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Blue is the colour, sticking is the game.
Bostik Blu Tack
Member Name: Dryad
Bostik Blu Tack
Advantages: Sticks stuff to stuff as long as it's temporary.
Blu Tack was originally according to Wikipedia white when it was first developed but was coloured blue to allay fears that kidi winks or revelling students with the muchies might mistake it for a yummy confectionery and eat it. More recently they branched out into different colours, the diversity of colours came when they dyed it pink in support of breast cancer awareness and gave a percentage (10% I think) to breast cancer charities, and then decided it was a good idea to provide different colours. Personally I still prefer the cool grey blue of the best known incarnation. There have been lots of pretenders to the throne since, such as the little pre shaped pink squares known as Buddies. I have not tried all the other similar products but of the ones I have tried Blu Tack for me is still the king.
A big selling point for Blu Tack is that it can be reused almost indefinitely as long as it doesn't get too gunked up with dust, tinsel and cat hair (yours of course may get gunked up with entirely different debris). I still have slightly decrepit looking Blu Tack blobs from 1998 still in effective use (when I can't put my hand on the fresh pack, which mysteriously migrates from room to room and drawer to drawer).
It's non toxic, although not recommended for ingestion of course, and should you somehow snack on it it could cause discomfort but not poisoning; it's also only flammable at very high temperatures. This makes it a fairly safe option for households where there are several age ranges living. Though of course common sense dictates it should be kept out of the hands of little ones.
It comes in different pack sizes in the familiar cardboard sleeve, sandwiched between too pieces of glossy paper, I love the look of a fresh slice of soft matt Blu Tack and the way it peels away from the paper, it's a similar feeling I get when I'm faced with a pad of crisp writing paper, stationery freak that I am. It can be bought in a vast selection of outlets, from village stores to Tesco and lots in between including online. Prices start at just under a pound.
I've had a block of the blue stuff handy at home ever since. It is useful for so many things. The traditional use of course was to stick posters over the walls of adolescent bedrooms, and I certainly went for it in that respect. My room was plastered with pictures of tigers, trees, evolutionary charts, pithy Oscar Wilde witticisms and pretty wrapping paper that I happened to take a fancy to, my friends room was wall to wall Bay City Rollers, we were a funny match. My mother was quite happy for me to use this in lieu of sellotape as it rarely took paint off the wall when removed (though I must say it did occasionally), and it didn't often leave an oily stain when removed either, though again it did very occasionally on very matt paint.
I use it to stick ornaments to surfaces, as with 4 cats there is often the sickening crash as another piece of crockery bites the dust. It wont stop a flying cat in full mental half hour mode from knocking over your precious bits and pieces, but it does help with casual inquisitive wanderings. Christmas decorations are suspended from the ceiling with a combination of Blu Tack, Sellotape and drawing pins, I've not found a method yet where any one of these is enough alone. It allows me to dangle pretty things from the ceiling without obscuring said ceiling with Sellotape and pins. It won't support heavy things against the pull of gravity indefinitely as the elasticity of the product means it will stretch and give way eventually.
At a push it works as a sort of 'putty' rubber for soft pencil, and to pick up fluff, dust and crumbs in awkward to reach places like the wooden mouldings on my fire place, or laptop keyboard. It sticks fairly well to cat fur too but not as well as chewing gum and Sellotape does, I've yet to find a use for that application. This tendency to stick to bits of random rubbish (like tiny flakes of paint from a surface it's stuck to) is what makes the Blu Tack become progressively more gritty to the touch, and will change the colour eventually to a less attractive grey. It will usually still be usable but not as pleasant to the touch.
It doesn't stick well to skin or anything with a slightly oily surface, so making fake horns etc and sticking them to a sleeping husband or partner's head when bored is better done with something else, like paper and super glue. Other things it doesn't stick well to are rough or very porous surfaces like brick, or textured wall paper, it doesn't stick to wet surfaces either.
I love the tactile feel of this adhesive, and find it quite relaxing 'playing' with it, sort of like worry beads (without the religious aspect) Though this thorough molesting if done over a prolonged period does make the Blu Tack less usable for its purpose, especially if I've recently used hand-cream.
The tack does need some manipulation and kneading to soften and warm it a bit before use, to be at its most effective, and it's best to squish it about for a bit and use in pellet form than flat straight from the block.
The packaging also says it can be used as a seal, for what I'm not sure, but we have used it quite successfully to temporarily block up a small draughty leak in my daughters ill fitting bedroom window.
It's great for sticking messages on things for the kids where they are most likely to see them, it lets me do this on a whacking great A4 sheet which they are less likely to miss or ignore than a little post it note when half asleep in the morning. The telly screen is a good place to stick them, or right in front of them at the bottom landing of the stairs where they are inclined to look up before stumbling around the turn. The husband uses it to stop the plug in car heater sliding off the dashboard.
Although not specifically a modelling product like plasticine or clay that never stopped me trying. I always loved wasting time at school by making silly shapes out of Blu Tack, and seeing just how many times I could get it to wind around a pencil top before it snapped. It's good to see that this 'tradition' is still alive. Youtube is awash with amateur stop frame videos utilising it made by some very creative people. This is not least because Blu Tack initiated competition for their new advert in 2009. It's also been used by artists to create sculptures mainly over a framework. Examples of Blu Tack art and videos can even be found on the Blu Tack website http://www.blu-tack.co.uk/ . Blue Tack will take paint and or varnish if you wish to decorate and keep your masterpiece, my eldest has done this. If you ever need to break out of prison it takes and holds an impression very well, I think it could probably be used as a Plaster of Paris or similar mould using this feature, though I haven't tried it myself.
Anyway there are many more uses for Blu Tack which I couldn't possibly fit into a review, and it's fun finding your particular favourite way to use this useful stretchy delight.
Summary: A handy household staple. Keep away from ravenous but bulimic cats.
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