How To Get Hot Glue Off Fabric


Hot glue is an ultimate tool and very often the perfect glue when crafting. It is easy to work with, it sticks quickly and very reliably. As perfect as hot glue is, it always happens that a drop goes wrong and has to be removed again. This article explains a few tricks on how to get hot glue off fabric accidentally, as well as from other different materials.

Remove hot glue from fabric

To remove hot glue from fabric with minimal damage to your project, the following steps should be followed:

Freeze it

If you accidentally spilled hot glue on the fabric, it’s important not to try to rub the hot glue off while the glue is still hot. The danger is too great that the glue seeps into the tiny gaps in the fabric. Place the project in the freezer. 

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This ensures that the glue dries and hardens particularly quickly. 20 minutes is usually enough for the glue to harden. The advantage of this method is that the glue is given as little time as possible to run into the fine gaps. Carefully pull the hardened glue out of the fabric.

Removing hot glue from metal, wood or other smooth surfaces

Whether hot glue dripped onto the table or onto the work piece, this tip works great and easily on many solid materials. All you need is alcohol and a cotton swab.

  • Let the hot glue dry. This makes it much easier to remove all of the glue in one go afterwards.
  • Once the glue is dry, soak a cotton swab in alcohol and dab around the edges of the unwanted glue.
  • Let the alcohol soak in for a bit. The excess hot glue can then be easily removed with a small spatula or something similar.

Note: Some surfaces do not respond well to alcohol. If you do decide to try it, only dab a small area around the edge of the adhesive to minimize damage.

Removing hot glue from carpet

Removing hot glue from carpet is a very difficult or even frustrating task and there are really only 2 ways to solve this problem. If you immediately notice that glue has gotten onto the carpet, you can use a sharp knife to try and gradually scrape the glue off in an upward motion.

Since the method with alcohol does not work on the carpet, the following complex method can be used:

You can try using an iron and some thin fabric (to which the glue sticks better than the carpet). The fabric is placed on the affected area and the hot iron on the fabric to melt the glue. Be careful not to move the iron back or forth, just gently press it down. In this way, you can gradually try to remove the glue with more fabric remnants.

Removing hot glue from paper

Unfortunately, hot glue that has drip onto paper can usually no longer be removed without tearing the paper. If you try it, it is very important to let the glue dry completely. However, the result is a matter of luck. Dampening with alcohol is also not an option as plain paper is too flimsy and will tear. Small drops may be able to be carefully removed with a scalpel.

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Tip: Of course, it’s best not to let it get to the point where hot glue has to be removed in the first place. You should be very careful with the hot glue gun and lay out the handicraft work station well, for example with newspaper. The hot glue can also drip onto a well-covered handicraft work station

Other methods you can use

There are tons of way to remove glue from various material. These methods may have different results. Therefore, you should try it before on smaller surfaces before applying it to the main surface.

Remove glue from fabric with nail polish remover

Many nail polish removers contain acetone, which is a very effective way to get rid of glue residue on clothing. Dip a cotton pad or cloth in the nail polish remover and use it to dab at the glue residue until it starts to dissolve.

White spirit against glue on clothing

White spirit also has adhesive-dissolving properties. Saturate a cloth with the agent and work on the glue residue until it dissolves. If necessary, wipe off with clear water.

Hand sanitizer gel for sticky stains

Disinfection gel is also suitable for removing various types of glue from clothing. Put it directly on the dried glue residue and rub it in gently. Let it work for a moment and then rub the adhesive residue off the fabric with a damp cloth.

Vinegar, the tried and tested household remedy

Heat some vinegar in a saucepan and soak a sponge in it. Press this onto the adhesive residue and briefly hold the pressure. Then gently rub the adhesive out of the material.

Remove adhesive residue with steam

If you have a steam cleaner, use it to get rid of the adhesive residue. Alternatively, you could bring some vinegar water to a boil in a saucepan and hold the affected garment, glue residue first, in the hot steam. Wear thick rubber gloves to protect against the heat. Once the glue comes off, wipe it up with a paper towel. Clean the residue using a damp cloth.

Remove glue with detergent

A heavy-duty liquid detergent can often be enough to remove the glue from clothing. First, soak the garment in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes. Then wring it out well and dribble some detergent onto the glue residue. Rub it lightly into the material with the cap of the bottle. So put the garment in the washing machine and wash it through as hot as possible.


Always test the agents above on an inconspicuous area of ​​the garment to avoid discoloration or damage. After removing the adhesive residue, you should wash the clothing in the washing machine as hot as possible. If visible stains remain, treat with a stain remover before washing the garment again.

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