How to Melt Hot Glue Sticks Without a Gun?

Do you have a small child who likes to play with glue? Does she always seem to pull the hot glue from her hands, clothes, and bed sheets? You should teach your child some old-fashioned tricks instead of buying a gun that melts the glue in seconds.

These tricks are easy enough for anyone to learn and they will keep your little one well-groomed. You should start by teaching your kid how to melt hot glue sticks without a gun. If you don’t know, these tricks are good for you. And don’t worry, these tricks are 100% safe.

How to Melt Hot Glue Sticks Without a Gun

In this article, I will share some simple ways to melt hot glue sticks without a gun. It’s a bit tricky to learn, but it’s fun. Your kid will love the fantastic secrets you’ve discovered. Before I share the easy tricks, let me share a little bit of information about melting hot glue sticks without a gun.

What Temperature Does Hot Glue Melt?

Hot glue will start to melt at a temperature lower than what you would need for plastics such as PVC and polyethylene. While still solidifying quickly on the craft project, you can apply it by hand. Hot glue sticks melt at around 250°F. It’s nearly boiling water. On the other hand, a high-temperature glue gun will continue to melt and drip at a temperature up to about 380°F. It’s much hotter than the melting temperature of hot glue.

The acute temps will melt the hot glue quickly and rapidly. There are several variables that will affect the melting temperature of hot glue. The most important one is the thickness and composition of the glue sticks. Generally, the thicker the stick, the higher its melting point. Some brands even offer varying grades of hot glue. Glue sticks with a thicker diameter can hold up to 3800F, while thinner ones start melting at around half that temperature. That’s why people trying to watch their weight would prefer a lower temp glue gun.

When you’re working with hot glue, the important thing to keep in mind is how it sets once applied. Hot glue dries at around 195°C / 380°F which doesn’t seem too bad until you consider all the ways you can apply it. You can smother it over a solid surface, dab it on a shirt to create patches, or use it to assemble an object. Because it only takes a few seconds, the hot glue will always cool down fast.

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Can I Use Hot Glue Sticks Without A Gun?

Yes, you definitely can use hot glue sticks without a gun. In fact, I’ve been doing so on many occasions. It works as well and saves me tons of money too. This technique should be used if you need to use the glue stick on a fast-moving project where you don’t have time to set up a glue gun and get it hot enough. It’s really that simple. But, how do you do this? I’ll tell you how . . .

I use a glue stick without a gun simply by inserting the glue stick into my hot melt glue gun and then plugging it into the wall outlet. Unfortunately, the string at the top of the glue stick gets stuck in the opening, where I insert it into my hot melt glue gun. So, I use a pair of small scissors and snip this off so that there is only a small piece remaining.

Then I take a paper clip and insert it into one end of the plastic piece stuck on the outside of my glue gun. Next, I carefully pull this out until it pops loose from being heated with the heat generated by my hot melt glue gun. Then I insert this piece into the opening, where I usually insert my hot glue sticks. Now, it’s just as easy to use the glue stick without a gun, and you don’t have to worry about getting the string in your way.

You do have to plug your glue gun into an outlet to get it hot enough. The problem with this technique is that the hot glue stick becomes stiff when inserted. You just can’t get the stick out after you’ve used it. You have to wait until it cools off enough to get it out.

For those who don’t have a hot glue gun, there are glue sticks that don’t require a hot glue gun available on the market. The only problem with these glue sticks is that they don’t work nearly as well as when you use them with a hot glue gun. But, if you have no other choice, I guess they are better than nothing at all.

How Long Do Hot Glue Sticks Last?

Hot glue sticks are a staple for any hobbyist, crafter, and DIYer. They are a go-to adhesive for everything from arts and crafts to home improvement. Every craft store has them, and several companies even produce their own branded sticks. Unfortunately, these glue sticks don’t last forever. So, how long do these sticks last?

How Long Do Hot Glue Sticks Last

The lifespan of hot glue sticks is not consistent. Some glue sticks last much longer than others. The amount of time depends on the strength of the glue and how frequently you use it. On average, a hot glue stick will last anywhere from 6-8 months. Your hot glue sticks last for a shorter amount of time when you can use them on a regular basis and aren’t stored in a cool place. Then, they usually only last about 3 to 4 months. However, it is important to note that the hot glue stick you use will affect its durability.

How to Melt Hot Glue Sticks Without a Gun?

Hot glue guns is fantastic inventions. They’re great for squeezing out goopy, sticky, fast-coating glue when you don’t want to mess with brushes and pots of boiling water. But if you’ve ever used a hot glue gun, you probably know they tend to break or stop working at the worst possible times. So, is there any alternative to a hot glue gun? Maybe You can probably guess where today’s discussion is going. But don’t worry! I’ve got a quick and easy way that you can melt glue without a gun. With these methods, you’ll be sure to have plenty of melted glue for all your crafting needs without the frustration or mess of using a gun.

1. Use Hot Water

It may sound crazy, but the simplest (and my favorite) way to melt hot glue is with hot water. If you do this, ensure that the water isn’t boiling before you pour it into your glue pot. Also, don’t forget that the glue will have an off-putting smell if you boil it for too long. So, please turn off the stove once it’s cooled completely.

Foam insulation can work wonders when using this method of making hot glue sticks. The bubbles will help push the melted glue through larger nozzles into smaller areas without using a gun.

2. Use an Oven

Using a pre-heated oven is another easy way to melt your glue sticks. I recommend using a microwave to get it hot before putting it in the oven. You’ll want to ensure that the glue doesn’t touch any of the sides while it’s in the oven. Your work surface is spotless and free of clutter if you try this method.

If you have a glue gun that recently ran out of glue, you can melt a few sticks in the oven. When you find that the glue is still loose, place a heat-resistant plate on top of the glue pot and let it sit for 10 minutes.

3. Use a Electric Heater

You can use an electric heater to melt your glue if you don’t have any extra glue. You just want to make sure that it’s not too hot, or else you’ll end up with glue slag instead of the smooth, melted glue. Place the glue pot in an electric heater, set your microwave to high, and leave it there for a few minutes. I would suggest using a clean heat-resistant plate over the glue pot. The heat from the glue pot will move up through the plate and keep your glue from being too hot.

4. Use a hot glue skillet

If you have a hot glue pot that needs a deep clean, you can use a hot glue skillet for crafts. It can be a messy process, so be sure to clean up your mess immediately. A hot glue skillet is basically a glass bowl that you can use on top of a pot of hot water. Be careful the glue does not touch the side of the glass since this will cause it to harden and burn. The melted glue should absorb any paper, so you can use it for crafts.

If you’re having trouble getting the glue out of the pot, try heating it in an oven at 3000F for about 10-15 minutes. Make sure that any glue strings are cut after removing the pot from the oven so you don’t get clumps everywhere. With all these methods, you’ll never have to use your hot glue guns again except for actual crafts.

5. Use a Soldering Iron

When you don’t have any other tools, you can always use a soldering iron to help you melt your glue. Always ensure the iron is hot and clean before putting it in the glue. It should take about 10 minutes to melt the glue completely. You’ll need a foam or pincushion to catch the melted glue. You can also use glue sticks that are hard to get out of their containers by melting the previous glue stick with the soldering iron.

6. Use a Blowtorch

If you have a lot of glue to melt or the other methods aren’t working, you may consider using a blowtorch. It’s not something most people will have around the house, but it’s an effective way to melt your hot glue sticks. You’ll need to use a blowtorch that doesn’t create a flame but uses heat to make the glue run smoothly instead.

When you use anything that burns with a blowtorch, like paper or cardboard, be careful to keep the glue out of the flame’s path. You may also have to intermittently move your blowtorch around so that it doesn’t melt all at once and create a huge mess. When using a blowtorch, remember not to touch any part when it’s on.

Can You Melt Hot Glue Sticks in The Microwave?

Microwaves are neat little kitchen appliances that can do practically anything, from cooking to heating leftovers. However, how many people know that you can melt hot glue sticks in the microwave? A microwave oven may be a more convenient way to melt hot glue sticks, but it’s not always safe. I hope it is the easiest way to melt glue sticks without a gun. But this method only works for small amounts of hot glue. You may want to experiment with different times and temperatures if you want larger quantities of melted adhesive.

Using Microwave to Melt Hot Glue Sticks

One of the many advantages of this technique is that you won’t have to wait for the hot glue to reach room temperature before you can use it. The microwave will rapidly cool the glue down and then use it just as if you were sticking things with regular hot glue. Just take care not to get any on your clothing or skin because the adhesive can burn when heated and cause a rash caused by an allergic reaction.

I only recommend using it when you use small quantities of hot glue, like attaching paper clips or felt stars. Please avoid using the microwave while cooking food in the same room because certain microwaves can emit radiation that can damage your microwave and ovens. If you’re unsure whether your microwave is safe to use, check with a thermometer before placing food into the oven.

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Does Hot Glue Melt Plastic?

Many people ask a straightforward question- does hot glue melt plastic? The truth about this question is yes, hot glue can melt plastic. But it’s not very likely that your hot glue will make a dent in the plastic unless it sits on it for an extended period. The only way hot glue would melt plastic is if the sun or room temperature became burning. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true. Here’s an example-

I recently saw a guy at work melt a plastic mat with hot glue. It was on the concrete floor, and he had to grab it while it was still warm. He used quite a bit of glue on it, which was there for a while. As you may know, high-temperature hot glue melts at about 380°F (192°C). Now the place of work is cold and the glue just happened to be sitting next to an air conditioner vent, so it was even colder than normal. The plastic he glued is like the plastic used in this experiment (plastic canvas). Plastic canvas can melt if exposed to heat sources like a hair dryer or a heat gun because it’s made of PVC plastic, melting at about 300-310°F (149-154°C). Also, note that hot glue can melt polyethylene plastic. Polyethylene is much softer than PVC, so it’s more likely to dent if you use hot glue.

Read More: Can a Hot Glue Gun Melt Solder?

Can You Melt Hot Glue Sticks on The Stove?

It sounds too good to be accurate, but you can. Hot glue sticks are made of a thermoplastic polymer called polyurethane. Polyurethane is tough stuff that you can burn at any temperature, even with heat up to 200°F. You can melt hot glue sticks (Polyurethane) on the stove, but it will take a lot of heat and time. It helps to have a pan that can be used as your hot glue pot. You can use a good pan repeatedly and possibly even melt onto it in the future. If you already own a cooking pan that you are willing to put up with, then use it.

You can buy inexpensive stainless-steel pots made explicitly for melting glue sticks on the stove at retail craft stores. These pots hold up very well under heat and clean up very nicely as well. You can also use a regular household pot that you already have in your kitchen. Heating the hot glue stick is basically getting a plastic burn on your stovetop. Most stoves cannot paint over the dark spots from a plastic burn, but if yours can, go for it.

Can You Melt Hot Glue with A Lighter?

Yes, you can melt hot glue with a lighter. But, it’s not actually melting into a liquid form like water does when exposed to heat. If you’ve ever melted your hot glue, you’ve seen that it turns a clear milky color when exposed to heat. The polymer chains are breaking apart and joining back together. When these chains rejoin, they produce a solid molecule that can be melted with a lighter. But is it safe to melt it down with a lighter?

Using Lighter to Melt Hot Glue stick

Hot glue is made of a combination of polymer and plastic. When you heat the hot glue, the air around the pot will start to turn brownish because it reacts with oxygen on its surface. That’s normal and nothing to worry about. So, it’s safe to consider hot glue as a synthetic polymer. But, the glue itself isn’t burning or melting when you do this, but you’ll still be handling fire with your hands. So, be careful!

Tips for Melting Hot Glue Sticks Without A Gun

Already I discuss some ways to melt glue sticks without a gun. But I want to share some other tips that I have been doing too long. These are my tips for melting glue sticks without a gun-

  • Choose the Right Glue Stick

Even though hot glue guns look like the best ones to use, you might find it hard to use them if you don’t choose the right glue sticks. These hot glue guns come in several sizes, so make sure to buy the best one for your needs. It will also make your life easier in some cases.

  • Don’t Forget to Clean Up

Another trick to remember is that you should clean up after you’ve melted all the glue. When you’ve melted your glue, make sure to dispose of it and clean up the area before anything else. You don’t want to find sticky stuff in your glue pot or utensils from all the melted hot glue.

  • Watch Out for Flames

When trying to melt glue, you should be careful not to set your ingredients on fire. You should always put out flames and keep an eye out for any fire hazards, such as trash cans or anything else that might catch on fire. If something looks like it could catch on fire and you’re unable to put it out, get away from the kitchen or workstation as quickly as possible.

  • Don’t Use Hot Glue on The Wrong Things

Finally, you should remember not to use hot glue on the wrong things. You could end up hurting yourself or others if you make a mistake here. So, remember this and make sure that you only use hot glue on things it’s meant for.


We come to the final and most important part of the article. I hope you find what you’re looking for and can take something away from this article. When you can’t get your hands on a heat gun, don’t let your glue stick go to waste! Already mentioned in this article, there are many ways to melt hot glue sticks without a gun. If you confuse about which method is safe, you can start using the microwave method. This method is a quick and easy way to avoid the need to use a gun and is less dangerous. You should never hesitate to try this experiment when you are in a bind and can not find anything else. Never be afraid of trying something different in life because it might just help someone out in the long run.

Good luck and happy experimenting!

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