How to Make Glue from Recycled Styrofoam

Things You\’ll Need

  • Acetone

  • Large, broad metal, glass or ceramic dish

  • Styrofoam

... Recycle polystyrene waste into useful model glue.

Disposable Styrofoam packaging materials, take-out containers and cups take up considerable space in landfills and never break down. While Earth-friendly alternatives are readily available, it is difficult to completely avoid Styrofoam products entirely. Instead of throwing away your Styrofoam trash, recycle it into strong glue for wood models and thin wooden boards.

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Step 1

Pour acetone into a metal, glass or ceramic dish until the base of the dish is covered. Do not use plastic dishes, as acetone will dissolve the plastic.

Step 2

Place a Styrofoam item into the acetone bath and gently press down on it. It will immediately dissolve into a gooey liquid.

Step 3

Continue pressing Styrofoam pieces into the acetone bath until you have a batch of glue and no more pure liquid acetone.

Step 4

Use the glue immediately or store it in an airtight glass or metal container filled with acetone. The glue will dry out if stored alone.


Only use pure acetone rather than nail polish containing acetone. Nail polish will dissolve Styrofoam very slowly, while pure acetone works immediately.


Work in a well-ventilated room or outside to avoid inhaling the resultant fumes.

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