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How to Get Suction Cups to Stick to a Tiled Shower Wall

If you do not want to drill holes in your bathroom tiles, suction cups are a great alternative to keeping your bathroom tidy and organized.

You can use suction cups for hanging anything from blankets and loofah to a robe or even a shaving mirror.

There’s only one problem: the suction cups often don’t seem to hold. The cups either slide down or fall off completely, causing a mess.

In this article, we’ll share how to stick suction cups to tiled shower walls properly so you’ll never have to pick up your stuff from the bathroom floor again.

suction cup shower

Can Suction Cups be Used On Tile?

Suction cups work on smooth and non-porous surfaces, like tile, metal, glass, and fiberglass. But the strength of the seal between the suction cup and the shower tile will depend on how you prepped the cup and the surface and how you applied the suction cup.

Why Suction Cups Won’t Stick to Shower Tile

Ideally, suction cups should adhere to shower tiles firmly. There are several reasons why your cups won’t stay on the wall after you place them.

  • Tile surface isn’t smooth. Sticking the suction cup to a rough or textured surface is a shortcut to disappointment. Only a smooth surface can facilitate enough vacuum for the suction cup to stick firmly to shower tile.
  • Dirty tiles. Shower tiles are often slimy and greasy from soapy water and mineral deposits. Such a buildup will affect the suction of the cups, and they won’t stick to shower tile. Your suction cups are likely to fall if you have not cleaned the area where they will be placed.
  • There are air bubbles. Air bubbles get in the way of proper adhesion between the cup and the shower tile, making the suction cup more likely to slide or come off.
  • You used the suction cup to hold heavy items. Suction cups can only carry a certain amount of weight. Putting items heavier than the cup can handle will cause them to slide or fall off.
  • It’s exposed to shower water. Suction cups that are constantly exposed to water, especially warm shower water, will come off faster. You need to place the suction cup away from the direct stream of the shower water.

How to Get Suction Cups to Stick to Tiles in the Shower

These steps will help you get suction cups to stick to shower tiles and prevent them from sliding or falling.

1. Choose the Right Spot to Place Suction Cups

To make sure that the suction cups stick properly to shower tile, start by choosing a suitable surface for them. Suction cups adhere best to clean, flat, and smooth surfaces. So, you should avoid putting them along the edges of the shower tiles or on the tile grout as well as curved and textured surfaces.

2. Make Sure the Surface is Clean

Before you stick the suction cup to the shower wall, make sure the surface is thoroughly cleaned. Remove any dirt, dust, and debris that can affect the adhesion of the cup to the tile’s surface. Give your tiles a thorough cleaning using your preferred tile cleaner to remove any soap scum, mineral deposits, or debris.

Don’t forget to rinse the surface and wipe it down with a lint-free cloth. Consider wiping the surface with rubbing alcohol to remove any grime residue.

3. Clean the Suction Cups Too

The suction cup also needs cleaning. Rinse the inside of the cup with warm water and shake off the excess. But there’s no need to dry the surface. Those water droplets can help prevent air pockets from forming, giving the cup and the tile a better seal. Furthermore, warm water will help soften the cup material, so it’s easier to press down on it.

4. Apply Even Pressure

Finally, it’s time to position the cup on the clean tile surface. Remember to apply even, firm pressure against the tile, making sure there are no air bubbles between the cup and the tile.

5. Wait 24 Hours Before Hanging Items

Once you have applied the suction cup to the wall, you must wait until it has set before adding any weight. This step ensures that the cup won’t slide or fall off before completely adhering to shower tile. Give the seal 24 hours to set before you start attaching items or weights to the suction cup. Be sure to keep the cups dry during this period.

6. Choose Suction Cups With Appropriate Load

Suction cups vary in design, size, and, more importantly, absorption force, or the maximum load they can securely hold. When choosing a cup it’s best to know what you will be hanging there and its approximate weight.

up to 6.6lb
LUXEAR Suction Hooks
$7.99 ($4.00 / Count)
08/29/2023 06:12 pm GMT
up to 13lb
iRomic Suction Cups
$10.70 ($5.35 / Count)
08/29/2023 08:16 pm GMT
up to 22lb
YAMTO Heavy Duty
$16.99 ($8.50 / Count)
08/29/2023 07:02 pm GMT

More Tips for Making the Suction Cup Stick Better and Longer

These few simple tips can help ensure stronger suction, so your suction cup sticks better and lasts longer on any tiled surface.

  • Splash some water on the suction cup. A little bit of water can help boost the suction cup’s grip.

  • Use petroleum jelly on the cup. Putting a tiny amount of petroleum jelly on the cup’s surface before sticking it to the wall forms a thin, invisible layer that can ensure stronger suction. Jelly layer will prevent air bubbles but use only a little bit of petroleum jelly, or the suction cup might slide off.

  • Watch the temperature. You’re better off putting up suction cups when it’s a bit warmer to improve the cup’s flexibility. Rinse the suction cups with warm water or turn on the bathroom heater.

How to Make Suction Cups Stick to Textured Tiles

Uneven surfaces like textured tiles in the shower aren’t the best place to stick suction cups. But there’s a simple tip that could help – get some clear packing tape.

The tape should be as wide as your suction cup, if not slightly wider. If you have a larger suction cup, overlapping pieces of tape won’t work. Air will pass through the seam, and the cup will not get adequate suction.

Once you have your items ready, here’s what you can do:

  1. Clean the tile’s surface where you have decided to place the suction cup. Give the cups some cleaning as well.

  1. Cut the packing tape according to the size of the suction cup or slightly larger, then stick it to the cleaned surface.

  1. Rub the tape onto the tiled wall using your finger to get rid of as many air pockets as possible.

  1. Now, stick the suction cup to the center of the tape, making sure to give it even pressure to avoid forming air bubbles between the cup and the tape.

  1. Give it a slight tug to test it out.

While the suction cup should still hold, the tape may loosen over time. After that, you can rub the tape back onto the tile, but make sure there is no dirt or debris in the way of the adhesive.

Mandy Phillips

As a frequent contributor to top US magazines and publications in the home improvement niche, Mandy has been known for sharing her expertise on how to clean, organize, and decorate bathrooms.

Additionally, Mandy has immense experience offering lifestyle tips and tricks to her readers.

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At Loo Academy, our mission is to offer trusted advice for everything related to bathrooms (design ideas, plumbing advice, showering & bathing tips, remodeling guides, and more) — a place where we all spend a great deal of time.

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