Saturday, December 17, 2016

How to Fix a Ceramic Kettle or Teapot with Nontoxic Glue

My husband gifted me the loveliest electric ceramic tea kettle for my birthday. Less than a month later, the spout-- along with my heart-- broke when I swung it into our countertop in a moment of absentmindedness.

The thought of tossing this fancy new kettle into a dumpster made me sad, while the thought of drinking tea made with hot water that passed through a spout covered in potentially toxic glue gave me the heebee geebees. Determined to repair it safely, I did some research to find a glue that:

  • wouldn't poison me when it leached into water as it passed through the spout 
  • would create a bond that could handle the heat of boiling water
  • would create a waterproof seal

In short, I needed strong, durable, nontoxic and food-safe glue.

I found DAP 00688 Household Waterproof Adhesive Sealant. It's a 100% silicone glue that is food grade and costs less than $5.

I followed these simple instructions.

  1. Make sure kettle and the broken off piece(s) are clean and dry. 
  2. Set up a work area so you don't make a mess. Old newspaper does the trick.
  3. Apply a small amount of glue to one surface.
  4. Press the glue covered surface into the surface you want to bind it to.
  5. Wipe or scrape away excess glue that might have been squeezed out when you pressed the pieces together. I used a scrap of paperboard I had lying around, but you could probably use a cloth or a straight edge. Don't get glue on anything you aren't willing to throw away because dried glue can only be removed from objects with mineral spirits (sadly, toxic). On the bright side, the glue does dry clear so you could just leave it. 
  6. Press glued pieces together for five minutes.
  7. Wash your hands with soap and water if you have glue on them.
  8. Allow kettle to cure for 24 hours. (Cure is repair lingo for "leave it alone".) 

A month later, my kettle is still in one piece and I'm enjoying lots of tea and coffee!

There is one small chip missing but I chucked it figuring I just needed to focus on getting the larger part of the spout back on. The right person probably could've gotten it back together perfectly. However, I am blissfully not a perfectionist and love that it took me only 6 minutes to do this repair job!

You could use DAP silicone glue to repair your beloved broken mugs, bowls, teapots, ceramic baking dishes and coffee dripper... even a fish tank! The packaging says it's dishwasher and microwave safe so you can continue using the repaired items like usual once you've cured them.

Have you ever broken and fixed something dear to you? Do you believe repair should be added as the 4th R of eco-friendly living (joining Reduce, Re-use, and Recycle)? 

Olivia Lovejoy is a Blogger, Green Living Educator, and Health Coach trained at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She's also author of Baking Soda & Bliss: The Healthy & Happy Guide to Green Cleaning.

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