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Hot Glue and Fabrics: A Washable Affair?

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Written by: Diana Ploscaru


Hot Glue and Fabrics: A Washable Affair?

When it comes to quick fixes, hot glue is often the go-to adhesive for crafters and DIYers. Its ability to bind multiple surfaces instantly is a charm. 

But the million-dollar question is: can hot glue stand the test of a wash? Especially when it comes to fabric, will hot glue stay on after a good laundry session? 

Here’s what you need to know.

Hot glue’s staying power on fabric in the wash is a complex issue that depends on factors like fabric type, the heat setting of the wash, and the glue application process. 

But before you break out your glue gun, let’s dig deeper into the mystery.

Overview: Glue, Fabric, and the Washing Machine

  • Hot glue may stay on some fabrics after washing, but not all.
  • Fabric type and glue application play significant roles in determining if the glue will stick.
  • Proper preparation before applying hot glue can increase the chances of it staying on.
  • Not all fabrics are suitable for hot glue application.
Hot Glue and Fabrics: A Washable Affair?

Hot Glue Champions: Fabrics That Stand Firm

Some fabrics are better suited for hot glue application and can withstand the washing machine’s rigors. 

These include:

  • Dense fabrics: Materials like denim or canvas often hold up well. The hot glue penetrates these thicker fabrics and creates a stronger bond.
  • Synthetic fabrics: Materials such as polyester and nylon can withstand hot glue. However, a lower wash temperature is recommended to prevent melting the glue.

Laundry Losers: Fabrics That Let Go

Conversely, some fabrics aren’t as lucky in the laundry with hot glue. 

These include:

  • Delicate fabrics: Thin, fragile materials like silk, lace, or chiffon are a no-go. Hot glue can seep through these fabrics, causing a mess and not holding up in the wash.
  • Heat-sensitive fabrics: Fabrics that are sensitive to heat, like certain types of plastic-based materials, can melt under the glue’s heat, resulting in a failed bond.

Crafting a Strong Bond: Best Glue Application Practices

To give your hot glue the best chance of sticking through a wash, follow these steps:

  1. Pre-wash the fabric: Washing your fabric beforehand can help remove any residues that might interfere with the glue’s adhesion.
  1. Use a silicone mat: When applying hot glue, use a silicone mat under the fabric. It can catch any glue that seeps through, preventing messes.
  1. Apply evenly: Make sure to spread the glue evenly across the area to ensure a firm bond.
  1. Let it dry: Once applied, allow the glue to cool and harden completely before moving or washing the fabric.
  1. Gentle wash: When washing, use a gentle cycle and cool water to preserve the glue’s bond.

Wrapping Up the Sticky Situation

To sum up, hot glue can stay on some fabrics in the wash, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Its success largely depends on the type of fabric and how you apply the glue. 

For the best results, take the time to prepare your fabric and apply the glue carefully. 

And remember, while hot glue is a quick fix, it might not always be the best long-term solution for every fabric out there. 

For those, traditional sewing or fabric-specific adhesives may still be your best bet.

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