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How to Get Gum Out of Clothes

How to Get Gum Out of Clothes

There are two things one never wants to have to deal with when it comes to chewing gum: gum in your hair and gum stuck to your clothes or other fabrics. Gum can be very tricky to remove from jeans, jackets, shirts, sofas or carpets, but it is not impossible.

There are several methods for making it easier and not making it worse, which can also happen if you try to just yank it off or some other desperate move that will only deepen its grip.

Sometimes you don’t even know how or when it got stuck on your clothes, but it really doesn’t matter; what’s important is that you’re walking around with a piece of gum stuck to your clothes, and everyone can see it, probably, even if you can’t (like if you sat on a piece of gum and then you’re wondering why everyone is looking at your behind, and no, it’s not because your butt looks particularly attractive today).

So the next thought that should go through your mind is “how do I get this mess off me?!?”

Getting this Mess Off

The first thing you have to do is to try and pick off as much as you can and if you’re going to use any chemical solution, it’s always a good idea to test it in a part of the piece of clothing that won’t be visible, just in case it stains it or damages it in some other way. Also, we recommend you don’t use things that will definitely stain or damage the fabric, like hairspray or peanut butter (leave that for the PB&J you’ll want later on).

Once you do remove the gum, make sure you pre-treat the area with your usual stain remover or a good dab of soap; laundry or dish soap will do the trick, before you put it in your washing machine. Make absolutely sure that ALL the gum or the stain is out before you put it in the dryer.


Here are some methods that actually work and aren’t too much of a hassle to try:

  • Take as Much Off as You Can: with the help of another piece of gum or a strong tape, like duct tape, pull off as much as you can from the fabric. Put it directly on top, to avoid adding more sticky mess to the surrounding area.
  • Ice Ice Baby: you can try putting ice cubes or a freezer pack right on top of the gum for around 20 minutes. This will make the gum hard, and you can try just scraping it off with a thin piece of plastic or a dull knife.
  • Freezer Burn: it’s the same principle as using the ice cubes, but instead you just put the garment inside the freezer for about an hour.
  • Heat Treat: put the piece of clothing on top of a cardboard, with the gum side down. Use medium-heat on an iron and press it firmly on the back of the fabric, but make sure you don’t move it around or you will just spread it all over the place. The point is to have the gum transfer to the cardboard when the heat melts it.
  • Alcohol Swabs: with a cotton ball, apply rubbing alcohol on the gum. Let it soak well and through and wait until it dries; which should take less than a minute. Use duct tape to pull of the gum from the fabric.

These methods won’t damage your clothes or make the mess worse, which is really what we all want, right?