Does Elmers Glue Work on Plastic

Does Elmer’s Glue Work on Plastic? Alternatives Explained

Ever had trouble finding the right glue for your plastic repairs or crafts? Elmer’s Glue is a household name, but does it hold up when it comes to bonding plastic? Does, Elmer’s Glue work on plastics?

We will explain everything you need in this comprehensive article.

Does Elmer’s Glue Work on Plastic?

Elmer’s Glue can work on certain types of plastic. However, its effectiveness depends on the specific type of plastic and the intended use. Elmer’s Glue is a type of PVA (polyvinyl acetate) glue, which is generally not recommended for use on plastic due to its limited bonding strength and flexibility on plastic surfaces.

Elmer’s Glue can work well with certain porous plastics, such as polystyrene and polyethylene, which allow the glue to penetrate and create a stronger bond. However, it may not stick as effectively to non-porous plastics like PVC or acrylic.

Why Does Elmer’s Glue Not Recommended For Plastics? 

Elmer’s Glue is not recommended for plastics primarily due to its composition and adhesive properties. As we mentioned earlier, this is a type of PVA glue, which is designed to bond porous materials like paper, cardboard, and wood.

Plastics, especially non-porous plastics like PVC, acrylic, and certain types of polyethylene, do not provide the ideal surface for PVA glue to adhere effectively.

PVA glue requires a porous surface to penetrate and create a strong bond. Plastics are typically smooth and non-porous, making it difficult for PVA glue to bond securely. Additionally, PVA glue may not be flexible enough to withstand the stresses and movements that plastics often experience, leading to a weaker bond that can easily fail.

For bonding plastics, we recommend using adhesives specifically designed for plastic bonding, such as cyanoacrylate (super glue) or specialized plastic adhesives. These adhesives are formulated to bond effectively to plastics, providing stronger and more durable bonds compared to PVA glue.

How to Choose the Right Type of Glue for Plastics?

As you now know using Elmer’s glue might not be the ideal choice for your plastic projects, let’s take a minute and see what aspects you should consider when selecting a glue brand that is suitable for plastics. 

Plastic Type

Identify the type of plastic you are working with. Plastics can be broadly classified into two categories: thermosetting plastics (e.g., acrylics, polystyrene) and thermoplastics (e.g., PVC, polyethylene). Each type requires a different adhesive.

Adhesive Compatibility

Ensure the adhesive is compatible with the specific type of plastic you are bonding. Some adhesives work better on certain types of plastics than others. Remember? Elmer’s Glue doesn’t work with all types of plastics.

Bond Strength

Consider the strength of the bond required for your application. Some adhesives provide a stronger bond than others, depending on the type of plastic and the conditions the bond will be exposed to.

Application Method

Choose an adhesive that is suitable for your application method. Some adhesives come in liquid form, while others are available as tapes or films. Depending on the project you have on your hand, go for an adhesive that suits your requirements. 

Alternative Adhesives for Plastic if Elmer’s Glue Doesn’t Work

In the below-mentioned chart, we have considered some plastic types and the most ideal adhesive type for your observation.

Plastic Type Ideal Adhesive Brands & Variants Example Objects
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) PVC Cement Oatey PVC Cement, Christy’s Red Hot Blue Glue PVC pipes, fittings
Acrylic (Polymethyl Methacrylate) Acrylic Adhesive IPS Weld-On, SCIGRIP Acrylic sheets, display cases
Polyethylene (PE) Polyethylene Adhesive 3M Scotch-Weld DP8005, Permabond TA4605 Plastic bottles, containers
Polypropylene (PP) Polypropylene Adhesive Permabond TA4610, Loctite Plastics Bonding System Car parts, food containers
ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) ABS Adhesive IPS Weld-On 16, SCIGRIP 4 Lego bricks, automotive trim


What types of Surfaces Does Elmer’s Glue Stick to? 

Here are some of Elmer’s prominent products and the surfaces they are designed to adhere to.

Elmer’s School Glue: This classic white glue is designed for use on paper, cardboard, and other porous materials. It is commonly used in schools and for crafting projects.

Elmer’s Wood Glue: This glue is specifically formulated for use on wood surfaces. It provides a strong bond that is ideal for woodworking projects.

Elmer’s Glue-All: This versatile glue is suitable for a variety of surfaces, including paper, cardboard, wood, fabric, and ceramics. It is a general-purpose adhesive that can be used for a wide range of projects.

Elmer’s CraftBond: This line of Elmer’s adhesives includes various types of glue, such as tacky glue, spray adhesive, and gel glue, designed for different crafting needs. They can adhere to various surfaces, including paper, wood, fabric, and more.

Elmer’s Krazy Glue: This is a super glue that provides a strong, instant bond on a variety of surfaces, including plastic, metal, rubber, and ceramic.


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *