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What Does Hot Glue Stick and Not Stick To?

what does hot glue stick and not stick to

If you are wondering what does hot glue stick and not stick to, you might be surprised at the answer. Even though most people use hot glue for craft projects, its uses encompass a lot of regions, from the classroom to the production line.

Yes, there is such a thing as industrial-grade hot glue and it is a lot better than the traditional one at home. However, even with top-tier hot glue, there are things that it has difficulty sticking together. This article will discuss the materials that hot glue has no trouble adhering to and also those you may have trouble sticking together.

What Can Hot Glue Stick to?

What sets hot glue apart from the other adhesives in the market is that it is quite versatile. This means it can work on various materials, like the ones mentioned next. Hot glue is also easy to use. Everyone can use a glue gun, even little kids.


can you use hot glue on wood

Can you use hot glue on wood? Yes, seeing as wood is quite porous, almost all adhesives will not have any problem sticking to it, including hot glue. Wood is a popular material even for arts and crafts, so you can probably attest to the effectiveness of hot glue on it.


Because hot glue is a thermoplastic, you can also use it for bonding several kinds of plastics. You can, for instance, stick plastics to other porous and non-porous materials. This is the best alternative to drilling or nailing.


Of course, you can use hot glue for fastening sheets of paper together. However, if the paper is too thin, you might have trouble gauging how much hot glue to use without making the paper bulge.

On the other hand, if you will be working with thicker gauge paper or cardboard, hot glue will be your best friend.


does hot glue work on felt

Does hot glue work on felt and other fabrics? Just like paper, it works better when you are dealing with thick fabrics as thinner and delicate fabrics might melt. I found that hot glue works well when attaching patches to garments and other fabric products.

What Materials Does Hot Glue Not Stick To?

does hot glue stick to metal

Typically, hot glue will not be able to stick to very smooth and non-porous surfaces. You can expect it to work best on surfaces with textures because the increased surface area allows it to hold. Some of the materials that may not be compatible with hot glue are the following:


Unless you rough up the surface a bit with sandpaper, hot glue will not hold onto the glass. It might seem to stick initially but once it cools down and hardens, it will easily peel off the surface of the glass.

Smooth Metal

Does hot glue stick to metal? Just like glass, polished metal surfaces are not hot glue-friendly. This means that the glue may not stick that well to metal.


Not that many adhesives can bond with silicone and that includes hot glue. Even superglue will not stick to silicone. The only adhesive that can work on this material is silicone glue.

Wet and Greasy Surfaces

Even if you can bond the material with hot glue, it will still not adhere to it if the surface is wet or has grease or oil covering it. Water will immediately cool the hot glue before allowing it to stick to the surface. On the other hand, oil and grease may prevent it from attaching to the surface at all.

How to Make Sure the Hot Glue Sticks?

does hot glue gun work on leather

If you will be using hot glue for your project, you will need to prepare the surface even if the material is among the ones compatible with it. This ensures that the glue will stick properly.

Use the Right Temperature Glue

Yes, there are different types of hot glues and you can differentiate them based on their melting points. Low-temperature glue sticks are best for applications that require fine details, like when working with cardboard or fabric. Generally, low-temperature hot glue is for light materials.

Does hot glue gun work on leather? Yes, you just need to rough up the surface first. On the other hand, high-temperature hot glue melts at 250 degrees F. These are suitable for heavy materials, like wood, metals, plastics, and ceramics.

In addition, there are professional-grade glue guns that come with built-in potentiometers. This allows you to control the amount of current going into the gun and fine-tune the temperature of the glue.

Sand the Surface Lightly

You don’t need to sand the surface that you will be using the hot glue on too roughly. Just wet-sanding the surface with some fine-grit sandpaper should be enough to give the hot glue enough surface area to stick to.

Allow the Glue to Heat Up

use the right temperature glue

Do not squeeze the trigger of your glue gun too early. If the hot glue is not “hot” enough, it will start to harden rapidly once it touches the surface. This means the adhesion will not be perfect.
After plugging in the glue gun, wait for at least five minutes. You will know when the glue gun is ready when there is already a bit of glue dripping out of the nozzle.


Hot glue is definitely a versatile adhesive but it is not a universal glue at all. Now that you know what does hot glue stick and not stick to, you can start using it properly.

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