Fix—don’t replace—cracked plastic

How to fix cracked plastic:

It’s a cracking skill! 

Knowing how to fix cracked plastic certainly comes in handy because most plastic items crack or break with age. Don't throw them away, just repair them instead! Our list of tips on how to fix cracked plastic tells you everything you need to know.

Benefits of knowing how to fix cracked plastic

Anyone will benefit from knowing how to fix cracked plastic. It’s a great skill to have and you will be doing your part to protect the environment. What isn't made of plastic these days? It is found in just about every house, office, garage, car... Have a broken knob or cracked plastic case? Need to repair polyethylene or just attach two plastic pieces? Following the right procedures and choosing the right adhesive will get you set.

Repairing broken plastic: Step by step

Follow these guidelines for the perfect repair:

  1. Collect your materials. You will need the plastic pieces to be repaired or joined, the adhesive, some rags for cleanup, and some sandpaper.
  2. Ventilation. Many adhesives have strong odors, so ventilating the area is very important. Read the label for directions and wear gloves while doing the repair. Wash your hands when finished.
  3. Prepare the surfaces. Lightly sanding any smooth surfaces will help with adhesion. Wipe away any dust or residue, all surfaces should be clean and dry before bonding. Also, make sure you have all the pieces and they fit together properly before applying glue.
  4. Open the tube. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to open the tube of adhesive properly.
  5. Apply activator (if applicable). Some adhesives require an activator. If so, apply it to both surfaces unless otherwise indicated. Allow it to dry completely, then proceed with the next step.
  6. Adhesive application. Apply a small amount of adhesive to one surface and then press the parts together immediately. Hold them together or clamp them in place until the bond sets. Align the parts correctly so you do not have to reposition them.
  7. Tidying up. Clean off the end of the adhesive applicator with a moist rag or tissue. Be careful not to get any adhesive on your fingers. If you have spilled some adhesive, let it cure before carefully scraping it off. You can scrape away cured adhesive with a razor blade and remove any residue with acetone or boiling water. Use caution though, because acetone can damage some plastics and is flammable.

How to repair broken plastic: Choosing the right glue

There are many factors to consider when choosing your plastic adhesive: water resistance, indoor/outdoor application, and the type of plastic, for instance. Some materials, like Teflon, polyethylene, and polypropylene, may require a specific type of bonding agent.

LePage offers a wide variety of adhesives, such as LePage Super Glue All Plastics. This two-part cyanoacrylate adhesive sets in seconds and develops tremendous strength with just one drop. It is designed to bond slippery materials and dries transparent, like it was never there!

Another great product for gluing plastic parts is LePage Super Glue Liquid Pro. This is not your grandparents’ glue! The specifically formulated glue dries fast as well as clear and holds stronger than most other glues on the market thanks to its patented additive. It’s a great choice for those hard-to-glue PVC and polycarbonate items!

If you want to know how to repair plastic, learn about the type of plastic you’re planning on fixing beforehand to make the best possible selection.