Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Glue Made from Styrofoam

If you're curious like me, than you probably have a few questions about Glu6.  For example, how did someone come up with the idea to transform Styrofoam into glue?   How is it made?  And, does it work?  To answer the first question, the company Nine Lives Products came up with the idea by trying to solve a very important problem, "recycling Styrofoam waste".  As to how it's made, I don't really know.  There is a little blurb on the Nine Lives site that says the Styrofoam is dissolved with natural ingredients.  When it dissolves, it turns into a goop.  From that point, I couldn't tell you what they do with it.  But what I can answer is, "does it work?".

Nine Lives sent me two of their products, the non toxic craft paste and Glu6 original.  I tested out both products to see how they held up.  Here's what I discovered:

The first product I tested out was the non-toxic craft paste.  The craft paste is designed for porous and semi-porous products.  I used it to glue everything on the card above except the pom pom.  


The texture of the glue

Did not saturate the paper like some liquid glues do

Paper stayed in place when drying, did not slide around

Paper dried flat - some times you get puckering with liquid glues

Good for the environment


Strong orange scent - I'm very sensitive to smells

Even though it's recommended for children I think it would be too messy for younger kids in the classroom.   It's not water soluble so it's harder to clean off than other glues.  If there was a glue stick version of this, I would recommend the product for younger children.

The second glue I tested out was the Glu6 original.  This glue is designed for non porous products.  I decided to test out gluing various items to a plastic cup.  The objects used for the glue test were: a metal letter, a button with a rough surface, and a plastic clothespin with a flat surface.  


All products bonded to the plastic cup after ten minutes.  It is recommend that the glue sets up for 24-48 hours. 

Dries clear

Good alternative to using an extra-strength glue.  The Glu6 is a medium bonding glue.

Good for the environment


Strong orange scent

For the first couple minutes the objects need to dry flat or they move around.

Overall, I had a good experience working with the Glu6 products.  I'm sure I'll be using and experimenting with them in future craft projects. Plus, I like that the company is local (located in the Bay Area, CA).  

If you would like to learn more about Glu6, visit their official site here.  

Last but not least, I have a sale code for you. You can get 25% off  your Glu6 purchase by using the code:  Fall2013 


pearlygirl said...

I sent this post over to a friend of mine who specializes in adhesives. he said it's not what you think. here is his response

"Nothing new, just a marketing scheme. They dissolved the Styrofoam in limonene, (the strong orange smell) it’s the oil from the orange skin, it wil take the paint off your car!

People use Limonene as a glue remover.

Not non-toxic"

pearlygirl said...

I only posted the comment because you need to know what you are recommending. While it might be a good adhesive, it is not that environmentally friendly.

jessica okui said...


Thanks for sharing this information. I'm going to have to do a little research on Limonene now. I'm curious to find out more about it.


pearlygirl said...

Hi Jessica,

Thanks for taking it the right way. Another friend who makes adhesives said it could be this
"The strong orange smell referred to is probably the telouene. Also it is not very effective over longer periods on surfaces such as plastics and glass. It works best on paper/card."

I have a new product that we might be putting on the market as a decoden paste--all the stuff out there is awful and plumbers silicone breaks down over time and eats the color off rhinestones. Do you know about decoden? and if so, would you be interested in a sample of the paste?

jessica okui said...


Please send me an email



Katie said...

I definitely don't like glues that don't have the ingredients listed on them. I'm very sensitive to smells like you. (I suffer from migraines, so I'm very cautious to what I use for my crafting. I mean, give me Elmers or a hot glue gun if it prevents a migraine!) I literally looked everywhere and I cannot find the ingredients to this glue which makes me skeptical that this is "all natural."

Maybe I'm too skeptical by nature?

pearlygirl said...

No it's good to ask deeper questions. "All natural" is a very vague term. There are plenty of naturally occurring substances that are bad for you such as hydrochloric acid, lead, mercury, etc. "all natural" does not mean anything
As to glues, if you got a great one (like Elmer's) that does what you need without giving you migraines---stick with it.

jessica okui said...


The glue uses "all-natural" ingredients to dissolve the styrofaom but the Styrofoam itself is not all-natural. If you're really sensitive to smell, I would pass on this glue. I can completely relate to the migraine thing. If I use too strong cleaners, I get migraines.

Have you ever tried wheatpaste?

Katie said...

I've never even heard of wheatpaste, Jessica! Now I need to Google that. On my projects, I tend to use hot glue, Elmer's school glue (stick or liquid), a papier mache paste (I guess most would call it "mod podge" as I just mix some flour, Elmer's and water until I find a consistency I like) or if I'm working with clay, either a Sculpey clay glue or E6000 (I really loathe the E6000. SO SMELLY!)

I have used Krazy Glue...but the glue ends up on ME rather than what I'm trying to glue together as I am inevitably a crazy clumsy person. On photos, I'll use a photo glue though I don't like doing that (I'd rather copy the photo and print it out on computer paper.)

I definitely know all about the cleaner thing. We're actually looking into a company that uses only plant derived ingredients for our household cleaners instead of harsh chemicals (but actually get the kitchen cleaner) because my mom and I suffer from such bad migraines (we actually see a migraine specialist for them.) I also have Autism and those strong kitchen cleaners really irritate my skin. I'll get huge rashes. I actually use Dawn and water most often when I'm in charge of cleaning the kitchen.

jessica okui said...


I just recently learned about wheat paste too. It seems like a good alternative for people who have reactions to certain chemicals.

For cleaning, I often use a baking soda/vinegar mixture. It works great for the bathroom. Here's a link to a couple recipes that might be useful to you.


Thanks for sharing :)

Laurel Branson said...

Hey everybody,

I've used Glu6 before, and admittedly love what they are doing (no other glue can be considered sustainable, as no other glue reduces waste from the environment), but as a chemist and environmentalist, I thought to check it out myself, based on this Zakka feed.

Looks like D-limonene is included in their formula (they say so on their site: http://ninelivesproducts.com/pages/frequently-asked-questions), but it really isn't all that toxic + they do disclose what's in their ingredients.

In my opinion, even compared to Elmer's, which has a lot of greenhouse gas emissions in its production (due to lots of energy + it's made in China!) Glu6 really is the best option out there. Can I make my own glue out of wheatpaste, etc? Yes, but I wouldn't be reducing landfill waste.

Just my two cents... I will continue buying Glu6. Great dialogue, thanks.

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