Is Gorilla Glue Safe For Terrariums? We Investigated the Components

Is Gorilla Glue Safe For Terrariums

If you are building a project that needs individual things to come together, you are probably going to need glue to make it all stick. From home aquariums to terrariums, such eco-friendly, decorative pieces need a strong glue to make parts and bits stick inside. 

When we talk about using glue for a project, the brand Gorilla Glue comes to mind. It is one of the oldest adhesives to be used for multi-purposes. People use it for everyday work and professional purposes as well. 

So, should you go for Gorilla Glue in your next DIY? 

Many questions come to mind, such as if it can be used for a specific project. Here, in this article, we will evaluate the use of Gorilla Glue for building a terrarium. We will shred the ingredients apart and analyze if this super glue could be safely used for a small, contained garden. 

Keep reading to know what we found out. 

Gorilla Glue – Its Story in All the Glory

Gorilla Glue is an American adhesive brand that has been in the market since 1994. Different versions of the glue have appeared on the scene ever since. The Gorilla Glue Company has also branched into making other adhesive products like tapes, epoxies, and more. 

This adhesive was first found over teak furniture in some parts of Indonesia. However, due to its diverse range of uses, the demand for glue hit through the roof. It can be used on various materials, including wood, plastic, and more. You can even set up your Christmas tree with Gorilla Glue tape. 

The company is based out of Sharonville, Ohio. One of the most interesting parts of their marketing campaign is the advertisement. In the ads, you will usually see a gorilla handing out something which is broken and that shattered stuff being put together with Gorilla Glue. 

The brand was created after Mark Singer, the founder, saw the glue being used on teak furniture, and as such, it was marketed towards woodworkers only when it launched in America. Currently, the company is owned by the Raglands and is a family business. It was originally based in Cincinnati. 

The original, dark brown liquid Gorilla Glue is suitable for plastic, styrofoam, glass, ceramic, wood, metal, stone, and other materials.

Why is it necessary to check the safety level of Glue?

Why is it necessary to check the safety level of Glue?

Adhesives and glues are usually made of hazardous chemicals. These ingredients can make an adhesive flammable which means it can easily catch fire. Most glues irritate the skin as well. They can even burn your eyes or skin if they come in contact with it. 

Depending on what chemical is used in the glue, it can release fumes which sometimes cause lung damage if inhaled. 

So, it is essential to measure and know about the safety level of any glue before using it. This is especially true if you are using the glue for home-based DIY projects. You need to ensure that the glue under usage is safe. 

Inside The Gorilla Glue – Dissecting the Ingredients

Gorilla Glue is made from urethane prepolymer, diphenylmethane-diisocyanate, isomers, and homologues. This one is a polyurethane adhesive which gives the glue its tensile strength. Polyurethane is known for its exceptional and industrial-level power of stickiness. The original formula is moisture-activated and expands about 3x when applied. 

The manufacturers say Gorilla Glue does not contain any fillers, plasticizers, or harmful solvents. The Original Gorilla Glue bond is water-resistant, temperature-proof, and strong. The natural color of the adhesive is tan, but it may turn white on expansion over a surface. 

One important thing to note here is that Gorilla Glue has several variants, including Gorilla Super Glue Gel, mainly made of cyanoacrylate. So, these different ingredients in individual versions of Gorilla Glue may or may not make it safe for use. 

Let’s look at some of the main ingredients inside. 


Polyurethane is a sustainable, affordable, and eco-friendly material. Adhesives made of polyurethane, such as the Gorilla Glue, are built from the reaction of different kinds of isocyanates with polyols. The polar urethane part allows the product to display adhesive properties. 

Depending on the reaction and proportion of chemicals, the glue may have either a soft and elastic or brittle and hard texture. Polyurethane works well on most surfaces except for teflon, silicone, and waxy or greasy surfaces. 

Most of the glues containing polyurethane are made for household use and so are pretty safe. Polyurethane glues are not toxic for the environment as they break down easily and do not have BPA or other chemical substances that can damage the endocrine system. 

However, it is not biodegradable as it is a man-made polymer, so it isn’t susceptible to attacks by microorganisms. It can be naturally dissolved by using an organic solvent like denatured alcohol or acetone. 

There is one point of danger for most of the glues containing polyurethane. Although it is not harmful to the natural environment, it can be destructive for living beings. At high temperatures, the glue made from polyurethane may release fumes which, if inhaled, can damage the internal organs gradually. 

These vapors are released at room temperature, so it is not advisable to be in the presence of polyurethane glue for long periods, especially indoors. 

Is This Ingredient Safe To Be Used In A Terrarium?

Polyurethane adhesives like the Original Gorilla Glue are safe for use in a terrarium if you are using artificial plants. Most people use succulents and small plants in a terrarium for decorative purposes. But if you are keeping natural plants inside a terrarium and have other living beings like insects, it is better not to use the Original Gorilla Glue. The fumes can badly damage both plants and insects in a closed container. 

Although a terrarium is mostly built in a closed glass container, if you plan to build an open container terrarium, all versions of Gorilla Glue will work just fine. 

One way to work around the fumes in a closed container is to let the glue settle down. You can stick things once it turns white. At that point, it is rather safe for use in enclosed containers as well. Make sure to wear a mask and have the proper equipment at hand before using the glue. 


The Gorilla Super Glue Gel is made from cyanoacrylate and is also called the CA glue. Cyanoacrylate glues are perfectly safe for use inside a terrarium once they have cured and settled. Super Gorilla has an extremely strong bonding strength and fastens materials quickly. It can be used on a variety of materials including glass and wood. So, it is probably going to work fine inside a terrarium. 

You can use Gorilla Super Glue to mount various plants like mosses onto branches or just stick them on the ground. Gorilla Glue Gel would also release fumes, but you can just let it sit for a while before putting in plants and animals, so the vapors disperse. 

Cyanoacrylate glues are safer for use in an enclosed container than polyurethane glues. 

Is this ingredient safe for use in a terrarium?

It is safe to use cyanoacrylate adhesives inside a terrarium. Let the glue cure and sit for a while. You can then begin adding flora and fauna to the enclosure. 

How to Put Together a Terrarium Using Gorilla Glue?

How to Put Together a Terrarium Using Gorilla Glue?

Find a glass enclosure to use for a terrarium. Set the bottom with sand, gravel, or any other stuff you like. Buy some small plants such as succulents. Spread some plants on the sandy floor. You might want to use Gorilla Super Glue Gel to stick some plant leaves or spare parts to the branches. If you want to use artificial plants, you can glue them down to the glass container. 

Apply some glue on the surface and let it cure. Then spread it with your finger so it evens out over the surface you want to stick your plants. As the color changes, paste the plants or fake animals onto it. 

In case you want to put in real insects, put them in after some time you glue the plants and branches. 


Cyanoacrylate glue is safer than the ones that are based on polyurethane. So, it is better to use Gorilla Super Glue Gel for your terrarium project rather than the Original Gorilla Glue. 

However, people who have used Gorilla Glue to build terrariums have reported that there are no damages to the plants most of the time even with the brown version of Gorilla Glue. It becomes dangerous for humans and animals if they inhale it for too long or leave it on their skin. Wearing proper gloves and a mask while working with a Gorilla Glue is necessary. Otherwise, there are no calamities.

You will need to moisten the surfaces which you intend to stick together and press them for a few minutes for the adhesive to hold. Overall, Gorilla Glue is safe for use inside a terrarium. 

Comment down below with your experience of using Gorilla Glue for a project in an enclosure.