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How to Mix Quikrete When You Don’t Have the Right Tools

Mixing Quikrete is an easy process that requires a small number of tools. Quikrete can be mixed by hand or by machine mixing, so don’t worry if you don’t have all of the tools needed to get your project done. The outcome can be just as professional with other devices you may have more readily available.

Usual Tools Needed

  • rubber gloves
  • safety goggles or glasses
  • wheelbarrow
  • small measured pail
  • concrete mixer
  • hoe or shovel

Substitute Tools

  • gardening gloves or plastic gallon bags
  • safety glasses or goggles
  • plastic tub
  • gallon milk jug
  • hand or putty knife

How To Use Alternative Tools To Make Quikrete

Safety First 

Safety is the most important part of any project, and it should not be skipped or overlooked. Most tools needed to mix Quikcrete can be substituted for products you can find around the house, but I would not recommend finding an alternative for these products for all your concrete projects.

Make sure to wear safety glasses and rubber gloves to protect your eyes and hands from the concrete. Concrete can induce burns that can be very harmful.

If you don’t have rubber gloves or can’t find them anywhere, then try to find another type of hand protection that concrete can’t stick to. Other options could be plastic gallon bags to wear over your hands or different types of gardening gloves. 

Pour Quikrete In A Plastic Tub

Instead of emptying the Quikrete concrete mix bag into a concrete mixer to do the work for you, you are going to have to do a bit of improvising. Pour the powder Quikrete into a 5-gallon plastic tub that is usually used as a storage container.

This tub should provide enough depth and space to hold the concrete mixture that is about to be made. The most effective and cleanest way to pour the concrete bag into the tub is to cut a line vertically in the middle of the bag with a knife or scissors (or you could just bend the bag at the middle point till it rips) and pour the contents out slowly over the bin.

Another important tip is to make sure you place the plastic tub near the project sight of where you are going to use the concrete because once you have made the concrete mixture, it will be hard to move due to its weight.

Create Indent In Quikrete Powder

Usually, this part is not needed when using a machine concrete mixer, but those can be difficult to find and expensive to buy or rent. Once the Quikrete bag is poured into the plastic 5-gallon tub, use your hand or your putty knife, depending on what you have, to make an indent in the mix.

The indent made in the concrete is usually circular in shape in the middle of the mix, sometimes resembling the top of a volcano, to ensure that the next step is done evenly.

Measure Out The Liquid

Once the Quikcrete bag is poured and prepped for the liquid to be added, the next step is to measure out the liquid that will be added. In Quikrete mixes, water is always required and needed for the desired outcome. You can get this water from the tap or from your garden hose outside.

The ratio of water to Quikrete powder is 3 quarts of water to very 80 pounds powder (a whole bag). You can measure this out in a small measured pail or even in an empty gallon milk container. If you decide to use a gallon milk jug, fill it up 3/4 of the way because there are 4 quarts in a gallon and only 3 quarts is needed for this mixture.

Pour The Liquid Into The Mixture

Now that everything is measured out, pour the water into the indent created in the concrete powder mix. Be sure to only pour 2/3 of the water at first into the concrete mix.

If you pour it in all at once, you might change the consistency of the Quikcrete too fast and therefore not achieve the desired outcome. Slowly integrate the remaining 1/3 of the water slowly and only when needed to make the concrete mix smoother and less dry.

Mix The Mixture 

To mix the Quikrete powder and the water together, one usually uses a shovel or hoe to ensure the mix is integrated correctly and to reduce the amount of concrete they get on themself. But, if you don’t have a hoe or a shovel, that is no problem. Simply use your hands, or a putty knife, to stir the two substances together.

Most often the edges and sides are neglected, leaving the middle to be oversaturated with water. If you add more water to the dry edges and sides, you will make the mixture too watery and thereby throwing off the correct ratio. Make sure then that the edges and sides are correctly integrated into the mixture before you add more water to it.

Achieving the Correct Consistency

The more water you add to the Quikcrete mix, the more weaker it becomes. The dilution of the mix will lead to future structural problems in the project that the concrete is being used for.

The consistency wanted and needed in a concrete mix is that similar to peanut butter or thick oatmeal. Once you think the mixture is combined correctly, pick up a little bit of the mix and roll it into a sphere or squish it in your fists. If the concrete can hold its shape, then it is ready to be used.

If it feels too dry and lacks the consistency needed, consider adding more water little by little to the mixture until it is smooth. If the mixture feels too wet and won’t hold its shape, add a little more Quikrete powder mix to it to give it added strength and substance. It’s similar to creating the perfect pancake batter, not too runny and not too thick.

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