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Certain materials are particularly difficult to repair, and vinyl is one of said materials. Luckily, the best glues for vinyl are specifically designed to adhere well and create a long-lasting seal — often even when you need to prevent water or air from leaking out. Vinyl, also referred to as PVC, is a type of synthetic plastic which is used to make a huge range of different items from upholstery and waterproof covers to car parts, inflatable air mattresses, and yoga mats. And the right glue for you will mostly depend on what you’re trying to fix.
Before you click “add to cart,” ask yourself two questions: First, how big is the job, and second, does the item live inside or outside? This list contains three options: a heavy-duty vinyl cement for big projects and outdoor upholstery, a flexible adhesive suitable for smaller household items, and a construction glue that works on vinyl as well as most other materials. They’re all waterproof and buyer-recommended when it comes to repairing vinyl materials, but the one you choose will depend on the intended item and how much of it you’ll need.
No matter what kind of PVC you’re trying to repair, these are the three best glues for vinyl repairs, according to thousands of reviewers. And if you’d like to make things easy and mess-free, I’ve also included a vinyl repair tape alternative.
This RH Adhesives vinyl cement is super durable and designed to create a liquid-proof seal, even in fluctuating temperatures and harsh weather. It’s also clear, flexible, and comes with a brush, so you can patch outdoor upholstery, among many other things. (According to the brand, it’s designed for the “manufacture and repair of tarpaulins, pool covers, inflatables, sporting goods, footwear, furniture, flexible signs, protective coatings, flexible hose, mats, liners, industrial curtains, oil booms, tension structures, awnings, dock seals, domes, and trailer covers.”) Currently, it has a 4.5 overall rating after more than 3,500 reviewers have weighed in.
One reviewer wrote: “Our cat ended up in our pool while I was doing a skimmer repair. Nearly empty pool. Not good. We had huge slices in our liner well below the water line, numerous pin pricks [...] This adhesive will dry/begin to cure very fast. I waited no more than 20 seconds. Didn't think the rips were repairable but gave it a shot anyway. Two months later and they're still holding, not peeling up at all.”
For smaller jobs, there’s this Loctite adhesive, which is designed to repair vinyl, plastic, and fabric. While it’s also waterproof and the brand says it can be used outside, the 1-ounce tube makes it best-suited for smaller jobs like crafting, shoes, bags, air mattresses, toys, weather stripping, raincoats, and vinyl upholstery. Even when dry, it remains transparent and flexible. However, a few reviewers noted that it isn’t the most durable for items that’ll be exposed to extreme heat.
One reviewer wrote: “Bought this to repair a vinyl strap on a vintage bag that cracked and was almost completely torn through. It seems to be working quite well. It is holding together pretty well. I really like that it is flexible since the strap needs to move freely. I read up and checked out many vinyl adhesives. There are so many out there. This one was rated well and seemed to fit my needs the best.”
For a well-rounded glue that works on vinyl, but can also be used for many other materials in the future, there’s Gorilla’s heavy-duty construction adhesive. In addition to vinyl, you can also use it on wood, drywall, tile, concrete, and more. It’s a great thing to have around the house (especially for DIYers) because it bonds in 30 seconds, doesn’t have much of an odor, and is weather-resistant for outdoor projects, too. While it dries into a crystal-clear finish, you can paint over it so it blends into its surroundings.
One reviewer wrote: “This is by far the best ‘all purpose’ construction adhesive I've ever used! It does not drip or run, has ample working time, and holds extremely well. I've been using it to adhere vinyl tile to a couple of old paneled walls that have severe water stains, as well as veneer my father's old workbench with some faux wood vinyl planks.”
Finally, if you don’t want to deal with the hassle and mess that sometimes accompanies liquid glue, Tear-Aid’s vinyl repair kit comes with a tape-like adhesive instantly covers cracks, rips, and punctures. The result? A long-lasting fix that holds water, even despite sunlight, stretching, and abrasion. It can be cut to size, too.
One reviewer wrote: “I was leery of purchasing these, since I've always used a separate adhesive. The package says this ‘Type B’ takes time to fully bond, but is generally usable right away. I was entirely impressed with the bond. Immediately, the patch seems solid and the edge are locked on to the PVC.”