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What is the difference between PVA glue and Elmers glue? Answered

What is the difference between PVA glue and Elmers glue?

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Re-design

9 years ago

I was just going to say that Elmers is made by a cow. I'm glad you knew the right answer.

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chemanticsRe-design

Answer 9 years ago

Actually, Elmers glue is entirely derived from petroleum products. This is from their FAQ: "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. "

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celler1chemantics

Reply 7 weeks ago

I think what they were saying when they said "made by a cow" was a reference to their logo. Made by, not made from. After all, there is a cow in their logo.

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CrispyDog

5 months ago

Great answer. Thank you.

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TracyG30

2 years ago

Speaking as a mother who has a kid that would rather make crafts than go out and play. Seriously they had to make her stop to go out for recess. I have paper crafts that my kid made 10 yrs ago with elmers that although they are dusty the paper has not broken down and my daughter used ALOT of glue. Not a scientist though. I have a major in Science and accounting intending to go into forensic accounting. Somehow I ended up in the financial sector. At any rate I have young boy who is now 9 and loves science projects. So on that note he wants to make crazy putty which calls for PVA glue. Would elmers glue all work for that or am I going to need to hunt down a bottle of PVA Glue. I am going to use this for a cub scout activity and would really like this to work out.

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AngelaN43TracyG30

Answer 7 months ago

Yes! Elmer's school glue/glue all (Clear or white) contains PVA so it is a PVA glue. It would be fine to use Elmer's school glue for this putty.

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rescue28k92

8 months ago

i want to make my own clay and they say to use PVA glue, can i use Elmers-all?

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DAYJAY

2 years ago

What a great answer! Thank you for the whys and wherefores... love knowing how stuff works! (pH refresher spot on.)

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uhmgawa

2 years ago

Very interesting post. So if a mildly acidic PVA is chemically optimum for bonding to cellulose, this would suggest pH-neutral glues to be little more than a marketing ploy with respect to bonding uncoated paper. However the concept to market the acid free version likely had some basis for originating. I'm speculating here but it may have been due the slightly acidic affects of some PVA compounds in the case of photo print paper where it may have more easily caused a visual effect on the image emulsion vs. a structural effect on the paper. Thoughts?

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xrockyo

3 years ago

Question, someone suggested I could coat plain craft foam(purchased at Michael's) in PVA glue. I suppose Elmer's Glue or something similar will suffice. Well, my question is, will it damage the craft foam at all?? My plan is to simply coat it all before painting it with acrylic paints. The whole point is so that the acrylic paint won't crackle or flake off :/

Halp?

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tellmegxrockyo

Answer 2 years ago

modpodge will give you a waterproof seal, an option of glossy or matte texture and save you on paint since the acyrlics won't soak so deeply into the porous texture of the foam's surface. ??? Best Wishes'

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GailW23

2 years ago

I've been using Elmers glue mixed with food colouring to create a sea glass effect on clear glass objects, but I've discovered that PVA is much cheaper. Will it do the job - does anyone know? If not, I'll just have to buy some PVA and experiment.

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threadbare

2 years ago

That is the best answer ever! Quite thorough and very interesting. Honestly it was almost sexy. But then again science rocks my world.
The end of the message seemed a little cold. I wish it would have ended with the great information and been a little more open for further questions. Still, thanks for taking time to share your knowledge, it is genuinely appreciated.

-Shelece

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chemantics

9 years ago

Elmers glue is PVA (PVAC) based - but has lots of other stuff (tackifiers and solvents), and has a pH of 5 (meaning it is acidic). For book binding, I would definitely recommend using a pH neutral PVA based glue that is specific to book binding. The acid in Elmers has a nice way of breaking down the cellulose in paper over time, and who knows what the other ingredients might do.

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GarrasPchemantics

Answer 3 years ago

Those other ingredients will cause cancer. Or obesity, or both if the user is a paste eater....Yuck!

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KaylaA2chemantics

Answer 3 years ago

I did some research and found that elmers has an acid free glue. Reviews say that it can be used on paper. What would you say?

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chemanticsKaylaA2

Answer 3 years ago

Hi Kayla,

I looked at the "Craft Bond Fabric and Paper Glue" that is acid free. Looks okay, depends how sure you want to be. Acid free doesn't mean pH neutral though... this particular glue has a pH of 8.8, making it basic.

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Burfchemantics

Answer 9 years ago

Wouldn't that apply to any cellulose product, eg. wood? My mother has a popsicle stick jewellery box I made for her about 40 years ago using Elmer's white glue. Other than re-gluing a couple of the sticks that were knocked off over the years, there is no evidence of any acidic deterioration that I have seen.

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lemonieBurf

Answer 9 years ago

Paper is different to wood, it's thinner and heavily processed. L

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Yonatan24

2 years ago

Holy-Cow! This has over 150K views!

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threadbareYonatan24

Answer 2 years ago

Sweet! It is good information, with a lot of knowledgeable people participating.

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barbra.fite

3 years ago

I used PVA glue to seal a craft foam ball several years ago and then covered it with mosaics. That worked well but it did take several coats of the glue to seal it.

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swampygirl

4 years ago

A project making sand bowls specifys Elmers white glue.
Can't get it in UK unless its shipped over from USA and the shipping cost makes it expensive.
I thought general PVA glue the sort used in kindergartens, schools etc would be ok.
Can anyone advise.
Thanks!

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Jim Davidsonswampygirl

Answer 4 years ago

PVA = Polyvinyl Acetate...Don't worry about the brand name. It's essentially white craft glue. "Elmer's", actually has a higher than average Ph than most PVA's and depending on the wood you plan on using, it might cause staining...hope this helps.

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MikeHungerford

7 years ago

According to the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for Lineco pH Neutral PVA Adhesive, its pH is between 4.0 and 6.0, while Elmer's Glue-All is between 4.8 and 5.1 according its own MSDS.

I expect that Elmer's Glue-All is sufficiently "pH neutral" for most purposes.

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MikeHungerfordMikeHungerford

Answer 7 years ago

Jade 403, on the other hand, is 7.1 to 7.3, so which PVA you use *is* important for archival purposes.

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Burf

9 years ago

None. Elmer's glue is PVA glue, poly vinyl acetate.

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threadbareBurf

Answer 9 years ago

So when doing book binding and it says to use PVA glue, I would be just fine using Elmer's?

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kelseymhthreadbare

Answer 9 years ago

I think Chemantics deserves Best Answer :-)

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Burfthreadbare

Answer 9 years ago

Possibly, the formulation is basically the same for all PVA glues but the purity may vary due to the manufacturer's quality control process. I have pretty much limited my use of PVA to two brands, Elmer's and Titebond with no discernible difference, except Elmer's seems slightly more viscous than Titebond. I've seen some Chinese made PVAs in the dollar store but never used them, the price difference between them and the Elmer's and Titebond is negligible.