Finding that perfect crafting tool you can use for any project you take on is like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. However, for those who’ve discovered the joys of Mod Podge, that gold might be closer than you think.
Invented in the 1960s, Mod Podge is one of the most popular materials across crafters of all hobbies. Whether you use it for paper, wood, metal, plastic, fabric, or ceramics, Mod Podge holds a special place in every crafter’s heart.
If you’re a crafter who uses Mod Podge consistently, you may have wondered at one point or another how safe this product is. The list of ingredients can read like a foreign language to people who aren’t familiar with chemicals.
So, is Mod Podge toxic? No, Mod Podge is a non-toxic substance that can be used as an adhesive or sealer. It contains polyvinyl acetate, commonly referred to as PVA, which is the same substance used to make school glue. It produces no fumes and is non-toxic if consumed in small quantities.
It’s normal to be worried about the materials you use for your crafts, especially if you live in a home with kids or pets and want to ensure their safety, too. To learn more about the safety of Mod Podge, read our article below. Ease your worrying mind!
What Is Mod Podge Made Of?
Mod Podge is a type of polymer, containing polyvinyl acetate, or PVA. School glues and Elmer’s glue are made from PVA, and have been made non-toxic so that children who attempt to eat it will not be harmed.
Mod Podge has other ingredients, and those ingredients will depend on the type of Mod Podge you buy, but you can rest assured knowing that the base is made from PVA.
Because Mod Podge contains ingredients other than PVA, it’s of course always best to be cautious and avoid consuming it.
Some specific types of Mod Podge you probably want to be more vigilant about would be the Outdoor Mod Podge and the Glitter Mod Podge. These products contain other ingredients such as waterproof varnish and glitter, respectively.
Waterproof varnish and glitter are two substances that should not be consumed, so it’s best to keep these types of Mod Podge on a higher shelf and away from any kids or pets.
However, if you or a loved one does accidentally consume Mod Podge, whether in its wet form from the jar or in its dried form on a finished craft, you’ll usually be totally fine.
If consumed in large quantities, Mod Podge can cause some dizziness, stomach pain, and general sickness. Your body may develop nausea and cause you to throw it up to get it out of your system.
If consumed in small quantities, you may not notice any signs of sickness at all and may feel completely fine.
Is Mod Podge Toxic To Breathe?
No, Mod Podge is not toxic to breathe. Quite the opposite, actually! Mod Podge releases no fumes or odors into the air. It is completely non-toxic, including when you breathe it in.
It does still have a slight smell for those who have sensitive respiratory systems, so it is recommended to always use Mod Podge in a well-ventilated area.
If you do have a sensitive nose or respiratory system, you may notice a slight headache after you’ve used Mod Podge for an extended period of time. This headache is the worst symptom you’ll get and is not a sign of any significant illness.
Even if you get a headache, you can rest assured that you haven’t breathed in anything toxic or dangerous to your lungs. You just have a more sensitive nose!
Is Mod Podge Safe To Eat Off?
No, Mod Podge is not safe to eat off of. This does not diminish its non-toxic quality, but is instead a reflection of the fact that Mod Podge is not rated food-safe by the FDA.
The FDA, or Food and Drug Administration, is the entity that determines what is safe for Americans to consume.
There is a dishwasher Mod Podge product intended to be used on dishes that get run through the dishwasher, but this product should still not be used on items you put your mouth on such as cups or mugs.
It’s also best not to use on plates or bowls, since your food will go on the Mod Podge.
The dishwasher Mod Podge is more designed to be used on decorative bowls or vases, or other glass and ceramic projects that can be run through the dishwasher for cleaning.
Even though Mod Podge isn’t deemed food-safe by the FDA, you shouldn’t be afraid to use it. This simply means you shouldn’t dip a spoon in the jar and eat it for a snack.
If you have accidentally consumed Mod Podge, as we noted above, you shouldn’t encounter any serious sickness.
Is Mod Podge Toxic For Kids?
No, Mod Podge is not toxic for kids. If you wanted to do a decoupage or other craft with your children and need to use Mod Podge, you can feel free to do so and know your children will be safe.
Kids have a habit of putting anything in their mouths. They eat food off the floor, eat rocks and dirt on the playground, and even drink out of mud puddles.
While crafting, kids tend to eat their crayons and markers, and even drink the water cup they use to clean their paint brushes. It makes sense, then, that kids will probably put a little Mod Podge in their mouth if given the opportunity.
If you watch your little one scoop some Mod Podge into their mouth, don’t panic. Mod Podge is non-toxic, and although it shouldn’t be consumed intentionally, your child will be just fine if they did consume a small portion.
In all likelihood, if they only ate a little, you won’t see any symptoms from them at all. If they managed to eat a large amount of Mod Podge before you realized what they were doing, they may complain of a stomach ache or throw up later on in the day.
These symptoms are normal and will resolve on their own. Unless your child ate an entire jar of Mod Podge, they’re going to be just fine.
Is Mod Podge Toxic For Pets?
No, Mod Podge is not toxic for pets.
Pets are almost as bad as children when it comes to putting things in their mouths. Whether you own dogs, cats, or both, you probably have teeth marks and holes in various furniture pieces around your home.
It’s a common story for dog owners to come home to entire boxes of cookies or bags of dog food ripped to shreds on the kitchen floor. Cats aren’t any different, as many of them love to chew on cords, wires, and any loose strings you may have laying around the house.
If your pets happen to chew on one of your craft projects that you finished with Mod Podge, don’t worry. The small amount of Mod Podge they would have consumed from chewing on a dried craft product is minimal and you won’t see any sickness.
You probably also won’t see any signs of sickness in your dog or cat if they jump onto the table and lick your still-wet Mod Podge applied to your craft project.
The only time when you may want to consult your veterinarian would be if you came home and your dog had bitten into and eaten an entire bottle of Mod Podge.
You can easily prevent this from happening by storing your Mod Podge on a high shelf or in a closed cabinet.
Can I Use Elmer’s Glue Instead Of Mod Podge?
Even though Mod Podge is non-toxic, some people may still be wary of using it with large groups of children where individual supervision of each child isn’t entirely possible.
If you want to use an alternative, your best bet would be to use Elmer’s glue. Both Elmer’s glue and Mod Podge are made with PVA, so you’ll have a very similar substance by switching to Elmer’s glue.
There is a drawback to using glue instead of Mod Podge. Although they have a similar base substance, Mod Podge has other added ingredients that set it apart and make it the preferred product for sealing.
If you cover your finished art project with a layer of school glue as opposed to Mod Podge, you won’t get that same clear, shiny finish you’ve come to know and love from Mod Podge. The school glue may dry to a matte or cloudy finish, which can ruin the project.
Even though they both have a base of PVA, you’re better off sticking with Mod Podge. It’s not toxic and doesn’t pose a significant threat to any living creature, large or small, in your home.
If you want the best finish possible for your craft project, stick with your non-toxic, kid- and pet-friendly Mod Podge.