Suction cups can help you create extra space in the kitchen or bathroom. This is especially suitable for homeowners who don’t want to drill holes in the walls. Therefore, you need to know why suction cups don’t stick to the tile and find the proper workaround. This article guides you on how to get suction cups to stick to tiles in the kitchen or your bathroom.
Why won’t suction cups stick to my shower tile?
Here are some common reasons suction cups fail to stick to tile:
- Your tiles could be wet or dirty
- Your tiles have a matte finish
- There is soap scum on the suction cups or the tile
- You’re using poor-quality suction cups
- The temperature of the tile surface is too high
How to Get Suction Cups to Stick to Tile?
When you want your suction cups to stick better and stay stuck for a long time, it is crucial to ensure that the tiles are free of dirt and soap. Clean the tiles thoroughly with warm water and soap and dry them using a dry cloth or air drying. Any small imperfections, like a few drops of water or soap on the tile, will vitiate the suction cup’s ability to stick to the tile.
Now let’s see how you can get those suction cups to stay stuck in place by applying some glue to the tile. Here are the steps you should follow:
1. Clean Using Rubbing Alcohol
Suction cups may fail to hold firmly in place due to dirt or other imperfections on the tiles or/and the suction cups. So, you should start by using rubbing alcohol to clean the suction cups and the tile surface. This is to remove any old greasy residue that has built up on the tile. In other words, if you cannot see the greasy film that may be preventing good suction, apply some rubbing alcohol to the tiles.
Remember, you can only use the alcohol as a cleaning detergent if you’re sure it’s safe on your tiles. Otherwise, you should test it in an inconspicuous first. Now that your tiles are clean, let them air dry. Avoid wiping them with a damp cloth because you may damage the suction properties of the cups.
2. Apply Petroleum Jelly
Create an airtight seal around the rim of the suction cups by applying some petroleum jelly. Don’t apply too much petroleum jelly, as it’ll lower the suction strength.
3. Use a Film of Soap
Apply a thin film of soap inside the cup to help seal it and make it airtight. The suction cup might feel slippery at first but will later on perfectly stick to the tile.
4. Use Silicone
Pour 1-2 ml of silicone over the inside of the cup, creating a spiral shape. Leave some space around the suction cup’s edges so that the silicone doesn’t spread past the suction cup. If the silicone spreads beyond the suction cup’s edges, ensure you wipe it off using a dry cloth before sticking the cup to the tile. Silicone has a soft feel and will eventually start coming off; thus, you’ll have to repeat the entire process after a few months.
5. Clean Both Surfaces
Sometimes the pliability of your suction cups may occur when the cup and the tile surface where you’re sticking it are both dirty. Wipe off any dirt and dust on the suction cup’s interior and on the surface it’s grabbing. A thin layer of white vinegar or rubbing alcohol on the inside of the suction cup helps to remove any greasy residue that may hinder good suction.
By wiping the surface clean with vinegar or rubbing alcohol, you remove the greasy residue that may block the suction cup from working correctly. When you work with a surface that has been painted, such as a painted wall, test the alcohol or vinegar on a discreet area first.
6. Use Water
Adding a small amount of water to the lip of the suction cups will increase the pliability of the cups. Rinse your suction cup thoroughly with warm tap water to soften the suction cup and increase its suction power. Shake excess water out of the cup, then press it onto the surface until its sticks. Dropping some water on the inside of a cup helps to make sure there are no air pockets that could reduce the suction cup’s pliability.
7. Oil-based Assistance
It is helpful to put some cooking oil or even petroleum jelly on the bottom of a suction cup to help it stick to a particular surface. Apply a small amount of this sticky substance to the part of the suction cup that attaches to the tile. Use only a little of it because the cup may lose its suction power if you use too much oil.
8. Use Packaging Tape
Use packing tape since it is pretty strong when it comes to sticking the suction cups to the tiles. Cut wide pieces of the packaging tape and stick them on your tile to create a nice seal. Make sure there are no air pockets on the tape. Place the cups over the packaging tape and press down to create a strong seal. However, there may be better solutions than this since the packaging tape may become loose after a few months. So, keep checking and adjusting it to ensure it is in place. If the tape is loose, re-rub it or remove it and replace it with a new piece of packaging tape.
9. Use Adhesive Disks
3M® adhesive disks are ideal for applying suction cups to a wide variety of different flat surfaces. They work very well for suction cups that do not have a good grip on them. Stick the 3M tape onto the back of the tile and hold on tightly for a few seconds to ensure that the suction cups stay stuck in place.
Bonus Tips for Success
If there are air bubbles in your suction cup, push the suction cup down and suction some air out of it. Changes in temperature and humidity can cause the suction cup to become less flexible and cause it to fall off the surface of the tile. To ensure that your suction cups will hold well, always heat them until they reach about 40 degrees Fahrenheit, as higher temperatures can cause them to become less stiff and adhere properly.
Suction Cups Alternatives
Suction cup holders are useful for holding things on the wall. However, you may decide to use something else if they keep letting you down. There is a wide range of products that you can buy to replace the suction cups that are in your bathroom. Some of these products are permanently fixed, while others are removable. If you can’t get your suction cups to stay stuck in a tile, try any of the suggestions below:
1. Adhesive Hooks
An easy-to-use sticky hook has one side that has a peel-off cover on one side and a hook on the other. When the cover is removed, you will have a surface that you can use to stick to the tile. Then you can use the hook to hang items such as towels and clothes. These hooks come in many sizes and have different strengths. They can be used on various surfaces, such as ceramic tiles or plastic.
2. Command Hook Replacement Strips
Some people prefer these strips, especially if they don’t want to leave adhesive residue on their walls. They’re so sturdy and can hold up to six pounds without screws or nails. They work perfectly on plastic, tiles, and ceramic.
3. Sticky Putty
Sticky putties are incredibly sticky adhesives that are extremely pressure-sensitive. They stick very well to all types of non-porous and painted surfaces, including ceilings, doors, and walls. Sticky putties adhere extremely well to most smooth surfaces and even the tops of painted and tiled walls. However, do not use sticky putty on thinly painted walls since the putty may cause the paint to peel off. Using it on porous walls is not recommended because the putty may get into the crevices and cause other problems.
Which is the right way of cleaning suction cups?
Suction cups stick well to almost any smooth surface, including tile. They stick more effectively when both the cups and the surfaces to which they are stuck are clean and free from dirt. If the suction cups are dirty, wash them with warm soapy water and dry them thoroughly. Clean the surface carefully before putting the suction cups on it.
How do I ensure my suction cups stick on tiles?
If the suction cups you’re using are of good quality, they should stick because they’re designed to function that way. While ordinary suction cups may not work perfectly on textured surfaces, they’ll hold properly on tiled walls. Consider cleaning the suction cups and the surface thoroughly and warming the cups or washing them with warm water to make them more pliable. You should press down the suction cups at the center and remove your finger to ensure there are no air pockets that may cause suction cup failure.
Suction cups are best for creating extra storage in spaces such as the kitchen and bathroom or when arranging a crowded space. However, getting the suction cups to stick properly can be challenging for some people, especially when trying to do it for the first time. But with the abovementioned approaches, it’s very easy to maximize the spaces in your house. The secret is pressing down on the suction cups and removing any created air pockets. But if suction cups don’t work well for you, command hook replacement strips can help you resolve the problem much faster.
Judy Battista is an interior designer who holds a bachelor’s degree in interior design from Cornell University — Ithaca, NY. Her passion for home improvement and interior design has contributed to her extensive knowledge of everything bathroom remodeling and general interior design. Judy often publishes home décor articles on several websites, including Sprucetoilets.com, Sprucebathroom.com, and Mybesuitedhome.com. She also contributes to various interior design magazines. As a skilled interior designer, Judy Battista is well versed in computer-aided design (CAD) and other technologies used in the interior design space.