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How to Get a Suction Cup to Stay Stuck: 8 Easy Tips

suction cups in white background

There’s nothing more annoying than a suction cup that won’t stay stuck. You press it on and it either falls off or, worse, comes off after you’ve already hung up your belongings. How do you solve this conundrum? Thankfully, there are numerous ways you can solve this problem. Read on to check out the best ways to help you keep suction cups stuck, like how to make suction cups stick in the shower.

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The 8 Tips for Getting a Suction Cup to Stay Stuck

1. Choose an Appropriate Surface

Suction Cup
Image Credit: OB Production, Shutterstock

Suction cups stick best to hard, smooth surfaces where they can more easily make an airtight seal. Glass, tile, steel, ceramic, and even hard plastic are all suitable. Curves and textures increase the chances that the suction cup won’t stick or stay stuck, so strive for smooth, flat, and hard surfaces. Unfortunately, you can’t use suction cups on every surface.

2. Clean Your Surface

Sometimes suction cups won’t stay stuck to even the most suitable surfaces, and the culprit may be the surface itself. Dust, debris, residue, and anything else stuck to your surface can weaken a suction cup’s hold and make it fall off. Clean your surface with soapy water, rinse it, and wipe it down with a clean microfiber cloth. Make sure that there’s no remaining dust, debris, or residue still stuck before you try to attach your suction cup again.

3. Clean Your Suction Cup

On the flip side, maybe your suction cup is dirty. Dirt, dust, debris, and residue stuck to your suction cup will prevent it from sticking and staying stuck. To fix this, wash your suction cup with warm water and a bit of dish soap. Focus on the inside of the cup, using tiny dashes of vinegar to help loosen stubborn grime or residue. Make sure to let the suction cup fully dry before trying to attach it again. You can use a microfiber cloth to dry it or simply let it air dry.

4. Boil Old Suction Cups

Suction cups are made of a flexible material that can stiffen and harden over time. When they get stiff, the cups can’t adhere to surfaces as well. To soften old, stiff suction cups, put them in a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds. They’ll soften up and be able to make a firmer seal, prolonging their effective lifespan. They’ll also be easier to stick to surfaces, saving you time and effort.

boiling water in a pot
Image Credit: music4life, Pixabay

5. Wait Until It’s Warmer

Below 40°F, air pockets begin to form inside suction cups, weakening their hold and preventing them from sticking. For best results, turn on the heat in your house or wait for warmer weather before using your suction cups again. It sucks to go without them because they’re so useful, but sometimes they’re simply not that effective.

6. Lubricate the Suction Cup

Petroleum jelly is a quick and easy life hack to get finicky suction cups to stick better. Dab a little bit and smear it on the inside of the cup and stick it to your desired surface. The petroleum jelly will fill any gaps and keep water out, helping create a stronger seal around the edges of the cup. You may need to reapply this from time to time, but it’s very simple and easy to do.

7. Seal the Suction Cup in Place

If you want to permanently fix your suction cup to one place, use silicone caulking around the edges after you stick the cup to the desired surface. This is the most effective way to keep your suction cup stuck, but it makes the cup a hassle to remove and relocate. Only utilize this method if you want to keep a suction cup in one location and don’t plan on moving it any time soon.

Suction Cup
Image Credit: Noprati Somchit, Shutterstock

8. Check on Your Suction Cups

Suction cups weaken over time due to a variety of factors, but you can keep them stuck by checking on them once in a while. To prevent them from becoming unstuck in the first place, simply press down on the center of suction cups with firm pressure whenever you walk by. You can check them for signs of looseness before doing so, but it never hurts to press on them.

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Suction cups can be useful tools for holding items without damaging the surface they’re attached to. When they get loose or keep getting unstuck, simply use the tips listed in this article to keep them stuck.

Featured Image Credit: Peter Sobolev, Shutterstock


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