Raise your glass

Glass glue: Everything you need to know

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.

Glass glue also does not expand or contract, breaking the glass it has bonded with, as a regular glue would.

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.

A good glass glue bonds quickly without the need for clamping or any additional tools, and it dries with a crystal-clear, colorless seal. It should also be water resistant and dishwasher safe for worry-free household use. Note however, not every glass glue is food safe. Make sure to check if your product is made for gluing glass to glass, or also glass to non-porous materials like metals and some plastics – depending on your project.


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 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.
  • 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 glass

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 product.
  • Apply the glass glue. You’re now ready to begin gluing. Apply a small amount of adhesive to one of the two surfaces to be bonded, use only the minimum amount to just cover the area when the two surfaces are pressed together.
  • 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 at least 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.
    Strongest Glue For Filling Gaps In Plastic
  • 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.