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Is Elmer’s Glue Same as PVA? (Read This First!)

Elmer’s glue is a common choice of people to get done with their household chores and create bonding or attach papers or other materials. It is also called white glue since it doesn’t have any added or artificial color. 

Therefore, it is also a child-friendly glue that doesn’t have anything toxic. 

When working with Elmer’s glue, you must notice that it works better with plastic, wood, and other things to bond properly. It has plastic ingredients that help this glue to work better. But you cannot use it since it’s not durable glue for commercial use.

Bear with us and find out Is Elmer’s glue the same as PVA?

Is Elmer’s glue same as PVA?

Elmer’s glue is not the same as PVA. They are different, although Elmer’s glue contains some PVA. It’s not entirely PVA glue. The PVA glue creates strong and durable bonding with its pure PVA ingredients. In contrast, Elmer’s glue is for regular usage.

You will get twist-open dispenser lids that create the main difference between the Elmer’s and PVA glue. Moreover, you will get some other ingredients with this glue that are missing in natural PVA glue. 

So, you need to consider the ingredients of these two types of glue and then compare and decide.

If you want the best components and solid glue, you should go for PVA glue. It is a solid glue that firmly bonds the plastic, wood, papers, and other materials. People or shopkeepers might say that Elmer and PVA glue are the same, but they are not precisely the same.

You cannot replace Elmer’s glue with PVA glue, but PVA glue can successfully replace Elmer’s glue. It has that power and sticky ingredients that perfectly substitute Elmer’s glue. You can use it for all the plumbing and household work.

It doesn’t mean that Elmer’s glue is unusable. You don’t need to use the PVA glue for regular jobs. It is ideal for industrial works or plumbing works. But your everyday household things will be better suited for Elmer’s glue. You shouldn’t replace it with PVA glue.  

Elmer’s clear glue:

Elmer’s clear glue is not the same as PVA glue since their purpose of use and the ingredients are different. PVA glue has all the direct glue materials to start working once it dries perfectly. 

But Elmer’s glue can be used for small edges to create bonding without a mess.

Elmer’s white glue:

Elmer’s white glue is not the same as the PVA glue since its nature and working capacity are different. Mainly, the white glue is known as the school glue or child glue. 

The PVA glue is more like the professional glue that creates durable and long-lasting bonding between wood materials.

Elmer’s carpenter’s wood glue:

Elmer’s carpenter’s wood glue is not the same as the PVA glue, although they might have similar elements. You can interchange them and use one instead of the others. But they are not indeed the same as user experiences. 

You should be careful about Elmer’s carpenter glue and the PVA glue.

Elmer’s washable school glue stick:

Elmer’s washable school glue stick is not the same as PVA glue. They are entirely different and contain various ingredients to become the best in their usage. 

If you compare these two, you will find many reasons why they are not the same. Their components, using purposes, and packaging are entirely different.

Elmer’s craft bond glue:

Elmer’s craft bond glue is not the same as the PVA glue. They contain different ingredients with some common elements. 

You may get some PVA glue with your craft bond glue, but it doesn’t mean it will become the same glue as the PVA glue for your craft bond. Therefore, you cannot interchange and use the PVA glue instead of Elmer’s craft glue.

Elmer’s glitter glue:

Since it contains some additional glues ingredients besides the PVA, Elmer’s glitter glue is not the same as PVA glue. They have different natures with different qualities. 

They are not the same if you compare their working capacity and sticky ingredients. So, you cannot interchange them and use them for common purposes.

What is Elmer’s glue made of?

Elmer’s glue is made of some PVA, propylene glycol, and polyvinyl acetate. These are the main ingredients that manufacturers use to make Elmer’s glue, although the amount of these ingredients will depend on nature and materials. 

They will vary depending on the purpose and using fabric.

If you buy Elmer’s school glue, you won’t find any hard PVA materials since the purpose is not like plumbing work. It will serve the better and optimized version of Elmer’s glue. 

If you don’t have any other choices, you must be careful about the ingredients since they will show if it is suitable for school use or regular job.

It will also vary depending on the price and brand. Some brands make Elmer’s glue-like the main PVA glue. You might find some answers that these glues convey the same ingredients. So, they are the same and can be interchanged.

Does Elmer’s glue have PVA?

Elmer’s glue has a certain amount of PVA. However, that does not make it the same thing as true PVA glue. Polyvinyl acetate, Polyvinyl alcohol, and Propylene glycol make up Elmer’s Glue, an aqueous emulsion that may be applied to various surfaces. 

The PVA adhesive is not acidic, unlike many other polymers, and it is very flexible. 

It also creates a very strong bond. The water-resistance of clear PVA glue is significantly higher than that of Elmer’s glue. Elmer’s glue tends to turn yellow with age and to deteriorate more rapidly.

How much PVA is in Elmer’s glue?

The amount of PVA and water contained in Elmer’s glue is equal. The precise recipe for Elmer’s glue is unavailable to the general public because it is regarded as Elmer’s proprietary knowledge and contains numerous different components. 

Because PVA is an emulsion soluble in water, it is beneficial for gluing porous materials, mainly wood, paper, and fabric. 

It is not composed of any solvents, but it is an effective aggregate for porous building materials such as sandstone. In addition to PVA, Elmer’s glue also includes ingredients such as polyvinyl alcohol and propylene glycol. You can make both PVA and Elmer’s glue on your own.

What is the difference between PVA glue and Elmer’s glue?

You can be confused about whether or not this glue is the same as PVA glue because it contains PVA (polyvinyl acetate) and has various applications. Below are the reasons why they are not interchangeable: 


Even though Elmer’s glue is made of PVA, it can only be used successfully in the appropriate situations. 

In contrast to clear PVA glue, Elmer’s PVA has altered its quality to make it suitable for use in lighter applications such as paper art and craft, cardboards, and small wallpapers. 

Bookbinding is another application for PVA glue due to the versatile bonding qualities it possesses. Additionally, in contrast to Elmer’s glue, it does not evaporate as rapidly and will not throw off the pH balance of the paper. 

When it comes to arts and crafts, Elmer’s glue is the one that works best. It degrades more quickly and does not have the same resistance level to water as PVA glue.


Professionals who intend to sell their work or keep it for a long time are the most common users of PVA. 

The problem with Elmer’s glue is that it tends to turn yellow over time and break down after several years, which causes the materials that it was used to glue to get unglued.

In contrast to Elmer’s glue, PVA glue does not go yellow with age and will not degrade for several decades at the very least. PVA glue can be utilized in various settings, including those in which Elmer’s Glue won’t perform as expected. 

When it comes to putting together two pieces of wood, woodworkers favor using this method over all others.

Can I use Elmer’s glue instead of PVA glue?

You cannot use Elmer’s glue instead of PVA if you’re working with plumbing works or anything related to the industry. The Elmer’s glue is mainly for internal housing purposes, whereas the PVA is mostly for industrial or plumbing works. 

But the fact will be determined by the users. You can use one instead of the others.

But Elmer’s glue is not truly PVA glue which creates the barrier of using one instead of another. You may use PVA glue if you don’t have Elmer’s glue. But if you don’t have any PVA glue for plumbing or industrial works, you cannot use Elmer’s glue for the PVA.

Final thoughts

Elmer’s glue is not the same as PVA glue; they contain different ingredients, and their purpose of use are different. Therefore, they are not the same, or you cannot interchange them to use one instead of the other. Elmer’s glue is for the people who love to do lightweight craftwork with papers.