How to Clean and Care for Your Hot Glue Gun

For most of your everyday adhesive needs, it’s hard to top the hot glue gun. From taking care of home improvement tasks to helping your kids with their latest school project, hot glue is versatile, easy to use, and even a little fun. However, a decent glue gun is going to set you back more than some sticky tape or a bottle of cheap paste, so you will want to protect that investment by making sure you treat your glue gun with care.

Step 1 – Shop Smart

It goes without saying that a better glue gun will glue better and last longer. But even the snazziest gun at the hardware store won’t hold up if you fill it with substandard glue. Care for your glue gun by only stocking it with the brands you trust. Whenever possible, insist on the same manufacturer who produced your glue gun. That store brand glue may save you a buck now, but it may end up costing you more in future clogging.

Step 2 – Follow Manufacturer’s Instructions

Like with much modern technology, the glue gun manufacturers know their own products best, and you should take care to follow their instructions while gluing. If you cannot find the original instructions, either included with the glue gun or on the manufacturer’s website, simply take care to keep excess glue from remaining on the nozzle, and wipe the gun thoroughly after each use to reduce blockage.

Step 3 – Keep Your Nozzle Clean

If glue does end up adhering to the nozzle of your gun, don’t panic. You can turn it back into a liquid form again by creating more heat.  Plug in the glue gun without inserting a glue stick, and allow to heat up as normal. Then carefully wrap a piece of aluminum foil around the edges of the nozzle and wipe the glue away. If some of the glue is still hardened, give it a few more minutes to heat up.

Step 4 – Don’t Neglect the Rest

If other parts of the gun have become covered in dried glue, place a piece of aluminum foil over the affected area and then gently rub with a heated iron. This may take some trial and error—you need to get the glue hot enough to melt without overheating the plastic body of the glue gun. Once the glue has been melted away, wipe the gun body down with a moist cloth or paper towel to remove excess grime and cool down the plastic.

Step 5 – Safe Storage

Remove the partially-used glue stick from the chamber so that it does not melt in the cabinet. Wrap the electrical cable in a figure eight pattern and hold it in place with a rubber band to prevent tangles and damage to the cable.