How to Clean a Hot Glue Gun?

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A low-temperature hot glue gun heats the adhesive to 130 degrees. The glue residues stick to the tip and body when this temperature cools down. Therefore, you need to adopt subtle cleaning methods to remove those residues.

How to Clean a Hot Glue Gun?

If you want to learn how to clean a hot glue gun, this article is for you. Here are the methods and steps to guide you. 

Woman using a glue gun for her crafts

Method 1: Using Aluminum Foil

The basic cleaning approach for a hot glue gun should start from its exterior. Here are the steps you need to follow:

Step #1: Take Sheets of Aluminum Foil

Aluminum foil makes for a good scrubber and, therefore, is important for this step.

You need to:

  1. Tear a large aluminum foil piece. 
  2. Wad it in the shape of a ball. 
  3. Use gloves for safety before moving on to the next step. 
  4. You can prepare multiple foil balls for better cleaning. 


A big foil ball is preferable to avoid a burning sensation on fingers while cleaning the tip of the glue gun.

Step #2: Scrub the Tip with the Ball

Follow these sub-steps to properly scrub and clean the exterior of the glue gun:

  1. Push the tip of the glue gun into the ball or vice versa. 
  2. Rotate the ball or tip to clean the glue debris from the small outlet area. 
  3. Now, rub the sides of the tip to remove the glue residues. 
  4. Use more than one aluminum foil ball for proper cleaning. 

Step #3: Scrub & Clean the Glue Gun Body

Once the tip is clean, you can now move onto the body of the hot glue gun:

  1. Take a fresh aluminum foil ball.
  2. Rub it against the glue residues stuck all over the body of the glue gun.
  3. Take your time and scrub it properly all over for scraping out the glue.
  4. Apply subtle force on robust glue residues. 

Step #4: Heat The Glue Gun

It is the final step for cleaning the exterior of the hot glue gun. Removing the kickstand of the glue gun will help clean it better.

Follow the sub-steps to execute it:

  1. Lay the glue gun on its side on a silicon mat or newspaper.
  2. Cut out a piece of aluminum foil and place it over the glue gun. 
  3. Wear some gloves to protect your hands.
  4. Get a blow dryer or heat gun. 
  5. Blow hot air on the gun.
  6. Stop the blow dryer, then rub the foil on the gun to remove the glue residues.
  7. The glue will stick more to the foil, and you can peel it off after completing the process.
  8. Repeat it for the other side of the hot glue gun.
  9. You can repeat the process until you observe a clean exterior.

Check out this video for a clear demonstration of what you need to do.

Woman resting her hot glue gun before cleaning

Method 2: Using Acetone

It is yet another effective method to clean the robust glue residues over the gun. Below are steps mentioned under this method to help you clean a hot glue gun:

Step #1: Wiping The Tip Of The Glue Gun

The first step is always to clean the residues over the tip of the glue gun:

  1. Use a dry sheet for cleaning the tip
  2. Scrub it properly around the tip region.
  3. Repeat the process until you see a clean glue gun tip. 

Step #2: Use Needle Or Pin For Cleaning The Base

This step is meant for the cordless hot glue guns with a small hole at the bottom. This hole needs cleaning from time to time. You can just use a pin or needle to scrape the hole and remove the glue residues. 

It is important because, without cleaning that hole, you won’t be able to settle your glue gun on the base. Therefore, if you have a cordless hot glue gun, then do not skip this step. 

Step #3: Apply Acetone To The Glue Gun Body

Now, it is time to clean the glue gun body. Acetone can be useful for the process.

  1. Use a paper towel and pour acetone on it. 
  2. Make sure the glue gun is off before applying acetone to it.
  3. Rub the paper towel with acetone over the glue gun to remove dirt or stains. 
  4. Keep on rubbing the body of the glue gun gently until it is clean. 
  5. Once the paper towel gets dirty, pour acetone on another towel and continue cleaning.


In case you do not have a proper acetone solution, you can use nail polish remover for the purpose.

Step #4: Disinfect the Glue Gun

After all the cleaning is done, it is now time for disinfecting the glue gun. The steps are as follows:

  1. Get a disinfectant that should be strictly non-flammable, unlike the type that you use to clean phone cases. Suppose you do not have any disinfectant at your place; you can use a mixture of half vinegar and half water.
  2. Use a damp cloth and dip it in the disinfectant solution. 
  3. Wring out the extra solution from the cloth. 
  4. Wipe the entire body of the hot glue gun. 
  5. Use clean water and a clean cloth to wipe it off again.
  6. Use a paper towel for drying the hot glue gun. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use a Usual Pair of Hand Gloves While Cleaning or Working with a Hot Glue Gun?

Except for rubber gloves, you can use any type of hand gloves to protect your fingers from the heat. The glue gun needs to be warm to allow easy removal of glue residues. Therefore, gloves are just for precautionary measures, and any type of them would work. 

What Can I Do to Prevent the Glue Gun Nozzle from Clogging So Quickly?

If you are not using the glue gun for around 40 minutes, it is better to turn it off. It is because overheating of glue is the main reason for nozzle blocking. Clean the nozzle after every use because the glue is easy to remove when the glue gun is warm. Use safety gloves on priority!

Can I Lay the Glue Gun on the Side, Even While It Is On?

Laying the glue gun on the side during work in progress will cause the glue to back feed. Hence, it might damage the gun. The glue gun can only be put on its side when it is off. 

Should I Remove the Partly-Melted Glue Stick Before Cleaning the Gun?

You should never remove the partly-melted glue stick from the gun, as it will damage the applicator in the long run. Complete the use for that remaining glue stick and then take it for the cleaning process. 


Cleaning the glue gun is quite important for people to ensure that it operates well all the time. The best way of ensuring that your hot glue gun serves you for years is to clean it after every use. So, make sure you follow these methods to carry out a proper cleaning procedure for your hot glue gun.