Is Mod Podge Eco-Friendly?

As you use Mod Podge for your craft projects, you’ll wonder if it negatively affects the environment. After all, it’s not a naturally-occurring substance. So, is Mod Podge eco-friendly?

Mod Podge isn’t eco-friendly. It consists of chemical substances such as acrylic sealant and ethylene-vinyl acetate, which can be dangerous to the environment in large quantities. They cause water and soil pollution given their extensive lifespans and non-degradable properties.

In this post, you’ll learn more about Mod podge, its properties, and alternatives. You’ll also discover a few eco-friendly adhesives and learn how to make eco-friendly Mod Podge on your own.

What Is Mod Podge?

Mod podge is a water-based decoupage medium that you can use as a veneer, sealant, and glue. You can apply it to various surfaces like wood, fabric, paper, glass, and some plastics. Then add several layers as a finish to add a glossy look and protect your crafts from wear and tear.

Mod Podge comes in 17 varieties, each of which has a unique formula and purpose. However, they all contain acrylic sealants and ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA). These chemicals could have dangerous consequences for the environment since they don’t break down easily.

Why Mod Podge Isn’t Eco-Friendly

An acrylic sealant is a paintable material used in house paints, decorations, the construction industry, and of course, Mod Podge. It contains a long-lasting chemical (called polyacrylonitrile) and other raw materials, including acetone.

Every time an item containing acrylic is washed, significant amounts of microplastics enter the water supply.

Similarly, EVA is used for its water-repellent and UV-resistant properties in packaging, textile, metal surfaces, and Mod Podge. It can emit toxic fumes, which harm living organisms such as plants, animals, and bacteria. Same as the acrylic sealant, it pollutes water as well.

Furthermore, Mod Podge is non-biodegradable. Biodegradability refers to a substance’s ability to break down into simpler and smaller molecules such as water, carbon dioxide, or methane. Many inorganic compounds are used in Mod Podge to create the desired texture and thickness, which means it can’t be eco-friendly.

How To Make Eco-Friendly Mod Podge

If you’re conscious about the environment, you can make eco-friendly Mod Podge on your own. It’s a lot cheaper, needs less plastic packaging, and you can make more whenever you run out.

These are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon of gelatin powder
  • Some white vinegar
  • 1 cup of water

Follow these instructions to make DIY Mod Podge:

  1. Turn the heat up and add ¼ of the water to your pan.
  2. Add all the sugar and stir it a little until it dissolves completely.
  3. While you’re waiting for the solution to boil, add ½ cup of water to the cornstarch, and set it aside.
  4. Pick a jar with a tight-fitting lid and pour ¼ of the water into it.
  5. Add one teaspoon of gelatin powder and dissolve it.
  6. When your sugar water is boiling, put the pan over medium heat and add the cornstarch water.
  7. Keep stirring the solution until it becomes thick and clear. Then turn off the heat.
  8. Go back to your gelatin water and stir it well.
  9. Pour the cornstarch mixture into the jar and let it cool down to room temperature.

Your eco-friendly and homemade Mod Podge is ready. Add some white vinegar as a preservative. Close the lid, store it in a cool place such as a refrigerator, and use the product within one or two weeks.

Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Mod Podge

If you don’t want to make homemade adhesive, there are a few industrial options close to being eco-friendly. Keep in mind that you can’t use eco-friendly adhesives for all applications. However, for things like paper, chipboard, or cardboard, you’re not likely to run into any problems with eco-friendly products.

Here are a few options you can consider:

  • Le Petite Matisse Craft Glue
  • Eco Bond Multi-Purpose Adhesive and Sealant
  • Coccoina Natural Glue
  • Elmer’s School Glue
  • ReNature UHU Glue Stick

Final Thoughts

Mod Podge isn’t eco-friendly because it contains acrylic sealant and ethylene-vinyl acetate, two non-biodegradable, harmful chemicals that negatively affect the environment. They enter the air in the form of toxic gasses when Mod Podge cures and enter our water supply every time an item containing Mod Podge is washed.

You can make an eco-friendly Mod Podge using household items. You need sugar, cornstarch, and gelatin powder, plus vinegar and water. If you don’t want to make a homemade version, you can pick industrial, earth-friendly alternatives such as Coccoina natural glue and Etsy craft glue.

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