Newest Review: ... weight and there's a dry, clean surface, you can quite literally stick it. As a substance, Blu-tak is pressure sensitive. The warmer it ge... more
Bostik Blu Tack
Member Name: ryeb
Bostik Blu Tack
Advantages: Re-usable, mess free when applying, fixes posters and similar items firmly in place
Disadvantages: Can stain walls and surfaces with long term use, works best on lighter items and smooth surfaces
I am someone who writes lists of "things to do" and then lists of the lists and so I soon develop a mound of notes and paper. I have a corkboard and plenty of post-its, but my favourite method of getting organised is to use wall planners and to stick up additional lists on a long wall in my "home-office", also known as the cupboard under the stairs. [It's a large one!] The product I couldn't be without is Blu tack, which I use to hold up all those lists. I have recently tried cheaper adhesive tacks and mostly they didn't do half a good as job so I have gone back to the tried and tested Blu Tack.
Blu tack is an adhesive putty like tack that doesn't feel sticky to touch. It comes in a flat tablet, laying between two waxed paper like sheets. You just tear off what you need, roll it into a ball and sandwich it between the surfaces you want to join, pressing firmly. It has a wide range of uses listed on the back of the packet, some of which never occured to me -such as using it to de-fuzz clothes or clean a keyboard. I think most people buy and use it to hold things up on a wall, or to hold something in place. As a teenager, my bedroom was covered with posters and postcards firmly held in place with the Tack. Nowadays, I use it to stick paper notes to my wall as mentioned above, and to hold a year planner securely on my desk surface. I like to have the planner on one side of me to refer to, but if I don't fix it in place, I catch it with my elbow and rip and curl the edges. The advantage of using tack is that when one year is over, I can peel up my planner without damaging the desk top, and quickly put a fresh one in it's place. Similarly, any notes and lists I have finished with can be pulled down easily, or more often than not re-positioned elsewhere. If I am careful, I can peel of the tack from the paper and re-use it without noticing any loss of stickiness. In theory, a packet should last me for years, but it has a habit of disappearing off my desk and finding it's way into the possession of other family members! I always need to buy more around christmas when I find I use a lot to hold up paper chains and crepe decorations. I think it works best at holding up fairly light items such as these, even if you use quite a lot. It didn't fix some sprigs of holly on a wall when I tried that last December, and that isn't something you want falling on your head! It also works best if both surfaces you are joining together are smooth. I haven't had any trouble with it holding up more straightforward things though.
On the packet is a note which says that you should be careful in using Blu Tack in the long term in one spot as it "may leave a slight stain" on porous surfaces such as emulsion paint and wallpaper. I can say that unfortunately this is true. My teenage bedroom had a number of oil like stains on the painted wall where this was used, when I took down posters that had been up for several years. Blu Tack suggest that these stains can be removed if a chewing gum remover product is used sparingly on the affected area. I have not tried this, as we re-painted the affected walls. For short term use, even up to several months, I have not noticed a problem with staining. If any bits of tack are left behind on a wall, you can pick them up quickest by rolling a larger ball of tack over the area, which picks up any stray pieces. This makes cleaning up easier and quicker.
I bought my last pack in Poundland, but I have since seen it cheaper in Wilkinsons. It is widely available in stationers in general. As I mentioned above, I have tried cheaper versions, and I have not found them to be as good. For example a large pack of multi coloured "Tak" brand adhesive from the 99p store fixed things well for a few days, but then we became troubled by strange sounds in the night that proved to be my carefully arranged notes falling off the wall and taking things off the desk with them. The Wilkinson own brand tack stained my walls with a month, but at least it fixed things well! I would recommend the original Blu Tack for those looking for a re-usable adhesive for light fixing up or holding down. I wouldn't recommend it for long term use on painted surfaces for the reasons mentioned above.
Summary: The best adhesive tack in my opinion.