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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Able to do it! How to replace the foam on the Caruso hairsetter system!

You find a product you like right? Then they discontinue it or a part of it wears out and you can only buy the whole piece not just the replacement part you need.  That is why God gives us insight.  I recently started wearing my hair curly.  I can roll it on rollers and dry it, take it down and it is as straight as the seams on a 1940's pinup model's hose within an hour.

But if you have ever used the Caruso steam hairsetter you know that this puppy will hold it for hoooouuuurrrrsss even without hairspray! That is wonderful.  Wonderful that is, until the thin foam around the rollers gets too compressed and/or starts crumbling.  Now don't get me wrong, they have certainly been worth the money I paid for them, lasting many years.  The problem I encountered was when I went to buy the replacement foam.


As I googled I found others saying what I just have.  "They are wonderful but my foam has worn out and you can't just replace the foam, you have to buy new rollers!" You can still use your old steam base but the rollers for a small pack is around $15-$20.

So I put on my thinking cap and considered using crafting foam, yes it is in sheets thin enough, but it is not porous enough to allow the steam to get in quickly. (This process only takes seconds to heat 1 roller up so I needed to keep it that way.)  My neighbor said he had some foam tape, but I think the glue of the tape would have been like tar to the steam, keeping it from getting through to the foam. Plus the steam would have made it gummy and it would not have stuck long I suspect.

Then it happened! That repurpose side of my brain kicked in! I thought about it and decided to try my idea! So tonight I went to Sally's Beauty Supply and got the items to try and see if this was a viable solution!  It was thicker foam but it works great! I purchased 1 pack of medium and 2 packs of large regular foam rollers. 
 I then opened them and took the foam off. Then I pulled the endcap off of the Caruso hair rollers (Thank you Lord that they came off! May they always be made that way!) I peeled off any old gunky foam pieces on there. On the medium size (pink) they slid over the post perfectly, no adjustments needed. 


On the large (gray) the opening in the foam roller was too small so I took a serrated knife and at first I made an x in the opening but with a bit of experience under my belt, I found that just an " I" cut works better because it gives a tighter fit!  Now I realize that they are not as long as the rollers.  I usually wrap my hair right around the middle section anyway so for me that is not an issue. But if you want to cover the entire length of the roller, just cut off the necessary amount from another foam roller and it will slide right on top of the other one and stay just fine! :) 

To get the foam on the plastic pole, place the cap side down onto something solid and then slip the foam cover over it like putting on a...well, 1940's pantyhose!  Just snap the cap back in place and you have a new set of rollers!


 The cost?  I paid $1.99 each for 3 bags and I have 8 rollers left over!

Now..what to do with the centers of the foam rollers I pulled out.  (Bonus!)  Maybe a vegetable or herb marker for my garden, or a small photo holder for the refrigerator or a gift tag for Christmas. Do you have any ideas? They come apart. (see the photo).  I would love to hear from you with your ideas for them!


Well here's wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving and be mindful of how blessed we are to have our friends and family in our lives.  Never take that for granted and don't forget to tell them that you love them!



Remember, it's all fun and games until somebody gets an idea! :) 
It is EZ4U2DO!

29 comments:

  1. Going to have to find some foam rollers. Do they sell em at Wally World?

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  2. Genius!!! Thank you!

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  3. They do sell them a Wally World and I found out they have them at the Dollar Store too. :)

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  4. Dang, I was hoping I'd found something new. I've used the Caruso steam curlers since they first came out. What was it? The late 80's, early 90's. I'm 59 today and used it yesterday and it will last me another couple of days. I started using your method of the old fashion sponge curlers about 20 years ago. To this day, I don't understand why they don't sell just the sponges. I probably have about 60 curlers. I have thick, long hair, but could never use that many at once. Thanks for the information, Cathy

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    1. Hi Cathy. Like you, I've used the pink foam out of other curlers. We could have had the patent!!

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  5. What a fabulous idea. I went to the beauty supply shop the day I read this and bought enough foam rollers to replace what I wanted for less than $4. Thanks for thinking "outside of the box".

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  6. When these were originally manufactured, back when these needed a pinch of salt to work, you used to be able buy replacement foam (it said so right in the instructions.) Sadly, at some point, the foam refills were discontinued. The only upside is, these rollers were designed to come apart, so as long as you can find new foam, then you can replace it. I've heard tell that the newer salt-less version doesn't work quite as well as the original, but I can't confirm that. I'm still rocking the one that I bought in the early 90s.

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    1. I can confirm that the no-salt model does not work as well as the one with salt. So I add salt no matter which one I am using.

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    2. When you add salt to the water on the new Caruso models does it then work as well as the old vintage models?

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  7. I went to JoAnnes, MIchaels, Home Depot, Jerry's Home Improvement, Lowes.....No one had anything like this. (They were especially baffled as what it was for because I only brought in the foam piece! HA!)

    I purchased my first one through the info commerical early early 80's, then found a back up at goodwill. Brand new in the box. I used those foam pieces in the 90's. For the last decade I've been using the bits and pieces that were left. Strings of foam holding on for dear life, afraid to leave the roller! hahahha

    OH MY GOODNESS!!!

    I am going to the store to get the pink little rollers I used as a kid and if that works you are amazing with this idea!!!

    Thank you!!

    Gotta love the internet for this stuff!

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  8. Oh and a final giggle thought......If you are a Seinfield lover, there is one with Ellen and sponges......Are you sponge worthy little pink rollers.....We shall find out! hahahha

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  9. I replaced my foam this way years ago. I always wanted to share this info but blogging just isn’t my thing. Thank you for sharing this with the gals out there that needed it! I’m looking forward to a follow up; ‘What to do when the steamer part stops steaming’. ……………I won’t because I’m just not a blogger!

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  10. Thanks you guys for the wonderful responses! Never thought anyone would care about something like this....you have inspired me to post more of my "hair brained" ideas in the future!

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  11. thankyou thankyou thankyou

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  12. I've been searching the internet for replacement foam for my rollers. So my question to you is this...How does the thicker foam effect the performance of the rollers. It seems that it would change it or how long you let it sit on the steam.

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  13. Can't believe this was on the internet, WOW! Knew there had to be a way to replace the foam, so glad some of you thought of the foam rollers. I just cleaned out a closet and found my set, it is a blue steamer, not sure if it even works, but have kept it all these years, the foam was disintegrated on the rollers, will have to give it a shot and and see what happens. Thanks so much for everyone sharing and posting information!

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  14. I just pulled out my box of these rollers. Mine is so old that I have the form where you can buy replacement foams for $.70 each. I must have purchased them waaaay before internet because there was no website listed so I googled and found this website. When I saw the deplorable disintegration of the foam it occurred to me to get the rollers you described but wasn't sure. So glad to see that you did and that they are successful. Am going to Dollar General today to pick up some. I also have hair which doesn't hold a curl very long from regular hot rollers and had recently come across this set from years ago. Thought I'd give them a try and then saw the foam. Thanks for sharing this info. Very appreciative!

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  15. Thank you so much, you saved me from throwing all my rollers out. I pulled out my rollers and almost cried when the stared crumbling. In the back of my mind I started wondering if the regular pink rollers would work. Decided to Google replacement foam and came across your blog. Going to Sally's tomorrow for the pink foam rollers. Thanks again for your blog!

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  16. I am so glad I decided to share my experience with the rollers! Turns out I am not the only one who loves them and wants to keep using them! I know some of you probably had already thought of it but thanks for letting me know it helped! Please share any tips of any kind here, we are all in this together (and with stylish hair! :)

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  17. Oh and thanks to google for putting me up front on the search engine for this!

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  18. I have been researching a replacement set of hot rollers because my curler foam is worn out. I found your post and am very pleased to be able to buy the inexpensive foam rollers so I can continue with my Caruso. Thank you so much!

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  19. I have been using steam rollers for years but I have never encountered a hard case like the one in your photo. I am envious! I have had to improvise when traveling. I recently purchased a new set of curlers because the foam on my curlers was shot. The foam on the new rollers is different. My original set had very soft foam and the curls lasted longer. These new rollers have foam that is hard (for lack of a better word) and scratchy. It seems the steam does not heat them up as well and my curls don't last as long. I'm going to try your suggestion and hopefully I will be back in business.

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  20. Has any one tried putting salt in the new models and got similar results as the vintage one?

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  21. Thanks for the tip! I found my old Caruso curling system in the back of a cupboard and wanted to use it again. The rollers were falling apart just like your picture. I bought the pink rollers at the Dollar Store and they work great. I have thick hair and the Caruso rollers create curls that last a couple of days. Awesome product!

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    1. Thanks for mentioning Dollar Store. I was looking online for the curlers and they were a lot more expensive than what Cathy mentioned. Going there today.

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  22. I bought mine like a 1,000 years ago. A friend at church just loved hers, unfortunately I have naturally frizzy hair, the steam and my hair just made me look like a fuzz ball. So into the closet it went. Finally pulled it out to donate it, but discovered that the foam on the curlers had disintegrated. I don't like to donate something that isn't usable, so finding out I can replace the foam is wonderful! Dollar Store here I come!

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  23. Can anyone tell me how much salt to use? My set was given to me and it didn't come with a salt measure (or I don't know where to find it!!). I have been searching the internet but haven't come up with any answer. Thanks for any help you can give me!

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  24. About 1/16 of a teaspoon is the amount the little scoop holds :) It takes just a little.

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