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best adhesive to repair ceramics? Answered

I need to repair a standard ceramic coffee mug. It has broken, very cleanly, into 3 separate pieces.  When complete it needs to be able to withstand typical daily uses i.e. a microwave, dishwasher, boiling water. Ideally the repair will be invisible.
What is the best adhesive  to use?



Best Answer 6 years ago

Anyone suggesting superglue or Krazyglue should have their mouths washed out with cyanoacrylate. What you need is Dap, made by Dow-Corning. It's 100 percent silicone (i.e., the element of sand or glass), will create a barrier to liquid transfer through the break, and will withstand temperatures far above those in a dishwasher or boiling liquid, or any temperatures likely to be in a cup. It's also microwave safe.
It's absolutely nontoxic, and its clear. It should easily hide a clean break except for someone looking for the crack. I used it on a soup bowl a couple years ago or more, and my wife has never even noticed. It's been through the dishwasher and the microwave probably hundreds of times each, and it doesn't leak.

Your solution was extremely helpful. Thank you!!

since you raised the chemistry topic: silicone is not the same as silicon.

silicon is a type of element known as a metalloid. when it is accompanied by oxygen it is most commonly referred to as silica. silica can take many different forms in rock forming minerals. Sand and glass are two of the most common forms in which we find silica.

Silicone is a petroleum distillate product, not too much different than cyano-acrylate; cyano-acrylate itself is a petroleum product.

It is a known carcinogen but is commonly formulated for safe use in food handling and food preparing applications.

I think I found what you're talking about:


it looks pretty good, and i will try it on your suggestion.


Can you clarify whether the recommended Dap product contains silicone, the known carcinogen, or silicon? My favorite mug broke today, and I would love to repair it and continue using it, but I wouldn't feel comfortable using it to drink from daily if it contains a known carcinogen. Thanks!

Which kind of DAP ? I looked on their site and there are a lot of different kinds.

I think this is the dap you want:


your post helped me find the info i needed, so i thought i'd say thanks!

i hope 6 months later is better than never ;p

So useful and practical for me. Thanks for you excellent blog, nice work keep it up thanks for sharing the knowledge

Where do i find this?

I have just used Kintsugi to repair one of my christmas baubles. It looks super cool... If you haven't seen it before you can have a look at it here. Happy Repairing! :) (mora approved)


Kintsugi art Gallery - more repair ideas



lakesidepottery I have a question! :) I have a handmade porcelain mug and there is a hairline crack (barely visible, you can hear it more than see it) where the handle joins the mug at the bottom. Can this be fixed/strengthened BEFORE it breaks? Or does it need to be snapped off to be repaired...I cant find a scrap of info on it! Id really appreciate any info I can beg from you! Its not able to be sent off to you guys sadly! Thank you :)

solution: step one. throw out. step two. move on with your life.

Step 1: Ignore Kyle Humer. He's a d-bag who doesn't know what 'Sentimental Value' means.
Step 2: Use Super Glue Gel and glue it together.
Step 3: Wait 24 Hours.
Step 4: Apply clear nail polish along the crack seams to seal it.

For a quirky, and really nice finish, have a look at using the Kintsugi Repair Kit, A Dutch creation:


Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 00.34.12.png

my mom has a ceramic stoneware pitcher she recieved for her wedding 30 years ago that has recently developed a crack which now leaks. She uses this pitcher a lot to make fresh brewed iced tea and she is very upset that it is cracked. I told her about DAP but her concern is that it would cause a temperature difference between the pitcher and the glue causing the pitcher to burst. Does anyone have experience with DAP or any other ceramic glues for food contact items and boiling water?

We had several items that came for us to implement proper seamless restoration where Dow-Corning Dap adhesive was used previously. It did hold well as long as hiding the repair lines is not required. It is not sandable or paintable. Therefore, separation of the broken pieces and removal of the silicon adhesive was required prior to proceeding with a seamless repair process -- and here where the problem starts.

To reverse the repair that was using Dap (or equivalent) often cost more than the repair it self. It can not be removed with solvents, or heat and the only remaining option is cutting and grinding which effect the broken pieces fit requiring more fill, more sanding, more painting, thus, higher cost. Worst case scenario is when the
silicone adhesive was used with porous material such as terracotta. The silicone
adhesive soaked in the material porous surface and the full depth of penetration
needed grinding further reducing fit.

So, if the item you are repairing is valuable or important, be aware of the above.

See more repair lessons

Kindly, Patty and Morty


solution: step one. throw out. step two. move on with your life.

We have a crack in a ceramic cup. Can the dap product be used to repair/strengthen the crack? Will it prevent seepage into the crack? And the crack would still be visible, right? Is there a way to hide the crack?

PC-11 is an epoxy that claims to be non-toxic when dry, although only rated up to 200 deg F.  I know people who have repaired radiators with it.  What do you think? Will I have children with gills if I drink out of this?


Alternately I've seen mention of Elmer's Craft Bond Ceramic & Glass Cement

I haven't been able to get any detailed spec.s on this one though.

"Will I have children with gills if I drink out of this?"

Well, you can hope.

In a more serious note, I wouldn't regularly drink out of it. Epoxy is one of those "kinda harmless" things, not really harmless, but not a glowing horrible monster of hazmat goo either. While curing it's both a cumulative sensitizing agent (don't use bare hands working with it, nor breathe the vapors). And I'm wondering about hormone analog issues or similar problems WRT chronic exposure to the cured product steeping in hot coffee...

Of course you could repair it with epoxy, then line the inside with a known safe coating, if such an animal could be found.

PC-11 is a great product and many of the restoration projects in this link (Before and after repair)  were executed with it. It cures harder, thus more "sandable", if in 140 degree F for 5-8 hours. Will soften up if in above 180 degree F and will compromise the repair. Will tolerate expoture to liquid if the repair material is NOT pours. 
 Lakeside Pottery Ceramic Restoration Studio www.renewceramic.com 

Well with this sort of damage there is only one way to go: kintsugi, the old Japanese art of repairing with gold. And since this is unaffordable you should check the invention Lotte Dekker did during a project we did on Repair. It is Bison kintsugi: http://www.platform21.nl/page/5752/nl?lang=en

How much will the adhesive cost?

How much will a replacement mug cost?

How much is your time worth, vs. how much satisfaction you'll get out of restoring it?

(Personally, I'd go with "repair it as a display piece, drink out of something else.")

Ditto what these other guys have said. I used regular glass & ceramic epoxy from Home Depot to repair my favorite coffee mug when the handle came off. The bond is very strong, and has stood up to the microwave & dishwasher regularly for the past five years. It is not invisible, and the repair is not in a location where the epoxy comes into contact with my coffee. I would not be comfortable with the idea of drinking hot coffee that had epoxy steeping in it.

Looking at the stuff, I can't see there being much of a hazard. Its not like there'll be much of an area presented to the liquid, and Epoxy isn't a toxic hazard officially.


Yeah, I can't back that one up with actual science. It's just a vague uneasy feeling.

Unless you use non-domestic epoxies, the epoxies you can readily buy, or the cyano-acrylates ("superglue") will not withstand boiling water for many cycles.

Permabond in the UK supply a superb high temperature epoxy, good to 190C, but that is AFAIR 120 GBP a tube.

There are phenolics that MIGHT do it, but I've not seen them in 0.5mL jars - which is probably all you need. 


It's permanently damaged, I wouldn't recommend anything to withstand the uses you describe. If I were having a go I'd use a clear epoxy glue, but I would not be be drinking coffee out of it daily.


For invisibility, there are types of superglue (CA adhesives) that are intended specifically for ceramic repairs.

I don't know what the adhesive manufacturers would claim, but I would not use hot liquids in it after being fixed, unless the join was clear of the liquid.