Is Elmers glue waterproof when dry?

Are you tired of watching your hard work fall apart at the first sign of moisture? Do you want to know if Elmer’s glue is truly waterproof when it dries? Look no further.

Elmer’s glue is a go-to adhesive for DIY enthusiasts, school projects, and even household repairs. But is it really waterproof or just water-resistant? We’re here to get to the bottom of this sticky situation.

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the nitty-gritty details of Elmer’s glue’s composition, adhesive strength, and performance in various environments. We’ll explore whether it can hold up against rain, humidity, or accidental spills.

But that’s not all – we’ll also share some insider tips on how to make Elmer’s glue more waterproof and suggest some powerful alternatives for those extra-tough projects.

Join us on a journey to uncover the truth about Elmer’s glue – will it stand up against the elements or crumble under pressure? Keep reading to find out how to ensure your crafts stay intact no matter what comes their way.

What is Elmers Glue?

Elmer’s glue is a beloved brand of adhesive that has been used for decades in arts and crafts, school projects, and DIY projects alike. It was first introduced in 1947 by the Borden Company and was named after its creator’s wife, Elmer.

So, what exactly is Elmer’s glue made of? The answer is polyvinyl acetate (PVA), a synthetic polymer that is water-soluble before it dries. When you apply Elmer’s glue to a surface, the water in the glue evaporates, leaving behind a solid and sticky substance that binds two surfaces together.

There are several types of Elmer’s glue available, each with their own unique properties and uses. White glue, the most commonly used type, is perfect for materials such as paper, cardboard, and fabric. Clear glue works similarly but dries transparently, making it ideal for glass or plastic projects. Washable glue is designed for easy cleaning with water and is perfect for children’s projects. Finally, wood glue has a stronger bond than white or clear glue and is specifically designed for use on wooden surfaces.

It’s important to keep in mind that while Elmer’s glue may resist some water when it’s dry, it’s not completely waterproof. This is because PVA emulsion, the primary component of Elmer’s glue, dissolves in water. However, there are variations of Elmer’s glue available that claim to be more water-resistant than others thanks to the addition of special additives.

Is Elmers Glue Waterproof When Dry?

Then you might want to know whether Elmer’s glue is waterproof when dry. As an expert on this topic, I am here to share some valuable insights with you.

Elmer’s Glue is a well-known brand of school glue that is commonly used for various arts and crafts projects. However, this glue is not entirely waterproof when dry. The reason behind this is that it is made from a water-soluble polymer that dissolves in water. Although it might hold up to some extent of moisture, it will eventually break down and lose its adhesive properties when exposed to water or any other liquid.

Once the glue dries, the water evaporates, and it leaves behind a solid adhesive. However, if the glue comes into contact with water again, it will start dissolving and lose its hold. While it may resist some water when dry, it won’t remain waterproof over time.

The good news is that there are variations of Elmer’s glue available in the market that are marketed as “water-resistant” or “waterproof.” These types of glue are formulated with stronger adhesives and are designed to hold up better against moisture. However, they may not be entirely waterproof and may still break down over time.

Suppose you require a strong adhesive for your project that will be exposed to moisture. In that case, it is best to choose a glue that is specifically designed for water resistance or waterproofing. While Elmer’s glue may work for certain projects, it is not the best choice for long-term durability in wet conditions.

The Reason Why Elmers Glue Is Not Completely Waterproof

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Elmer’s glue is a popular brand of white glue known for its strong adhesive properties. It is made from polyvinyl acetate (PVA), a synthetic polymer that can stick to a variety of surfaces when wet. However, once the glue dries, it forms a film that is relatively impermeable to water but not completely waterproof.

The reason for this is that the PVA molecules in the glue are attracted to each other and form a network when they dry. Although this network is relatively strong, it still has gaps between the molecules that allow water molecules to pass through. Therefore, when Elmer’s glue comes into contact with water, it may start to break down and lose its hold.

Moreover, Elmer’s glue may contain other ingredients that can break down when exposed to water, further weakening its adhesive properties. Consequently, it is best used for applications where it will not be exposed to water or moisture.

However, if you need to use glue for an application where water resistance is crucial, such as outdoor woodworking or marine applications, there are other types of glue available that are specifically designed for these purposes. These types of glue often contain additives that make them more resistant to water and moisture, ensuring a strong and long-lasting hold even in wet conditions.

In conclusion, while Elmer’s glue may hold up to some extent of moisture, it will eventually dissolve and lose its adhesive properties when exposed to water or any other liquid. Therefore, if you want your project to withstand wet conditions, make sure to choose a specialized glue formulated for this purpose.

Variations of Elmers Glue That Claim to Be More Resistant to Water

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The fact that it’s water-soluble can be frustrating in some instances. Luckily, Elmer’s has come up with variations of their glue that claim to be more resistant to water. Let’s dive in and see what they have to offer.

First up is Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Glue Max, which is specifically designed for woodworking projects and boasts being waterproof when dry. Its strong adhesive formula dries clear and can be sanded or painted over once dry.

Not only that, but this glue also claims to be resistant to heat, mold, and mildew, making it perfect for outdoor woodworking projects that are bound to get wet.

The Washable School Glue is another variation of Elmer’s glue that claims to be more resistant to water. Although it was marketed towards kids and designed to wash out of clothes easily, it also claims to be water-resistant when dry. It’s non-toxic and safe for children to use, which makes it a popular choice for school projects.

For those looking for a stronger hold in wet conditions, Elmer’s offers a range of “Xtreme” glues that claim to have superior strength and water resistance. The Xtreme School Glue is designed for use on paper, cardboard, and fabric and claims to be water-resistant when dry. The Xtreme Craft Glue is designed for use on a variety of surfaces, including wood, metal, plastic, and ceramics.

How to Choose the Right Type of Glue for Your Project

Are you starting a new project that requires bonding materials together? Choosing the right type of glue can make all the difference in the outcome of your project. Here are five factors to consider when selecting the perfect adhesive:

  • Materials: The first thing to consider is the materials you will be bonding together. Different types of glue work better on certain materials than others. For example, if you’re working with wood, opt for a wood glue, and if you’re working with plastic, choose a super glue or epoxy. This ensures that the bond is strong and long-lasting.
  • Strength of Bond: The strength of the bond is also crucial. If you need a very strong bond, such as for structural repairs, choose a two-part epoxy or polyurethane adhesive. For temporary bonds like craft projects, a glue stick or white glue may be sufficient.
  • Specific Requirements: Consider any specific requirements for your project. If your project will be exposed to water or other liquids, you’ll need waterproof glue. If it will be exposed to high temperatures, such as in automotive applications, a heat-resistant adhesive is necessary.

  • Drying Time: The drying time of the glue is another important factor to consider. Some glues dry quickly, while others take longer to set. If you need something that will dry quickly so you can move on to the next step of your project, make sure to choose a fast-drying adhesive.
  • Waterproof: Finally, it’s essential to consider whether or not you need your glue to be waterproof when dry. If your project will be exposed to water or moisture, go for waterproof adhesives like epoxy or polyurethane glue.

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Also Read: Is Elmer’s Glue Waterproof?


In conclusion, Elmer’s glue has been a go-to adhesive for generations of crafters and DIY enthusiasts. However, it’s important to note that this popular glue is not completely waterproof when dry, thanks to its water-soluble polymer composition. While it may hold up against some water exposure, prolonged contact with liquids will eventually break down the bond.

Thankfully, Elmer’s has developed specialized variations of their glue that claim to be more resistant to water. These include the Carpenter’s Wood Glue Max, Washable School Glue, and Xtreme glues – all formulated with stronger adhesives designed to withstand moisture.

When selecting the right type of glue for your project, consider factors such as the materials being bonded together, required bond strength, specific project requirements (such as exposure to water or high temperatures), drying time, and whether waterproofing is necessary.

In summary, while Elmer’s glue may work well for certain projects that won’t be exposed to moisture in the long term, it’s not the best choice for long-term durability in wet conditions. For projects requiring a strong adhesive that will stand up to moisture exposure over time, choose a specialized glue formulated for water resistance or waterproofing.