How to increase the usable life of your Super Glue

Laurie Gibbons
Adhesive Selection and Use, Shelf Life
June 9, 2011

How many times have you gone to fix something, delved into the depths of your tool shed, located your super glue and then discovered it has gone solid in the tube or bottle? More often than not probably!

There are a lot of different “species” of this type of glue, which is technically called a cyanoacrylate adhesive. These very fast acting glues are sometimes a bit too good at their jobs, and that’s where the storage problems start.

Tips to Increase the Usable Life of your Super Glue

Here are some top tips for increasing the usable life of your cyanoacrylate adhesive:

  • Always put the lid back on the bottle / tube. This prevents contamination, and moisture in the air can cause the adhesive to thicken / cure in the bottle.
  • Keep the adhesive in its original container. (The packaging is specially designed to prevent moisture from getting in). Moving super glue to different containers may also increase the risk of their setting when in contact with the air, which is what they’re designed to do.
  • Store the adhesive in a refrigerator. (Making absolutely sure it’s properly labeled and kept out of reach of children). These adhesives are also often temperature sensitive and can react to heat by solidifying.
  • Before use, allow the bottle to warm up to room temperature before opening the lid. This helps prevent moisture condensation (moisture causes the adhesive to thicken / cure in the bottle).
  • After use, clean the outside of the nozzle. (This is so the lid doesn’t get stuck on and is ready for next time), replace the lid ASAP and return to the refrigerator.

Hopefully, this will help reduce impromptu trips to the local DIY store for replacement super glue!

Please note, very important: Always be careful when handling and using these glues. Care should be taken at all times to avoid contact with skin and eyes. If a serious contact issue occurs, seek medical advice immediately.

For further help and advice, please contact Permabond.

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