The Easiest Way To Extend The Life Of Your Super Glue

You need a quick fix around the house but want something more discreet than shiny, glossy duct tape: super glue to the rescue. Whether you're mending broken dishes, a light fixture in your dining room, a shower caddy, or ripped upholstery, the fast-acting adhesive helps alleviate the aggravation of smaller, tedious home repairs. However, if it's been a while since you last used your container of super glue, you may be super shocked to find it's not at its prime when a crisis hits. Fortunately, there's a simple solution. The best way to extend the life of your super glue is to store it away from heat and moisture.

Super Glue, Krazy Glue, or Gorilla Glue — whatever brand you use, they're all considered cyanoacrylate adhesives. Prized for its superior curing ability, cyanoacrylate glue differs from traditional adhesives in that it contains acrylic resin rather than being water-based. Ironically, residual moisture on a material's surface is what activates the chemicals in cyanoacrylate adhesives to create the famously strong bonds you count on when fixing metal, porcelain, glass, leather, rubber, and plastic items.

However, given its staying power, you don't need to squeeze out large quantities to facilitate a secure seal. Most super glue bottles or tubes come with needle tips to help control volume and assist with precise application. Bottom line: A little super glue goes a long way, which is why, with the proper storage in place to extend its life, you may want to think twice before buying it in bulk.

Super glue storage tips

Typically, unopened containers of super glue have a shelf life of between eight and 12 months. However, once you open the tube, it'll only be good for about six to eight weeks. To maximize this time limit, store super glue in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Ideally, containers should be stowed in temperatures ranging between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent heat and humidity from building. Hot environments compromise the integrity of cyanoacrylate glue, causing it to become hard and dry.

Avoid this by keeping super glue in its original vessel and placing it in an airtight container, like a plastic bag, between uses. You can also recycle silica gel pouches that commonly come with electronics, purses, or new shoes and add them to your airtight container to help absorb moisture. Refrigerator storage is an additional option, but if you go this route, don't use the super glue right out of the fridge; instead, let the glue reach room temperature.

Another easy way to extend the life of your super glue is to place the lid back on the bottle and secure it tightly immediately after each use. Additionally, cleaning the outside of the glue container and its nozzle with a cloth will also prevent contamination that could diminish the glue's effectiveness. If some of the adhesive dries on the container's tip or exterior in the process, simply wipe the areas with a cotton ball soaked in nail polish remover to dissolve the bond.