Rubber Cement, Solvent, Thinner

Everything You Need to Know About Rubber Cement

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How to Apply Rubber Cement

  • Objects to be glued should be dry and clean. Rubber cement is not as effective on metal or plastic items as it is on paper products.
  • If using a brush, apply a small amount to the brush tip and apply in a thin, even layer.
  • Press glued item onto other surface, such as paper, cardboard, photos, etc. and press down gently. Rubber cement will dry without wrinkling.
  • One of the advantages of rubber cement is that it can be repositioned. Gently peel up glued item and reposition if you need to make a change.
  • Put the glued items aside to dry. Rubber cement dries relatively fast depending upon the type of surface and how much glue was applied.

What is Rubber Cement Used for?

  • Although rubber cement can be used on many different types of surfaces, its best use is for paper applications such as greeting cards, collage crafts, scrapbook pages, photo mounting, posters, etc.
  • It can also be used to make your own “sticky notes” by layering stacks of equal-sized small papers and applying rubber cement to the top of one side and sticking to the next page. Continue until the stack is complete.
  • While rubber cement can be used to bind almost any type of material, it works best with paper products, and is ideal for many commercial, household, and school projects.
  • Beacon’s Rubber Cement is acid-free and never wrinkles paper, but should not be used on important documents as any rubber cement can dry and yellow over time.

How to Remove Rubber Cement

Hard Surfaces

  • Scrape away as much as the rubber cement residue as possible with a blunt-edged tool such as a plastic scraper. If available, you can also use a rubber cement eraser such as Beacon’s Rub-Out.
  • Apply Beacon’s Rubber Cement Thinner to an absorbent pad and place over the stain, allowing it to soak into the stain for a few hours.
  • Using a clean cloth, rub at the stain until it disappears.
  • Repeat as necessary.


  • Rub away excess glue as much as possible. Rub petroleum jelly into stain and gentle roll off fingers if possible.
  • Place a clean absorbent pad or clean white cloth under the stain.
  • Apply a dry cleaning solvent such as Afta Cleaning Fluid to another absorbent pad or cloth and place on the stain until stain is picked up. Keep cloth moist and repeat if needed.
  • Don’t rub at stain, but apply more solvent until the stain is completely removed.
  • Let dry and then wash as usual.

On Skin

  • Most often rubber cement will just rub or peel off skin.
  • While relatively harmless to skin, some people may develop an allergic reaction to the rubber itself of the solvent, causing some discomfort or irritation.
  • Removing rubber cement from skin is easy. First, thoroughly wash skin with hand soap and warm or hot water.
  • Scrub area with a hand sponge, rinsing occasionally.
  • Peel away any excess rubber cement. If necessary, use a small amount of either rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover (mostly acetone) to remove any residue that won’t easily come off. (Be careful, though, of allergic reactions to either rubber alcohol or acetone.)
  • Dry skin when all rubber cement is removed. Apply a bit of hand lotion if desired.

 Is Contact Cement the Same as rubber Cement? What are the Differences?

  • Rubber cement is made from elastic polymers mixed in a solvent, making the adhesive liquid, flexible, and fast drying.
  • Contact cement is an adhesive which, when coated on two similar surfaces and allowed to dry to the touch first, provides an almost instant & permanent bond when firmly pressed together.
  • Contact cements are particularly good for bonding a variety of substrates to one another such as wood, leather, metal, etc.
  • Rubber cement can be used on almost any type of paper and is excellent for photo mounting, scrapbooking, greeting cards, collages, artwork, and many other similar applications. It’s also acid-free and never wrinkles paper.
  • Once contact cement is applied, it cannot be removed whereas rubber cement is repositionable and can be removed with a rubber cement thinner.

Where to Buy Rubber Cement

Beacon’s premium Rubber Cement and solvent is distributed by Mac Pherson’s and available in art supply stores, such as:  Art Supplies Wholesle.

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Although Beacon’s Rubber Cement is easy and convenient to use for many different applications, make sure to use it in a well-ventilated area. Don’t let children use it without adult supervision. Rubber cement contains a strong solvent that is a potential inhalant and breathing it regularly can have an adverse effect on health. Rubber cement is also flammable and should never be used around any source of ignition or while smoking.  Carefully read all the warnings and precautions on the label.

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