Chewing gums are delicious treats that both children and adults enjoy. However, it can be annoying when the gum gets stuck to your favorite clothes, and it can seem like an impossible task to remove it.

However, there are some simple tricks you can use to get gum out of your clothes:

  1. Apply toothpaste on the gum
  2. Put ice cubes on it
  3. Use an iron
  4. Use rubbing alcohol
  5. Keep your clothing in the freezer
  6. Apply peanut butter on the gum
  7. Soak the cloth in lemon juice
  8. Use hairspray
  9. Soak the fabric in boiling water
  10. Use vinegar
  11. Use petroleum jelly
  12. Use a hairdryer
  13. Use a tea kettle
  14. Use an adhesive remover
  15. Apply lanacane
  16. Use coconut oil

Chewing gums are stubborn and don’t come off quickly even if you put the cloth in the washing machine. However, there are several hacks you can use to make removing gum from clothes easier. In this article, you will find sixteen easy ways to remove gum from your clothes.

1. Apply Toothpaste on the Gum

Take a small amount of toothpaste and apply it to the gum stuck to your garment. The amount you use should be sufficient to cover the surface of the cloth. Spread the toothpaste over the gum and leave the toothpaste to dry. Once the toothpaste dries, the gum will become hard, and you can peel it off with your fingers.

If you don’t want to wait for the toothpaste to dry, there’s another technique you can try with toothpaste. Apply toothpaste on the gum and keep rubbing it until the gum starts breaking up into multiple pieces.

You can remove the remnants with your hand or use a toothbrush for it. To completely clean the garment, rinse it under cold water and put it in the washing machine with a high water temperature.

Ensure that you don’t use whitening toothpaste as it contains bleach and can cause your colored garments to lose their color. Toothpaste can stain your clothes.

If you’re using this technique, be careful not to rub the toothpaste on the fabric accidentally. If you accidentally get the toothpaste on the cloth, throw the fabric in the washing machine and use a stain-removing detergent.

2. Put Ice Cubes on It

Take a handful of ice cubes, put a few into two plastic bags, and seal the bags. Place one bag of cubes on top of the gum and the other bag on the other side of the garment. Don’t put the ice cubes directly on the gum as the gum might get stuck to the ice, and it will be messy.

Applying a pack of ice on both sides of the fabric will cause the gum to harden and turn stiff. You can then scrape it off and use a toothbrush to remove the remnants. Throw the garment into a washing machine to altogether remove the remnants.

Skipping this process and putting the clothes directly into the washing machine won’t remove the gum because water and detergent alone are not enough to remove the material. It is because chewing gums are made of insoluble base that won’t dissolve readily in water.

In addition, putting the clothes with gum directly into your washing machine may destroy the appliance. The gum may get stuck in the machine, causing a bigger problem. That is why it is important to remove the gum before washing.

3. Use an Iron

Grab a piece of cardboard and lay it on top of your ironing board. Place your garment on the cardboard with the chewing gum side down. Start ironing the cloth on medium heat. Use the iron only on the area of the fabric where the gum is stuck.

Using heat will cause the gum to turn very soft, and you can easily peel it away. After peeling off the gum, wash your garment in the washing machine like you usually do.

There’s another ironing technique you can use. Spray some water on the gum and then place a folded medium-thick piece of tissue paper on top of it. Iron the tissue paper on medium heat for a few minutes. When you lift the piece of paper, the gum will most likely stick on it.

4. Use Rubbing Alcohol

Using rubbing alcohol is one of the fastest ways to remove gum from your clothes. A stylist on the Rachael Ray Show came up with this technique. All you need is a q-tip, duct tape, and some rubbing alcohol. See it in action here:

Prepare some rubbing alcohol and dip a q-tip in it. Dab the wet q-tip on the chewing gum. Keep dabbing it all over the surface of the gum and let it dry for thirty seconds.

While you won’t see any difference in the texture, you must immediately paste duct tape on the gum after thirty seconds and rip it off.

Remember not to rip off the duct tape slowly. Peel the duct tape off in one swift motion, similar to how you would do it if you were peeling off waxing strips. The gum should come off with the duct tape easily in one go.

5. Keep Your Clothing in the Freezer

Freezing your clothing will help the gum lose its stickiness. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can do that:

  1. Place your piece of clothing into a plastic bag and seal it. Make sure the gum doesn’t stick to the plastic bag.
  2. Let it freeze for about two hours.
  3. After two hours, remove your clothing from the plastic bag. 
  4. Use a butter knife to scrape around the edges of the gum to remove it.

Be sure to act fast after removing the cloth from the freezer. If you let the cloth rest and it comes back to room temperature, this technique won’t work. Removing the gum when it’s cold will help you peel it off with ease because the gum won’t be sticky anymore.

6. Apply Peanut Butter on the Gum

While peanut butter is a healthy snack, it is also handy to remove gum from your clothing. Lather the gum on your cloth generously with peanut butter. Leave the peanut butter on the gum for about a minute. The oil from the peanut butter will cause the gum to lose its stickiness. After a minute, you can scrape off the gum with a butter knife.

However, with this technique, you risk staining your clothes. Peanut butter is oily and can leave behind an oil stain. While removing peanut butter stains from your cloth is relatively easy, try avoiding this method if you have a white or light-colored fabric.

If you use this method, you should immediately wash your cloth in the washing machine with a stain-removing detergent.

7. Soak the Cloth in Lemon Juice

Dip the part of your clothing with gum stuck on it into some lemon juice. Keep checking your clothing to see whether the gum has loosened and can come off. You can use your fingers to touch the gum and feel whether it has loosened.

You can also try scraping it off with a butter knife. A butter knife has a blunt edge and won’t tear through your clothes.

With this technique, you run the risk of staining your cloth. Lemon juice can act like bleach and make your clothes lose their color. Therefore, you mustn’t keep your cloth in lemon juice for too long. Keep monitoring the fabric constantly to see if it is losing color.

After removing the gum, wash the garment immediately to avoid stains.

8. Use Hairspray

While a hairspray helps you manage bad hair days, it is a great product to get rid of chewing gum. This technique will only work if your hairspray has alcohol. The alcohol content hardens the gum, making it easier to remove.

Certain hair sprays also have essential oils in them for fragrance. An oil-based hairspray might leave a stain on your garment. Check the contents on your bottle’s label.

When spraying, make sure you aim at the gum. Avoid getting any liquid onto the fabric. After spraying, let it dry. You can scrape off the gum once it is hard. You may need to wash your cloth to eliminate any leftover gum pieces.

If you accidentally get some hairspray onto your cloth, it might leave a waxy stain. If that happens, be sure to act fast and use a stain-removing detergent when washing your clothes in the washing machine.

9. Soak the Cloth in Boiling Water

Boil some water in a pot on your stove on the highest setting. The water should be boiling for this technique to work. Then, submerge the part of your cloth with the gum stuck on it into the boiling water. While the fabric is in hot water, try removing the gum with a butter knife or toothbrush.

Once the gum comes off, you can keep scrubbing the cloth in hot water to remove any remnants. It would be best to be extremely careful with this method since it can be tricky to scrape off the gum in boiling water. To avoid any burn injuries, be cautious and alert.

If you are using this technique, you will want to be careful as boiling water can cause garments to lose color. If you are working with a dark-colored garment, avoid using this method. This method works best with light-colored garments.

10. Use Vinegar

Heat one or two tablespoons of vinegar in the microwave. Apply the vinegar to the gum using a toothbrush. Keep rubbing the vinegar on the gum until it softens and you can pull it off. You need to be careful with this method as it can also cause your fabric to lose color.

To check whether your fabric will lose color, you can follow these steps:

  1. Apply a small amount of vinegar using a q-tip on the inner side of the fabric in a small area.
  2. Let it rest for two minutes or so.
  3. Use a paper towel and dab on the spot. If no color comes off, you can safely use vinegar to remove gum.

11. Use Petroleum Jelly

Using petroleum jelly is a good technique if the gum has dried out or you accidentally put your clothes in the dryer with the gum on it.

You can dip a q-tip into petroleum jelly and apply it to the gum to loosen it. Apply the jelly on the edges of the gum. This should soften the gum, making it easier to remove it.

To remove the petroleum stain on your fabric, you should immediately put your cloth in the washer and use a stain-removing detergent.

12. Use a Hairdryer

If the gum is stuck on cotton fabric, you can use a hairdryer. Be sure to use a regular hairdryer with heat adjustment settings. The cool setting in a hairdryer will not do the trick.

If you want better chances of removing the gum stain faster, feel free to use the highest heat setting. The hot air from the dryer will cause the gum to melt and loosen. Once you start noticing the gum soften, you can peel it off or scrape it with a butter knife.

13. Use a Tea Kettle

Removing gum with steam is a great technique. Heat some water in a tea kettle. Once the water starts steaming, hold up your cloth close to the steam. The steam will soften the gum, and you can scrape it off with a toothbrush.

Alternatively, if you have a clothes steamer, you can use that. You can follow the steps mentioned above.

14. Use an Adhesive Remover

You purchase ready-to-use adhesive removers to make your task easier. Here are some adhesive removers from Amazon you can use: 

  • 3M Gum Remover: This will help you remove gum without any sticky residue. Originally created to be used on carpets, many have had great results using it on clothing. All you need to do is apply the remover liquid to the gum’s surface and let it rest for a minute to soften the gum. Then, you can use a spoon, butter knife, or spatula to lift the gum from the edges. This product might irritate the skin, so be sure to use it while wearing gloves.
  • Goo Gone Adhesive Remover: This adhesive remover can be used on carpet, clothing, and hard surfaces to remove chewing gum, stickers, and decals. Apply the remover to the surface of the gum and after a minute, scrape it off with a butter knife. After removing the gum, throw your clothing in the washer separately. It is important to note that this product is not meant to be used on suede, leather, or silk.
  • WD-40: WD-40 is a multi-use aerosol spray. This is one of the quickest methods to remove gum from your clothes. You just need to spray a tiny amount of WD-40 onto the surface of the gum for a minute or two. Use a butter knife or a toothbrush to scrape it off. This is a quick and hassle-free method and doesn’t leave any stains behind.

15. Apply Lanacane

Lanacane is a cream used for skin conditions like insect bites and itching. It also works to remove gum from clothing. Lanacane is available in any drug store. Apply some lanacane on the gum’s surface and let it sit for thirty seconds or less.

The chemicals inside the lanacane, like glycol and ethanol, speed up the process of removing the gum. After thirty seconds, use a butter knife to scrape off the gum. After removing the gum, put your cloth in the washer.

16. Use Coconut Oil

If the chewing gum is stuck to a synthetic garment, you can use coconut oil to remove the gum. Take one tablespoon of coconut oil and pour it into a small bowl. Place this bowl in the microwave for thirty seconds or less. The oil should be warm and not too hot.

Apply the warm coconut oil on the gum’s surface using a toothbrush. Keep rubbing it until the gum softens, and you can start scraping it off with the toothbrush.

Once the gum comes off, wash your garment in the washing machine with warm water to remove the coconut oil smell or any stain. It is best to use detergent that is effective against oil or grease.

Final Thoughts

Chewing gum is stubborn and won’t readily come off in the washer. Luckily, there is no need to worry about gum stains because there are several ways to fix it.

If you are looking for quick ways to remove gum, you can try using ready-to-use adhesive removers available on the market.

If you have light-colored garments, you can soak them in boiling water and scrape the gum with a toothbrush. Another technique is to soak the affected area in lemon juice before scraping it off. For dark-colored garments, you can apply peanut butter to the gum before removing it.

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