Easily Remove Dried Hot Glue (aka Hot Melt)




Introduction: Easily Remove Dried Hot Glue (aka Hot Melt)

About: I love combining software, electrical, and mechanical engineering to come up with unique and fun projects. I'm not a chef, but love to cook. Follow me on http://manganlabs.com and http://twitter.com/@mangan...

In this video I will show you how to cleanly (and easily) remove hot glue (aka hotmelt) from nearly any surface. 

I literally stumbled on this while working with hot glue over 20 years ago at a previous job.  It ended up being a "major discovery" for how we conducted our "re-work" on defective parts. 

After a bit of research on the net I was surprised that even today I can't find anyone else that is aware of this solution.  I found that most people are using much more harsh chemicals.  That prompted me to create this quick Instructable and share the knowledge.

Long story short - use Isopropyl Alcohol

By John Mangan (siliconghost)

Please RATE my Instructable!  If you like this, check out my other Instructables by clicking my username (siliconghost) above.

Background music by 8bitpeoples
Album: Claps and Leads
Song: Funktify

2 People Made This Project!


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59 Discussions

Okay, I bought an antique reproduction Victorian couch for a song because repairs had been attempted with hot glue and resulted in a fairly hideous mess. I'm pretty confident and fairly clever, so I went after it with paint thinner. No luck. I tried paint remover. Nope. Windex. Nix. I broke out the big stuff; Methyl Ethyl Ketone-negative. KleanStrip solvent, which will damn near dissolve human bone (I don't know this for a fact). Nah. I would have used a small thermonuclear device if the internet instructions had actually worked properly but someone somewhere has clearly altered them.
Then I found your video. In 15 minutes I'd picked enough hot glue off of the pink velvet to get the result I needed and continue the repair.
Thank you. Not only from me, but from all the inhabitants of my fair city who were saved from atomic incineration by your timely and instructive video.

2 replies

WAY too funny! ROFLMAO! Love your commentary.

And, ya, the Isopropol Alcohol worked for me too. (Yay!)

Thanks for the superb time saving tip. Much less invasive than what I thought...(I was going to use a dremel to make the parts free...electronic stuff, so, I needed a better solution).

OMG it works! I've had 25yrs. old barrettes with glue gobs that were like cement. Your technique took 1 minute. Thank YOU!

1 reply

May you be Blessed by all and/or any Diety that watch over you.
And may you never become unable to hold onto a single blade of grass to keep from falling off the earth.

1 reply

Billfarr, now that bit of feedback just made my day. Thank you and glad you like the instructable!

We used the alcohol on the painted walls and brick to remove the hot glue, it worked great. It did remove a little paint which was fine because we are repainting. I work at a school and we had to remove alot of it. We were chipping away, we tried heating it and that made it worse. There were 5-6 of us working on it while racking are brains on an easier way. I googled it, found your tip. After that it just took 2 girls to finish up and got it done in the time it took 5 of us that worked on it all day. Wanted to say thanks!! Now we can go home and ice are sore arms from all the chipping we were doing before I found your tip

1 reply

Can't believe I spent so much time on the "net" looking for my answer. This worked perfectly for removing old unwanted glass break contacts from the windows in my home. Thanks

Would you happen to know how the alcohol might affect aluminum? I want to remove what looks to be hot glue from an aluminum surface in a shadow box.

1 reply

I work with anodised aluminium and it doesn't effect it in the least.


2 years ago

Excellent tip thanx!!

I had already scraped a lot of the hot glue of this piece of fishing rod. Then I looked for something to help with what was left. I was able, eventually, to remove all of it using your tip.


wow, it actually works! but i used my last drop of isopropanol, and i don't have any money atm...

who cares, it works!

God bless ya! It worked like a charm. Had a big blob on my sewing table. It came right up. Thanks so much!


2 years ago

Thanks this will help when I make my halo armour out of EVA foam. Just in case glue goes everywhere. Thanks

1 reply

Hiya! Is there a place where the instructions are either written out, or a version of the video where you have a voiceover detailing what you do. ? I'm visually impaired, and while the music is super cute, I have NO idea what's going on in this video. It looks like you're assembling a robot or toy or something, and despite studying the video closely, I have no idea how any glue is being cleaned up here- it just looks like you're kinda making something. Written instructions or a voiceover would rock, for those of us who can't catch the captions in this vid, or make out what's goin'on. Thanks so much! <3

1 reply

Very briefly, he applies isopropyl alcohol around the edges of the hot melt glue to soften it's grip.

Hi, great information thanks... I need to get hot glue off of ping pong balls and was wondering if it will melt them with the glue?... Balls are made from celluloid film. Thanks in advance if you can help.