Substitutes for flowable silicone

I have no silicone at home and I have run out of pads is there any substitute for flowable silicone that you can find in your own home or make yourself.

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Maybe some silicone based caulk?

This works excellent

If there is no silicone at your home, seriously, go outside and buy some, it is cheap. There is no need to invent a wheel once more, flowable silicone is perfect thing for its job.


Never used flowable silicone for response. I’ve only ever replaced it with bathroom silicone because I tend to have some readily available most of the time.

One day I’ll try it with flowable just to see how much better it is. I haven’t really had any issues after about 6 YoYos done.

Honestly just buy this, either here at YYE or your local hardware store. You or someone you know might also have this lying around in their garage or workshop.

That’s what I use, and much prefer it over response pads. I’ve been known to take out stock pads, and use flowable on several occasions

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I really like red RTV in play but god is it hard to get the application down well. If you go this route be willing to need to take a few tries to get it done right.

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The trick is to use the corner of a credit card…works like a charm :ok_hand:

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Example #1

Heya guys… I am going to go hunting in the woods. What should I take?
…Take A gun and some bullets. And you will prolly be good to go…

Reasonable advice with potentially marginally positive results.
What kind of gun? What is he hunting? Does he know how to shoot a gun?

Example #2

Heya guys. I ran out of pads. Is there anything else I can use?

… Sure; use some silicone. And use the edge of a card. Etc.


What kind of yoyo? Does the guy know how to work with silicone? Does the guy know how to prepare the yoyo halves; so the silicone will actually stick around for awhile? Any suggestions on how to apply the silicone without making a Whopping mess? Use the edge of a credit card… Ok; what angle do you hold the card? Do you finish the silicone so that it is: slightly concave, dead even or a little ‘fat’? How long should you wait for the silicone to dry before you use the yoyo?

… Silicone is an ok option if you don’t have pads. But unless the person has the skills of proper application; then flowable silicone most often yields poor results.

I’ve talked to dozens of players over the years that have adventured along with flowable silicone.

When it is done properly; it seems to get good reviews. When it is done improperly; people usually blame it on the silicone and don’t often include themselves as a suspect in their botched job.

…One could suggest watching at least a few videos(there are plenty) on applying silicone.

Don’t use white household silicone. Its’ properties are far different than flowable windshield sealant.

And the RTV(room temperature vulcanizing) is ‘not’ flowable. And takes more skill to properly apply. And… all RTV’s are not exactly the same. There is a hardness range to suit various specific applications. So; even when applied properly; you may not get the performance you seek.

The results with flowable silicone are just as varied as the results people experience with other factors of your yoyo setup. Different bearings. Lubing bearings different ways or running perfectly dry. Different strings. The shape of the inner walls of your yoyo. Gap width, etc.

I have certainly used a lot of flowable silicone over the years. I would flow silicone for other people; that just didn’t want to deal with the process or had already screwed up a few times; lol.

Years ago; I felt silicone was a good option simply because a lot of the pads at the time were pretty useless.

Nowadays; the pads are far superior then in years past. So much so; that I seldom even consider using flowable or RTV. It’s a waste of time…

Or course; if you can’t afford pads. And you study up on the proper methods of getting the job done properly. Than one tube of the flowable windshield sealant; can butter up a whole lot of yoyos.

Of course; you still have to pony up and buy the flowable too🤓

If done properly; the flowable route can have very good results.

The ‘done properly’ part is pretty important if you want to have a happy ending.

Good luck.

I’m goin a huntin…


Nice wall of text :slight_smile:
This is all good, and you have a point, but i may not agree with you in some moments.
Siliconing a yoyo is not that hard, if you really want to learn how to do it. And it is not a big deal, if you screw it up :slight_smile: Just get yoyo cleaned up, watch a couple of videos and try again.
I can remember my first time when i poured silicone to yoyo. Yeah, i made a bit of a mess on my table, but i was careful enough with yoyo itself, and my brakes turned out good. Silicone that i used was Permatex of some sort, which been sold with very convenient plastic nozzle in package.

Common sence and logic works. There is no “rocket science” here also. And strangely enough, there is no need to explain every single bit of a process in one big speech to person, who is not asking for lecture. Answer his question and mention that there are some nuances in process, and that is it. The one that wants to learn will ask more questions, the lazy one will not.

I dunno… lots of us are fond of Doc’s “walls of text”.



(WARNING! This post contains a large Wall of text that some may find boring or at the very least; extremely difficult to navigate. You may or may not gain a single useful thing if you decide to adventure on and read the following. But if you take the plunge; please do not whine about the time you wasted reading it. You have been warned)

.About 50 years ago; I took an Astronomy class in College. I was taking about 22 units a semester. I had to get special permission from the Dean of Instruction to take over 18 units. So; I just decided to throw in the Astronomy Class because it would fill a space between a Lab and Lecture.

Almost immediately I noticed that the Professor was a man of few words. He would give out assignments and then sit at his desk and ‘say nothing’ until the end of the period.

Not having any problems with ‘shyness’; I approached the Professor and asked him what the game was?

He told me straight up… ‘Very, very few people that take my classes have the least bit of interest in actually pursuing Astronomy as their Major; to become future Astronomers or a Professor like me. I am very good at what I teach. But I refuse to waste my time giving people information it took me years to learn; that they will never use. Most people take my Class because they just want to look into the Telescopes and stare into space. So as far as I am concerned; if they want to take up ‘space’ in my classroom; they can stare into ‘space’ from the desks.

After class; As I walked down the corridor; I noticed the glass bulletin boards on the walls. They had postings from the various Professors on past grades of students. I quickly recognized that EVERY student taking Astronomy; but not majoring in Astronomy; got a FAIL in this particular class.

…So; 50 years ago; I recognized a valuable lesson.

There are people that have good information based on their experiences. Information that others may seek. Information that others may learn from and be that much smarter down the road; because of it. Knowledge is power. But if those with knowledge; decline opportunities to share their knowledge; because they draw the arbitrary conclusion that people don’t need to know anything I don’t feel like telling them; then they are useless.

That Professor; in the scheme of life; deliberately failed to be part of the ‘solution’ by choosing to be part of the problem. He would not let knowledge Flow on to others.

I am certainly not a Professor. But in some instances; I have substantial levels of information; gathered up over the last half century. And over the last 20+ years; I have learned a few things ‘yoyo related’. And unlike that College Professor; I don’t care if people aren’t around yoyos Forever. I live in the moment. At least a certain percentage of visitors to this Forum; seldom if ever post anything. But they read the Board because they seek knowledge.

This Forum is Worldwide… So to me; when one person asks about something yoyo related; I feel there may be others that are also interested in gaining useful information on the subject at hand. But they may not come forward and ask for more.

That is where old Yoyodoc comes in. I may give people too much information. But for those that may benefit from it; it is certainly worth my time to share a ‘view’ that can get somebody further down the road.

I love sharing experience and perspectives. And since I actually took typing many years ago; I use all my fingers. And seldom look at the keyboard as i zip along. So what may seem like a wall of text or take a good while to read; took me a lot less time to type than you may think🤔.

There are certain types of people that just can’t deal with my style. 1 People that think they already know everything. 2 People that lack any reasonable attention span. 3 People that don’t like me ‘lecturing’ but in the process; feel compelled to ‘lecture me’ on how they feel I should respond to posts.

I honestly contend that there is no such thing as too much good information. Some of the views/advice I present; I learned over many years of trial and error.

…Here is an excellent piece of advice. My board name is easy to identify and remember, ‘Yoyodoc’.

If you have trouble accepting my long winded infomercials; when you see my name; don’t read my posts.

Don’t go to the trouble of reading my ‘lectures’ and then telling me you don’t like them.

You ain’t my Momma.

And I am not an Astronomy Professor. I’m just an old guy That knows a thing or two about yoyo stuff.


I for one would love to see you make a video tutorial on this topic. You mentioned that there are a few of these out there, but none are by people who have been maintaining and modding for decades like yourself. A tutorial explaining the methods for RTV and flowable, pros and cons, and any tips and tricks you’ve picked up over the years would be really helpful.

Whoa, sorry for bothering you with my post. But i still have to reply.
Again, yes, i understand your point. And maybe i`m a bit of type 3 man from your list of people that can not deal with your style. I got no problem with large posts, i got patience to read all of text.
Of course, i am not your “momma”, and i was not asking you to change your way of delivering useful information to other people. Sorry, if you took my post personally. Maybe i should express myself better in the other time.
I am not so old and experienced as you are, and obviously i know less than you. But i know one simple truth, if there is a huge amount of something - it looses its value. There is a lot of air around us - most people do not value it at all, there is a lot of water in oceans of Earth - most people on Earth do not value it, there is a lot information in Internet - most people do not value it… and so on. Knowledge looses its value too, if it is not getting structured. That is my point, and that is why i am trying to keep my words short. Most of the time it is working, sometimes not. Maybe it will change when i grow older, maybe not. We will see.

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You didn’t ‘ bother’ me.

I am not ‘bothered’ by people that don’t even know me; especially since I don’t even know you.

I just found it interesting that you decided to tell me not to lecture and suggesting how I should speak.

Yet in your response; you are lecturing me and suggesting I should approach wording my responses and limiting information; according to how you think it should be done.

We both say what we say and decide how we say it. I am not necessarily right and you are not necessarily wrong.

I often try to provide functional information to those that may find it useful. Because you are not one of those people; is not my concern.

How I deliver my responses is not you concern.

If I was taking some kind of writing test and you were the Judge; then you can grade me.

I use to give 2 hour lectures on the subject of Effective Communication for Productive Results.

In every class; there is always ‘1’ person like you.

That is just the way life is.


The short answer is no, you will have better results if you use the tried and true flowable silicone types and brands.

And if you mess it up, try again. I think you know how to do this anyway.

Seal up the container well for storage. It dries out easily if exposed to air. Refrigerator if you can.

I needed to change the silicone response on one of my YoYos and I’ve recently just re-sealed my bathtub so I figure I’d show y’all how I do a yoyo response.

First, I removed the old silicone. I’ve been having slippy binds for a few days now so it’s about time it was changed.

Next, I used some of the leftover silicone from my bathroom. It’s just standard silicone you can buy from a DIY store (this one actually cost £6, I wanted the good stuff for my bath!)

I then applied it to the recess. This is probably the hardest part if you use this method as the caulking gun can be awkward for this small application.

Once that’s done, grab an old credit card and using the rounded corner, rest it so that it is touching both of the walls of the rebate like in the photo. I find it easier to hold the card still and rotate the yoyo half with your opposite hand until you complete the circle, then I gradually lift the card out while I still turn the yoyo. This can also be done with the flat part of the card but I prefer doing it with the corner

Hopefully, you should be left with something that looks like this.

Don’t worry about the overspill from the card. The silicone will take several hours to dry, so in about 2 hours I’ll go back to it and using the eraser on the end of a pencil, I’ll rub off the excess silicone, leaving the clean recessed silicon to dry.

I’m not saying this is the best way to change the response but it’s a good alternative if you don’t have easy access to flowable silicone but can get your hands on DIY silicone. I’ve found this method has worked well for me in the past. If all else fails, at least it won’t get mouldy!