How to remove dried hot glue

Hot glue is useful for many projects and is often the glue of choice for arts and crafts. Hot glue is easy to apply, cools quickly and provides a firm fix. Unfortunately, if the glue gets on to a surface such as a table, clothing or carpet, the fast-drying properties of the hot glue become a pain. Luckily, there are several ways to remove hot glue from all kinds of objects.

Remove manually

Allow the glue to dry before peeling it off. If you spill a small amount, add some extra glue to the top of the smear to create a bump on the surface of the object. This makes it easier to peel the glue off when it dries.

Use a butter knife or your fingers to gently pry the glue from the surface. It is much easier to remove hot glue from glass, wood, plastic and other hard materials than it is to remove from cloth.

Continue on to other removal methods if this method does not work (as it may not for fabric).

Hair dryer technique

Plug the hair dryer into a nearby socket. Do not use this method for sensitive objects, such as delicate woods or leather.

Turn the hair dryer on a low heat. Hold the dryer several centimetres above the glue spot for 10 to 20 seconds.

Peel the glue spot away from the object gently. This method may not work on carpet, as it will pull the fibres out of the carpet along with the glue.

Freezer tip

Place the glued object in the freezer for one to two hours.

Remove the object and peel the glue spot off the surface with a butter knife.

Follow instructions below for glue that remains in the fibres of the object or for objects that are too large to fit in the freezer.

Acetone method

Pour a small amount of acetone on a soft cloth.

Test an invisible area of the object to ensure no staining will occur.

Blot the object until the glue is removed. Do not rub the glue. This will grind it into the fibres of the material. You may need several applications of acetone before the glue is lifted.

Glue remover

Place some glue remover over the glue.

Rub the glue remover into the glue until it is completely removed.

Rinse the area with cool water and a clean cloth.

Things You'll Need

  • Acetone
  • Cotton cloths
  • Hair dryer
  • Butter knife
  • Freezer
  • Glue remover
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About the Author

Brenda Priddy has more than 10 years of crafting and design experience, as well as more than six years of professional writing experience. Her work appears in online publications such as Donna Rae at Home, Five Minutes for Going Green and Daily Mayo. Priddy also writes for Archstone Business Solutions and holds an Associate of Arts in English from McLennan Community College.