Can You Eat Glue Sticks and What Happens If You Do?

Glues sticks are the most common kind of adhesives used for simple craft projects, especially by children in schools.

Since children are often curious about what glue tastes like, they might try to eat glue sticks if it’s left open in front of them.

This raises various concerns from parents about whether this kind of glue is safe to be eaten.

So, can you eat glue sticks? You can eat glue sticks. However, they are not meant to be eaten and should only be used for their intended purpose which is gluing things together. Glue sticks contain a variety of chemical ingredients that can cause irritation and abdominal problems if ingested in large quantities.

Keep reading to learn more about what glue sticks are made of and what will happen if you eat them.

What Are Glue Sticks Made of?

glue sticks to answer can you eat glue sticks

Most glue sticks are made of polyvinyl acetate (PVA), which is combined with other chemicals including water, ethanol, and acetone.

This glue has a wax-like consistency and it comes in the form of twist or push-up tubes. You can apply the glue by holding the open tube and rubbing the exposed glue stick against a surface to spread the adhesive. 

They are the most ideal for simple craft projects as they are very easy to use, even by children. They’re also cheap and can work on various surfaces that don’t require extremely high adhesive strength.

Are Glue Sticks Dangerous?

Glue sticks are not dangerous. In fact, they are probably one of the safest kinds of synthetic adhesives on the market. I have a full guide on how toxic or dangerous glue sticks here that you should definitely check out.

They won’t cause any damage if they come in contact with bare skin. They are also safe to inhale as they don’t emit any kind of harmful fumes when applied to a surface. That is because they are mainly made from PVA which is a non-toxic substance.

However, other chemical substances in glue’s formula can be dangerous, particularly if they’re ingested in large amounts which is why it’s so important for children not to eat them.

What Will Happen If You Eat a Glue Stick?

If you eat a glue stick, you’re going to experience some abdominal problems. The severity of the symptoms will depend on the amount of glue ingested. 

If you eat a small amount of glue without swallowing it, you might not experience any symptoms at all. You might have bits of the glue stuck to your teeth or the inside of your mouth, so the best course of action to take in this case is to immediately spit out as much of the glue as you can and rinse your mouth with warm water.

However, if you eat a large amount of glue and accidentally swallow some of it, you will experience more severe symptoms.

The glue will stick to the inside of your stomach and intestines causing irritation and indigestion. As your body tries to expel the foreign substance, you will experience abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea,

While swallowing any amount of glue sticks is not necessarily fatal, it’s highly recommended to seek professional medical help if the symptoms persist.

Related Questions

What Do Glue Sticks Taste Like?

Some glue sticks have a slightly bitter taste that’s similar to that of candle wax while other glue sticks have no taste at all. It depends on the chemicals used to make the glue sticks. While it might be tempting to taste glue sticks, it’s highly unadvised to ingest them in large amounts as this might cause abdominal problems.

Will Glue Sticks Damage My Teeth?

Glue sticks will not damage your teeth. They might, however, cause some tooth decay or irritation if it’s left on the teeth for an extended period of time. If you get glue stuck on your teeth, it’s recommended to rinse your mouth with warm water until the glue softens.

Are Glue Sticks Toxic to Animals?

Glue sticks are not toxic to animals. However, if an animal licks a glue stick that has been applied to a surface, it might ingest some of the harmful chemicals in it which can cause irritation and stomach problems. So, it’s recommended to take the animal to a vet to seek proper treatment.

How to Soften a Dried Glue Stick?

To soften a dried glue stick, you can place it in a sealed bag with paper towels that are soaked in warm water. Leave the bag for about 8 to 12 hours before taking the glue sticks out. The moisture in the paper towels will help soften the dried glue sticks, however, it might not be as sticky or bond as effectively.

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