5 Methods for Cleaning Up Hot Glue

A pink hot glue gun being used to glue small seashells.

Hot melt glue is a versatile adhesive commonly used in crafts. However, using it can be quite sticky and messy. Often you end up putting more of the melted glue on yourself and your surroundings than on the things you are working on.

Since hot glue dries quickly once it starts to cool, clean-up can sometimes be tricky. Here are several things you can do to remove hot glue from various surfaces.

Removing Hot Melt Glue From Fabrics

When hot glue sticks to fabric, it can be quite a challenge to remove the residue because the adhesive can go into the threads and fibers of the cloth. Since hot glue works best on porous materials, you will need to do more than pull on the cooled glue to clean it from the fabric.

1. Place the Fabric in a Freezer

To remove hot glue from fabrics, you can try to cool the affected area by either placing it in a freezer or in a cooler filled with ice. Allow the glue to cool and then scrape off the residue with a scraper.

2. Use Acetone

You can also use acetone to remove any excess on a fabric. Dampen a cotton ball with the acetone, wipe the affected area, and blot it off with a clean cloth.

Removing Hot Glue From Your Skin

Hot glue on the skin can sometimes lead to minor burns, so you should practice caution whenever you use it. However, even when you are careful, you can get some on your skin.

3. Rub qwith Ice Cubes and Dab with Oil

Let the adhesive cool before you attempt to remove it. Rub the affected skin area with ice cubes or wash it with cold running water. Either method will hasten the cooling and hardening process. Once the glue has cooled, dab oil on the area. Oil can help dissolve the glue, which you can then peel off of your skin.

Removing Hot Glue From Nonporous Materials

4. Use Alcohol

To remove any hot glue from nonporous materials like plastic, metal, or glass, use alcohol or isopropyl alcohol. This helps loosen the glue from the surface of the material and therefore makes it easier for you to remove it. Just soak the surface with the alcohol and let it stand for a few minutes. You can then remove any residue with a scraper or a knife. Remember to work in a well-ventilated area, away from any flames.

Removing Hot Melt Glue from Wood

5. Use Denatured Alcohol

Removing hot glue from wood may require a stronger adhesive remover, such as denatured alcohol, since wood is a porous material. Dab a cotton ball with the fluid on the affected area to melt the glue. Once it has melted, wipe it off with a soft cloth.