Even when you take every precaution, it still can happen: A stone flies off the truck in front of your car and chips your windshield. Your dog’s wagging tail knocks over an heirloom vase. Your smartphone gets dropped one too many times, and its screen cracks. Just because a windshield, a favorite figurine, or a smartphone screen is damaged, you don’t have to replace it. Instead, glue it.
Glues are manufactured that can 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.
- BEST OVERALL: Loctite Ultra Gel Control Super Glue
- RUNNER UP: Gorilla Clear Glue
- PRECISION PICK: Gorilla Super Glue with Brush & Nozzle Applicator
- BEST FOR CRAFTS: Bearly Art Precision Craft Glue
- BEST FOR PHONE SCREENS: CAT PALM B-7000 Adhesive
- HEAVY DUTY PICK: rhino glue Ultra Kit
Types of Glue for Glass
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 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 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.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Glue for Glass
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.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Use
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. A lap shear test measures an adhesive’s ability to withstand stress when the glue moves laterally to the repaired material. Peel strength measures adhesive strength under perpendicular pressure.
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.
While most superglues and silicones are ready for bonding right out of the package, epoxies are a different matter. Because epoxy requires a chemical reaction to bond, the hardener and resin are packaged separately. Once mixed, the chemicals need only a few moments to begin hardening. Have all the tools prepared, and make sure you understand the entire process before mixing the epoxy.
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.
Our Top Picks
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 durable superglue tops our list because it can resist water, shock, and vibration. This cyanoacrylate works on porous and nonporous surfaces—meaning, it can repair not only glass but also leather, wood, rubber, metal, and many other materials.
Loctite dries 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, Loctite’s offering may not hold up under prolonged exposure to heat or water as might a silicone or epoxy-based glue.
Gorilla Glue is practically synonymous with quality superglue, and for good reason. This product bonds well to glass, wood, foam, ceramic, and more.
Gorilla Glue creates a very strong bond that dries crystal clear. Apply it 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.
Also from Gorilla Glue, this option makes it possible to perform glue repairs with precision. Included are a fine-bristle brush and a precision-tip nozzle. Both help you to ensure that glue goes exactly 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. Note that this Gorilla Glue product dries very quickly, curing in 10 to 45 seconds.
Bearly Art’s craft glue is suitable for projects involving all sorts of materials—glass, but also paper, cardboard, and fabric. It’s specially formulated not to wrinkle or clump, and it dries clear. Included are four different tips that allow for the glue to be applied in beads of various thicknesses. Note that unlike other glues that are unusable after freezing, Bearly Art’s formula retains its bond after thawing.
Few things are as frustrating and distracting as a crack in a smartphone screen. With a needle tip designed for ultra-precise application, CAT PALM offers a repair adhesive solution that can help you avoid the hefty cost of screen replacement. This glue dries in six minutes and works well to seal out liquid and debris, helping protect your phone from damage to its external components.
This adhesive kit includes two adhesive types: an instant-drying glue and a thicker, slower-drying gel that won’t dry out or clog up the applicator Designed for extensive glass repairs, the product is weatherproof and shock-resistant. Use this heavy-duty glue with care! Excess left behind after repair will form a white residue that can be difficult to remove.
Tips for Using Glue for Glass Repairs
When choosing the best glass glue for the repair, 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.
To get the most out of the glue, consider the following tips.
- Prep the repair area and read all the manufacturer’s instructions before beginning the repair.
- Completely clean the nozzle and any application tools. Dried glue on the cap or applicator may impact future use.
- Don’t use more than necessary to complete the repair. Excess adhesive may impact the opacity of the glass.
FAQs About Glue for Glass
Q. Is a special glue made for glass?
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.
Q. Which type of glue dries clear on glass?
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.
Q. Can Gorilla Glue be used on glass?
Gorilla Glue makes a variety of different types of glue. Some Gorilla Glue products are effective as a glass adhesive and are waterproof.