By Mike Bruton | Updated May 12, 2022 3:51 PM
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Just because a windshield, a favorite figurine, or a smartphone screen is damaged, you don’t have to replace it. Instead, glue it. Some glues are manufactured to effectively repair chipped, broken, or damaged glass.
Depending on the type, location, and function of the glass, adhesives are available that can repair glass and save the replacement cost. This guide to the best glue for glass repairs shares some of the top considerations when choosing the right glue for glass repair. Read on for some shopping considerations and top picks for the broken glass around your home and garage.
Superglue, epoxy, and silicone are the leading adhesives for repairing glass. Superglue is a quick-fix for a glass repair that won’t be subjected to water or stress, while epoxy or silicone may be better for larger jobs that require weatherproofing.
Cyanoacrylate adhesives, better known as superglues, live up to their name by sticking to nearly everything, including glass. These glues are acrylic resins, and they can repair small cracks, chips, or breaks.
By forming a super-strong bond to hydroxyl ions in water, superglue cures almost instantly. Because water is in nearly everything, including the air and the damaged glass, superglue makes an effective glass repair option for interior fixes that don’t experience high temperatures or moisture levels.
Unlike superglue, epoxy glue has two parts: resin and hardener. Mixing the two creates a chemical reaction that spurs polymerization, which is a bond at the molecular level. Epoxy is especially effective at glass repairs because the adhesive is potent and dries to a clear finish.
After the resin-and-hardener mixing process, the glue begins to harden immediately. This creates a limited time to use the epoxy before you must mix a new batch. The upside is that epoxy glue is ultra-hard, long-lasting, and resistant to extreme conditions.
Silicone is popular for glass repair because it’s highly flexible, waterproof, and easy to apply. It commonly acts as a sealant in aquariums, window frames, automobiles, and appliances. Its gel-like consistency is both waterproof and mildew-resistant. If a glass repair is exposed consistently to water, extreme heat, or harsh elements, a silicone adhesive may be the best option.
After determining the type of glass repair that’s necessary, calibrate the search by thinking about which characteristics are most important. Application, drying time, bond strength, waterproofing, and temperature resistance—all can influence the repair’s efficacy.
Whether the broken glass is outdoors or indoors impacts the type of glue that’s best for the glass repair. For an outdoor repair, check that it’s made to hold up to the debilitating effects of extreme temperatures, direct sunlight, and exposure to water.
A waterproof superglue that’s resistant to the weather’s debilitating effects is available, but most regular superglues are better for indoor repairs. A silicone or epoxy adhesive is more likely to hold up against moisture or ultra-high temperatures like those experienced by windshields and exterior windows.
Drying time can mean different things during the gluing process. Setting time is the amount of time the adhesive needs to harden. When the adhesive achieves a maximum bond with the material, it’s cured. Some glues set and cure nearly instantly, while others need several days to reach full strength.
As anyone who has superglued their fingers together can attest, cyanoacrylates cure almost instantly. Epoxies can take up to a full week to cure, so they may not be the best choice for a fast repair job. Silicone can cure as quickly as in 24 hours up to several days, depending on the thickness of the repair.
Bond strength is affected by lap shear strength and peel strength, which indicate an adhesive’s ability to withstand stress.
Glass requires different types of bond strengths in different applications. For example, repairing glass in a windshield exposes the adhesive to more stress than the glass in a picture frame repair, because the windshield will experience higher levels of wind pressure and flex.
Some glues are water-resistant, and others are waterproof. Superglues often are just water-resistant, because the glue bonds to hydroxyl ions in water. Prolonged exposure to moisture can slowly deteriorate a superglue bond.
Epoxies may be waterproof or water-resistant, depending on the type of epoxy. If the glass repair will encounter prolonged immersion or exposure to water, use an epoxy designed for that purpose. Marine epoxy is an excellent choice for glass repairs that must stand up to water immersion.
Silicone is a popular material to use as a sealant in bathrooms, kitchens, or roofs because of its long-lasting waterproofing capabilities. To repair a crack in an exterior window, windshield, or some other type of glass that’s exposed to the elements, silicone is probably the best bet.
Anyone who’s touched a windshield on a vehicle sitting in the sun can confirm that glass stores heat. High temperatures can decrease the ability of an adhesive to maintain its integrity. That’s why people use blow dryers to soften the glue on stickers to remove them.
Glass Transition Temperature, or Tg, is the temperature at which the adhesive stops being hard and begins to take on a rubbery characteristic. For example, an adhesive for a windshield repair needs a much higher temperature resistance than a repair on a vase displayed in a temperature-controlled home.
Applying construction adhesives can take many forms. Super glues are primarily applied in one step and offer fast drying and curing times. Silicone-based adhesives often require caulk guns Caulk guns squeeze the adhesive from a cardboard tube that applies even lines of sealant known as beads.
Perhaps the most crucial part of the gluing process is cleaning the repair area before applying the glue. Usually, a 50:50 mix of rubbing alcohol and water washes away oils and dirt that may interfere with the adhesive, but consult the glue’s package for directions to ensure the proper cleaning technique.
Many different types of quality glues are available for glass repair. Considering application, drying time, and resistance to environmental factors, the following are some top picks for the best glues for glass repairs.
Loctite’s Ultra Gel is a durable superglue at the top of this list because it can resist water, shock, and vibration. Loctite glass glue has cyanoacrylate which works on porous and nonporous surfaces, which means it can repair not only glass but also leather, wood, rubber, metal, and many other materials.
This Loctite glass glue dries crystal clear, an important characteristic for glass repair, and it comes in a cleverly designed side-squeeze bottle that ensures precise application without spillage or mess.
Though ideal for many applications, keep in mind that as a superglue, this Loctite glass glue may not hold up under prolonged exposure to heat or water as might a silicone or epoxy-based glue.
Get the Loctite super glue at Amazon, The Home Depot, and Walmart.
Gorilla Glue is practically synonymous with quality superglue, and for good reason. This glue bonds well to glass, wood, foam, ceramic, and more.
Gorilla Glue says that its formula creates a very strong bond that dries crystal clear. Apply Gorilla Glue at room temperature and allow two hours for it to dry, with a full cure occurring within 24 hours. As a cyanoacrylate, this glue is not suitable for marine or high-temperature applications, but it can be used for most indoor and outdoor applications.
Get the Gorilla clear glue at Amazon, The Home Depot, and Walmart.
Gorilla Glue makes the list again with its proven formula in a convenient and easy-to-use package. This little bottle provides precision glue repair. The included fine-bristle brush and precision-tip nozzle ensure the glue goes precisely where it’s needed. Those who have had to scrape dried superglue from the outside of a repair job will be thankful for the included implements. This glue dries quickly, curing in 10 to 45 seconds.
Get the Gorilla super glue at Amazon, The Home Depot, and Walmart.
Bearly Art’s craft glue is suitable for all sorts of craft materials: paper, cardboard, fabric, and glass. It’s specially formulated not to wrinkle or clump, and this glue dries clear. This Bearly Art product’s four different applicators snap into place to provide various widths. Bearly Art glue is best suited for repairs on crafts or glass knick-knacks.
Unlike other glues that are unusable after freezing, Bearly’s formula still works after it thaws.
Get the Bearly Art craft glue on Amazon and at Sears.
Few things are as frustrating and distracting as a crack in a shiny smartphone screen. CAT PALM offers a repair solution that avoids the cost of a screen replacement. Its B-7000 Adhesive seals a pesky crack with a needle design for ultra-precise application.
This glue is specially formulated to work well with many materials and seals against liquid and glass permeation to ensure nothing gets inside the phone after it’s sealed. Wait just six minutes for the formula to dry, and the screen is completely repaired.
Get the CAT PALM B-7000 paste on Amazon.
Rhino Glue’s cyanoacrylate adhesive kit for heavy-duty jobs includes two adhesive types: an instant-drying glue and a thicker, slower drying gel that won’t dry out or clog up the applicator.
The Rhino Ultra Kit is designed for extensive glass repairs. Since it’s weatherproof and shock-resistant, it can be used for automotive applications. However, any excess spillage during the repair will leave behind a white residue that can be difficult to remove.
Get the Rhino Glue kit on Amazon.
For effective glass repair, we recommend the Loctite Ultra Gel glue with its fast drying time, durability, clear-drying formula, and easy-to-use bottle. Alternatively, for a budget-friendly option, the Gorilla Clear Glue bonds to many materials indoors and outdoors and dries completely clear.
We researched the most sought-after glues for glass in their respective categories and discovered that the best options are determined by their type, drying time, durability, compatibility with multiple surfaces, and other special features included by top brands.
While searching for the best glues for glass available, the most popular type among users was superglue for its immediate to 24-hour drying time and the ability to adhere to porous and smooth surfaces. Many of these picks are durable enough to withstand moisture, vibrations, and extreme heat while being applied to glass, wood, metal, ceramics, plastic, paper, and more. For added convenience, most of the above products have easy-to-use brushes and tips, and they also dry clear.
When choosing the best glass glue for your repair job, application is usually the first thing to consider. If the glass is kept indoors in a dry place, it’s an easier job than if the glass will be subjected to excessive water or extreme temperatures. Silicone- or epoxy-based adhesives usually work better in wet situations.
Different glues have different drying and curing times. Epoxies must be measured and mixed precisely for maximum effectiveness. Failing to follow the manufacturer’s instructions may result in a faulty repair, wasted time, and added expense. Additionally, some glues are hard to remove and should be applied with gloves.
To get the most out of the glue, consider the following tips.
Epoxy, superglue, and silicone are the best glues for glass repair. Consider how the glass will be used when choosing a glue for the repair.
When dry, glues often look different from their appearance when wet. Craft glues may even contain glitter. Most people choose a transparent glue to maintain the transparency of glass. The color of the dry glue is indicated on the packaging.
Gorilla Glue makes a variety of different types of glue. Some Gorilla Glue products are effective as a glass adhesive and are waterproof.
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