Glue guns and hot melt adhesives are generally safe to use and pose virtually no hazards to health. However, adhesives are used in a molten state at high temperatures. There may be a small risk of harm, such as burns and damage to surfaces if they’re not used correctly and safely.
Wearing protective clothing like overalls, gloves, and goggles can reduce the risk of burns. Storing the glue gun correctly and using a drip mat while gluing can prevent damage to surfaces – and the gun itself. Follow these tips to help prevent accidents, and solve any problems.
|Inhalaled hot melt fumes
|Stop working and get some fresh air. Seek medical advice if you have any respiratory problems.
Hot melt fumes are generally safe – unless the glue has overheated. Overheating could potentially release toxic vapours. In this case, seek medical advice immediately if you accidentally inhale fumes.
|Hot melt glue in eyes
|Rinse your eyes thoroughly with cold water. Seek medical attention immediately.
|Molten hot melt glue on skin
|Plunge the skin into cold water straight away until the burning sensation subsides – usually for around ten minutes. Don’t attempt to remove the molten glue. This could pull away layers of skin and leave a raw wound.
If your fingers are coated with molten adhesive, keep them moving while it cools to prevent a tourniquet effect.
|Removing dried hot melt glue from skin
|Don’t remove glue from the skin without seeking medical attention. There could be a deeper burn or wound underneath.
Olive oil or liquid paraffin can slowly soften adhesive. Soak the oil into a cotton wool pad and gently soften the glue with a circling motion.
Once the glue has been removed, treat the area as a typical burn. You may need antibiotic cream and dressing – with the advice of a doctor.
|Accidental ingestion of hot melt glue
|If you’ve accidentally swallowed hot melt glue, seek medical attention immediately. Drink lots of water but don’t induce vomiting.
Never give anything by mouth to someone unconscious.
|Storage of hot melt adhesive
|Store glues in a clean and dry place with temperatures between 5°C and 30°C. Keep them in closed containers. Always use the oldest stock first.
|Removing hot melt adhesive from machinery components
|Heat the components to just above the heat resistance temperature to separate and remove the glue.
Remove residue of EVA and polypropylene-based glues with white spirit. Residues of polyamide-based adhesives can be removed with acetone.
- Before use, check for damage to the gun’s casing and fraying to the electrical cord and plug. Make sure the on/off switch is functioning properly.
- Always wear protective clothing: overalls or long-sleeve shirts, closed-toe shoes, heat-resistant gloves, and safety glasses or goggles. Keep long hair tied back.
- Only run at the recommended temperature. When used correctly, hot glue shouldn’t be toxic. However overheating can cause chemical breakdown in the glue – which can release toxic or irritant vapours.
- Make sure the work area is clean, dry, and clear of flammable materials and loose cables.
- Never lay a hot glue gun on its side. Store the glue gun in a safety stand. Stands are usually wire or metal – each glue gun can require a different stand. We currently stock:
- Always use a drip mat. This will help to catch hot glue drips and prevent damage to underlying surfaces.
- Never remove the nozzle when cold – it can cause thread damage. Remove the nozzle while it’s still warm, wearing protective gloves.
- Do not touch the heated nozzle of a hot glue gun, unless you’re removing it from the applicator. Always wear protective gloves for this.
- Never tilt a hot glue gun upwards – or for gluing overhead items.
- Never remove a part melted glue slug/stick through the back of the gun.
- Never leave a hot glue gun unattended, especially while plugged in. Unplug the glue gun if you’re not going to use it for over 40 minutes.
For any further advice or information, call the team on 0161 627 1001.
Q: What should I do if I inhale hot melt fumes from a glue gun?
A: If you inhale hot melt fumes, stop working and get fresh air immediately. If you experience respiratory problems, seek medical advice, especially if the glue has overheated.
Q: How should I treat skin burns from molten hot melt glue?
A: If molten hot melt glue contacts your skin, immediately plunge the affected area into cold water for about ten minutes. Avoid trying to remove the molten glue to prevent further skin damage.
Q: What are the key safety tips for using a hot glue gun?
A: Always check the glue gun for any damage before use, wear protective clothing, use the glue gun at the recommended temperature, and store it in a safety stand. Never leave the glue gun unattended when it is plugged in.