru to make bumpers on a metal baby gate which was threatening to whack a big groove into a wall. Worked wonderfully. The last packet is in the fridge to maximize its life, but it has the one major problem that it’s hard to keep track of something as small as a ketchup packet in the fridge.

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