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Glass glue: The best products and when to use them

Glass is a material unlike any other: versatile, beautiful, and strong enough to last generations. But, even with great care, cracks or breaks are almost inevitable. Here’s how to choose the best glass glue to repair even the trickiest crack.

what is glass glue?

Repairing broken glass can be a challenge. Dealing with smooth surfaces and sharp edges can be frustrating. Gluing that damaged rear-view mirror or cracked wineglass back together can be tougher than it first seems. Repairing delicate valuables or treasured ornaments can lead to further damage and disappointment if you don’t have the right tools.

Most common adhesives you’ll find around the house or in your workshop aren’t meant for working with glass. For bonding most glass surfaces, you’ll need a specialized glass glue. These glues are specifically designed to bond with glass’ unique properties, including clarity, and can be used to fix broken dishware, antiques, mirrors, appliances, and countless other things.

Selecting the best glass glue

There are many glue products on the market, offering a variety of components and uses. Choosing the right glass glue for the job from the start is the best way to avoid headaches, and it can keep your glass valuables looking brand new.

While standard household super glues can work well for bonding wood, metal, or other common surfaces, using them for repairing glass isn’t always recommended. These glues can work as temporary fixes, but they often have low resistance to moisture and ultraviolet light. When used on glass, they can come apart with cleaning or general use. For glass-based repairs, look for specialized glass glues.

For most common glass repairs, Loctite Glass Glue is the go-to choice. Loctite Glass Glue is great for use with all clear, colored, stained, and tinted glass types. Loctite’s innovative applicator designs make for simple, intuitive, and clean applications, meaning no messy residue on your glass and no sticky fingers. Loctite Glass Glue bonds quickly without the need for clamping or any additional tools, and it dries with a crystal-clear, colorless seal. It’s also water resistant and dishwasher safe, which makes for worry-free household use. Note however, Loctite Glass Glue is not food safe. Its unique butyl formula is designed for durable bonding of glass to glass, or glass to non-porous materials like metals and some plastics.

Take care using any glue for seals exposed to extreme temperatures (over 180°F/82°C).

Preparing fixes using glass glue

Repairing glass can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. A few simple precautionary steps can make the difference. These preparations can also prevent further damage. The best way to achieve lasting results is to plan ahead.

  • Pick the right tools. Along with your carefully selected glass glue, you’ll need soap and water to clean all surfaces. Steel wool can also help smooth off any grit. It’s also useful to have a razor blade on hand for shaving away any excess glue.
  • Keep it clean. Begin with a clean, dry surface that is free of oil, wax, paint, or any type of soapy residue. Any excess material, even fingerprints, might prevent a strong bond.
  • Make it fit. Examine the parts to be joined and test the fit. Do the surfaces fit closely, with no gaps? Clear away any extra fragments or glass particles obstructing a perfect seal. If you do find gaps between glass pieces, opt for a gap-filling adhesive such as Loctite Go2 Gel.
  • Stay safe. Work in a well-ventilated area. Use latex or nitrile gloves (not PVC, nylon, or cotton gloves) to protect surfaces and skin. Wash areas of skin exposed to glass glue thoroughly and immediately.

Glass glue in action: Fixing a broken glasse

Simple household repairs are easy if you know what you’re doing. Take it step by step and use a reliable adhesive.

  • Prepare the glue. Remove any packaging and unseal your glass glue. Loctite Glass Glue comes with a safety-sealed cap and nozzle. To open, screw the cap and nozzle down all the way clockwise, puncturing the tube. Remove the cap counter-clockwise from the nozzle.
  • Apply the glass glue. You’re now ready to begin gluing. Lay a thin, but consistent, layer of glue on one of the two surfaces to be bonded. For Loctite Glass Glue, the recommended amount is approximately one drop per square inch of surface.
  • Fit it together. Press the surfaces to be bonded together immediately after applying the glue. Press firmly with steady pressure. Hold them in place for 15 to 60 seconds, or until the bond sets. Make sure not to jostle or reposition the parts for a solid bond.

Read your product’s instructions for any specifics on drying times or application amounts. It’s best if you do it before you start to avoid unwanted surprises.

  • Let it bond. Once the parts are bonded, leave them undisturbed for at least 10 minutes. To ensure full bond strength, leave them overnight.
  • Clean up. While the bond sets, clean away any excess glue from the nozzle tip and replace the cap. Use a damp tissue to wipe away any excess glue. If cured adhesive has formed excess clumps, try shearing it away with a razor blade, but be careful not to scratch your surfaces.

Heat and moisture can weaken a bond that’s still settling. Wait at least one week before running glued objects in a dishwasher.