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Unexpected surprises are part and parcel of life, like finding stuck chewing gum on your clothes- but we can’t say it’s a pleasant one! Many people, including parents, find themselves in a fix when removing chewing gum from clothes. As yummy as chewing candy and gum is, it is also a headache to get rid of when it sticks on your clothes as if its life depends on it.
The best thing about getting rid of chewing gum from your clothes is that a bit of effort and a few household items can do the trick! You must be wondering what these items are; well, you don’t have to wait because here are the best ways you can remove chewing gum from clothes.
How To Remove Chewing Gum From Clothes
There are several effective ways to remove gum from clothing, but they all begin the same way. Pick off as much gum as you can using your hands while removing gum from clothes, and ensure that you have tested any chemical solution or heat process on a seam or other hidden place before applying it to the garment.
Once that’s done, you can choose any of the removal methods listed below to make your cleaning process a success:
1. Remove Chewing Gum From Clothes Using Ice
Using ice is one of the easiest ways to remove chewing gum from clothes. Not only does it act as a hardening substance to remove gum from clothes, but it can also act as a lubricant to loosen gum for easy removal.
Here’s how you can go about it:
- Take some ice cubes in a plastic bag and cover them with a towel or cloth.
- Now place the soaked towel over the stuck chewing gum so that the gum is between the shirt and towel/cloth. Do this for about 20 minutes and if the gum has started to loosen, start peeling it off.
- Ensure that you keep changing the towels as they get warm to avoid sticking the gum more firmly to the clothes. Continue the process till you can easily pull off the gum by hand or by using a credit card, dull knife, or scraper.
- To treat the remaining stain, wet the fabric and use a detergent solution like dish soap to pretreat the garment. If possible, lay it under direct sunlight and let it dry naturally, as sunlight can help remove any remaining stains or smells left by chewing gum.
2. Remove Chewing Gum From Clothes Using Detergent
We all have a suitable detergent solution at home, and luckily, that’s all you need. The best part of using this method is that it is one of the safest and least abrasive ways to get rid of unwanted chewing gum, especially when you are cleaning sensitive fabrics like silk or wool.
Here are the steps for a simple home-made solution for removing sticky gum:
- Take equal parts of warm water and dish detergent, and mix them in a bowl.
- Apply the solution to the gum using an old toothbrush or soft-bristled brush and let it sit for about 15 minutes until the gum starts softening. This will break the hold the gum has on the fabric and loosen it up.
- Peel or scrape off the gum using cloth-sensitive tools. Ensure that you rinse correctly with cold water to avoid any leftover residue from the detergent solution.
3. Remove Chewing Gum From Clothes Using A Freezer
If you’re a person who prefers a more hands-off method that doesn’t require you to get into the nitty-gritty, then using a freezer is perfect for you.
All you need to do is follow the steps below and let the machine do its work:
- Take the shirt with chewing gum stuck on it and placed it in your freezer with the gum-affected side facing up for around an hour.
- Once you take it out, the gum should be frozen and easy to remove. After this, simply pull off the ice-like gum from your clothes.
- Wash the cloth, as usual, to remove any lingering stain or give it for dry-clean depending on the material.
4. Remove Chewing Gum From Clothes Using An Iron
Those of you who are running short on ice can even use heat for removing chewing gum from clothes. The only requirement for this is an iron and a piece of cardboard.
Here is what you have to do:
- Place the cloth on a piece of cardboard with the gum side facing down. Now set the iron to ‘medium-heat’ and press it firmly on the back of the cloth.
- Make sure that you don’t move the iron from its place in any kind of motion as it will lead to a sticky mess all over.
- Continue this for about 10 minutes till you find the gum has transferred itself on the cardboard leaving your cloth squeaky clean like before.
5. Remove Chewing Gum From Clothes Using Steam
Another way of using heat to remove chewing gum from clothes is using steam. You can either use a steamer, or you can straight away place the cloth above a steaming kettle, as we’ve done here, and clean it that way.
- Hold the cloth with the unwanted chewing facing down over the mouth of a steaming kettle or pot.
- Once it is exposed to the steam for around five to ten minutes, it will begin to soften, making it easy to remove with a scraper, dull knife, or an old toothbrush.
- Alternatively, you can fill a bowl halfway with boiling water and set the garment in it until the gum has softened enough to remove.
6. Remove Chewing Gum From Clothes Using Vinegar
Vinegar has been used as a stain remover on all kinds of surfaces for a long time, but never have we known that it works well when used to get rid of sticky chewing gums.
Here is the process for using vinegar to remove gum from clothes:
- Take a microwave-safe container and pour distilled vinegar into it. Place this container inside the microwave with the lid off and heat it for around five to ten minutes till the vinegar starts steaming.
- Now take an old toothbrush and dip it in this container. Spread the solution on the gum with the toothbrush and start rubbing until the gum softens and peels off.
- You can also go for a more bold approach by pouring the hot vinegar solution on the cloth, sprinkling a bit of baking soda, and waiting till all of the gum is melted off, leaving behind a fresh-smelling garment.
7. Remove Chewing Gum From Clothes Using Gum
This may sound like the weirdest suggestion, but it is actually what several old-school cleaning experts use to remove chewing gum from clothes.
- All you have to do is take some chewing gum, preferably whichever one matches the color of your garment, and place it on top of the unwanted gum.
- After that, apply pressure to both pieces so that the two get stuck together for around three to four minutes.
- When you’re done, pull both of them apart, and the gum is randomly dispersed on both pieces, leaving your clothing clean as new.
8. Remove Chewing Gum From Clothes Using Commercial Cleaners
Since gum has the same properties as a sticker, many people prefer using commercial cleaners meant as a sticker remover or adhesive remover to get rid of it. This adhesive can be of your choice.
- Start by pulling as much gum as you can by yourself from the cloth. Now spray or dab the stickiest side with cleaner and wait for around 10 seconds.
- Come back to your cloth and pull the gum off at once. Repeat this process till you’ve removed all of the chewing gum from your clothing.
9. Remove Chewing Gum From Clothes Using Alcohol
Removing chewing gum from clothes using alcohol is as easy as it gets! Not only does alcohol break down the stickiness of gum, but it also acts as an excellent remover for stains and helps remove traces of gum easily.
- Start off with dabbing the unwanted gum with alcohol.
- Take an old toothbrush and scrub in circular motions until you see that all of the gum has been soaked through.
- Peel it off using gentle hands or a scraper. You can also use this method to lift any excess gum or dirt stuck around the gum.
10. Remove Chewing Gum From Clothes Using Peanut Butter
Tackling a sticky mess by creating another sticky mess may not sound logical, but it does seem like a good solution. Peanut butter is the perfect thing to use since it is sticky and sticks well on fabric. What’s even better is that it acts as an excellent moisturizer for dry fabrics!
- Take some creamy peanut butter in your hand spread it all over the chewing gum.
- Now let it sit for five minutes to absorb the stickiness of the gum and start scrubbing gently.
- After that, wash your clothing in water to remove any traces of peanut butter.
Tips To Avoid Damage While Removing Chewing Gum From Clothes
Before we conclude, here are a few tips that will help make sure that your cleaning process is safe for both yourself and your clothes.
(a) test any chemical solution or heat process beforehand on a seam or other portion of the garment that will not be viewable when worn.
(b) Avoid using any removal methods containing chemicals, such as hairspray, that may stain, fade, or harm the cloth.
(c) Before washing, pretreat the region with stain remover spray or a big dab of dish or laundry soap to eliminate any remaining gum.
If you ever find yourself stuck in a sticky mess like this, you can always choose one of these methods to save the day. Not only are all of these methods practical, but they are also helpful in getting rid of unwanted chewing gum at home.