Suction cups are crucial when it comes to having extra storage space in places like the kitchen and bathroom. If you don’t like drilling holes in the wall, then you need to know how to get suction cups to stick to tile better.

In this article, we shall look at some of the reasons why the suction cups don’t stay stuck. We shall also talk about what you can do to ensure they stick strongly on tiles whether in the bathroom or kitchen.

Reasons why the suction cups are not staying stuck on the tile

  • You could be sticking the suction cups on dirty and wet tiles
  • The tiles have a matte finish
  • Leftover soap scum on tile or suction cups – appropriate cleaner might help.
  • Poor quality suction cups, so they never stick well no matter what you do.
  • Setting suction cups in temperatures above 40 degrees far.

Ways on how to get suction cups to stick to tile

The most important thing when you want suction cups to stick better and remain stuck for a long time is to make sure the tile is completely free of dirt and soap.

Clean the tiles with water and detergent of your choice. After cleaning dry them using a dry cloth or air dry.

Any impunities or even traces of water and soap on the tile will degrade the suction cup’s ability to stick.

Let’s look at the different ways you can get the suction cups to stay stuck on the tile.

1. Clean the tiles and suction cups with rubbing alcohol

In most cases, suction cups fail to hold due to dirt or impunities on the tile and the cups themselves.

This is why the first step is to clean both suction cups and tile using rubbing alcohol. The alcohol will cleanse any greasy film that you can’t see that may prevent good suction.

Only use alcohol if you are sure it’s safe for your tile or test it in an inconspicuous area first.

Once cleaned, let them air dry. Avoid wiping with a cloth since it may leave behind fibers that may affect the suction ability of the cups.

2. Apply petroleum jelly to create an airtight seal

Applying petroleum jelly around the rim of the suction cups helps to create an airtight seal.

Before you apply, ensure both the cups and tiles are clean.

Most importantly, use very little petroleum jelly to maintain suction strength.

3. A film of soap

First, you need to ensure that your tile is clean, then wet the inside of the cup with soapy water.

The soapy water will create a film helping to seal the cup and make it airtight.

At first, the suction cup may feel slippery due to the soap, but after holding it for a few minutes, it will stick. The bond created will be more reliable than without soap although the suctions may only hold for a while.

See also: Best antislip stickers for bathtub

4. Using silicone

Pour a fine layer of silicone on the suction cup, starting from the interior into a spiral shape.

Make sure you leave adequate space on the edges of the cup so that when you stick the suction cup, the silicone won’t spread past the cup.

If silicone has spread beyond the suction cup, just wipe the excess silicone with a cloth.

Silicone is a soft material, which may come off after a while. So after some years, you may have to redo the process.

How to Get Suction Cups to Stick to Tile Better

5. Use packing tape

You can also use packing tape since it’s quite strong to hold the suction cups on the tile.

Cut a wide piece of the tape stick it on the tile and ensure there are no air pockets.

Place the suction cups over the tape and press down to have a good airtight seal.

This is however not a permanent solution since the tape may become loose after a period of time. Thus, you will have to keep checking and ensuring the tape is in place.

If it is loose, re-rub it or simply replace it with a fresh piece of tape that has more adhesive.

6. Use adhesive disks for mounting suction cups

The 3M adhesive disks are the perfect solution for attaching suction cups directly to a variety of flat surfaces.

They are the best for surfaces like tiles where suction cups do not have a solid grip.

Simply attach the 3M adhesive disk to the tile tightly and then place the suction cup base on it.

Hold firmly for a few seconds to ensure the cups are stuck securely.

See also: Best bath mat for refinished tub

Suction cups alternatives/Substitutes

Suction cups are useful, but you may decide to use something different.

There are several alternatives for suction cups in the market some of which are permanent while others can be removed.

So, if your suction cups fail to stay stuck on tile, you can try any of the following alternatives.

Command hook replacement strips

Command Strips attach, hold, and hang without the fear of wall damage or leaving adhesive residue.

The strips can hold up to 3kgs without nails or screws.

You can use them on tiles as well as glass, ceramic, and plastic.

Adhesive hooks

An Adhesive hook has a flat side with a peel-off cover and a hook on the other.

When you remove the cover, you get a sticky surface that you can stick to your tile and then use the hook to hang your stuff.

The adhesive hooks come in several sizes and have adhesive strengths.

They are also designed to be used on different surfaces such as ceramic, plastic, or metal.

Sticky putty

Sticky putty as the name suggests is a sticky adhesive that is pressure sensitive.

It is popularly known as blu tack and is used to hang lightweight items on tiles, walls, and other dry surfaces.

Sticky putty adheres extremely well to non-porous surfaces and painted surfaces. However, avoid using it on thinly painted walls because the paint may peel off when using the sticky putty.

Also, you should not use it on porous walls since the oils from the putty may seep through and damage the wall.

Nonetheless, sticky putty is a fantastic alternative to suction cups. You can use it repeatedly without diminishing its effectiveness.


Suction cups are the best when it comes to arranging your crowded place. But do you know how to get suction cups to stick to tile? The above ways will give you amazing results. It takes only a few minutes to put your suction cups up, and once they are up, you can maximize your space.


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To succeed, you should press down on the suction cup now and then to remove air pockets. This is because temperature and humidity changes affect the suction cup, causing air pockets to develop or the cup to fall off the surface.

If any of the above methods fail to work, you can use command hook replacement strips and other alternatives to suction cups as discussed above.