How to Remove Hot Glue from Any Surface


How to Remove Hot Glue from Any Surface

Hot glue removal doesn't have to stress you out.

How to Remove Hot Glue from Any Surface

Learning how to remove hot glue is a must-know for any crafter or DIYer. We have all been there, happily crafting along and concentrating with our glue gun, creating up a storm when all of a sudden hot glue or hot melt ends up somewhere it most definitely should not have.

Whether you accidently stuck hot glue to fabric, spilled it on your table, or even worse found it burning your skin, this helpful how-to is going to show you exactly How to Remove Hot Glue from Any Surface.

There is not a catch all way to remove hot glue from fabric and other surfaces because every surface is different. That is why we have divided the following instructions and tips on how to remove glue into several sections.

Keep these crafting hacks pinned to your Pinterest board or bookmarked on your favorite web browser if you are prone to forget. This way you can return to these removing glue tips whenever you might need them.

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How to Remove Hot Glue from Fabric

Sewing for Beginners: Learn How to Sew with 8 Sewing Tutorials

Removing hot glue from fabric takes a lot of patience, but is actually very simple. The three steps below show you exactly how to remove hot glue from fabric with minimal damage to your project.

  1. Do not touch the hot glue drop on your fabric. If you smear it or attempt to rub it off while still hot it can seep into the tiny gaps between threads in your fabric. Thinner cottons are especially prone to this.
  2. Place your project with the spilled glue in the freezer. (Seriously.) This allows the glue to dry extra fast and ensures that it hardens. This should take 20 minutes to an hour depending on the thickness and temperature of the spill.
  3. Peel the melted glue from your project very carefully. You will want to be especially careful with thinner fabrics.
Get the Sewing for Beginners PDF, featuring the project pictured above.

How to Remove Hot Glue from Metal, Wood, Other Surfaces

Woodburned Tree Rings

This is one of the hottest and easiest tips to remove hot glue from surfaces. Whether you have spilled hot glue on your table or placed it somewhere on your project it does not belong, this tip will do the trick. All you need to remove hot glue from most surfaces is rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs.

  1. Allow the glue to dry. This makes it much easier for you to pull the glue off in one, clean chunk rather than clawing at a messy dollop.
  2. Once the glue is dry, dip your cotton swabs in the rubbing alcohol and then dab around the edges of the hot glue.
  3. Allow the rubbing alcohol some time to react to the glue and then simply peel the piece of glue off the surface.
Note: Some surfaces may not react well to the alcohol, so always dab a spot with the alcohol before trying it out on a large piece. Tables with expensive varnishes or polishes, for example, may wear off.

View the Woodburned Tree Rings (pictured).

How to Remove Hot Glue from Skin

Vintage Plate DIY Cake Stand

Getting hot glue on your skin can be crazy painful and seem like an impossible task. The glue burns your skin, and there’s no way you can pull it off with your fingers without burning those too! Unlike others ways to remove glue, removing it for your skin means you have to act fast. You will need to treat the hot glue like any other burn.

  1. Make sure you cool down the hot glue ASAP by running the spot under cold water in order to cool it down, stop the burn, and harden the glue. If the burning is not that hot/harmful, you can easily roll an ice cube overtop of the surface instead.
  2. Peel the glue off of your skin carefully. If the pain is too intense, listen to your body. Most hot glues should not heat enough to give you more than a first degree burn, but if the burn spot is extremely painful, seek medical help.
  3. Run the affected spot under cold water again, apply Neosporin or another antibiotic pain cream, and place a band-aid on the affected area.
Make the Vintage Plate DIY Cake Stand.

How to Remove Hot Glue from Carpet

Easy Hexagon Rug

Removing hot glue from carpet is one of the most frustrating issues you might come across when crafting. Not only is it probably your fault (we’ve been there), but it can be difficult to find a way to get it up off of the floor without expanding the affected area. Removing hot glue from carpet can be done two ways depending on when you catch the spill.

Learn to crochet the Easy Hexagon Rug.

Removing Hot Glue from Carpet Immediately After the Spill

If you have noticed that you dropped a dollop of melted glue on the floor right after the oops, you can remove it immediately by locating a sharp blade and scraping the glue off of the carpet and onto the blade in an upward motion, taking time to wipe the glue from the blade so it does not spread.

Removing Hot Glue from Carpet Afterwards

Since using the rubbing alcohol tip will not work on your fluffy, textured floor, you will need a new way to remove glue from your carpet. In order to do so, follow these instructions:

  1. Grab a household iron and a thin layer of fabric (something the glue will stick to much better than the carpet).
  2. Place the fabric down on the affected spot and place the hot iron on top of the fabric in order to melt it onto the fabric. Be sure to PRESS the spot rather than iron (a back and forth motion) to avoid spreading the glue across a larger surface area.

How to Clean a Glue Gun

Now that you've cleaned up the hot glue itself, learn How to Clean a Glue Gun with our step-by-step tutorial.

How to Clean a Glue Gun

Up Next:

What Does Hot Glue NOT Stick To?

What hot glue disasters have you experienced?

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This article is also good

Everytime I'm working with hot glue I sacrifice one of my old t-shirts to clean up the mess but if I had known about this I would have saved a lot of nice shirts and maybe had more t shirt yarn that doesn't have glue stains. I am definitely keeping this on my board. Do these tips work if the glue has been on a rug for at least a week?

What are some directly hot glue safe surfaces? like i mean if i want to make a shape out of hotglue than take it off the surface i made it on to use it on a necklace

Hi Crim! I think a silicone mat will work perfectly for this. Plaid makes silicone molds for Mod Podge hot glue sticks that might be exactly what you're looking for! I'd double check the description on the product and recommend you use a low-temp glue gun for this. Good luck!

I agree with a silicone mat. I recently started using an old one from the kitchen and it is excellent. When the glue dries, it can be peeled directly off the mat with no problem. I wish I had discovered that years ago.

I have gotten hot glue on just about everything in my apartment at one point or another! I will definitely be bookmarking this page when it inevitably happens again

how would you remove a small piece of wood from paper that has been glued on with hotglue i cant destroy the paper

Hi Daisy! There isn't much info online about removing hot glue from paper since it is such a delicate material! If I were you, I might try using a blowdryer on a low setting to heat up the glue in order to remove the wood. That seems like the least risky option! You could try the rubbing alcohol in a very small quantity, but I suspect that would damage the paper. The blowdryer may be your best bet. I hope that helps, and good luck! -Dana from FaveCrafts

I definitely needed this a year ago. So many shirts have been forgotten because of the glue I managed to get on them. Whoops. Nice, informative article. Thanks!

It seems like aprons are the forgotten preventive item in every younger (than 73) person's wardrobe. Or wear a smock like artists do.

I totally agree. I should invest in a crafting apron before I ruin anything else.

I am a messy crafter, so I thoroughly appreciate this collection. Please also advise on how to get hot glue off of skin. Many thanks.

Hi kkittelson! The third section in this list actually tells you how to do exactly that. Hope that helps and hope you didn't burn yourself! :( - kaylee, Editor of FaveCrafts


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