Is Glue Kosher?

Is Glue Kosher?
By Bill Wyatt
November 11, 2020
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The exact rules around kosher are complex, and depending on your interpretation they may not even apply to adhesives. Let’s take a closer look at some ingredients in adhesives that may cause problems so you can decide for yourself.

Is Glue Kosher?

The rules around kosher products are usually applied only to food and drink, although some other products are often marked as kosher. I’ve seen household cleaning products, colored paints, and disposable cutlery all marked with the kosher symbol.

In terms of adhesives, you may be concerned about the ingredients if you are repairing a broken plate or cup, where the adhesive may touch your food, or where the adhesive may specifically contain animal products.

Most household glue is completely synthetic, manufactured from petroleum derivatives and are completely kosher no matter how strict your interpretation is.

What types of glue are Kosher?

Just about every household glue is completely synthetic, contains no animal products and can therefore be considered kosher.

It’s manufactured from petroleum (oil). Essentially, synthetic glue is nothing more than long chains of groups of carbon, hydrogen, and (sometimes) oxygen atoms.

You can rest easy knowing that all synthetic glue is free from any animal products, and animal products aren’t used in the production process.

Some examples of modern synthetic adhesives:

  • Any PVA glues, including school glue, wood glue, and fabric glue
  • Polyurethane glues like Gorilla Glue
  • Cyanoacrylate glues (any type of Superglue)
  • Two part epoxies
  • Silicone based glues and sealants

What glues are NOT Kosher?

As a rule of thumb, animal / hide glues can not safely be considered kosher. Animal glue usually makes use of the byproducts of the meat industry to extract gelatin and collagen.

The most common parts used are hooves, from the beef and pork industries. The hooves contain a lot of collagen, which is used as the adhesive in animal glue.

Unfortunately, there is no way to tell for sure the ingredients of animal glues, as the manufacturers are not required to list the exact ingredients.

How to tell if Glue is Kosher?

Unlike with food products, adhesives are usually not marked or stamped.

You can be sure that any synthetic glue is made from petrochemicals and is thus kosher safe, however for certain animal glues (especially hide glue) you may wish to check with the manufacturer.

All chemical products must produce a  Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) which is usually available online. 

The MSDS makes certain information available about the ingredients, however they are only required to list any ingredients which meet a certain percentage threshold, or which may be dangerous.

Unfortunately with animal based glues, the ingredients may not break down the exact ingredients. Even if they do, they may not list the exact source.

For this reason, the only surefire way to know is to contact the manufacturers directly.

If enough people get in touch, they may start making the information more publicly available.

Conclusion

If you are concerned about adhesives products ingredients, the best option is to stick to synthetic glues, with no coloring added.

If you need to use any animal derived glue like hide glue, there is a possibility that it may not be kosher, and the best way to find out is to contact the manufacturer directly.

Hope this helped, thank you for reading

-Bill

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