TikTok's Genius Storage Trick For Longer-Lasting Super Glue

TikTokker @jmg8tor is back to help with a frustration that must be nearly universal. If you've opened a new bottle of cyanoacrylate (CA) glue like Super Glue more than a few months ago, you are probably now the owner of a useless bottle of hardened (polymerized) glue. The stuff is extremely sensitive to temperature, moisture, and the need for repeat sales, so it dries out very easily with the stock caps in place. @jmg8tor is an established expert in WD-40 wisdom and clever pool noodle hacks, but his command of Super Glue isn't quite perfect, and we'll get into what you can and can't take away from his advice. However, he definitely gets you moving in the direction of having longer-lasting CA glue when you need it with one brilliant bit of advice: Stick that glue bottle in a Ziploc bag. 

Caps that seal cyanoacrylate (CA) glue tubes don't usually protect it very well, and it tends to interact with the air and moisture to polymerize quickly after opening. @jmg8tor says the best way to store CA glue is in a Ziploc bag or another airtight container, ideally with a silica packet to absorb moisture. He notes that the Loctite brand has the best caps, but the glue still tends to dry out before it can all be used. He adds that you should keep the container in the refrigerator to extend the life of the glue by months, but hold off on that one. We'll get back to it.

What the glue makers say about storing it

The right place to turn for an understanding of proper CA glue storage is, of course, the glue manufacturers themselves. And they're basically universal in their guidance. Before disimproving their website, CA adhesives manufacturer Palm Labs clearly explained the ins and outs of storing CA glue. Store the glue at around 55 degrees in a cool, dry place. The maker of @jmg8tor's favorite, Loctite, concurs. The Technical Data Sheet for Loctite Gel Control CA glue places its unopened shelf life at 18 months. The glue should be stored unopened at 36 degrees Fahrenheit to 46 degrees Fahrenheit and, after opening, stored tightly sealed in a dry location away from heat, sunlight, and humidity.

But hang on — what about the refrigerator part? Doesn't 36 to 46 degrees sound a lot like a fridge, since the correct temperature for a refrigerator is between 33 and 40 degrees? The correct approach is to refrigerate only unopened CA glue. Refrigeration of unopened CA glue will extend its shelf life. But don't refrigerate opened CA glue, since the transition from freezer to room temperature can cause condensation in the bottle, which in turn causes the glue to polymerize. Just another thing to consider before you finally spring for that garage fridge.