Things You'll Need
Rubber adhesive suitable for the specific repair
Acetone (nail polish remover)
Rags for wiping up spills
Torn rubber products may still have some life left in them if the rip can be repaired so the items are safe to use. For example, it may not be safe to repair a substantial rip in an inflatable rubber boat, but a small torn section might be patched securely so the boat could be used again. Materials for repairing torn rubber vary with the use of the product. Basic rubber cement can be used to repair a split in a child's toy ball, although stronger, waterproof adhesives may be needed for rubber materials intended for regular outdoor use.
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Clean the torn area thoroughly with a cotton swab dipped in acetone. Allow the chemical to evaporate. The area should dry in a few minutes.
Apply a line of rubber adhesive to one side of the torn area, making sure it gets into the cracks.
Press the two torn pieces together, and align them evenly. Hold them for at least five minutes until the cement begins to bond.
Peel the protective backing off a rubber patch. Apply a few drops of cement to the surface of the patch.
Press and hold the patch to the damaged area for at least five minutes until the cement begins to set.
Allow the rubber repair to cure for at least 24 hours before using the item.
Match up the adhesive with the repair job for best results. For example, use a waterproof rubber cement for outdoor use, a silicon cement for repairing speaker cones or a basic rubber cement for repairing minor rips and tears, such as a cut in a bicycle inner tube. Patch kits help the rubber cement bond and reinforce the damaged area.
Adhesives for repairing torn rubber are highly flammable and dangerous to breathe. Use the products in a well-ventilated area.
James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.