Does Rubber Cement Work On Plastic? [See The Best Adhesive For Plastic]

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Rubber cement is one of the most used adhesives around. And yes, I know of the musty smell that comes with it once the jar is opened. People use rubber cement because of its ability to form temporary or permanent bonds. But does rubber cement work on plastic?

The short answer is no. Rubber cement is not well suited for hard surfaces. This includes plastic, wood, metal, and so on. It is only suitable if you wish to use it for a temporary bond and want to separate them later and remove the glue.

To help you out, I have written this article to inform you of the best adhesive for plastic. Ensure you read this article to get the best solution.

What is rubber cement?

Rubber cement is an inexpensive adhesive made from elastic polymers liquefied with chemical solvents. The solvent includes acetone, hexane, heptane, or toluene, which keeps the adhesive fluid enough for use. Once applied, the glue dries as the solvent evaporates, and the polymers form a thin solid layer.

Does rubber cement work on plastic?

As I mentioned earlier, it would likely prove to be ineffective. Rubber cement’s intended use is to glue various types of paper products together. In other words, it is a paper-specific adhesive used commonly by paper crafters and scrapbookers. Applying rubber cement on surfaces like plastic, wood, metal, or glass forms only a temporary bond.

What is the best adhesive to use on plastic?

For plastic, veneers, glass, rubber, leather, and metal, contact cement will give you the best result. It best glues hard or large surfaces like countertops in kitchens and bathrooms.

What is contact cement?

Contact cement is a solvent-based adhesive used for construction-grade laminating. It contains acetone, toluene, and hexane, forming permanent bonds. Contact cement should do the trick if you want something to stick permanently. Unlike other adhesives, contact cement does not evaporate, rather it cures as it is exposed to air. This is why it dries quicker than other adhesives.

Is contact cement the same as rubber cement?

There is a common misconception that these two are the same. However, rubber cement and contact cement are not the same. They are completely two different adhesives which I will further differentiate in this section.

There are three major differences between these two adhesives. They include;

1. Strength

Regarding tensile strength, contact cement is much stronger and more durable than rubber cement.

2. Their main component

Contact cement contains acid (which, at times, is usually white glue). Rubber cement, on the other hand, is made with synthetic latex.

3. Application

Contact cement can be used for many industrial applications. Rubber cement, on the other hand, is limited to household repairs and paper-specific repairs.

Which is better, contact cement or rubber cement?

There is no way to answer this question, as the best depends on the nature of your project. While contact cement is deemed stronger and more durable, it is a better choice for projects that require a lot of stability. Rubber cement, on the other hand, is a better choice for paper-based projects or household repairs. Ultimately, the best option will depend on the nature of your needs.


How long does it take rubber cement to dry on plastic?

Generally, it takes around 15 minutes.

Is rubber cement on plastic permanent?

No, it is not. Rubber cement does not work best with hard surfaces like plastic. It creates only a temporary bond and not a permanent one.


Rubber cement is an adhesive we’ve used for various reasons since childhood. However, it turns out that they are best for paper-based projects. They are not well suited for hard surfaces like plastic, wood, metals, etc. For hard surfaces, contact cement would be the best adhesive to use. It can be used for various hard surfaces, including wood, metal, and plastic. It causes a more permanent bond than rubber cement on plastic.

I hope this article proves to be helpful for your project. Thanks for reading, do visit Samkinsconstruction today for more helpful articles.

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