How to Dry Glue Fast

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Waiting for glue to dry is one of the most frustrating parts of finishing a craft project. Luckily you can often make the glue dry faster, depending on what type of adhesive you're using.

White Glue

Things You'll Need

  • White glue
  • Clothespins or clamp
  • One or more portable fans
  • Hairdryer

White glue, such as Elmer's Glue-All, is a non-toxic favorite for adhering a variety of surfaces including paper, fabric, leather, wood and ceramics. It goes on white, but dries clear so you know when it's completely cured.

  • White glue dries as water evaporates, and the process is accelerated with oxygen and heat, so using fans or a hairdryer is the best way to speed up your project. 
  • Clamping the pieces together with a clothespin or clamp helps form a stronger bond while the glue dries by forcing out the air and ensuring a larger surface area is stuck as tight as possible.   

Step 1

Spread the glue thinly on the surface you wish to attach to another.

Step 2

For a tighter bond, hold the pieces you're gluing together with a clothespin or clamp for at least the first 1 to 2 hours.

Step 3

Point one or more portable fans toward your work as it dries. Full curing happens overnight, but you can handle the piece after a couple of hours.

Step 4

For even faster drying, aim a warm hairdryer at your project's seams. Move the hairdryer around as the piece dries to prevent overheating one area, and watch for the telltale drying sign of the adhesive turning clear.

Super Glue

Things You'll Need

  • Super glue
  • Clamp or clothespin (optional)
  • Baking soda
  • One or more portable fans
  • Hairdryer

Super glues, instant adhesives or cyanoacrylates, such as Krazy Glue or Gorilla Super Glue, need the joint to be clamped or held together for initial drying -- but only for 10 to 30 seconds. You can handle your project within minutes, but the glue isn't fully cured for up to 24 hours, depending on temperature and humidity.

  • To increase the drying time and the strength of your bond, you need to think ahead because less is more -- thinly applied glue cures the fastest, and if you put too much on you will not only make the drying process take longer, but you run the risk that the glue won't stick at all
  • In addition, super glues react with moisture to create a bond, so a humid environment -- optimally 40 to 60 percent humidity -- will speed up your drying process. 
  • Baking soda acts as a super glue accelerator and triggers quick drying of the adhesive.

Step 1

When gluing porous ceramics, moisten one side before applying the glue.

Step 2

After putting the seams together, pour a bit of baking soda along the joint.

Step 3

Hold the glued joint together for 10 to 30 seconds with your fingers, a clothespin or a clamp.

Step 4

Aim ventilation fans at your project to help it reach its fully cured state faster.

Step 5

Blast a warm hairdryer at it for a few minutes to speed up the process even more.

Tip

  • Your surfaces must be clean before applying super glue or it will stick the dirt together instead of your materials.

Polyurethane Glue

Things You'll Need

  • Polyurethane glue
  • Clamp
  • Shower

Polyurethane glues like Gorilla Glue and Titebond Polyurethane cure properly when you clamp together the surfaces you're gluing.

Step 1

Clamp pieces put together with Gorilla Glue for the first 1 to 2 hours. Titebond only needs to be clamped for 45 minutes.

  • The glue dries 80% during clamping, and takes additional time to fully cure -- 6 hours for Titebond and up to 24 hours for Gorilla Glue. 
  • However, polyurethanes are made to react and solidify when exposed to a moist environment, so you can speed up the curing time by raising the humidity and heat

Step 2

Run a hot shower and allow your work to dry in the steamy bathroom for the fastest cure.

Tip

  • Curing time will also vary based on the porousness of the materials you are gluing together, so prescribed drying times are never exact with polyurethane adhesives.

One Component Epoxy

Things You'll Need

  • One component epoxy
  • Oven

Some epoxy glues require mixing of two parts prior to application, but one component or single part epoxy comes as a pre-mixed adhesive and requires heat to set during a prescribed time period.

  • To speed up the drying time of these single component epoxies, such as those made by Permabond and Masterbond, increase the heat.
  • Raising the curing temperature by approximately 45 degrees F (8 degrees C) will cut the drying time in half, up to a maximum temperature that varies based on the specific product. So if the glue oven cures in 90 minutes at 300 degrees F, it will be ready in 45 minutes when heated at 345 degrees F.

Tip

  • For best results, make sure the glue hasn't flowed outside of your joint before curing.

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