Super Glue can dry as fast as 3-10 seconds. How much glue you use and how tightly you clamp the pieces or objects together will influence how this adhesive will dry.
Even though Super Glue dries fast, within just a few seconds, the full bonding of the adhesive can take up to 24 hours to complete.
This means that once you glue an object (or broken pieces of an object) with this fast-drying adhesive, you should let it sit undisturbed for at least 24 hours.
A few tricks of the trade will help speed up the drying and bonding time. In this guide, you will find out what they are and how to implement them at home.
Super Glue offers and creates one of the strongest bonds due to its cyanoacrylate properties. Its bond is considered to be almost unbreakable as it lasts on materials even in tough weather conditions, such as rain, snow, and even ice.
As you keep reading, you will also learn how to use Super Glue effectively and what materials it is best for.
You will also learn about some of the unusual uses for this fast-drying and a very strong adhesive that you may not even think of, such as:
- Closing cuts
- Repairing fraying cords
- Helping in woodworking
- Sealing a hose
- Repairing a tent
- Fixing accessories, such as sunglasses
- Fixing a broken fingernail
- Minor car repairs
- Stopping runs and pulls in the fabric
- Protecting guitarist’s fingers
Check out my guide on how to unharden super glue for more information.
What Is Super Glue?
Super Glue has been developing and evolving for more than 40 years now. It is a fast-bonding, instant, high-strength adhesive engineered to bond almost any material.
The original super glue line carries several strong, robust, fast-acting bonding solutions, including high-performance engineering adhesives, waterproof epoxies, and much more.
Super Glue is commonly used in many at-home DIY projects, such as repairing shoes, woodworking, and heavy-duty metal bonding.
The chemical name of Super Glue – cyanoacrylate – was invented by scientists in 1942 in a project that focused on designing and creating clear plastic gun sights for the war.
The material was so good that it stuck to everything, which has caused some difficulties for the purpose it was meant to serve.
In 1958, this strong adhesive was rediscovered by well-known researchers Harry Coover and Fred Joyner.
One time, when Super Glue was tested in public, it was unforgettable. People witnessed the strength of this adhesive as a car was glued and bonded to a crane. And we are talking about an actual car and crane.
Does Super Glue Work On All Materials?
The original Super Glue is a water-resistant, temperature-resistant, and moisture-resistant high-strength and fast-bonding adhesive.
It is designed and engineered to work effectively on almost every material.
Super Glue is used with:
- Several types of plastic
…and many more substances and materials.
Because this adhesive is resistant to water, moisture, and weather, it can be effectively used even on patio furniture – to fix tears or cracks – and it should hold up well in various temperatures, such as rain or wind.
You can also use Super Glue to fix smaller items within your home that have accidentally broken, have cracks in them, or are slowly falling apart, such as:
- Picture frames
- Ceramic plant holders
- Jewelry boxes
My guide on removing super glue from hair will offer you additional tips.
The Different Types Of Super Glue
You can find Super Glue engineered with different application methods. These include:
- Side-squeeze design for precise application
- Narrow-nozzle tubes for liquid-based adhesives and a more controlled application
You can choose between two types of Super Glue:
Super Glue in liquid form is ideal for smaller cracks. If there is a crack in your favorite coffee (or tea) mug, you can easily and effectively fix it as the narrow-nose tube allows you to get into tighter spots without making a mess.
This liquid adhesive dries faster as well.
Super Glue in a gel format does create a more flexible bond. It also offers a cleaner solution as it doesn’t drip as easily as the liquid form.
The gel adhesive is ideal when you need better precision or to glue something vertically.
How To Effectively Use Super Glue
You need to take a few simple steps to use Super Glue effectively.
Before you take the cap off the tube to squeeze this robust and fast-drying adhesive, first follow these steps:
- Wipe the surfaces you will be gluing together.
Use a clean, damp cloth to clean away any dust, dirt, and other particles from the surface, as these could negatively influence the glue bond. Even if the surface seems clean, don’t skip this part as there may be enough dust particles resting on the surface without you being able to notice them.
Clean all surfaces that will be glued.
- Use rough sandpaper (180-grit) to rough, smooth surfaces before applying Super Glue them.
Super Glue works quite easily on most surfaces, such as metal, ceramic, leather, and more. With these materials, the adhesive has an easy grip on its bonds. Not so with plastic or laminated surfaces.
Because plastic and laminated surfaces are very smooth, the adhesion is a bit more difficult.
The sandpaper (or a steel wood) will help roughen up the surface to create an effective bond for when the Super Glue is applied.
Use circular and gentle motions to create the needed adhesion. Be careful not to over-sand it, as this will make it difficult for the adhesive to bond.
- Once you remove the cap from the tube, ensure that the opening isn’t obstructed.
Once you check the opening and see that it is clear, you can easily squeeze the tube and apply Super Glue to the surface.
A blockage can prevent proper application. If the opening is clogged, use the tip of a knife or a needle to clear the opening before applying.
- Hold steady one of the surfaces you need to glue and spread one thin layer on it.
Super Glue is very strong. If you apply too much of it on the surface, it can cause a mess.
This adhesive is engineered so well that one thin layer creates an effective bond.
You don’t need to apply super glue to both surfaces. It would help if you glued them together as this will create a thicker glue, which isn’t necessary nor recommended.
As soon as you apply one thin layer to one of the surfaces, immediately place the cap back on. Otherwise, the glue will dry fast within the tube, and you won’t be able to use it again.
- Connect the two pieces. Hold them steadily together for a minimum of 30 seconds.
Place the two pieces together and hold them tight for 30 seconds.
Even though Super Glue can dry as fast as 3-10 seconds, holding the surfaces together ensures cohesion.
My guide on using super glue to glue wires together will offer additional tips.
How To Speed Up The Drying Time Of Super Glue?
There are some easy tricks you can use to speed up the drying time of super glue.
Depending on the size of the object, or pieces of a thing you are gluing together, there are different methods you can use to cause the super glue to dry faster.
Here are the easy-to-use tricks, or secrets of the trade, that will help you speed up the drying time:
- Blow air with your mouth
If you are gluing together smaller items that will be held jointly with your hands until the adhesive bonds, you can easily blow air onto the area where you applied super glue.
- Use a hairdryer
You can use a hairdryer on smaller and bigger items to blow warm air and speed up drying time.
Super Glue is designed to respond to warm air so that it allows its bond to set in faster.
Use the lowest setting on the hairdryer. Please keep it in a constant motion and at 30 cm away from the surface where the glue is.
- Use a fan
Aiming a fan at the glue will cause it to dry faster while forming a strong bond.
- Sprinkle baking soda on the glue before you attach the second surface
As soon as you apply the layer of super glue onto the surface, sprinkle some baking soda on it. Remember, you must act very fast as the adhesive will start to dry and bond within seconds.
Once you are done sprinkling a small amount of baking soda, connect the two surfaces and keep them together tightly for at least 30 seconds.
A very good resource is my guide on making super glue dry faster. Check it out for more detailed tips.
The Unusual And Fun Uses For Super Glue
Did you know that you can use Super Glue for more than gluing two pieces of two together or fixing a broken part of the furniture?
Super Glue can be used in many unconventional ways. You may already be familiar with some of them.
Here you can read (and find inspiration) about all the fun and unusual ways you can use Super Glue to better and fix almost an endless list of glue needs.
- Shoe repairs
If there are tears in your shoe or its sole is starting to detach, you can apply Super Glue to glue it back together. Just remember to clean all surfaces with a damp cloth to clear all dirt or dust particles.
Check out my guide on the best glue for shoes for more tips.
- Close cuts
Yes, as in the cuts or open wounds on your skin. Super glue can help seal cuts and wounds, so you might want to keep one in your first aid kit.
You only need to apply one thin layer, then push the skin together until the glue bonds. But before you do this, make sure to disinfect the area.
- Repair Tent
For all nature lovers and adventurers who enjoy camping with a tent, you will enjoy this about Super Glue.
If your tent has smaller tears, clean the area where the tear is, apply a thin layer of glue, and keep the material together for at least 30 seconds.
If your tent has a bigger tear, you may need to use a separate fabric to tend to it, applying the same steps. Clean the surfaces before applying super glue, then hold them together until the glue bonds.
- Fix your accessories
Super Glue can fix several broken accessories, such as jewelry, hair clips, sunglasses, and much more.
- Repair a fraying cord
It can be frustrating when your phone’s or laptop’s cord starts to break at a certain spot, as this can lead to difficulties or full breakage in charging.
As soon as your charger cord starts to fray, apply super glue to stop them from fraying and extend its usability.
- Stop fraying at the end of a rope
If you have a rope that is of use to you, and you notice that its end is starting to fray, use super glue to stop them from fraying.
- Fixing your fingernail
Whether you accidentally cut into your nail or crack it in any other way, apply glue to it. Once the glue dries, you can use a file to smooth its surface.
- Protect your fingertips
Whether it is a work project or continuing playing the guitar, wounding and tearing up the skin on your fingertips, you can use Super Glue to protect them.
Before you start playing the guitar again or before you start your project, apply a thin layer of super glue to your fingertip. Once the glue dries, it will act as a protective barrier.
- Help with woodworking
Many handymen in the trade use this trick.
Instead of just holding two pieces of wood together that you need to screw together, glue them first, as this will secure them and prevent any of the wood pieces from sliding and hammering a nail where it shouldn’t go.
- Fix handles
If you have a screwdriver or any other tool that has a handle falling off, super glue can help keep the handle in place.
Before placing the handle back onto the tool, clean the surface of the tool where the handle goes, apply super glue to it, slide the handle back on and hold it tight there until the glue dries.
- Seal a hose
If you have a garden, you will likely also have a hose to water your plants or grass. Over time though, from usage, a garden hose can start to leak due to cracks or holes.
If this is the case, clean the surface of the hose, apply a layer of Super Glue, and keep it tight until the glue dries.
Because super glue is water-resistant, it will offer an effective solution to your hose.
- Minor car repairs
If there are minor tears, rips, or cracks in your car, you can use super glue to fix them. Including tears in the seats, disconnected mirrors, cracked lights, ripped upholstery, and much more.
For additional tips, my guide on removing super glue from car paint can help.
- Stop runs and pulls in the fabric
Whether the issue is a run on a pair of nylons, pulls on a sweater, or snags in several fabric items, you can apply super glue to the affected area to keep it from running further.
Check out my guide on getting super glue off leather for related info.
What Materials Should I Not Use Super Glue For?
Super glue can be used on most materials. But, there are some that you should avoid.
Generally, it is recommended not to use Super glue on items and materials that come in direct contact with food.
So if you have cracks inside dishes that you would use to cook, bake, heat up, or place food in, we wouldn’t recommend filling those cracks with Super Glue.
As with any other adhesive, it isn’t considered food safe.
How To Store Super Glue
There is one simple practice we recommend (and use ourselves) to store Super Glue once it has been opened safely.
Follow these steps to ensure that your super glue won’t dry out or harden within the tube and will last you for a longer period.
- After use, ensure the cap is fully and well closed before you put it away for storage.
If the cap is not fully secured back, air and humidity will cause it to dry out. And if this happens, you can only do one thing with it – throw it in the trash.
- After ensuring the cap is on the right and tight, place the tube in an airtight container.
The airtight bag will keep moisture from damaging the super glue.
Once you place the super glue in a Ziploc bag, or something similar, squeeze as much air out as you can before closing it.
- For one more added layer of protection, store the super glue in the fridge in an upright position.
Of course, as long as your refrigerator doesn’t have moisture issues. Otherwise, it can be a cool, dark, and dry place, which helps preserve and protect the texture and effectiveness of Super Glue.
And no, placing it in the freezer isn’t a good idea. This will cause the glue to harden, and it won’t be useful to you once this happens.
Super Glue Is a robust, instant, very strong adhesive that can be used on almost all materials. It can dry as fast as 3 seconds.
You only need one thin layer for good and effective bonding between two surfaces.
But before you start gluing, make sure to clean all surfaces well with a damp cloth. This will clear dirt or dust particles that could otherwise keep the glue from bonding well.
You can use super glue even with plastic, but first, you need to roughen up the surface for better adhesion.
Using items such as a fan or hairdryer can speed up the drying time.
Super glue is so much more handy and versatile than we give it credit. You can do much more with it than gluing a chipped vase or fixing cracks.
One essential aspect you should look out for is safety whenever you are working with glue.
Find a spot or a well-ventilated working area so you don’t directly breathe in any fumes released by the glue.
One tip that can help with air ventilation and circulation: open the windows or the door in the room you are working in.