What Does Hot Glue Not Stick To?

Many types of glue don’t stick to surfaces like they should.

If it’s one of your essential ingredients for your craft, it shouldn’t fall apart just because it doesn’t stick to a certain surface.

Many crafters swear by hot glue because of its reliability when it comes to making beautiful sculptures.

So, what does hot glue not stick to?

Hot glue is a handy adhesive that’s great for crafts.

However, it’s not that useful. For example, it doesn’t stick to thick fabrics or leather.

It also doesn’t stick to most plastics. Hot glue sticks better to itself than other materials, though, so it’s useful for repairing broken objects.

It’s also great for sticking paper to paper, or paper to wood or fabric. However, hot glue has a weakness.

While it’s good for sticking paper to paper, it’s bad for paper to wood or fabric. It also doesn’t stick to cardboard or fabric, so be careful with hot glue.

What Does Hot Glue Not Stick To?

Hot glue does not stick to everything.

In fact, it sticks to only a few things. It doesn’t stick to plastic, metal, or glass.

It also doesn’t stick to skin. However, it does stick to wood, paper, fabric, and cardboard.

For this reason, it’s important not to stick hot glue to plastic, metal, glass, or skin.

What Surfaces Will Hot Glue Not Stick On?

Hot glue is a thermoplastic adhesive that is dispensed through a glue gun and is very hot when applied.

It does not adhere to smooth surfaces such as glass or plastics.

Metal, glass, and most plastics don’t hold the glue well at all.

This is because heat activates the adhesive on contact and makes it pliable so that it easily adheres to most surfaces. However, glass lacks texture which is needed for a strong bond and unfortunately, the hot glue does not adhere to it very well.

You can also irritate your skin with hot glue.

Plastic, including vinyl and leather, does not go well with hot glue either. Make sure the surface is rough and give the glue enough time to set.

Otherwise, you may try to peel it off later only to discover that it doesn’t really come off without tearing the surface underneath as well.

Hot glue will not adhere to the material on which it is applied unless you use a primer such as DAP brand adhesion promoter.

How Can You Make Hot Glue More Durable And Effective?

Using Hot Glue Durable Variants

Thermobond hot melt adhesives are formulated with additives that increase the durability of the bond and provide better adhesion to many substrates.

This adhesive is very resistant to water and also peels off cleanly without leaving any residue behind on the surface to which it was applied.

You may also use polyurethane adhesives in place of traditional craft adhesives like PVA and Elmer’s Glue Sticks for sturdier bonds and greater durability on porous surfaces like wood and cloth.

However, it takes longer to dry than typical craft adhesives do but provides a stronger bond once dried.

Hot Melt Adhesives may work better for some projects too.

It is, however, important to read the label on the packaging to ensure that the hot melt adhesive you use is suitable for the particular surface on which you intend to use it.

Using Hot Melt Adhesive with a High Temperature

High-temperature hot glues, which melt at higher temperatures than traditional glue sticks do, may be a better option if your work involves applying multiple layers at one time.

Users may adjust the temperature depending on the type of project they work on as well.

This makes it acceptable for a wide variety of applications and temperatures ranging from 320F to 380F are not uncommon.

For improved performance, large enterprises employ industrial glue guns like the Scotch-weld line of glue guns.

Roughening The Surface

Using abrasive materials, such as sandpaper or steel wool, to roughen the surface of the substrate to which the glue is applied helps the adhesive to better adhere to the surface.

This provides an uneven surface to which the glue can cling better and helps to form stronger bonds.

A brief alcohol wipe on the cleaned surface also helps to increase the effectiveness of a hot glue gun.

What Factors Influence Hot Glue Strength?

The Surface

Wood glue is not the be-all and end-all of gluing material. When gluing wood, consider the type of piece you’re gluing.

The surface power will greatly influence the ease at which they adhere together.

For instance, a wood with knots and ridges will give the glue more surface area to adhere to. Generally, the more ridges and knots, the stronger the bond.

If you put the glue on a smooth piece of wood, there will be little surface area for the glue to stick to and the glued item will be more likely to come apart.

Improper Temperature

High temperatures give the glue a greater surface area to stick to while low temperatures shrink the molecules of the glue down giving less area to stick to and less strength to the bond.

That is how it may make a piece of plywood stronger than a piece of pine of the same thickness.

That is, the lower the temperature, the greater the shrinkage of the molecules and the weaker the bond becomes as the bonding molecule is smaller in size and thus has less contact area with the bonding surface.

Also Read: Does Hot Glue Stick To Aluminum Foil?


In conclusion, hot glue sticks very well to many surfaces.

However, it sticks to some surfaces better than others. For example, hot glue sticks to glossy surfaces very well, but it sticks to highly textured surfaces poorly.

Hot glue also sticks to porous surfaces well, but not to metal surfaces. As a result, it’s best to use hot glue for porous and glossy surfaces.

It’s also best to avoid using it on metal surfaces or on highly textured surfaces.