We all use foam in our daily lives. Many household items such as mattresses, couches, cushions, and so on, contain foam. It is not only used as filling but also as padding items and for insulation. Foam in certain forms is also commonly used as a building material, based on its feather-light weight, flexibility, and affordability.
Therefore, it is only natural that those who practice DIY techniques find it difficult to glue foam. Using the wrong glue for foam will end up in a disaster, especially if the glue you use stains your foam; or worse, melts it. Those who are working with foam for the first time may find themselves confused about which glue to use, as there is no shortage of glues in the trade. In this article the Cleaning King team have assessed the best glues that are available for foam, and what exactly you need to keep in mind while doing this.
Why it is important to choose the best glue for foam
The versatility of foam is why it is so beloved to many of us. It can be used for furniture, to make costumes, in arts and crafts, and much more. Foam is also porous, though, which is why it is difficult to glue foam. Using daily-use glue can probably solve your problem but this is just a short-term solution. To bind your foam firmly, you will need to choose the best kind of adhesive that is compatible with the foam.
How Glue and Foam React
Not all glue will have the same effect on foam. Adhesives like hot glue might burn foam or cause it to take a different shape. Foams have unique molecular and chemical structures. Depending on the type of foam, open-cell, or closed-cell, they will react differently to glue.
Adhesives are used for foam when you need to glue the material so that it lasts and does not come off easily. For example, adhesives are commonly used to fix foam to walls or ceilings as a form of thermal insulation. Special adhesives are also available for different purposes such as in schools or hospitals. Similarly, acoustic foams are also available, which provide insulation from the sound. For textiles, spray adhesives are available for affixing the textile on foam.
We at Cleaning King have researched and compiled some products so that you can decide easily which glue will suit the foam you are working with!
This spray adhesive from 3M is devised specially for foam and textiles. The lace spray dispensing style is designed in a way to enhance foam bonding. This spray offers the most competent and effective strength that is needed for the application. Materials that are compatible with this adhesive spray are wood, plastic, fabric, metal, and foam. The best part about this specific spray is that it dispenses clear glue without leaving a yellowing stain during application.
However, the adhesive may still contain toxic materials and even if nearly no mist is produced, it cannot be completely avoided.
The process of glue application is simple and can be done within no time. It only needs to be sprayed on.
This glue can be used to bond different materials, and
3M Foam is age and weather resistant.
The clear color of the glue ensures that the adhesive seams are transparent.
A negligible amount of spray mist is produced.
Beacon Hold the Foam Glue is one of the cheapest glues available in the market. IT bonds together foam firmly and is easy to use. Beacon Glue is also compatible with cardboard, fabric, wood, paper, beads, and more. One of its best features is that it dries up instantly and is non-toxic. The glue can also easily be cleaned with water.
If you are looking for an adhesive that works well with any material, Weldwood Contact Cement is the most affordable and easy to use one!
This contact cement is nothing but a rubber-based adhesive that can easily bond different kinds of material with each other instantly. For example, if you are looking to bond foam and wood, this glue will help the bond strength between the two materials.
With Weldwood contact cement, you do not need any additional clamps or fasteners.
Loctite PL 300 Foamboard is a construction adhesive that is specifically used to bond foam. A standard caulk gun is required to dispense this glue. Alternatively, a pressurized applicator with a trigger easy for dispensing glue can be purchased alongside the construction adhesive. This glue binds together different materials, both porous and non-porous. This is a fine glue for modeling, crafting, and construction.
This glue also dries instantly, which removes the need for one to hold the materials together till they firmly bind together. Another plus is that it works well on wet surfaces, too.
Rated as one of the most versatile glues, Elmer’s glue is mainly used for wood but can be used to bond almost any material.
It cleans up quickly, is easy to use, and will adhere to any surface. This is also a non-toxic glue and will not leave around any toxic fumes. If you happen to have some Elmer’s wood glue around the home and don’t want to buy something new, this once could potentially do the job for your foam.
If you want to use foam for insulation, this is the best product to use. Dow Insulating Foam Sealant is a product that works as a sealant and as an adhesive.
However, this product also has the tendency to get a little watery and does not expand very well.
Sprayway Fast Tack Foam and Fabric Adhesive is a cheap and fast spray glue which has multiple applications. The can is quite long lasting and it can be used on any material such as wood, foam, fabric, or metal.
Note that this spray can not be used to bond vinyl.
Preparing the surface:
The process of gluing:
Spray adhesives are possibly one of the most sought after glues when it comes to handling foam. The reason behind this is that it does not react badly with foam, it does not leave behind stains since the color is clear, and moreover, the consistency of spray adhesives is lightweight and will not affect the weight of the foam.
While dealing with sprays, ensure that your work area, or the place you are sticking the foam, is fully covered with newspapers. Spray adhesive is very hard to get off, and there’s a good chance your work area might remain sticky for a long time.
While this is a viable option, it has some downsides. Hot glue will react with foam, making it melt a bit. This is not due to a chemical reaction but a natural phenomenon due to the heat of the glue. However, it is still an effective option for foam materials where the hot glue will not be exposed.
Wood glue can be used as an alternative to spray adhesives or in place of it. It carries the same amount of strength, if not more and wood glue is usually packaged in small tubes which can make application easier. This kind of glue does not react badly with foam. if you are experimenting with foam or if you are a do-it-yourselfer, then it would be useful to try wood glue.
This kind of adhesive is used when you wish to assemble multiple pieces of foam together, especially to create a thick insulation sheet. This can be a decent choice for insulation form as it blends in well with foam without disrupting the material. Mod Podge could be described as a contact adhesive, but with lesser strength.
While you can use hot glue for binding together materials if you have some lying around or if you need to bind something urgently, but if you are looking to buy a new glue to specifically work with foam, it’s better to use a low-temperature gun glue. Hot glue can melt or change the shape of the foam depending on how much is used. Low-temperature glue is great for binding together smaller objects, for example, beads on a foam slipper.
If you want a glue that only works the best for foam, avoid buying a glue that is made specifically for other materials like wood, especially if you have never experimented with such a glue before. This is because you do not know how it will react with the kind of foam you have. It may work but it is better to choose a glue that is formulated for foam solely.
Glues that consist of plastic solvents can be avoided, too. Foam is essentially made of plastic material which can make it susceptible to the plastic solvent in glues. Sometimes the potency of a particular glue can completely melt your foam. Ensure that the glue you purchase does not contain acetone and alcohol, especially if you are using styrofoam. For example, rubber cement glues can completely melt the styrofoam. However, you can still purchase styrofoams that do not have alcohol or acetone.
If you wish to remove adhesives from foam, use a blow dryer. Blow-dry the surface you wish to remove the glue from and do this in an even manner. During this process, you will notice that a lot of moisture is being released so it is advisable to wear a mask and goggles to protect yourself from toxic fumes. Do this outdoors or in a room with good ventilation so that you can avoid breathing in the fumes.
If you are working with insulation foam or acoustic foam, it is now possible to purchase self-adhesive foam sheets. All you need to do to make this work is strip off the plastic film from the adhesive foam and affix it onto the other material you wish to use. Ensure that the second material is free of dust, oil, and water.
The glue that we recommend is the 3M Foam Fast 74! This spray adhesive can be best used with these varieties of foam: Polyethylene foam, Polyethylene roll, Cross-linked Polyethylene, Neoprene, and gym rubber.
All the above-mentioned adhesives were carefully researched and were listed based on their efficiency but this is by no means a conclusive list. The glue that may be the best for you might depend on the cost, the availability, and the ease of use of each product. The above list can be used for reference purposes or to compare products. Each of the products is safe to use on foam and quite effective too. We hope that this article has been informative and helped you choose an adhesive that you like.
We would recommend you to use the 3M Fastbond glue as it is quite long-lasting and it does not stain the foam. This glue remains strong for a long time and will not turn soft easily.
Silicone glues are suitable for synthetic foam. Silicone glues are sealants and help to bond materials very well. You can find silicone glues at any local hardware stores or you can browse for them online, too.
Yes! It is possible to use wood or rubber glue for foam
It depends on the kind of adhesive you are using. Spray adhesives take a few minutes to dry but wood glue or construction glues might take up to a day, depending on the amount and material you have used.
Firstly choose a glue that is compatible with both foam and wood, then apply a thin layer onto the area on the wood where you wish to stick the foam.
Using a brush, spread the glue into a thin layer.
Take the piece of foam you want to bind with the wood and place it onto the area where you applied the glue.
Gently attach a fastener or a clamp to hold both the materials together. Be careful while doing this so that it does not dent the foam.
Leave it that way with the fastener or clamp for a couple of hours at least.
Once the glue dries out, gently try pulling the foam to ensure that it is firmly bound together.
The glues and adhesives that have been mentioned in the list above can be used for styrofoam as well. It is best to use simple glues and adhesives for Styrofoam. Try to avoid using wood glue or rubber as it can melt the Styrofoam.
No, super glue cannot be used on foam as it has the tendency to melt the foam.
Tacky glue has a thicker consistency compared to normal glue and a stronger hold. It is better to use tacky glue for larger materials such as foam, wood, and metal as it will hold the material together while the glue dries. Tacky glue is also long-lasting and is not affected by water and temperature conditions after it dries. Tacky glue also has an alternative that is Quicky Tacky Glue which ensures that the glue dries faster.
If you are using original tacky glue, try using a blow dryer or place the material under a heat lamp to speed up the drying process. If you live in a warm climate and if you have used a thin layer of glue for application, the glue will dry quicker.
Alternatively, quick-dry tacky glue can be used, too.
Tacky glue is usually water-resistant but not entirely water-proof. If you want to use glue on a piece of fabric, try not to use tacky glue
In theory, yes, you can. This will create a long-lasting bond between materials and is extremely durable. However, this is a strong adhesive that can cause tears if mishandled and used in a rough manner. It is advisable to stick to adhesives that are formulated especially for foam.