The history of chewing gum dates as far back as the Stone Age, but removing gum from clothes remains a modern problem people still face today. Gum can freshen your breath, calm your nerves, replace your smoking habit, and even prevent your ears from popping on a flight. However, gum can also become an annoyance when it becomes stuck to an article of clothing. The following solutions will help you remove gum from different materials without damaging your clothes.
How To Remove Gum From Clothes In The Freezer
First, fold the article of clothing, so the gum is facing outwards. Put the clothing in a plastic bag that seals and place in the freezer for a few hours. Once the gum is hard, it is much easier to remove. Use a butter knife or sharp utensil to remove the gum wad off the fibers. If the gum starts to soften, put it back in the freezer and repeat the process.
How To Remove Gum From Clothes With Ice
If you are concerned about putting expensive or delicate clothes in your freezer, you may always choose to use ice. Fill a large food storage bag full of ice cubes and seal it closed to prevent the ice from melting. Place the gum stain on top of the bag of ice cubes. Firmly press the article of clothing onto the ice until it freezes. Be patient. Once the gum is frozen, carefully scrape or pull it off.
How To Remove Gum From Clothes With Heat
Submerge the gum-affected area in hot water. After letting the gum wad soak for a few minutes, use a butter knife or toothbrush to scrape off the gum while you hold it underwater.
Use an iron or water kettle that produces steam to soften gum stuck to clothing. After the gum stain is steamed, try to scrape it off and repeat as necessary.
Soak the clothing in hot vinegar. The odor of vinegar is potent so use it in a well-ventilated area. Scrub the area with a toothbrush until the sticky wad loosens. You may have to dip the clothing into the hot vinegar repeatedly.
First, place the gum stain face down on a piece of cardboard. Set the iron to medium heat and run the iron over the back of the gum. The gum should be sandwiched between the cardboard and the iron. Use the heat to loosen the gum stuck on the clothing.
The clothing fabric provides a barrier between the gum and iron. Lift the clothing off the cardboard. The gum should pull away from the fabric and stick to the cardboard. If it doesn’t immediately pull away, continue to iron spot until the gum melts onto the surface of the cardboard.
How To Remove Gum From Clothes With Peanut Butter
Start this technique by coating the gum in peanut butter. The oil in the peanut butter will loosen gum remnants stuck on your clothes. Let the peanut butter sit on the gum for 1 minute. If you leave the peanut butter on the gum for longer than a minute, it could stain your clothes.
Pull the gum off and use something hard and flat to scrape the surface of the clothing. A paint scraper is ideal. Wash the clothing immediately. The oil in peanut butter can leave a stain. If this occurs, use a quality stain remover or heavy-duty laundry detergent on the area.
How To Remove Gum From Clothes With Household Items
The following solutions are gum removal remedies that can found around the house:
Liquid Laundry Detergent
Pour a generous amount of liquid laundry detergent directly on the gum. Work the laundry detergent into the gum spot. Use a toothbrush to scrub the area and pull the gum away from the clothing. Use a tool or utensil to remove as much residue as possible.
Goo Gone & Goof Off
These household products are two effective ways to remove gum from clothing. Both Goo Gone and Goof Off are degreasing agents that make removing gum super-easy. Apply a small amount of the product on the gum. Use a butter knife or metal utensil to scrape the gum off your clothes.
Adhesive Remover Spray
There are many adhesive remover sprays available on the market. Spray the adhesive remover of your choice on the gum stain and allow it to soak into the fabric for several minutes. Then, use a toothbrush or wire brush to remove any excess gum stuck on the clothing.
Spray WD-40 on the gum spot and leave it on the clothing for a few minutes. WD-40 is flammable and has strong fumes, so use it in a well-ventilated area. The gum should dissolve, but if there is still residue left on clothes, use a brush or metal scraper.
Spray a small amount of hairspray on the gum spot. This cosmetic product hardens gum, so you can easily scrape it off without damaging the clothing. With a butter knife, push the hard gum off the fabric using the sharp edge.
Firmly press a strip of duct tape directly onto the gum. The tape must cover the entire gum spot. Press with enough force that the tape sticks, but do not press too hard. The gum will be harder to remove if you press it into the fabric. Peel off the duct tape and repeat the process.
Lanacane is an anti-itch cream that contains powerful ingredients that help loosen the gum off clothing. After scraping off as much gum as possible, apply Lanacane. Let the Lanacane sit for a minute, then scrape off the gum with a paint scraper or butter knife.
Gasoline or Lighter Fluid
With gloves in a well-ventilated area, rub gasoline or lighter fluid on the gum spot and scrub it with a toothbrush. Pull off the gum and rinse the clothing in hot water before cleaning it in a washing machine. Gasoline and lighter fluid are extremely flammable, keep them away from heat.
This essential oil can also be used as a natural gum remover. Put orange oil on a sponge or paper towel and rub it into the affected spot. Allow the orange oil to soak into the clothing, then remove the gum with a butter knife or metal utensil. Wash and dry as normal.
Paint Thinner or Turpentine
Both solutions work well, but you must take safety precautions. Remove most the gum first. Put on gloves, then apply a small amount of paint thinner or turpentine to the gum. Scrub in the solution with a toothbrush and rinse off the product in the washing machine.
Place an article of clothing that withstands heat in a microwave-safe dish. Set the microwave to 20 seconds and check the item frequently to prevent damage. The heat generated by the microwave will soften the gum, and make it easier to clean it off the fabric.
Pour rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball and dab the affected spot. Let the rubbing alcohol seep into the fabric for several minutes, then remove any excess gum with a scraping tool. Rubbing alcohol is also flammable, so do not expose it to fire or heat.
How To Remove Gum From Clothes After Washing And Drying
It is a scary moment once you realize you accidentally washed and dried a pack of gum in your pocket with the rest of your clothes. The heat of the dryer can melt the gum into a sticky mess. Here are some tips to remove melted gum from clothes after washing and drying:
Use ice to freeze or harden the gum. Hold and rub the ice cube on the area for 10 to 20 minutes. Once the gum is frozen, it should feel like putty. Use a butter knife or utensil to scrape the gum off the fabric. If you have trouble freezing the gum with the ice, put the clothing in the freezer.
Next, use a clean cloth or sponge to apply laundry pre-wash stain remover or cleaning solvent that is safe for clothes, if the gum has stained the item. Wash the clothes in hot water, but dry on a low heat. You do not want to melt the residue and spread the gum. If necessary, repeat.
Clothes that are covered in gum and dried are difficult to clean, but with the help of a quality adhesive remover like Goo Gone you can treat gum stains and possible save your articles of clothing. Goo Gone is an excellent and easy-to-use gum remover that is safe for most fabrics.
Goo Gone loosens melted gum and cleans the residue off in the washing machine. You don’t have to spray an excessive amount of Goo Gone on the gum-stained clothing for it to work. A small amount of this remover is incredibly useful. But if you spray too much, it can leave a strong citrus scent on your clothes.
You can apply blue mounting putty to the gum. Let it sit for a few minutes, then slowly pull the putty off. It should stick to the gum and pull it off. The most popular brand of blue mounting putty is Blue Stik.
Many people have experienced great success with this technique, but others have reported a visible discoloration left from the blue putty. If this occurs, use a stain remover to treat areas affected by the mounting putty.
How To Remove Gum From Upholstery
When gum is stuck to your upholstery, you should scrape off most of the gum with a dull knife. If the gum is still soft, use ice to harden the gum and pick off pieces with your fingers. Do not use a thin, plastic bag to cover the ice. It will stick to the gum and cause an even bigger dilemma. Any freezer-safe bag should be sufficient. If you do not have the necessary thick enough plastic bag, feel free to apply the ice directly to the gum. Avoid over wetting the upholstery until the excess gum has been removed.
If there are any stains left after you scrape off the chewing gum, use a clean cloth to dab and blot the area with a stain remover or cleaning solvent that is safe for upholstery. Test a small area of the upholstery before covering the gum stain to make sure it does not harm or discolor the fabric. After you test the product, blot the stain until the solvent or remover is completely absorbed. Repeat this process until the stains are removed from the upholstery.
If the upholstery is still stained, follow these quick steps:
- Mix a solution of two cups of warm water, one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid, and one tablespoon of white vinegar.
- Apply the solution to a clean cloth and soak the stain until the liquid is absorbed. Use this solution until the gum stain is thoroughly removed from the upholstery.
- Once the stain is gone, apply cold water to a clean cloth and blot the gum stain. Once removed, let the upholstery air dry. Do not use too much stain remover or over wet upholstery.
How To Remove Gum From A Clothes Dryer
If you have ever forgotten gum in your pocket and dried your clothes, you know it’s possible for the gum to get stuck in the dryer. Gum in your dryer could cause bigger issues if it is not cleaned up right away. First, pull off the gum and wipe the sticky area with a damp cloth or towel, but act quickly. If you do not take immediate action, the gum will harden, and each time you use the dryer more gum will get stuck to your clothing.
In this situation, your best tactic is to use Goo Gone on a clean rag and rub it onto the gum streaks inside your dryer. Surprisingly, the gummy marks will go away with some slight elbow grease. Remove all the gum before filling the dryer with clothes. Next, clean your dryer drum out with soap and water. Goo Gone is effective, but the product can also leave behind a citrus odor, which can transfer to clothing. Air out the dryer for at least an hour before using it again.
How To Remove Gum From A T-Shirt
T-shirts are some of the most popular articles of clothing because they are worn by children, adults, and senior citizens all over the world, regardless of size, gender, or nationality. Most of us treasure our favorite t-shirt and would be devastated if it was covered in gum. T-shirts are small articles of clothing than can be easily treated with multiple methods and products, depending on the material. Many t-shirts are made from cotton, polyester, or a blend of the two materials combined.
If gum gets stuck to your t-shirt, you can use any of these home remedies or cleaning products, but hairspray and vinegar tend to work the best. Spray the chewing gum until it hardens, and scrape it off with your preferred tool. If you choose to use vinegar, fill a sink or dish tub with a mixture of hot water and vinegar. Soak the garment in the hot vinegar water for at least 10-15 minutes. Then, gently brush or scrape the gum off to avoid damaging the fabric.
How To Remove Gum From A Shirt Pocket
If you find unwanted gum in your shirt pocket, you can choose any of these methods to clean it off, but keep in mind working in a smaller space does create some issues. It is trickier to scrub and scrape gum off when it is stuck inside of a shirt pocket.
For these cases, you will probably experience the quickest success with the ice method. Put some ice in a plastic bag and press down on the gum until it completely freezes. Properly seal the bag to prevent water from dripping on the shirt. After the gum freezes, scrape it off carefully with a butter knife or a putty knife. You should find equal success by using either WD-40, Goof Off, or Goo Gone.
Use these tips to remove gum from your clothes faster and easier, even after they have been washed or dried. Here is a list of solutions you can utilize to eliminate gum from your clothes without damaging or staining the fabric.
Pick one of these methods, and start salvaging clothes that you thought were ruined. Enjoy gum again without worrying about it getting stuck accidently to your favorite clothes. Now, you can stop throwing away clothes when you can restore them with any of these gum removal techniques.