How to Clean and Care for Your Hot Glue Gun

a black glue gun and glue sticks
What You'll Need
High-quality hot-glue gun
Fresh glue sticks (brand name preferred)
Aluminum foil
Rubber band

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 and easy to use. However, a decent glue gun is more expensive than some tape or a bottle of cheap glue, so you will want to protect your investment by making sure you clean and care for it properly.

Step 1 – Purchase Glue Sticks

A better glue gun will not only glue better, but also last longer. Still, even the snazziest glue gun at the hardware store won't hold up if you fill it with substandard glue. Care for your glue gun by stocking it only with the brands you trust.

Whenever possible, insist on purchasing glue from the same manufacturer who produced your gun. That store brand glue may save you a buck now, but it could end up costing you more in the future.

Step 2 – Follow the Manufacturer's Instructions

You should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions while using your glue gun. If you cannot find the original instructions, look on the manufacturer's website.

Step 3 – Keep Your Nozzle Clean

Take care to always wipe off the glue from the nozzle to prevent it from drying there and clogging the gun up. However, 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 heating it back up. Plug the glue gun in without inserting a glue stick, and allow it 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.

Warning: Depending on your familiarity with using a glue gun, you may want to use gloves and safety goggles when working with a glue gun, as even warm glue can produce burns. Never put the gun down on flammable surfaces, and always follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Step 4 – Don't Neglect the Rest of the Gun

If other parts of the gun have become covered in dried glue, place a piece of aluminum foil over the areas, and then gently rub with a heated iron. 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 – Safely Store It

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