5 Ways to Fix a Ceramic Mug

Broken mugs are always heartbreaking, especially if you treasure these mugs as they were a gift from someone, a souvenir, or have been with you throughout the years. With the many pollution threats in our world today and the tons of broken objects piling up in our landfills, would you simply throw your old mug away? What if we told you that mugs can be easily fixed?

In this article, we cover a couple of simple DIY hacks where you can fix your ceramic mugs if they are chipped, broken, missing a handle, or have other physical deformities. As the saying goes, “broken crayons still color” – this applies to mugs as well.

Even if you find them unsuitable for drinking after repair, you can use them for various purposes, such as for holding office supplies and other everyday items.

how to Fix a Ceramic Mug

Repair chipped ceramic coffee mug

Chipping occurs in most mugs due to mishandling sometimes. If you have a small chip on one specific area of your mug, don’t fret – here’s an easy way to fix it:

What you’ll need:

  • chipped mug
  • superglue
  • baking soda
  • knife or any flat utensil
  • safety razor
  • sandpaper

Procedure:

  1. Use superglue on the chipped part and fill it up until it is even with the mug.
  2. Spread some baking soda all over the superglue part while it is still wet.
  3. Spread out and flatten the baking soda on top of the superglue using the knife or any flat utensil to even it out. This will also get rid of the excess baking soda. You can also get rid of any excess baking soda with your fingers.
  4. Apply a second layer of superglue on top of the first layer. Make sure it is thinner than the last one so it won’t form a bump that’s too difficult to remove later.
  5. Apply some more baking soda on top of this second layer. This time, you have to smooth it out using your fingers.
  6. Let the glue mixture dry. Make sure it is hard enough to chisel out later.
  7. Take the knife and chisel out the excess bump. Alternatively, you can also use a safety razor (NT cutter) for smoothing it out.
  8. Smoothen out the edge of the chip on the rim of the mug. You can use a safety razor for this.
  9. Sand the affected area using sandpaper to keep it smooth and even with the rest of the mug. It also helps if you add a little water onto the sandpaper to make the sanding process smoother with less debris flying out.
  10. Wipe the whole mug with a clean cloth and it’s ready to be washed and used as normal.

Repair broken mug

Do you have a broken mug at home or work? Here’s an easy way to repair your mug with a couple of tools and procedures.

This technique is also done for art purposes when you break a mug purposively and then put it back together. You can use this broken mug for other purposes such as keeping pencils and other office supplies.

Method 1 – Superglue

This method is a little bit more time-consuming because you will need to apply the glue first and then put the gold ink after it dries. However, it ensures you a more accurate result because you can simply paint over any mistake that you’ve made with the superglue.

What you’ll need:

  • broken mug
  • rubber gloves
  • super glue (preferably with a nozzle)
  • gold ink or a similar gold material
  • thin paintbrush

Procedure:

  1. Wear rubber gloves for safety when handling the glue onto the broken mug. Use the superglue and start putting glue on the broken edges of the pieces of the mug.
  2. Combine the bowl pieces as they fit. Make sure all the pieces are well-aligned.
  3. Adding the gold décor onto the broken pieces is what makes the broken mug attractive despite being shattered in pieces. If you want to practice the Kintsugi Japanese art of pottery fixing, you can add gold ink or any similar gold material to the broken edges after the glue dries completely. Use a thin paintbrush to go over all of the edges of the broken mug.

Method 2 – Epoxy and Gold Ink

This method is quicker but it takes a lot of patience and delicate piecing together to avoid getting the epoxy runoff all over the mug.

What you’ll need:

  • broken mug
  • rubber gloves
  • Gorilla glue epoxy or similar brands
  • gold ink
  • a sharp object for scraping

Procedure:

  1. Wear safety gloves before handling the glue to avoid skin irritation.
  2. Combine Gorilla glue epoxy with gold ink onto a separate cardboard cutout for use in your painting. This will help the paint stick to the edge.
  3. Start applying the mixture onto the broken mug pieces and glue the pieces together. For best results, you should wait at least 10 to 15 minutes before putting each piece together. This will help keep the glue from dripping too much.
  4. Use a sharp object to scrape off any excess drip of the glue.

 

How to fix a broken mug handle

How to fix a broken mug handle

There will be a time when the mug handle is the one that’s broken. So, with nothing to hold your hot drink, how do you fix a broken mug handle? Here’s the procedure:

What you’ll need:

  • glue or epoxy
  • glue accelerator
  • broken mug and handle
  • knife or any sharp object

Procedure:

  1. Apply the glue accelerator onto the side of the mug where the handle was connected.
  2. Let it sit for 20 to 30 seconds to activate.
  3. Apply the glue on the handle edges that connect to the mug.
  4. Stick the broken handle onto the mug. Do this quickly but make sure you plan it thoroughly because you don’t have a lot of moving time to adjust the mug handle.
  5. Leave it to dry along with any excess drip from the glue.
  6. Scrape the excess glue from the mug using any knife or sharp object.
  7. Let it cure for 6 to 8 hours before washing and using as normal.

 

Can you fix a broken cup with milk?

You might find the idea of milk as a mug fixing ingredient a little weird, but is it possible? In this section, we’ll learn more about this method.

What you’ll need:

  • milk
  • saucepan
  • stove
  • broken mug pieces
  • electrical tape

Procedure:

  1. Align two broken mug pieces together.
  2. Use electrical tape to seal them together. Do the same for the rest of the mug pieces.
  3. Pour milk into a saucepan and dip the repaired mug in the milk.
  4. Boil the milk for an hour and let it cool completely for 24 hours.
  5. Peel the tape off after the curing process.

How it works: the electric tape doesn’t melt when you heat the milk in the saucepan, so don’t use any ordinary tape for it. What milk does is turn into a natural plastic when heated up due to its casein protein. Milk can be used to repair a plethora of broken items other than mugs, such as dinner plates.

How to Repair a Cracked Mug with Epoxy

If your mug has a ton of cracks and is deemed dangerous to use or to drink from, they are still repairable with certain procedures. Here’s how you can repair your cracked mug with epoxy:

What you’ll need:

  • any brand of epoxy of your choice
  • hardener
  • broken mug with pieces
  • dry cloth
  • popsicle stick
  • paper plate or cardboard
  • safety razors
  • rubber band
  • toothpick

Procedure:

  1. Look for the crack. Locate the crack on the mug but be careful not to separate it to not make it worse. It becomes dangerous once it starts to loosen so you have to make sure not to touch it if you suspect that it is too dangerous to pull apart. This is usually signified by a lack of space between the cracks.
  2. Mix hardener and epoxy together. Grab your favorite epoxy brand with a hardener and mix them both in equal amounts.

If your epoxy has a syringe applicator, use it (or you can buy an applicator separately) so that you’ll know both are in equal amounts due to the accurate measurement. Combine the epoxy solution in a paper plate or cardboard and mix them with the Popsicle stick.

  1. Open the crack a little for the room. This will serve as the place where you’ll put in the epoxy solution. Opening it up will help you put the epoxy solution properly without overfilling it or causing dripping all over the mug.

To do this properly, use the safety razor to widen the crack. Do this properly and with the supervision of an adult (if done by youngsters and teens). Move the blade back and forth to widen the crack so that you’ll have plenty of room for the epoxy to step inside the crack.

  1. Apply epoxy to the crack. Use the toothpick to apply the epoxy inside the crack that you’ve widened earlier. Always make sure to work fast because when epoxy dries, you can no longer fix it properly. It is also difficult to avoid dripping out of the crack so make sure to catch some of it before it dries and hardens.
  2. Flatten and clean the affected area. Tie up the ceramic mug to hold the crack together. Clean up any excess epoxy using the dry cloth. Be careful around the cracked area.
  3. Let it dry. Allow the ceramic drug to dry completely and then take out the rubber band. Wash and use as normal or as intended.

How to Repair a Cracked Mug with Cyanoacrylate Glue

If you are looking for a durable repaired mug, a great way to piece it together is to use cyanoacrylate glue, which is stronger than most epoxies out there. Gorilla glue is a common brand of this type of glue that most people use.

Be wary, however, that cyanoacrylate glue is usually not food-safe so it’s best to use it to repair mugs that are no longer used for the kitchen (e.g. for holding pens and pencils on your desk).

What you’ll need:

  • cyanoacrylate glue (any brand)
  • broken mug with pieces
  • dry cloth
  • safety gloves

Procedure:

  1. Use the cyanoacrylate glue on the crack or affected area of the mug.
  2. Wait for 3 to 5 seconds for the glue to soak.
  3. Wipe off the excess glue to avoid forming drips when it dries.
  4. Let the mug cure for 5 minutes or as recommended by the glue manufacturer.