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Glue Guide


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Elmer's Glue Guide

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Commonly asked questions.

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How can I un-clog my glue cap—what’s the proper way to clean?

The glue caps can actually be taken apart to help remove any blockage. Simply open the cap as far as it will go and then pull the orange part straight up and it should "pop" off. This should allow you to easily access any blockage. The blockage can be cleared with something like a toothpick or paper clip. You can also soak these separated parts in room temperature water which should help to more easily free up any blockage. Once clear, the orange part can simply be pressed/snapped back into position.

How is glue made?

Elmer's Glues are chemical based. They are made or formulated from chemicals which are synthesized (created by Man). These chemicals were originally obtained or manufactured from petroleum, natural gas and other raw materials found in Nature. The exact formula and specific ingredients used in making Elmer's products are considered proprietary information, therefore, we cannot share those with you.

How can I get information about the chemicals used in making glue or material safety data sheets(MSDS)?

If you have a technical question about the materials included in one of our products, click here to go to the product index.

Where can I buy Elmer's Glue?

Elmer's products are carried by a variety of major mass retailers. In addition, they can be found in many hardware, grocery, drug and school and office retail locations. To find the closest location to buy a specific product, contact Elmer's Consumer Response at

Do you use animals when making glue?

No, Elmer's does not use animals or animal parts to make glue. Our products are made from synthetic materials and are not derived from processing horses, cows or any other animals.

Why is glue sticky?

Although there are many ingredients used to make glue, most formulas contain something called polymers. A polymer is a large molecule that often is described as being a long molecular strand, much like spaghetti. Some polymers are naturally "sticky" depending on how they are made. Others require certain ingredients called tackifiers to make them sticky. One of our many challenges here at Elmer's is to be sure we have exactly the right balance of polymers and tackifiers to create a glue that is sticky and strong.

Why doesn't glue stick to inside of the bottle?

As long as the glue remains inside the bottle away from air it will remain fluid. Glue hardens when there is a loss of water from the formula. Exposure to the atmosphere will cause the water to evaporate and make the glue harden. That's why it is important to keep the cap on the glue bottle closed to prevent hardening or drying out.

I have a milk allergy, are your products safe for me to use?

Our products are derived from synthetic materials, not any type of animal or milk protein. Of course, if you experience any kind of allergic reaction, be sure to check with your doctor regardless of the type of product you are using.

How long can I keep glue?

If stored properly and capped tightly, Elmer's school glues and wood glues have an average shelf life of 2 years; Krazy Glue, also known as a cyanoacrylate, has a shelf life of approximately 12 - 18 months.

Is Elmer's glue gluten free?

All of our products are gluten free except for the Elmer's Finger Paints. The finger paints contain wheat and oat products.

Is Elmer's glue acid free?

No. Most of our glues that are acid free are labeled as such. Some of our most popular acid free products include all of our glue stick, rubber cement and spray adhesive products.

Who do we contact to request a donation in the United States?

Elmer’s is committed to giving back to the community in-kind and has established a community relations program that makes charitable contributions to qualified organizations. These donations are given to qualified 501(c)(3) non-profit groups that have been pre-determined by Elmer’s management.

Other donation requests will be considered only if your non-profit organization is located in the Central Ohio or Statesvilles, North Carolina areas.

If your organization meets the above requirements, requests for donation must be submitted in writing on your organization's letterhead.  E-mail and/or telephone requests will not be considered.  Due to the high volume of inquiries, please allow 4 - 6 weeks for a response to your request.  We cannot guarantee that each request will be honored.

For central Ohio, send requests to:                      For Statesville, NC, send requests to:
Elmer's Products, Inc.                                             Elmer's Products, Inc.
460 Polaris Parkway, 5th floor                                  2020 West Front Street
Westerville, Ohio  43082                                         Statesville, NC  28677
Attn:  Donation Requests                                       Attn:  Donation Requests

Elmer's also partners with the Kids In Need Foundation, whose mission is to ensure that every child is prepared to learn and succeed by providing free school supplies nationally to students most in need.  Please visit the Kids In Need Foundation at for more infomation and to determine if your classroom or organization is qualified to receive their assistance.

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