What Is Rubber Cement Used For?

Updated April 17, 2017

Rubber cement is a commercial adhesive compound designed with a flexible bonding agent. It works by combining the qualities of rubber with enough fluids for easy application. During the drying process, the fluids evaporate, and the flexible rubber stays in the bond.


Rubber cement is available in non-vulcanising formulas which vary in their chemical make-up for home and office uses. Vulcanising rubber cements utilise a chemical reaction to create a stronger, harder bond after drying.


Non-vulcanising rubber cements are used in art projects and offices to temporarily hang signs, bond materials and connect paper to non-paper surfaces. Vulcanising rubber cements are used to fuse rubber materials like in tire repairs and minor shoe patches.


Rubber cement is ideal for arts and crafts projects because it allows a temporary bond between paper and non-paper materials. As a drying adhesive, rubber cement works better as a temporary, flexible hold than water-based adhesives.


Rubber cement does not become fragile and break like other adhesives after drying. It stays flexible and rubbery. Vulcanised rubber cement formulas actually meld into a rubber base to seal rubber products.


Rubber cement will stain if you allow it to dry on hard surfaces like steel, tile or wood. Scrape the dried residue away. Use rubber cement remover to completely remove the stain.


The chemicals used in rubber cement are hazardous when inhaled so rubber cement should be kept away from young children and teens with huffing addictions. Chemical compounds are also fire hazards. Always use rubber cement in well-ventilated rooms away from open flames.

Fun Fact

Rubber cement is the base for erasable ink in pens because the formula can be rubbed off paper surfaces many hours after writing. Even without an eraser, rubber cement can be rubbed off surfaces because it only sticks to itself after drying.

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About the Author

Amanda Herron is a photojournalist and writer whose credits include: "Georgia Realtor Magazine," "Jackson Parent Magazine," "Christian Guitarist and Bassist" and the Associated Press. Herron has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and a Master of Arts in Education from Union University. She is a member of the NPPA and has awards from the Tennessee Press Association and Baptist Press.