When Should You Use Acid-Free Adhesives?

If you’ve ever done much at all with photos, whether it be scrapbooking or framing them, you’ve probably heard of acid-free tape. We’ll learn about all of the uses for acid-free tape and why it’s so important that you make the distinction between acid-free tape and any other product.

Photo Mounting

When using any type of adhesive to mount photos, double check to make sure that it is acid free. Adhesive that isn’t relatively neutral on the pH scale can lead to damaged photos and mounting materials. Regardless of where you intend to stick photos, whether it’s in a frame or in a book or directly onto the wall like this Instagram-style photo wall, you risk ruining a one-in-a-lifetime memory if you’re not cautious in purchasing ATG mounting tape.


We talked about mounting photos, but it’s important to use acid-free tape throughout your scrapbook. The acid in many adhesives isn’t just corrosive to photographs. It has the potential to cause the paper, ink, and other embellishments you use to degrade, as well. Paper in general is extremely susceptible to acid damage. The colorants used to dye a lot of a scrapbook paper may also be harmed by high acid adhesives, causing running, discoloration, or bleaching.

The good news is that you can get double-sided acid-free tape specifically meant for scrapbooking projects with a pH level expressly intended to preserve your work for the long haul.

Crafts of All Kinds

If you’re taking time to make something by hand, you’re probably looking for it to last a while. Any paper craft, whether it’s quilling, card making, or constructing paper decorations for either home décor or a party, an acid-free adhesive is the way to go.

Preservation of Any Artifact

Whether it’s taping up packaging around a family heirloom or putting special or important documents into a book for future reference, only use acid-free adhesives. Tape that has not been tested as acid free may lead to the degradation of the paper itself and the ink with which the document has been printed.

If you’re packaging clothing such as a Christening gown, wedding dress, special lacy doily, or quilt, using acid-free adhesive may save the fabric, as well. While paper is possibly the material most notably susceptible to acid erosion, acid found in many adhesives has the potential to harm pretty much any item. If you intend to keep an item in good shape for a long time, make sure that any tape and paper used in packing the item is acid free. You can purchase acid-free boxes, as well, to help ensure the sanctity of your special items.

Final Word on Acid-Free Tape

In order to preserve your history the best you can for posterity, you should always use acid-free tape when important photos, documents, or papers are involved. If you work hard to archive your family’s memories, you probably don’t want to let all your hard work go to waste by simply using adhesives that could damage those precious documents.

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