CB21-019 - how to clean a hot glue gun

How to Clean a Hot Glue Gun

It’s time to use your hot glue gun again, but you find it all sticky. If your glue sticks are getting jammed it may be time to learn how to clean a hot glue gun. 

To clean a hot glue gun, wrap it in aluminum foil and let the glue gun heat up. The foil will adhere to glue and you can pull off the aluminum foil.The same foil can then be used to scrub the gun, removing stuck on glue. 

There are a few different methods to get your glue gun clean. Knowing more than one method means you have more options if one method doesn’t work. Whether you choose to scrape off the glue with a tool or wipe your gun clean with a towel there’s a simple way to get the job done. 

Keep reading to find out how to clean your hot glue gun while it’s warm or cool. You won’t need a lot of tools or chemicals, in fact, you may have what you need at home right now. 

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How to clean a hot glue gun

To clean a hot glue gun, choose whether or not to remove the nozzle and wipe away the grime on the gun. It’s best to use acetone or aluminum foil to remove residue. It’s easier to clean the glue off the gun if it’s warm, but don’t use acetone unless the gun has cooled. 

Depending on how dirty your glue gun is will help you determine the method you use to clean it. Is your main problem the outside of the gun or the applicator? For both issues, foil should do the trick. 

You can wrap the glue gun in foil to remove an outer layer of stuck-on glue. However, if the applicator is the problem, an alternative cleaning method is to ball the foil up to clean the applicator.

How to clean your glue gun with aluminum foil 

  1. Wrap aluminum foil around your glue gun. 
  2. Plug in your glue gun, so the foil attaches itself to the glue
  3. After the foil attaches itself to the warm glue remove the foil
  4. Ball up the foil and scrub the applicator and stuck-on glue. 

Using foil is only one way to clean your gun. If you prefer, you can wipe your glue gun down with alcohol or acetone to remove glue and dirt. 

How to clean your glue gun with acetone 

  1. Let your glue gun cool (no need to plug it in)
  2. Put acetone on a paper towel
  3. Rub the glue gun with acetone
  4. Clear any dried glue and stains, reapplying acetone as needed. 

You can use a blow dryer if you need to get the hot glue gun to become a little warmer without plugging it in. Choose a combination of tools to clean your glue gun the best way you can. 

You can also wrap your glue gun in foil, use a blow dryer and wipe it down with acetone after it cools. Try different methods until you find the fastest one that works for you. 

How do you take care of a hot glue gun?

To take care of a hot glue gun, you’ll want to keep it as clean as possible after each use. Make sure you dispense all glue from the gun and store the gun upright. This will keep your glue gun from clogging and getting glue stuck on the outside. 

Every now and again use acetone or hot melt cleaner to keep the gun from becoming too dirty. Regular maintenance such as clearing the nozzle and dispensing all glue inside will help your glue gun work its best. 

Remember that using the glue gun and storing it properly also plays a role in taking care of your hot glue gun. For example, keeping the hot glue gun unplugged when it’s not in use will prevent damage. 

Always place the glue stick into the hot glue gun before you plug it in. Once a glue stick is in place don’t remove a partly melted glue stick. Pulling the glue stick through the gun could ruin the applicator.

As far as storage, be sure to keep your glue gun upright. You never want to lay a glue gun on its side especially when there is hot adhesive inside. Place your glue gun on a stand to catch any glue that drips. A stand protects glue from dripping and your gun from getting stuck to the surface you are working on. 

Some glue guns come with stands or you can find a hot glue gun stand online.

How do you remove glue from a hot glue gun?

The best method to remove hot glue from a glue gun is with acetone and a blow dryer. Heating and rubbing it with the acetone will loosen the glue and allow you to use a scraper to get any stubborn pieces of glue off of the gun. 

Removing a glue stick from a hot glue gun should be done by using it until all the glue is gone. Taking out partly melted adhesive from a glue gun can cause damage. 

Can you leave glue in a hot glue gun?

A glue stick should be left in a hot glue gun to protect your glue gun. Removing a partly melted glue stick from the gun can damage the applicator. 

Leave the glue in the glue gun when you are finished with your project and use it next time. If there is only a little glue left and you want to empty the gun, simply expel the last of the glue and clean the nozzle. 

Why won’t glue come out of my glue gun?

Glue won’t come out of a glue gun if the glue stick doesn’t fit or if the gun is clogged. Another option is that the mechanism that pushes the glue stick forward could be broken. Changing the glue stick and cleaning the gun will help the hot glue flow again. 

You’ll know that your glue gun is clogged if you have a slow flow or no glue coming out at all. The gun could also be leaking in other areas if it’s not coming out of the nozzle.

There may be glue build-up if your glue gun is leaking, but nothing is coming out of the nozzle. Leave the gun on and watch to see if glue leaks from anywhere else. If so, you’ll need to clean the gun and possibly change the pressure. 

A leaky glue gun could mean that your glue sticks were simply charred and jammed, clearing the blockage will fix your problem. 

If there is a bigger problem such as a broken grip your glue gun will need to be repaired or replaced. 

Summary: How to clean a hot glue gun

Cleaning a hot glue gun is as simple as wiping away stuck on glue, while the gun is still warm. You don’t need special tools to get a hot glue gun clean. 

The most useful tools are one’s you may already have on hand. Use acetone, foil, or hot melt cleaner to clear away stuck on glue. For the really tough jobs, you can also use a blow dryer and a scraper to remove the hot glue from the glue gun.

If you want to remove hot adhesive from the inside of your gun it’s best to express the glue as if you were using the gun. Allow the glue stick to melt all the way and then clean the applicator. Removing partly melted glue sticks from the gun can damage the applicator. 

Once your glue gun is clean you won’t have to worry about clogs, so it’s best to keep it clean after each use. Take care of your hot glue gun and it will handle any sticky job you ask it to do.