Repair plastic without cracking

How to repair plastic the easy way

Want to know how to fix cracked plastic or how to repair plastic bumpers? With so many of the household products we own being made of plastic, it’s one of the most invaluable DIY skills you can learn. And in an era where plastic pollution is a major global concerning, fixing instead of throwing away not only saves you money – it’ll also help save the environment.

How to repair plastic: Choosing the right glue

Although learning how to repair cracked plastic or broken plastic parts might seem as simple as reaching for the nearest tube of glue, a little more thought is required. An all-rounder like Loctite Super Glue Power Flex Control might well be all you need for the job. Its high strength, non-drip formula is perfect for forming invisible bonds on plastic that give a long-lasting durability and are both weather and shock-resistant. It also works on materials like wood, metal, porcelain and leather. However, if the item is made of polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP) plastic, reach for Loctite Super Glue All Plastics. It will form resilient, invisible bonds in seconds on both types of plastic.  

How to fix cracked plastic using super glue

  1. Safety first. Before you get started, choose well-ventilated area (if working indoors or in a confined space like a car) and consider wearing a pair of protective gloves that will prevent spilled glue coming into contact with your hands, yet still allow you to perform more delicate procedures.
  2. Prepare. As well as selecting the right glue for the job, assemble everything you’ll need. In addition to the cracked or broken item, lay down some old newspaper on the work surface to protect it from any glue spillages and gather together some kitchen roll and fine sandpaper.
  3. Sand. Use the fine sandpaper to lightly roughen the edges of any broken plastic pieces to enable the strongest bond possible. Do not over-sand; ensure that both sides of the crack or the separate pieces are still a close fit when held together.
  4. Prime. Open your glue and carefully remove the cap and seal. Fortunately, a product like Loctite Super Glue All Plastics has an easy-to-open, self-piercing and anti-clog cap, greatly reducing the risk of drips, sticky residue and spillages.
  5. Activate. If the glue comes with an activator, apply it to all pieces you wish to bond together and wait until it has dried before moving onto the next step.
  6. Apply. Sparingly apply your glue to one of the broken pieces and press/fit together in the correct place. Hold it there until dry – check the glue’s instructions to see how long this will be and if you have any leeway to reposition as you work. If the drying takes some time, consider using tape or a clamp to hold the pieces in place.
  7. Clean. If excess glue emerges when putting or pieces together, use a piece of slightly damp kitchen roll to wipe it away. When you’ve finished, before putting the cap back on your glue, use another piece of kitchen roll to wipe the nozzle clean if necessary.
  8. Cut. If any excess glue has dried, use a sharp, fine blade to cut it away. Remove the rest with acetone, such as nail polish. Wipe clean with a damp cloth afterwards, as acetone can damage some plastics.