How do you keep a Super Glue tip tube clear so the lid is not always glued on, or it clogs?

Has anyone tried a toothpick? But even they seem too large and will just get stuck as well! I keep it stored up right, but it NEVER FAILS!

Thank you in advance!

  • Hi A Homespun Affair, Welcome to Lifehacks.SE. We hope you enjoy sharing knowledge and experience.
    – Stan
    Commented Jul 4, 2019 at 22:26
  • This is clearly a problem with no obvious solution, because a few years ago, I bought a pack of 8 or 10 small tubes of superglue for £1 - obviously intending that you will dispose of the entire tube after one use. If you can find this deal anywhere, maybe it will save you a lot of trouble.
    – Lefty
    Commented Jul 5, 2019 at 8:18

9 Answers 9


I found the following hints for using maintaining the Super™ glue (cyanoacrylate) applicator-tip clear.

  • When opening a new bottle of glue it is important to make a clean cut on the nozzle using a razor or sharp knife. Ragged edges will capture excess glue.
  • After using the glue, tap the bottle down hard on its base. Squeeze the bottle to blow air through the nozzle Clean the nozzle and squeeze the bottle again and you should hear air blowing through the tip.
  • If a build-up of glue does occur, try scraping off the cured glue with your finger nail. If using a razor or knife to scrape off the cured glue, they can cut into the plastic nozzle —— any ragged edges will capture even more glue next time the bottle is used, which will compound the problem.
  • If the tip does get clogged with dried glue, you can heat a pin/needle in a candle flame and poke it into the opening. The heated needle melts away the dried glue like a hot knife through butter. Heated needles can be a challenge to hold —— you'll need to use something to keep from burning yourself.
  • The writers also include a disclaimer with this method due to any possible fire hazard, but they verify that it has worked like a charm from their personal experience.
  • One user compared "Super™" with "Krazy™" and found that the Krazy glue works a little better, the applicator is easier to use, as it doesn’t glue itself closed as easily as the others.
  • 1
    I find the part with "tap the bottle down hard. Squeeze the bottle to blow air through the nozzle" interesting. So simple, that I did not think of it :) +1
    – virolino
    Commented Jul 5, 2019 at 6:09
  • If this is copied from somewhere, it is good form to cite and link to the source.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Jul 5, 2019 at 14:12
  • If this is copied from somewhere, it is good form to cite and link to the source.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Jul 5, 2019 at 14:13

Thinking out of the box: Don't use Super Glue at all. No matter what you do, when exposed to air it will harden. Instead buy a 2 part epoxy (for a very similar price). Not only is epoxy much stronger, but it will always flow freely because the two parts of the epoxy only harden in contact with each other (not the air).

Source: https://www.amazon.com/Loctite-Instant-0-47-Fluid-Syringe-1365868/dp/B0044F9KFI

  • how long does it last (according to your own experience: what's the longest delay did you tried?)?
    – JinSnow
    Commented Aug 1, 2019 at 14:20
  • @JinSnow Do you mean the delay between application and initial hardening? It's anywhere between 1 minute to 30 minutes depending on which one you get. (The number is written on the packaging) Personally, I use 5 minute epoxy and that works well enough for me. - After application you should let it sit for a few hours before usage, to make sure it's nice and strong. Commented Aug 1, 2019 at 15:48
  • 1
    I've got a 10 year-old epoxy glue tube. I recently used it, it needed some encouragement to get flowing again (one of the components had gunked up in the nozzle, so I drilled that out).
    – Hobbes
    Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 9:02
  • 1
    @JinSnow I've kept epoxy tubes in my toolbox for years and never had one clog on me. Of course, I'm careful to wipe the tube of excess before capping it and I always keep the whole thing in a plastic bag. — ¯_(ツ)_/¯ — Works for me. Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 13:44
  • 1
    I keep my cyanoacrylates/super glues in a dry box (tupperware box with some chemical desiccant, not silica) and they last until I use them up: at least a year. Maybe it's because I use decent brands: Loctite, Aron Alpha, and I'm now testing out Chinese brands as well. On the contrary, I've found epoxy sometimes dries up and clogs the syringe or glues the tube closed.
    – piojo
    Commented Mar 23, 2020 at 4:54

A very simple trick is to wipe excess glue off the outside of the applicator before screwing the lid back on. Use a dry paper towel or scrap of paper or fabric, but be careful not to glue the wipe to your fingers.

Using a wet towel can set the glue very quickly (so you can see excess glue and scrape it off), but if the moisture gets into the applicator, your glue sets there as well and clogges up immediately.

I had several tubes of superglue glued shut by a tiny drop at the very tip. Just wiping the tip off helped a lot, but sometimes wet glue gets into the lid before I wipe it off. Then I wrap a piece of paper towel around a tooth pick and wipe the inside of the lid as well.

Keep the glue stored with the lid facing up.


It can't always be prevented, but it's easy to resolve. You can drill out the clog using a small drill bit (1-2 mm) and a variable-speed drill.


There may be nothing you can do with those cheap multi-packs of glue that are like little toothpaste tubes, but I've found that going for a dedicated sizeable bottle helps. The bigger bottles sometimes have a metal pin molded into the lid that helps keep the nozzle clear. I also find it helps to blow the nozzle clear and then leave the bottle open and upright until any glue on the outside has dried and can be picked off with a fingernail. Storing the bottle upright also seems to help.


My personal experience is no good to store glue in the house. It's chemical can be dangerous for pets or kids and even for fire.

So when you just use it for 1 purpose and seldomly use it again. Just go for the smallest package. And throw it away after use. So for me is always one time usage. No keeping and make your house minimalist and cleaner too.


Making sure all glue is removed from nozzle and blowing straight down a few times into the nozzle, putting top on tight then storing upright has worked for me every time ;)

  • Instructions unclear. Currently sat in A&E explaining why I have a super glue nozzle glued to my lips.
    – Layke
    Commented May 24, 2021 at 19:24

While not esthetic, you may use a fine (sewing) needle which has an outer diameter smaller than the inner diameter of the nozzle of glue. Poke with the needle in the nozzle of the glue, extract remains of the glue and wipe this stuff off on a kleenex eventually thrown away.

Then, tightly close the nozzle of the glue with the cap, wrap it air tight, and store it in a fridge - next time you need the glue, allow it to warm to ambient temperature for 10 to 15 min prior to use. (And consider two-component glue as an alternative.)


I use a push pin. The metal part keeps it open and the plastic part kind of sticks and seals it but opens really easy.
You can store it upside down if you want to, All you got to do is wait for the plastic on the top of the pin to stick to the nozzle after you push the metal part all the way in. The metal part keeps the tube clear so it doesn't get dried glue in it. The seal between the plastic and the applicator is what keeps The glue from drying out.
It's a perfectly snug fit so it won't come open until you open it. This is a 100% no-fail hack. Once you figure this out, You won't be able to see it any other way.

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