How to Make Suction Cups Stick

Posted by Soko & Co on

Bathroom storage can be challenging, especially when it comes to small bathrooms or shower storage. Whether you’re in a rental home or simply don’t want to drill into your tiles, an easy bathroom storage solution could be suction hooks or a suction bathroom shelf.

Not all suction products are made the same, though. The technology has come a long way since the humble suction cup entered the scene, with some suction baskets now capable of holding up to 33 kilograms.

There are three key things to consider about suction storage products:

  1. All suction works best on smooth, non-porous surfaces like glass, mirrors, and tiles. Grout lines and painted walls are a no-go for almost all suction products.
  2. Always use a spirit-based cleaner like rubbing alcohol. Fibreglass surfaces should be cleaned with oil-free nail polish remover to remove any waxy residue, then cleaned with rubbing alcohol. Household cleaners and multi-purpose sprays actually reduce the effectiveness of most suction hooks, as they leave a filmy residue!
  3. All suction products are a temporary solution and will eventually come off. Regularly removing and reapplying the suction pads will keep your suction shower shelf or basket from falling off.

Keep reading for our top tips on how to make suction cups stay on and which ranges are worth investing in.


Vac Lock

This patented range of suction baskets is the ultimate in bathroom suction hooks and shelves. Vac Lock can be installed on anything from bathroom tiles to painted walls, with a massive 33-kilogram weight rating on non-porous surfaces like glass, mirrors, and tiles.

The vacuum seal is created by physically sucking the air out of the seal with the included pump. This is a high-quality, long-lasting mounting system that can be removed and repositioned time and time again.

How to install Vac Lock suction products:

  1. Clean the mounting surface with a spirit-based cleaner; do not use household cleaners. If mounting to fibreglass, clean the surface with oil-free nail polish remover to remove any wax residue.
  2. Remove the protective film and firmly press the suction cup to the surface with the small dot in an upright position.
  3. Place the pump on the valve and pull all the way back until you hear a loud POP. Reassemble the pump and repeat three more times.
  4. Attach the accessory and valve cap to the suction base.
  5. To remove, remove the valve cap and press the valve sideways to release the suction. Gently remove the suction base and repeat steps 1-4 to reapply.

Strength of Hold: 5/5, holds 33kg on non-porous surfaces

A matte black Vac Lock suction basket installed on a tiled bathroom wall

Turbo Lock

Slightly different to Vac Lock, Turbo Lock features an adhesive pad system that has a similarly impressive weight rating of 40kg on non-porous surfaces like glass, mirrors, and tiles.

Available in a range of suction hooks, toilet paper holders and towel rails, this versatile suction series can be removed with no messy residue.

How to install Turbo Lock suction products:

  1. Clean the mounting surface with a spirit-based cleaner; do not use household cleaners. If mounting to fibreglass, clean the surface with oil-free nail polish remover to remove any wax residue.
  2. Remove the protective film.
  3. Firmly press pads to the surface.
  4. To remove, gently lever the pad off the surface with a gentle scraper.

Strength of Hold: 5/5, holds 40kg

A white Turbo Lock adhesive suction hook strip installed on a tiled bathroom wall

i-Hook Nano Suction

The i-Hook suction system is a type of nano-suction technology that can hold up to 8kg of weight, making it perfect for holding large bottles of shampoo, conditioner or body wash. The clear acrylic panel has a large surface area which secures the product while remaining discreet.

Available in a range of shower caddies, baskets, shelves, suction hooks and kitchen organisers, this is a versatile and trusted suction storage range.

How to install i-Hook suction products:

  1. Clean the mounting surface with a spirit-based cleaner; do not use household cleaners. If mounting to fibreglass, clean the surface with oil-free nail polish remover to remove any wax residue.
  2. Remove plastic film from the back of the i-hook suction pad.
  3. Press the pad firmly onto the surface, pressing out as many air bubbles as possible.
  4. For maximum strength, wait for 24hrs before using.
  5. To remove, gently peel the pad off the surface from one corner.
  6. If dirty, wash under cold water, using only your hands to wipe away dirt.
  7. Never use cleaning agents, cloths, or scourers to wipe the adhesive layer.

Strength of Hold: 4/5, holds up to 8kg

Tip: Never use pump bottles on a suction shelf. If pumped while on the shelf, the downwards force can compromise the suction hold.

A stainless steel i-Hook suction shelf installed on a white wall


Silicone Glue

Silicone-based adhesives are trusted worldwide for their long-lasting hold and high weight ratings. Most bathroom shelves and soap dispensers with silicone adhesives can easily hold up to 9kg of weight, making them perfect for busy households.

Usually paired with waterproof tape, silicone glues are a semi-permanent solution and must be left to cure for at least 24 hours before any weight is placed on them.

How to use silicone glue products:

  1. Clean the mounting surface with a spirit-based cleaner; do not use household cleaners. If mounting to fibreglass, clean the surface with oil-free nail polish remover to remove any wax residue.
  2. Mark the location of the wall mounting plate on your surface, making sure to leave enough clearance between any taps or other fixtures.
  3. Apply double-sided tape to non-textured areas of the mounting plate.
  4. Run a wavy bead of silicone adhesive down the perforated area of the mounting plate. Cover as much of the surface as possible.
  5. Remove protective film from the tape and press it firmly to the wall. Ensure that any arrows are pointing upwards.
  6. Important: Leave the mounting bracket on the wall for 24 hours before attaching the basket or any weight.
  7. Slide basket or hook onto the mounting bracket and begin use after 24 hours.

Strength of Hold: 4/5, holds up to 9kg

A white shower soap dispenser attached to a tiled shower wall with silicone glue


Gel lock suction

A step up from a basic suction cup, these products have a tacky, gel-like coating that firmly secures to the surface and locks on. Gel lock suction cups sometimes feature a screw function that presses the pad onto the mounting surface, pushing out air. Use this suction type on smooth, non-porous surfaces like glass, mirrors, and tiles, for loads of up to 3kg.

This suction system is used by well-known brands like Joseph Joseph and Umbra and is perfect for suction shower shelves with light to medium-weight applications.

How to install Gel Lock suction products:

  1. Mount sucker onto a flat, glossy tiled surface, avoiding any grout lines.
  2. Clean the mounting surface with a spirit-based cleaner; do not use household cleaners. If mounting to fibreglass, clean the surface with oil-free nail polish remover to remove any wax residue.
  3. Insert brackets into the shelf.
  4. Slightly loosen knobs on the back of the suckers.
  5. Place shelf onto the wall, ensuring it is horizontal.
  6. Push each knob and tighten to stick suckers firmly to the wall.

Strength of Hold: 2/5, holds up to 3kg

Tip: To maintain suction hold, remove and reapply every 3 months.

White gel lock suction pads

 


Traditional suction cups

These are the most common type of suction cups out there, and they’re great for small, day-to-day tasks like holding a hand towel or a bar of soap. Suitable for smooth, non-porous surfaces like glass, mirrors, and tiles, simply clean, stick and use.

This type of suction bathroom shelf is perfect for storing lightweight items but is not suitable for long-term storage of heavy bottles.

How to install suction cups:

  1. Clean the mounting surface and suction cups with a spirit-based cleaner; do not use household cleaners. If mounting to fibreglass, clean the surface with oil-free nail polish remover to remove any wax residue.
  2. Firmly press suction cups to remove all air.
  3. Do not place any weight on the product for 24hrs.

Strength of Hold: 1/5

Tip: To maintain suction strength, remove and reapply every 3 months.

A clear plastic suction cup installed on a tiled bathroom wall


Bonus: Over the door shower caddy

If suction isn’t quite right for you, why not consider an over-the-door shower caddy? These can be hung over shower screens or doors of almost any size, and some offer up to three times as much storage space as individual suction shelves and baskets.

How to install an over-the-door shower caddy:

  1. Hang the caddy over your shower screen.
  2. Some caddies have a suction cup to prevent swinging. If your caddy has any suction cups, clean the mounting surface with a spirit-based cleaner; do not use household cleaners.
  3. Firmly press the suction cup/s to the mounting surface and leave for 24hrs with no weight in the caddy.
  4. That’s it!

Strength of Hold: 5/5

A rust-proof aluminium shower caddy hanging over a shower screen in the bathroom

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