Picture this, you’re in the middle of your project and the next step calls for some wood glue. You pull out your bottle of wood glue only to find that it’s hard and has turned colors.
But does wood glue go bad or expire? Is it okay to use?
I’ll answer these questions and much more. Let’s get started!
In This Article:
Does Wood Glue Expire?
Over time, wood glue will go bad and harden to the point where it cannot be used.
That said, for most projects, as long as it comes out of the bottle – it’s probably good to use.
Different types of wood glue will expire at different times. For example, a PVA glue like Elmer’s wood glue will last for around 2 years or so before it begins to go bad.
How to Tell if Wood Glue is Bad?
The most obvious way to tell if wood glue has gone bad is if it does not come out of the bottle because it has hardened. The viscosity of the glue is usually the go to indicator to tell if it’s gone bad.
Once hardened, wood glue cannot become gel form again making it virtually unusable.
Another way to tell if wood glue has gone bad is by it’s color. Wood glues often change color when they dry. If you notice that your wood glue is a different color than it once was, there’s a possibility it’s gone bad.
How Long Does Wood Glue Last?
How long wood glues last will depend on the type of wood glue you’re use and the brand.
Some types of wood glues last longer than others. For example, PVA glue will often last 2 to 3 years before it goes bad. On the other hand, polyurethane glue typically lasts around 2 years and cyanoacrylate glues last around 1 year.
After opening the bottle, these numbers are reduced.
PVA glues can last around 6 months to 1 year after being opened. Polyurethane glues last around 1 year after being opened and cyanoacrylate glues last 1 to 2 months after being opened.
How Long Does Titebond Wood Glue Last?
Titebond wood glues are one of the most popular brands of wood glues on the market. There are three main versions. The stated shelf life for most Titebond wood glues is over 2 years.
- Titebond Original Wood Glue – 2 years
- Titebond II – 2 years+
- Titebond III – 1 – 2 years
How Long Does Elmer’s Wood Glue Last?
Elmer’s wood glue is another common PVA glue that has an official shelf life of around 1 to 2 years.
How Long Does Gorilla Wood Glue Last?
Gorilla Wood Glue is another one of the most common woodworking glues on the market.
This PVA glue has a shelf life of around 12 months of being opened or 2 years of being unopened.
Can You Use Expired Wood Glue?
Yes, you can use wood glue that has expired or gone bad. While it might not work as effectively as a new bottle would, it should create a decent bond between wood.
You might want to do some additional prep work before using your glue to ensure a stronger bond.
If you’ve noticed that your wood glue has started to go bad, be sure to give the bottle a vigorous shake before using and one trick I’ve used in the past is adding a little bit of heat to the bottle by putting it in a bath or warm water. This will help to make it softer and more malleable so you can shake it and use it again.
How to Extend Shelf Life of Wood Glue
Store in a Cool, Dry Place
How you store your wood glue is one of the largest reasons wood glue goes bad faster.
If you store it in a location with excess humidity, this can cause your wood glue to go bad prematurely.
Additionally, you never want to store your glue in a place with large fluctuating temperatures Each freeze thaw cycle will begin to deteriorate the glue and it won’t be nearly as effective.
The best place to store your glue is in a cool basement according to senior technical specialist of Titebond, Bob Behnke. He also notes that storing it in a refrigerator can extend the live even further.
Immediately Close Cap After Using
This might seem obvious, but one of the easiest ways to extend the shelf life of your wood glue is to immediately close, or twist the cap once you’re finished using it.
This will prevent oxygen from getting inside the bottle that will force it to harden and remain solid.
Final Thoughts on Does Wood Glue Expire?
Wood glue does expire and go bad over time, but it often takes years to reach this point. In most cases, as long as you can pour it out of the bottle and it isn’t hard – there’s a good chance it’s still usable.
To extend the shelf life of your wood glue, be sure to store it in a cool, dry space like a basement or in a cabinet. Poor storage conditions are one of the main reasons wood glue will go bad faster than it should.