Uh oh. If you had to google the title of this article, then that’s not a good sign. It happens to everyone at least once in their life.
Just be grateful that you didn’t get the gum stuck in your hair! The last thing we want you to have to do is shave your hair all off.
Worst case scenario, clothing can be replaced!
Hopefully, if you follow our article, you won’t have to worry about replacing your clothes! Getting gum out of your clothes can be tricky but it’s certainly doable.
We have a few different methods for you to try to get out of this sticky situation.
If one fails, do not worry.
Just go ahead and try another one.
So what are you waiting for? Read on to figure out how you can save your clothes!
Method 1: Freezing
Okay, the first method is generally the most effective which is why we’re going to include this one first. It involves freezing your clothes.
Yes, you read that correctly. Freezing your clothes. Like, putting it in the freezer.
But don’t just crumple it up and toss it in the freezer! There is a method to the madness.
So exactly what do you need to do? Follow these steps precisely:
- Fold the fabric up like you were putting it away in your dresser. IMPORTANT: make sure that gum is facing outward. You don’t want to fold the gum up into your clothes, thus making it worse. It’ll need to be small enough to fit into the plastic bag of your choosing. If you have a space bag, this is the perfect time to use it. Of course, avoid spreading the gum to any other parts of the clothing.
- Place the clothing in the bag. You also want to seal the plastic bag shut. This part can be a bit tricky, so be attentive. You need to make sure that the gum doesn’t stick to the plastic bag whatsoever. If you need to, put a pen or some other stick-like figure in the bag to hold it up if necessary.
- Now that the bag is nice and sealed, go ahead and place it in the freezer for several hours. Three or four hours should be enough, but if you want to be 100% thorough, we recommend that you leave it in overnight.
- The next morning, go ahead and remove the bag from the freezer. At this stage, the gum should be completely hardened. You can now take the piece of clothing out of the plastic bag.
- Now we get to the tricky part! Using a knife or blade of sorts, scrape the gum off gently. Be careful! You don’t want to make a tear in your clothing by accident. You also want to make sure that it doesn’t warm back up at all, so make sure you do this step the second that you take it out of the freezer. If it’s giving you any trouble, go ahead and pop it back in the freezer for an hour or so and then try again.
What a relief if you take out the gum out successfully without damaging your clothes. Just in case you get your clothes marked with a permanent marker, thankfully, we have a guide on how to remove it, read it right here.
Method 2: Hot Liquid
Don’t have hours and hours to wait for the gum to freeze? No problem.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have another method! Hot liquid. Well, not just hot liquid. Specifically, hot water (or vinegar!).
There are a few ways you can try and remove it with hot water, read about a few of them below.
- Submerge the area that was affected by gum in very hot water. It doesn’t necessarily need to be boiling per se, but it should be pretty dang warm.
Let it soak for a few minutes, then use a butter knife or toothbrush to scrape off the gum while it’s still submerged in water.
- The next way is super convenient if you happen to have a steamer or even an iron that has steaming abilities. You’re basically going to steam blast the gum.
Place the area with the gum at the mouth of the kettle or wherever the steam is going to be coming out. Allow the steam to really heat up the gum for two to five minutes. Once you think it’s had enough exposure to the steam, again, take a knife or a toothbrush and go ahead and try to scrape it off.
- Okay while the last two methods used hot water, this one involves using hot vinegar. Vinegar can be a savior in a lot of households. It really is the “do-all” liquid. This works essentially the same way as the first method. Get the vinegar pretty hot, almost to the point of boiling, then submerge your clothing in the vinegar. After a couple minutes, try scraping it off with a butter knife or a toothbrush.
Method 3: Ironing
This next method may sound a little counter-intuitive but it actually works! Yes, ironing the gum out of your clothes.
So exactly how does one iron gum out of their clothes? Well, let us tell you.
- First, you’re going to need a piece of cardboard. Once you find one, place the gum face down on that piece of cardboard.
You’ll also want to make sure that you’re doing this on top of a proper ironing board. Otherwise, you might burn the surface beneath the cardboard.
- Turn the iron on medium heat. You simply want to loosen up the gum without completely melting it. If you melt it completely, you might end up making a bigger mess than what you started with!
- Now simply run the iron over the part where the gum is. But make sure you’re running the actual iron over the side of the clothing that DOESN’T have the gum on it. The gum now should be sandwiched between the cardboard and the iron, with the clothing acting as a barrier between the gum and the hot iron.
- Iron the clothing until the gum sticks to the cardboard. This may take a few minutes so be patient, go slow, and be gentle. Pull the cardboard away from the clothing. When you do this, the gum should come with it! If it doesn’t, continue to iron the clothing until it is soft enough to do so.
Method 4: Peanut Butter
The methods are getting crazier the further down the list we go! If possible, try to use one of the earlier methods.
However, if you’re in a pinch, these crazier methods might just work! Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have some alternative methods in your arsenal because you truly never know!
- Lather the entire area where the gum is in peanut butter. Make sure you get all sides of the gum and do not be shy! The more peanut butter the better. The oils in the peanut butter are going to help break down the gum and make it much looser. For this reason, using natural peanut butter that has a lot of oils sitting at the top is going to be perfect for this method.
- Allow the peanut butter to sit for about one minute. You want to give it enough time to loosen up the gum without letting it stain your clothes too deeply.
- After about a minute, try and scrape the gum off with a butter knife or another similar tool.
- Immediately after you get the gum off, throw your clothes in the wash. Yes, the oils in the peanut butter are good for removing the gum but they can also stain your clothes if you’re not careful! For this reason, we don’t recommend this method on white clothing or any sort of delicates. This should really be your last resort method if, for some reason, you’re not able to use any of the other methods.
Method 5: Miscellaneous Household Products
Interested as to what else might work? Here are a few oddball methods.
- Liquid laundry soap! Pour this directly onto the gum then, using a toothbrush or knife, scrape the gum off. Let it sit for about a minute before trying to scrape it all off.
- Rubbing alcohol can be another great way to get it off. If you use this, you need to let it soak for a few minutes before attempting to remove the gum.
- There’s also good ol’ WD-40. Spray, let sit for a couple of minutes, try and scrape.
- Hairspray! Everybody has hairspray laying around the house. Spray it on the gum then try scraping it off immediately.
There are lots of methods on how to get gum out of clothes available, just select what method is easier for you. Having a loosen shirt? We also have a guide on how to shrink it back, right here.
If you get gum on your clothes (or more likely, your child gets gum on their clothes), do not panic.
There are plenty of methods out there that will work to get the gum out. It’s not the end of the world.
We recommend trying the methods in order that we list them. We started with the most effective and then worked our way through.