How To Remove Gum From Clothing

by Taylor

Below I've collected several videos and other tips for you, for how to remove gum from clothing.

Basically, the method is the similar for may of the tips, which is first to freeze or otherwise harden the gum and then scrape it off.

I will caution you, however, that this method works best for gum that lands on your clothes in a big wad. If, instead, the gum is really ground in, or has melted onto your clothes, in the dryer, for example, this won't work quite as well because there is not a big chunk of gum to pop off the fabric.

Instead, in such situations, I would definitely use some form of chewing gum remover safe for fabric (such as Goo Gone), if the clothing is washable, since this will get you the best results. (The last tip featured shared the success story of a reader doing just that.)

You can also consult my article on gum stain removal for more details, including how I got a melted on gum stain out of my own family's clothes when my lovely son left a piece of gum in his pants pocket and it went through the wash and the dryer before discovery.

These gum remover products may also be helpful to you, even if you use the techniques below for hardening the gum, if any sticky residue remains afterward.

As always, I'm always looking for more examples of stories of how to remove gum from clothing from people who have experienced it. You can share your chewing gum stain removal tips here, and your stain removal clothes tips here.

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Remove Gum From Clothing - Tips For Both Tough And Delicate Fabrics

Below is a video showing how to remove gum from clothes.

One of the things I like most about this video is that it differentiates between tough fabrics, such as denim, and more delicate fabrics, such as a sweater.

Much the same method is used for both types, with some differences in how to remove the last little bits of the gum from the clothing.

First, place the whole item in the freezer to let the gum harden, or place an ice cube on the gum to do the same thing.

Once the gum is stiff and hard you can remove lots of it by scraping it off with a dull knife.

This is where, however, there is some difference between tough and delicate fabrics.

With tough fabrics you can just keep scraping with the knife without too much fear of harming the fibers.

However, with more delicate fabrics it takes longer to remove the gum because you have to be more gentle to remove the gum without harming the cloth.

The suggestion from the video is to rub the delicate fabric with an old toothbrush, which should remove all the gum particles and also not harm the cloth's fibers.

Something not mentioned in the video, but that also might help, is that even after you do all this if you still have some stickiness on the fibers of your clothing from the gum, you may want to use a fabric safe chewing gum remover. There are many on the market, but I've personally had great success with Goo Gone.

Photo by Steve Snodgrass

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Removing Gum From Clothing With Ice

Over at Linda's Lunacy Blog Linda shared a great tip, with pictures, about how to remove gum from clothing.

It is a method I recommend myself, which is either to freeze the clothing, with the gum stuck on it, in the freezer, or with an ice pack laid on it.

Once the gum hardens from the cold it is much easier to remove, because it makes it less sticky, and you can generally use a dull knife to pop it off, with just a little scraping thrown in there too.

I loved the how-to pictures so much I wanted to post the link for everyone's benefit!

So, do you have a tip about removing gum, or the stains it can leave behind?

If so, please submit your chewing gum stain removal tip here, or read other tips already submitted.

***Update: I got this comment from Linda, stating:

Thanks for featuring Linda's Lunacy's tip on your site.
***End Update

Photo by muffet

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How To Remove Gum From Fabric

Below is a video showing how to remove gum from fabric which is washable.

The first step is to freeze the gum, by either placing it in the freezer or placing a baggy of ice on the gum.

I like how this video explains how long it will take to freeze the gum -- approximately fifteen minutes.

I know I am always anxious to get rid of gum quickly, so knowing I need to sit and wait a while is helpful so I don't try to remove the gum too soon, and spread the gum around further.

Then, after the gum is frozen you scrape the gum off the fabric with a dull knife.

Finally, there is often a spot left behind from the gum, from both the dyes in the gum and the sugars.

To remove this part of the stain treat with a laundry stain remover, and then wash as normal.

I would like to note, however, since the video doesn't, that if there is a stain from the dye or sugar the laundry stain remover is most appropriate. However, if what remains is still sticky, then this is gum residue, and you should instead use a chewing gum remover which is safe for fabric to get rid of that instead.

This concludes the tips on how to harden and then remove the gum. Like I explained before, if the gum has melted onto the clothing, such as from the heat of the dryer, another method may be more helpful for you. Below is a tip from a reader who successfully removed melted gum from clothing that had melted in the dryer.

Photo by Oh Nuts

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Goo Gone Spray Gel Removed Gum From My Kids Clothing (And The Dryer)

by Jen

Jen shared how Goo Gone spray gel removed gum from her children's clothing, and also from the dryer drum.

Jen says:

I used the spray gel version of Goo Gone to remove chewing gum from my daughter's clothing after she left multiple pieces in a pocket while it went through the washer and dryer. The chewing gum became gooey from the heat and also stuck to the inside of my dryer.

After applying the product I let it sit for the recommended amount of time while it worked its magic.

The cleaner did not have a strong or offensive odor and it worked like a charm. The gum in the dryer wiped clean with very little problem.

The gum on the clothing was a little tougher to remove and small bits and pieces had to be pulled of a little at a time. It did not affect the color fastness of the garments and did not even ruin the beading detail on a sweater.

The pants that had the gum to begin with were not even ruined but the product had to be applied twice to the inside and outside. The gum inside the pockets was challenging and I wound up soaking them in the Goo Gone solution instead of just spraying it on and the gum came right off after that.

I felt great that I had salvaged all of the clothes ,not to mention my dryer, with just a few minutes of work and a few dollars for the Goo Gone which was a great deal.

Goo Gone {Referral Links}

Taylor says:

Thanks so much Jen for sharing what worked for you for to remove gum from clothing and the dryer.

Actually, the same thing happened to me, except it was my son that left the gum in his pocket. When the gum gets hot in the dryer it kind of melts and gets on everything, and this can make it more challenging to remove. You can read my own story about how I did basically the same thing you did to remove the stains from both the dryer and clothing in my article on gum stain removal.

As you can see there are many ways to remove gum from clothing, both with home remedies and with chewing gum remover products. That is the beauty of stain removal -- there is almost always more than one right way to get the job done!

Do you know of another tip for how to remove gum, or the stains it leaves behind, from surfaces? If so, share your tips here, or read other ones which have already been submitted for lots of other surfaces besides just clothes.

Related Links At Stain Removal 101

Stain Removal Tips & Tricks For Busy Moms

Stain Removal Clothes Tips

Go From How To Remove Gum From Clothing To Stain Removal 101 Home Page

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Comments for Goo Gone Spray Gel Removed Gum From My Kids Clothing (And The Dryer)

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hot vinegar and a tooth brush
by: Amy

I just went through this in my home and hot vinegar and a tooth brush. Worked like magic! Good luck!

Chewing gum sent through the washer and dry in the pocket of jacket
by: Anonymous

This stain was made by my daughter leaving gum in the top pocket of her black Free Country jacket. When it melted it caused a light gray stain on the coat. Any suggestions? This is an old stain, at least 6 months.

by: Genevieve

How do I get gum out of my polyester jacket?

response to Genevieve
by: Taylor

Thanks for your question. As long as the jacket is machine washable the instructions above should work for it.

hot vinegar worked for me!
by: Londi

I had to use hot vinegar to get gum out of my husband's white shirt. He had a stick of gum in his pocket, forgot about it, it ended up in the washer, and it was noticed after I pulled it out of the dryer. Not a fun thing. After many searching on Pinterest, I found one that didn't include getting gum out of hair. They said hot vinegar and something to scrape off the gum. We tried it. It worked! It magically changed the gum. It looked like it was dissolving the gum. It very well could have been too, not very well, but enough that were able to get the gum out of his shirt. The only problem was the dye in the gum. There's still a lovely green spot on his shirt. It's been fading over time, but I hear the Melalueca spot treatment is supposed to help with that. I'll have to try it sometime.

how to remove from shoes?
by: Anonymous

How do I get gum from bottom of new shoes?

response re removing from shoes
by: Taylor

I've written an article at the link about how to remove gum from the bottom of your shoes.

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Hi, I'm Taylor, a busy mom with 3 kids, so I have lots of hands on experience with house cleaning, laundry and my fair share of spots, spills and other messy catastrophes. Thanks for visiting my site.

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CAUTION: This website is provided for informational purposes only. It is provided as is, without warranties or guarantees. Some stains and messes just won't come out, and are permanent. Further, some cleaning methods can harm your item, so if what you want to clean or launder is sentimental or expensive call a professional. See disclaimer of liability for more information.