Remove gum from clothing

11 Genius Tricks to Get Gum Out of Clothes

“How did that get there?” That’s the question we commonly ask when we find a wad of gum stuck to the seat of our pants, jammed in a kid’s coat pocket, or clutching a sweater’s arm. Happily, you don’t need to know where the gummy gob came from, just how to get gum off clothing!

Everyone has a different tip for how to remove gum from clothes. But they all start the same way. As you begin to remove gum from clothes, pick off as much gum as you are able and pretest any chemical solution or heat process on a seam or other area that won’t be seen when the garment is worn. Avoid using any removal techniques that involve things—such as hairspray—that might stain, fade, or damage the fabric. After removing all the gum, pretreat the area with stain remover spray or a hefty dab of dish or laundry soap before laundering.

The folks at Tide suggest washing the treated garment in its usual cycle at the hottest water temperature recommended on the care label. Do not put the garment into the dryer until you are certain the gum or gum stain is gone. But first you have to say goodbye to the gum; here’s how to get gum out of clothes.

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How to Get Gum Out of Clothes

1. Cleaning gum with more gum. Use another wad of chewed gum or a piece of duct tape to pull off the stuck-on gum. Apply the chewed gum or tape directly to the stuck-on gum so you don’t add more sticky substances to adjacent fabric areas.

2. Remove gum with ice. Set ice cubes or a freezer pack atop the gum for about 20 minutes. This will freeze and harden the gum so you can pop or scrape it off with a credit card, dull knife, or paint scraper. Clorox cleaning experts advise removing any gum left in fabric fibers with a dry-cleaning solvent before treating the remaining stain.

3. Freeze gum off clothing. More hands-off than icing, this technique lets the freezer do the work. Throw the gum-studded garment—with the gum facing up—in your freezer for an hour or so. Once the gum hardens, scrape it off as above.

4. Remove gum with an iron. Turn the garment gum side down atop a piece of cardboard. Press a medium-heat iron firmly on the back of the garment—don’t move the iron, as you will spread the gummy mess. As the heat melts the gum, the wad will transfer to the cardboard.

5. Remove gum with steam. Hold the gummed-up section of your garment over the spout of a steaming teakettle; steam will soften the gum, making it easy to remove with a scraper or toothbrush. Alternatively, you can set the garment in a bowl filled with boiling water until the gum has softened enough to be removed.

6. Pour vinegar on gum. Pour white vinegar into a microwave-safe container and heat it in the microwave. Dip a toothbrush into the warm liquid and rub the vinegar into the gum; the acid will soften the gum and help release it from the fabric. Or, go for the volcano effect: Pour vinegar over the gum, sprinkle on baking soda, and let the resulting fizzy foam go to work.

7. Tackle gum with canned air. Canned air does more than clean computer keyboards. It acts as a freezing agent that solidifies the gum. Spray canned air directly onto the gum until it is hard enough to be scraped off.

8. Gum removing products. After pulling off as much loose gum as you can, spray on a sticker or label remover or dab on Goof Off or Goo Gone to soften the remaining gum. Remove the residue with a scraper or a clean white rag.

9. Remove gum with alcohol. Use a cotton swab to apply rubbing alcohol across the gum. Let the alcohol soak through and dry (this will take less than a minute). Pull off the wad with a strip of duct tape.

10. Cleaning gum with detergent. Use a toothbrush to rub liquid laundry or dish soap directly into the gum; this should break up the gum’s fibers and let you easily scrape off the wad.

11. Remove gum with peanut butter. Spread a generous amount of peanut butter over the gum. Let it sit for 60 seconds and follow up by scraping off the gum and peanut butter with a dull knife or edge of a credit card. Apply stain remover and wash.

  • By Ann Wilson

Freeze the Icky, Sticky Gum!

preteen boy pull chewing gum with his hand from moth

Some may call it a disgusting habit but the truth is, the only thing disgusting about chewing gum is stepping in it, or getting it on your clothes! Not only is it pretty gross, but it’s also troublesome to get off. Removing chewing gum from fabric requires immediate attention, clever tricks, and enough time and patience to effectively get it off without damaging your clothes. Therefore, we suggest using one (or more) of the methods provided in this article to do just that!

You can find dozens of tips and techniques on how to remove gum from clothes floating around on the internet, but we’ve handpicked the most reliable, tried and true methods so that you don’t end up wasting your time on an ineffective one. Read on to find out what they are!

Did you know that chewing gum is a whole lot easier to get off from clothes when frozen solid? Attempting to remove a freshly chewed piece of gum will only make a mess and spread it around the fabric. Here’s how to go about using the freezing method for best results.

1. Fold the piece of clothing with the gum facing upwards and place it into a ziplock bag. To ensure that the gum does not stick to the bag, place a small container over it and seal the bag.

2. Place it in the deep freeze for approximately 3-4 hours, or until the gum is solidified. Remember, the harder the gum is, the easier it will be to remove.

3. For the removal process, you have to work quickly before the gum starts to soften up again. Use a butter knife to gently lift the gum off the fabric; avoid scraping at it as this can damage the clothing item.

4. If the chewing gum isn’t coming off, put it back in the freezer (in the ziplock back, with the container over it), and continue the removal process after it has had more time to harden.

5. The final step is to apply fabric stain remover over the area and give it a few gentle rubs before throwing it in the wash. Run clothing item through a hot water cycle and the stain will come right off!

White Vinegar for a Stubborn Piece of Gum

White vinegar is used to clean multiple surfaces including stainless steel and glass; but did you know that it’s one of the most reliable ingredients to remove gum from clothes? Here’s how to use this method effectively.

1. Heat up some undiluted white vinegar (it is more effective in removing adhesives when hot). It needn’t be boiling hot, just heated enough to a point where you can still touch it without getting burned.

2. Pour a small amount of vinegar over the gum and allow it to soak into the fabric for a minute.

3. Dip an old toothbrush in the vinegar and scrub at the base of the gum (where the gum meets the fabric). The trick is to detach the gum from the cloth by removing the stickiness.

4. Continue to dip and scrub at the bottom of the gum until it is lifted off the clothing item. If needed, pour some more vinegar over the chewing gum as you go along.

5. Reheat the vinegar if it cools down and repeat the process.

6. After the gum has been removed, you can proceed to machine-wash the clothing item.

7. Vinegar has a rather unpleasant odour; therefore, you’ll need to use a good amount of detergent to get the smell off when you throw it in the wash!

Adhesive Remover for Your Sticky Situation

Have you ever used a label remover before? If you’ve never heard of one, it is basically a spray that is used to get rid of the sticky residue left by a label on new clothes, fabrics, or even furniture. It doesn’t stop there, though; you can get sticky gum off your clothes with a label remover using the following method.

1. Spray the gum and surrounding area generously; leave it to break down the stickiness for a few minutes. Remember to choose an adhesive remover specially made for fabrics as any other type may stain your clothes.

2. After a couple of minutes have passed, sprinkle talcum powder over the gum to cover the stickiness.

3. Dip a butterknife in the powder and gently lift the gum off the fabric. If any stickiness is exposed, sprinkle more powder over the area to get rid of it and continue the process.

4. Pull off as much of the chewing gum as you can. Repeat steps 1,2 and 3 until you’ve successfully removed the gum.

5. For the stain, use a stain remover or pour liquid detergent over the area and gently scrub it with an old toothbrush.

6. Rinse the fabric before machine-washing the item.

Rubbing Alcohol for Delicate Fabrics

Rubbing alcohol is basically a surgical spirit that also aids in removing adhesives. It is the best option to use on delicate materials as it is not as harsh as other cleaning agents or methods typically used to clean chewing gum from clothes. To use rubbing alcohol effectively, follow the steps below:

1. Pour a small amount of spirit onto a sponge or non-abrasive scrubber (avoid soaking it), and hold it over the chewing gum.

2. Use a peeling technique to remove the gum (while the sponge is placed over it).

3. (Optional) As the gum starts to leave the clothing item, use a dropper to soak the base of the gum, thus, making it easier to remove.

4. If the gum does not come off quickly enough, give the material a few minutes to soak between attempts so that the rubbing alcohol has time to work its magic!

5. If needed, take a butter knife or a firm spatula to gently remove any leftover chewing gum.

6. Lastly, soak the affected area with a suitable stain remover for 10 minutes before washing it with regular detergent in your washing machine.

Hair Spray for a Chewing Gum Emergency!

That’s right! Hair spray is not just needed in times of a hair crisis! In this case, the hair product works much like the ‘freezing’ method; it hardens the gum, making it easier to remove. However, to avoid getting a hair spray stain on your clothes, you will need to be very precise when following the steps below. Here’s how to go about it.

1. Firstly, you will need a thick (and big) enough cardboard to place over the clothing item with a small cutout in the middle to expose the gum. It’s not important for the whole piece of gum to come through the hole; the idea is to avoid getting hairspray on the fabric while allowing it to make contact with some part of the chewing gum. Be sure to fold the clothing item in such a way that it is sheltered by the cardboard.

2. Hold the can about a foot away from the gum and spray directly on it. Hair spray works rather quickly to harden chewing gum but we suggest giving it 30 – 60 seconds before moving on to the next step.

3. Take a butter knife and gently remove the gum by lifting it upward. Typically it will break off piece by piece; therefore, you will most likely need to spray the gum again as you encounter sticky bits (use the cardboard when re-spraying).

4. After you have removed the chewing gum, apply stain removal liquid to the area and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Rub the garment together to tackle the stain before putting it in the washer.

Remember, you can use more than one of these methods to remove a stubborn piece of chewing gum from your clothes; however, it’s important to act quickly to make the entire process easier.

Pleasantly surprised with these useful tips? Well, we’ve got plenty more where they came from! We’re here to help you tackle all kinds of household cleaning problems, as well as those unpleasant ones like removing gum from your clothes! Apart from cleaning tips, tricks and guides, we offer professional cleaning services for all household cleaning needs. To learn more about us and our work, please visit our services and pricing page.

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Karen Saunders

Content Manager at Simply Maid Karen Saunders is a full-time Content Manager at Simply Maid. Her 8+ years of writing experience spans the fields of copywriting, sales copy, blogging, editing and paraphrasing. Some of her areas of expertise include house cleaning, health and fitness, lifestyle topics, home décor and interior designing, travel tips, dog-related articles, and product descriptions and reviews.

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Removing chewing gum from clothes with the freezing method

Praised on an international scale by parents and teenagers alike, the easiest and most commonly suggested method for removing chewing gum from clothes is freezing. This can be done from the comfort of your own home and, most importantly, is fabric friendly, leaving no trace of chewing gum upon completion. Here’s our 10-step freezing method to remove chewing gum from clothes:

  1. Take the clothing item and place in a freezer bag, making sure that the chewing gum doesn’t stick to the bag. This method can be applied to all fabrics.
  2. Seal the bag correctly.
  3. Place the garment in your freezer.
  4. Leave the bag in the freezer for a minimum of two hours.
  5. Remove the bag from the freezer.
  6. Take your garment from the freezer bag and place it on a sturdy surface.
  7. Peel the chewing gum off the clothing as soon as possible to prevent the chewing gum from warming up and reattaching to the fabric.
  8. If you are unable to remove the chewing gum with your fingernails, apply a blunt knife or another blunt object as this will remove chewing gum from your clothes without damaging the fabric – as always, be careful when using potentially dangerous items and angle knives away from you.
  9. The chewing gum should peel off smoothly and without any force. If traces remain, hand wash the item or place in the washing machine for a final rinse.