Shelf Life of PVA Glue

Article - February 25, 2008

This week’s question comes from Knothead. He writes:
“I’ve heard that PVA glue has an expiration date of about 1year after opening. Is this tuely so, or does it just start hardening in the bottle? I bought a gallon jug and didn’t get it used up within a year but it still pours out. Can I use it until it is too thick to pour?”

And here was my reply: “Hey Knothead. The recommended shelf life on PVA glue is generally a way for the company to cover its butt. One year is simply the length of time they will guarantee the quality level. But most glues can go for two years or more if stored consistently at room temp. And fortunately, the glue will show signs of problems when it is bad. So if it still flows nice and smooth and its not clumpy and stringy, you should have no problems using the product. Here is a link to the Titebond FAQ where they cover these topics extensively.

From Titebond: “…as long as products like Titebond Original, Titebond II and Titebond III remain fluid, without drastic change in appearance, they will continue to perform as intended. Most of our yellow and white glues, including Titebond Original and Titebond II, remain usable beyond two years. Should Titebond Original become thick and stringy, or Titebond II turns into an orange colored gel, these changes signify that the glue is no longer usable.”