Is Elmer’s Glue Waterproof? Expert Answer

When it comes to crafting and DIY projects, Elmer’s Glue is a household name. It’s versatile, easy to use, and has a strong bond. But one question that often comes up is whether Elmer’s Glue is waterproof. 

We will explore the truth behind this common query in this guide.

Understanding Elmer’s Glue

Elmer’s Glue, commonly known as white glue or school glue, has been around for over 70 years. It is a non-toxic adhesive made with a water-based formula. This type of glue is designed to bond porous materials such as paper, cardboard, fabric, and certain types of wood.

Is Elmer’s Glue Waterproof?

Elmer’s Glue is not entirely waterproof. It is considered water-resistant when fully dried. While it can withstand occasional splashes or exposure to moisture, continuous water exposure can cause it to lose its adhesive properties and weaken over time.

Therefore, it is not suitable for projects that will be consistently exposed to water or submerged in water for extended periods.

The Waterproof Myth

There is a common misconception that Elmer’s Glue is entirely waterproof. However, the truth is a bit more complicated. While Elmer’s Glue is water-resistant when dry, it is not completely waterproof.

This means that when exposed to water, Elmer’s Glue may lose its adhesive properties and weaken over time.

Does Elmer’s Glue Dissolve in Water?

Yes, Elmer’s Glue can dissolve in water. It is a water-based adhesive made with polyvinyl acetate (PVA) as its primary ingredient. PVA glue, including Elmer’s Glue, is soluble in water, which means it can dissolve when in contact with water.

This property allows for easy cleanup as the glue can be washed away with soap and water when still wet.

Water-Resistant Properties

Elmer’s Glue does have some water-resistant properties, which makes it suitable for certain applications. When fully dried, it can withstand moisture to a certain extent.

This makes it suitable for use on projects that may come into contact with occasional splashes or moisture, such as school posters or crafts stored indoors.

Is Elmer’s Glue Washable?

Yes, Elmer’s Glue is washable. It is designed to be easily washable with soap and water while it is still wet. This makes it convenient for craft projects, school projects, and other DIY applications where cleanup is required.

Once the glue dries, it forms a solid bond and becomes more difficult to remove without damaging the surface.

What Happens When You Mix Elmer’s Glue and Water?

When Elmer’s Glue is mixed with water, the water disrupts the glue’s adhesive properties and alters its viscosity.

The glue becomes thinner and more liquid-like as the water is incorporated. However, it’s worth noting that diluting Elmer’s Glue with water can weaken its bonding strength and affect its performance.

It is generally recommended to use Elmer’s Glue in its original form or follow the manufacturer’s instructions for dilution if specified.

How to Make Elmer’s Glue Waterproof

To make Elmer’s Glue more waterproof, you can apply a waterproof sealer or coating over it once it has fully dried.

There are various waterproof sealers available on the market that can be applied over the dried glue to provide a protective layer against moisture.

It is important to follow the instructions provided with the specific waterproof sealer or coating to ensure proper application and effectiveness.

Which Glue Is Strong and Waterproof? (Alternatives)

If you need glue that is both strong and waterproof, there are several options available. Epoxy resin is often regarded as a strong and waterproof adhesive.

It forms a durable and waterproof bond on a variety of materials. Silicone-based adhesives or sealants are also known for their waterproof properties and strong adhesion.

Additionally, some specific waterproof glues, such as those designed for marine applications, offer both strong bonding and resistance to water exposure. It’s always recommended to read the product labels or consult with experts to select the appropriate glue for your specific needs.


While Elmer’s Glue is a fantastic adhesive for many projects, it is not entirely waterproof. It is water-resistant but has limitations when it comes to continuous water exposure. For projects that require a waterproof bond, it is recommended to explore other adhesive options specifically designed for such applications.

So the next time you reach for a bottle of Elmer’s Glue, be sure to consider the level of water exposure your project might encounter.

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