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4 Genius Hacks for Making Suction Cups Stick

Having trouble making suction cups stick? Try these four home hacks.

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One empty small glass plastic bird feeder with suction cups against windowKRBLOKHIN/GETTY IMAGES

Suction cups are a must-have for so many reasons. They’re affordable, easy to use and versatile. However, we’ve all experienced frustration caused by pesky suction cups that seemingly won’t adhere. Whether it’s due to age or humid conditions, making suction cups stick can become time-consuming. Here’s the good news: Making suction cups stick doesn’t have to be as difficult as it seems.

Before you rush to your local home improvement store to pick up a new set, we’ve rounded up some tips to help. Here are some of our favorite tricks for making suction cups stick.

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Rinse the Suction Cup in Warm Water

We love a good home improvement hack, and this is one of our favorites. If you’re having trouble making suction cups stick, try submerging your suction cup in hot water. Because the heat softens the material, this is an effective trick.

To get started, you’ll just need to boil a pot of water. Once the water starts boiling, remove it from the stovetop and turn it off. Then, toss in your suction cups for half a minute. Once they’ve been completely submerged for 30 seconds, use a pair of tongs to take them out of the water. Dry them with a towel without lint and voila! You have suction cups that will adhere easier. For the best results in making suction cups stick, adhere immediately after drying them.

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Get Creative with Petroleum Jelly

If you have petroleum jelly lying around your house, you have what it takes to make this home hack happen. All you have to do is dab a little petroleum jelly into the cup and hold it in place wherever you’re attempting to stick it. Yup—it really is that simple.

You might be wondering why petroleum jelly is so effective in making suction cups stick. Because the jelly makes a seal between the wall (or tile) and the cup itself, the suction cup is able to seamlessly grip the wall. Remember: for this hack, less is definitely more. Too much petroleum jelly can actually work in reverse. (And if you don’t have petroleum jelly in your medicine cabinet, cooking oil will suffice.)

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Give the Suction Cup a Good Rinse Using Dish Soap

Sometimes residue is the culprit causing your suction cup to slip. If this is the case, try this life hack. Give your suction cup a thorough clean using dish soap. For the best results, you should use warm water, and be sure to dry the suction cup with a towel that doesn’t have lint.

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Hands in rubber gloves clean the door handle in the shower stallAllaKostomarova/Getty Images

Inspect and Clean the Area Where You Want to Adhere the Suction Cup

In some cases, the suction cup isn’t to blame for the struggles you’re facing. In fact, it could be the surface itself that’s causing the trouble. Make sure the area is clean, dry, smooth and flat. If your surface isn’t, you might experience more trouble making suction cups stick.