The best way to use a hot glue gun

Before you start using a hot glue gun, make sure your workspace is clean, free from any potential hazards and away from small children.

Note that the basics of using any hot glue gun and hot glue gun sticks are generally the same but this should only be treated as a guide. Make sure you always read and follow the manufacturers' instructions of your specific glue gun and go over the safety warnings.

Preparing your hot glue gun

Start by ensuring the nozzle of the glue gun doesn't have any blockages and, if it's clear, insert a glue stick through the rear of the gun. You may need to squeeze the trigger a few times to get the stick properly in place. Once it's ready, power up your glue gun and let it heat up while sitting in its stand.

Handling your glue gun

The surfaces of the objects you'll be gluing together need to be clean and dry. Place some scrap cardboard or foil beneath the object to catch stray strands of adhesive. Point the nozzle downwards and press the trigger gently until some glue flows out. If the trigger is tight, your glue hasn't properly warmed.

Apply your glue in dots or swirls to the surface that is the most difficult to bond - there's no need to spread the glue - and then press the surfaces together straight away. You'll know the glue is set if it appears dry and hard once cooled. Most adhesives set fairly quickly but some experts recommend giving your projects a couple of hours to make sure they really bond well.

Excess glue can be removed once it's dried by carefully using a blade edge to scrape it away. Any leftover residue can be tidied up by using some cleaning solvent.

After you've finished gluing

Unplug the gun as soon as you're finished and allow it to cool completely in its stand before putting it away. Leftover glue can be trimmed from the glue gun with a sharp knife but only once it has fully cooled.

Tips and tricks for combating common hot glue gun issues:

  • Toothpicks or aluminium foil are fantastic for cleaning dried glue from the nozzle of your gun.
  • Keeping surfaces to be glued at room temperature gets the best results, and it also stops your glue from cooling too fast.
  • You don't need a huge amount of glue - just a small amount should be sufficient to do the job.
  • Metal, hard and smooth surfaces are usually more difficult to stick to than rough surfaces.
  • Never force the trigger.
  • Try gluing a few pieces of throwaway material to get a feel for your glue gun before using it for projects that require precision.
  • Likewise, sensitive surfaces can be damaged by the hot adhesive or by the solvents used in the cleaning process. Always carry out a test before you use it on your project.
  • And lastly, have fun!

Other glues and adhesives for your shopping cart

Craft and hobby glue

Different projects need different types of glue. Choose from woodworking glues, fabric adhesives and everyday glues in our craft and hobby glue range.

Double-sided tapes and reusable adhesives

Double sided and reusable tapes are the perfect, cost-effective solution for craft projects, as well as fastening decorations, posters and paintings around the home or classroom.

Spray adhesives and glue

When you need to glue a large surface area, spray adhesives and glues are perfect and can be used on paper, fabric, cardboard, cork and many other materials.


Find the right hot glue guns and accessories at Spotlight Australia

Ready to buy? Shop through a range of hot glue guns online. Additionally, our buying guide offers heaps of helpful advice on choosing the glues and adhesive tapes that are best for your purposes.

Alternatively, head into a Spotlight store to see our collection in person, check out the accessories we have available and speak with one of our friendly customer service team who'll be happy to answer your questions.

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