I’m sure almost everyone has encountered “Hot Glue” or “Hot Melt” at some point in their lives. It’s a very handy substance used to quickly glue things together with reasonably good strength and flexibility. No doubt a staple in every Maker’s toolbox.
You may have also struggled with trying to remove Hot Glue from various objects. It seems like no matter how harsh of a remover you try (acetone, mineral spirits, turpentine, etc.), nothing is effective at removing it cleanly and quickly.
Well that is until now…
I literally stumbled on this trick while working with hot glue over 20 years ago at a previous job. It ended up being a major discovery for how we conducted re-work on defective PCB parts.
After a bit of research I was surprised to find that as of 2010, nobody else seemed to be aware of this solution. Most people were attempting to use harsh chemicals such as those mentioned above, and without much luck. “So this is what it’s like to discover that new species of insect or new star that was never noticed before” I thought. Well, not quite, but it’s still pretty cool being one of (if not THE) first person to discover this trick. Several people have since created similar videos or articles demonstrating the technique but hey, they say imitation is the greatest form for flattery!
Long story short – use Isopropyl Alcohol
This little video continues to be extremely popular. The feedback received has been tremendous and very rewarding. Helping others is exactly why I enjoy doing this stuff. Here is a sampling of the feedback:
“yrusam2 – Thank you. I just tried it on a vintage wicker basket that had been decorated 25 years ago. I had pulled most of the hot glue off, but there was still much that remained & in little nooks of the basket. Old glue really stuck on there!! The rubbing alcohol method worked! thank you so much.”
“DanMan9871 – Worked perfectly! +1 internets to u”
“GTC1958 – Thanks Siliconghost, it worked just like you showed it would. Blessings to you.”
“TheAnonymousRaccoon – Ok, 1. That video helps alot. Many thanks. 2. You have excellent taste in 8Bit Music! :)”
“kmpjayhawks – 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”
“billfarr – 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.”
“tiggerlick – 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.”
For those interested, the awesome retro background music in my video is by 8bitpeoples
Album: Claps and Leads