There is no feeling I fear more than watching helplessly as one of my favorite mugs slips from my hand, smashing against the floor and spilling coffee everywhere; this happens quite regularly and you could call me a butterfingers.
Okay, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic, but it can be a devastating blow, especially if the mug itself has sentimental value. But what if I told you that there was a way to save your precious drinking vessel, without exposing yourself to toxic glues?
Of course, if the ceramic has exploded into smithereens, there’s probably no saving it, but we’ve picked out five great glues that, if you have two or the sizeable pieces, could successfully secure and save your mug, if you do it right.
Read our Buyer’s Guide, where we’ve compiled all of the considerations you should bear in mind when picking out the product for you: make sure you check it out thoroughly, as failure to heed our advice could be potentially dangerous!
You can also find answers to Frequently Asked Questions from other customers seeking to repair their ceramic mugs in the section at the end of the article if there’s something you’re still worried about. Good luck and be careful not to slice yourself!
Top 5 Best Glues for Ceramic Mugs
OUR TOP PICK
Create a bond that’s clear and non-toxic to repair glass, ceramics, pottery and china with this glue from Elmer’s, a manufacturer that’s been a household name for decades, which is why we have no trouble recommending this to any customer.
Not only does it start to set in less than a minute, which makes multi-piece repair much easier, but after 2 to 3 days of drying, it reaches maximum strength - be patient and you’ll soon have a mug that’s basically brand new again!
You’ll be glad to know that once completely cured, your repaired ceramics will be completely waterproof, heatproof and dishwasher safe, so no worries about washing them separately or with specialist equipment.
Though it’s only an ounce (double if you get the two-pack) of glue, a little amount goes an incredibly long way, and any excess can be easily wiped off with a clean cloth, so long as it’s still wet.
Elmer’s acknowledge that shopping for specialist adhesives can be difficult, with packaging that confuses and uses technical terminology, which is why all of their products, this one included, are as simple and easy to use as possible.
- Made specifically for ceramics repair
- Waterproof/dishwasher safe
- Heat-resistant so great for repairing mugs
- Non-toxic and food-safe once fully dried
- Small, one ounce bottle (unless you opt for the two-pack)
Perhaps one of the USA’s leading adhesive brands, it would be difficult to make a list without at least one product from Krazy Glue, and I’ve chosen this one because it’s listed as food-safe as certified by the FDA, officially approved to fix your mugs!
Working on not just ceramics, but glass, metal, plastic, leather, even wood and rubber, their advanced formula can provide an extremely strong, long-lasting, shock resistant bond to just about anything!
The no-run, long lasting liquid gel formula is ideal for use on porous surfaces like your broken ceramic mug, and is completely waterproof once fully dry, so won’t break when you next fill it up with hot coffee!
A small, sleek nozzle dispenses your glue that bit more precisely, so it’s much easier to work with, especially when it comes to intricate multi-piece breakages, and it won’t ooze or waste any excess when you put the cap back on, like other brands.
Much like other ‘super’ glues of this strength, it instantly adheres to the skin, so users need to be very careful to avoid any contact; on this note, it’s also important to keep the tube away from children and pets!
- Heat and water resistant
- FDA certification for food-safe use
- Advanced formula
- Especially good on porous surfaces like ceramics
- Some customers report it leaves the tube very quickly
An incredibly versatile, high-strength adhesive, Pratley Quickset Glue is an epoxy formula that sets clear for an invisible put permanent repair, every time. It’s like some sort of glue ghost! Each pack contains two 20ml tubes, which is excellent value.
Reaching 75% strength just thirty minutes after application - though a few days’ curing time is required to ensure it is resilient enough to withstand liquids and hot temperatures - it’s quick setting and offers exceptional strength.
As all Pratley adhesives are non-toxic, so long as you allow 24 hours at least to dry, it’s completely food safe and absolutely fine to use for ceramics repair; you’ll also find it resists most chemicals, oils and petrol if that is a concern.
Once set, this glue can be filed, sawn, machined and sanded with no trouble, and even accepts paint, so if you want to give your mug a makeover once repaired, you don’t have to worry about risking another breakage.
Manufacturers advise that surfaces due to be bonded should be free of any loose dirt, dust, moisture, oil, grease or paint, and also recommend sanding or wire brushing, as this significantly enhances the adhesion process.
- 24 hour curing provides permanent bond
- Adheres to most materials: ceramic, stone, concrete, glass, metals etc
- Food-safe and non toxic
- Two 20ml tubes per pack
- Especially runny formula may be tricky to work with for some tasks
Available as one single ounce all the way up to a 12 pack or even a 50ml cartridge with dispensing gun to make things even easier, PC Products have got more than enough choices to satisy every products with their Clear Epoxy Adhesive.
Bonding ceramic, wood, metal, glass, concrete… pretty much anything you could want to glue together, once mixed it offers continuous service at temperatures between -20 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, suitable for fixing your favorite mug.
Great for high-detail fixes, it’s excellent for making repairs or completing projects that need their seams to be as invisible as possible, as well as being resistant to mild acids, caustics, detergents, gasoline and both salt and fresh water.
Whilst it’s great to repair your ceramics with, unfortunately it won’t be suitable for use with certain plastics, so please check the manufacturers guide before embarking on any other gluing missions, as it may not be suitable.
All PC products have been proudly produced in the good ol’ USA, shipped directly from Allentown PA, and their customer service team is also located in America - no overseas call centers here!
- Sandable, paintable and machinable
- Dries clear and is waterproof once cured
- Non-toxic and food safe after 24 hours of drying
- Produced and shipped in the USA
- Cannot bond to some plastics like teflon and polyethylene, or wax paper
Another especially popular manufacturer woldwide, Gorilla Glue is a name customers recognize and can trust, and their 2 part, 5 minute set epoxy syringes are no different, providing strong, permanent adhesion.
Suitable for multiple surface applications and is your best choice for tough repairs that require a durable bond, gap-filling and/or solvent resistance, as well as drying clear for a clean, smooth finish once completed.
The easy to use syringe is great for Epoxy beginners, keeping the barrels of resin and hardener separately until you’re ready, as well as dispensing evenly every time - there’s even a cap for multiple uses if you don’t finish it in one go!
Setting up completely in just six minutes, with plenty of repositioning time to create the perfect fit, you’ll find it especially useful when there are several pieces to work with, and it’s fully waterproof and heat resistant up to 200 degrees once cured too!
Unfortunately, this glue has not been FDA approved or certified as food-safe, so we would recommend the above products before trying this one, but reviews from customers have reported some success at ceramics repair with this product.
- Reputable brand name for glue you can trust
- Simple, beginner-friendly syringe design
- Sets in under ten minutes
- Binds pretty much anything
- Is not verified as non-toxic/food safe - should be a last resort
Best Glue For Ceramic Mugs Buying Guide
Sure, whether it is strong and sticky enough to repair your mug properly is going to be a primary concern when you’re choosing the glue for you, but there are other things you need to think about as well. Such as...
Food Safe and Non Toxic
As you can imagine, the majority of glues you’ll find on the market are pretty dangerous for human consumption, which means they aren’t suitable for repairing anything that will have contact with your food or drink, however brief.
Even if it’s just a hairline crack, continuous exposure to even a hint of any toxic ingredients is incredibly dangerous and could prove fatal, so ensuring the glue you go for is completely non-toxic and food safe is imperative.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the US has a list of all adhesives that are safe to be used on items that will come into contact with or be a vessel for anything you plan to ingest, so it’s worth checking that out before you hit buy.
We’ve made sure that all of the glues on our list (bar Gorilla Glue) are advertised as non-toxic and 100% safe to use for repairing any ceramics you might eat or drink from, though this is only the case when fully cured, so heed the instructions!
Waterproof And Heat Resistant
Unless you’re planning on using your mug for something else (and hey, maybe you are, we don’t know you) then the glue you use absolutely needs to be waterproof, otherwise, you’re looking at a second breakage after one or two uses.
Some solvents and adhesives will dissolve after even just a few minutes of contact with any liquid, not just water, so this really is an important factor - you don’t want to waste time fixing your favorite mug only for it to break again!
Likewise, some glues will only be resistant to high heat up to a certain temperature, and if you like to drink your coffee as hot as I do, it’s important you choose one that can stand up to the boiling water (or whatever warm beverages you like to drink).
If you exceed the manufacturer’s recommendations, you’re looking for trouble, as the mug will basically fall apart again, which is NOT good if it’s in your hands and full of piping hot liquids - can you say third-degree burns?
Appropriate For Ceramics
When it comes to ceramics repair, a gel or liquid consistency is your best bet, as this allows for maximum absorption; as a porous material, some of the adhesive can be lost during the drying process with unsuitable formulas.
Looking for glues that state specifically that they are suitable for ceramics repair is your best bet, as this usually indicates that it has been tested on the material and won’t leave you disappointed and surrounded by shards again!
Every adhesive is different and will require varied curing periods before completely setting, so if you’re in a hurry to fix up a mug that you broke belonging to someone else, you want a glue that’s going to be dried in time.
Whilst most will be set in a matter of minutes, the drying process is incredibly important to ensure that the ceramic pieces are fully bonded together; failure to follow instructions could lead to the bond weakening if exposed to water or heat.
Manufacturers usually recommend a few days, even up to a week of curing in order to attain the best results, but some suggest their products will have your repair good to go in less than twenty four hours, so choose wisely!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you fix a hairline crack in a ceramic mug?
A hairline crack will usually be a natural fault developing over time, and can stay stable for years before causing any actual damage to your mug, but it’s sad in appearance and if exposed to any pressure will almost certainly crumble.
It is possible to ‘repair’ a hairline crack, which won’t remove the aesthetic damage but can prevent any further problems down the line by providing an additional layer between your mug and the liquid it contains.
One potential solution is applying an entirely new coat of glaze and having it fired in a kiln, if that’s possible, though of course accessing a pottery studio is not easy and could cost you more than simply buying a new mug.
Another suggestion is to use a liquid-based glue like the Krazy adhesive we’ve lifted above, which could penetrate the porous ceramic and fill in the crack, so to speak, but make sure it’s non-toxic if you don’t want to get sick!
All we can advise besides this is being incredibly careful if your ceramic has a hairline crack, as the slightest knock or bump could shatter it in a heartbeat - maybe retire the mug to display only, if it’s one of your favorites or has sentimental value.
How do you fix a ceramic mug with milk?
Okay, if you’ve seen one of those Five Minute Crafts videos that tend to circulate Facebook, you might be wondering if you can repair a crack in your mug (or a completely broken mug that’s in pieces) using… milk?!
Whilst I cannot confirm that this method is a hundred percent effective or will serve you anywhere near as well as glue would, I have seen several videos that suggest it can be done, though I’d recommend acting with caution, using this as a last shot.
I personally have only seen this done with a hairline or slightly more significant crack, and never to fully bond two or more completely separate pieces of ceramic, so I only advise you try it out in the former scenarios - hey, it’s worth a shot right?
Apparently, all you need to do is place your cracked ceramic in a heat-proof pot, pouring milk over top until completely submerged, and then heat on the stove at a very low heat for an hour or so.
Let the mug (or plate, or bowl, or whatever ceramic item you’ve decided to risk this on) completely cool in the milk, then remove and rinse - if you’re lucky (or the item wasn’t too far gone) then the crack should be completely filled!
Again, there’s no saying this is a method that will stand up to heat or water after completion, so I really advise you stick to glue or epoxy… but if you’re really desperate to save a mug from smashing, I guess it doesn’t hurt to try.