How to Increase the Shelf-Life of Cyanoacrylates (Super Glue)

Tuesday, January 12, 2021
How to Increase the Longevity of Super Glue
  • How do I keep my glue from drying out?
  • Why does the nozzle keep clogging up?
  • Where should I store my glue?
This blog includes tips to help you increase the shelf-life of your cyanoacrylate adhesive. While certain glues’ shelf life may be shorter than others, there is almost always a way to increase it.

Store somewhere dry
Keeping the bottle away from moisture is key. Cyanoacrylate begins to polymerize when around water, which tends to be the leading cause of the glue drying out early. Below are some options to make sure that your storage spot is as dry as possible:
  •  Store in air sealed bag – If you cannot make it air-tight, even just keeping it in a plastic bag or sealed box will help keep it away from moisture.
  •  Keep a silica gel pouch next to the glue – Silica gel pouches are commonly found in the boxes of expensive items such as electronics. These pouches pull moisture out of the air, thus prolonging the polymerization of the adhesive.
  •  Store in a cold area – Storing in a cold room or even in a refrigerator can drastically increase a cyanoacrylate's shelf life. However, it is best to keep it in a plastic bag to avoid condensation. When you are ready to use the glue, allow it to reach room temperature before opening the bottle.
Store Hidden from Sunlight
Heat speeds up the drying time of adhesives because it causes the molecules to start moving faster which leads to them bonding quicker. Storing it in a cool area hidden from sunlight is the best possible place to keep it.

Keep in Original Container
Super glue bottles and containers are designed to be the best possible place to hold adhesives. Try not to move it into another storage container.

Clean off the Nozzle After Use
It is always best to keep the nozzle area clean to close the lid entirely and keep moisture out.
If you catch it early enough, you may be able to simply wipe it off with a cloth before it dries. If this is not possible, you may try wetting a cloth or cotton ball with acetone and rubbing it around the outside of the nozzle to dissolve the dried adhesive. As a last resort, use a putty knife or a precision knife to scrape the glue off.