The Mystery of the Non-Waterproof Hot Glue Solved

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Ted Harder said…
Very nice. I am putting together a custom hemostatic tourniquet using high durometer elastic with polyethylene hasps, and was wondering the same thing. I have immersed one prototype for a day, and everything seems to be holding well; I think I'll let it go for a week and see. Can I ask you, do you think the mechanical characteristics of the standard hot glue would be greatly affected by contact with a common laundry detergent (Tide, etc.)? I am trying to make this thing reusable (they get bloody). Thanks for your time, and your great article.
EVA is unaffected by water, dilute acids, dilute alkalis, oils, detergents, and some organic solvents. It is FDA approved for use with around food. It is inert when used inside the body. However, you mentioned that the item might get bloody and need cleaning. Conventional sterilization is out of the question. EVA cannot withstand high temperatures. I think 180F is about the maximum for EVA and that's not high enough for sterilization.
Anonymous said…
A good source for more information is the wikipedia page at as well as
That Wikipedia article above is great.
Anonymous said…
Im making a snowglobe with a jar, would regular craft hot glue sticks work? Thanks!
We are also providing waterproofing solutions in Australia. It will be pleasure if I can help you in any of your concern.
lesley wilde said…
Hi, I run a mermaid school and want to create a mirror for use underwater, which will involve hot gluing various items (shells, starfish pearls etc) to a large plastic mirror, would EVA be up to this job do you think? I don't particularly fancy fishing various articles out of the swimming pool if they come adrift (sorry not meant to be puns!)
Michael Motes said…
Thanks for posting, very informative.

I'm sorry that I completely missed your question until just now. Better late than never, I guess.

My experience is that your application will work. I've had no problems as long as I stay away from PVC insulated wires and alcohol. Alcohol will unstick ordinary hot glue almost instantly.

However, for your application I'd choose silicone RTV, also known as aquarium adhesive. You'll end up with a much more rugged product that can withstand bumps and knocks without your shells coming loose.