The Right Glue for Every Repair Job
Ceramic or Glass
What broke: Glass or ceramic (porcelain, earthenware, etc.) used with food, such as a plate or a coffee mug.
The fix: Elmer's Craft Bond Ceramic & Glass Cement is dishwasher-safe and solvent-free.
How to use it: Lightly sand both edges. Wipe with a clean cloth, then coat one edge with glue. Press the pieces together. Apply masking tape across the glued joint as a clamp. Let set for at least three hours.
Sticking points: While Craft Bond gives as good a repair as you'll get on broken glass, you'll always see what will look like a hairline fracture.
Cleanup: Use a dry cloth to clean surfaces and hands before the glue dries. Any overflow on an object can be cleaned with a paper towel or a cotton swab dipped in nail-polish remover.
Small Breaks in Ceramic, Glass, or Plastic
What broke: A ceramic, glass, or hard-plastic item not used with food and not requiring a flexible bond―such as a loafer heel, a porcelain figurine, or the chipped battery cover on the remote.
The fix: Instant Krazy Glue creates an inflexible bond that resists moderate heat and moisture (not recommended for frequently washed items).
How to use it: Coat one side of a break with a thin layer of glue. Fit the pieces together and hold firmly for 30 seconds. The glue will set fully in a minute or so.
- The glue quickly deteriorates if the item is regularly in water or the oven or is used over direct heat.
- The joints can yellow and degrade over time with exposure to UV light.
Cleanup: Don't pry apart stuck-together fingers. Soak them in warm, soapy water or nail-polish remover, knead them, and roll the glue layer off. Remove excess glue from an object with a cloth before it dries, or with fine-grit sandpaper afterward.
What broke: Wooden items that don't come into contact with food, especially ones that need to withstand a large amount of stress, such as a loose chair leg or a tabletop that's become separated from its base.
The fix: Gorilla Glue is ideal for woodworking (It's also good for ceramic, plastic, laminate, and stone). It withstands shock, heat, and moisture and can be sanded, painted, or stained.
How to use it: Wipe one edge with a damp cloth before applying a thin layer of glue. Clamp the glued sections for one to four hours, depending on the size and weight of the piece.
- This glue triples in volume as it dries, so wipe edges clean every 10 to 15 minutes in the first hour.
- It will not bond properly below 40 degrees F.
- Highly toxic, it can be fatal if ingested. Keep it far out of the reach of children.
Cleanup: Wash hands with soapy water if the glue is still damp. For surfaces, use denatured alcohol on wet glue (which stays malleable for up to four hours after application) or a putty knife or sandpaper when the glue is dry.
Food-Safe Wooden Surfaces
What broke: Any wooden item that comes into indirect contact with food, such as a handle that has snapped off a meat mallet. (No glue is safe to use on surfaces that touch food directly.)
The fix: Nontoxic, odorless, and water-resistant, Titebond II Premium Wood Glue is FDA-approved for indirect contact with food.
How to use it: Apply glue to one surface only, and let stand for a few minutes before joining the pieces. Use several strong rubber bands to clamp the glued joint, then let it sit for 20 to 90 minutes.
- Although this glue is effective for many ordinary wood repairs, it's not good for large, load-bearing projects.
- Since glue is water based, the wood could absorb water and swell up.
Cleanup: Remove excess glue from skin with soap and water. For objects, use a clean, damp cloth if the glue is wet. Carefully scrape off dried glue with a putty knife.
What broke: Plastic objects that need to withstand a certain amount of wear and tear, such as a toy with a part broken off, or that require flexibility, such as outdoor furniture.
The fix: IPS Weld-On 16 Cement chemically welds the surfaces it touches, allowing the edges to fuse.
How to use it: Apply to both pieces, and wait 15 to 30 seconds for the glue to get tacky before joining. Align parts and hold together for about a minute, applying moderate pressure. The cement will set in 12 to 24 hours.
- Plastic cement is flammable, so avoid using it near a gas stove.
- The vapors can be harmful if inhaled in an enclosed area.
Cleanup: Get rid of excess glue by wiping surfaces and hands with a damp cloth or nail-polish remover before it sets. Use something with an edge, like a paint shaver (available at hardware stores), to scrape off dried cement.
What broke: Tears in home-interior fabrics, hemming curtains that are too long, or adding trim to clothing, throw pillows, and lamps.
The fix: Elmer's Craft Bond Fabric & Paper Glue is nontoxic and virtually invisible when dry. Most important, the bond is flexible, which means it moves with the fabric.
How to use it: Wash and dry the fabric before gluing. Test the glue in an inconspicuous spot to see if it will stain (as it will with silk). Apply glue to one surface, then join and hold together for a few minutes. The glue sets in 24 hours.
- Wait at least a week after gluing before washing the fabric. Use the gentle cycle and cold water.
- Avoid putting glued fabric in a dryer or having it dry-cleaned. The heat will melt the bond.
Cleanup: Remove wet glue from hands with soapy water; dry glue, with nailpolish remover. Remove excess wet glue from fabric with a damp cloth. Pick off dry glue as carefully as possible with your fingernails.
What broke: A veneer that has separated from its base materials, such as the 30-year-old Formica countertop that came with the house or the edging to inexpensive cabinet shelves and drawers.
The fix: 3M Hi-Strength 90 spray-on adhesive is heat- and water-resistant, especially important when the laminate is used in the kitchen or bathroom.
How to use it: Apply to both surfaces to be bonded. Let set for 2 to 15 minutes, then press the surfaces together. Apply pressure or a clamp for up to five minutes to increase the strength of the bond.
Sticking points: Although this glue is ideal for reattaching veneers, you shouldn't use it to repair a snapped table leg or any other structural element of a piece of furniture.
Cleanup: To remove excess glue from hands and surfaces, wipe while still wet with a damp cloth or with mineral spirits.