If you have chewing gum stuck to your couch or favorite sweater, you might think that it can't be removed. Fortunately, you can remove gum from clothing, fabrics (such as sheets, blankets, or duvets), and leather using only a few objects. Before using any home remedies, try freezing and removing the gum first. You can remove the gum with lemon juice, hairspray, or oil. Always check the care label on the fabric so you can determine a safe method.
Method 1 of 3: Freezing Chewing Gum on Cloth
Step 1. Put the clothes in the freezer
If you have gum stuck to your favorite sweater or blouse, carefully fold the garment so that the gum is on the outside. Remove all other items from the freezer to allow clothes to fit inside. Leave the clothes in the freezer until the gum hardens. Depending on the thickness of the gum, you may need to freeze the garment for an hour or two.
Do not cover clothes with objects that could stick to the gum. Place the item on the freezer rack
Step 2. Use ice cubes to freeze the gum
If the cloth won't fit in the freezer or won't get wet, place an ice cube on the gum. To prevent the cloth from getting wet, stick an ice pack (frozen gel in a leak-proof container) or ice cubes placed in a plastic bag on the gum. Let the ice pack rest on the gum for 10-15 minutes or until the gum hardens.
Step 3. Remove the hardened gum
Once the gum has hardened (either using the freezer or an ice cube), remove as much of the gum as possible using your fingers. Next, use a spatula or butter knife to scrape off any gum remaining on the fabric.
Do not scrape the fabric with anything that could damage the fibers
Step 4. Remove gum residue using a dry cleaning solution or mineral turpentine
Spray the dry cleaning solution on the sponge and rub the area with the gum. Keep scrubbing with the sponge until the area becomes non-sticky. If you don't have a dry cleaning solution, use a sponge soaked in mineral turpentine (a thinner and paint remover).
Step 5. Clean the cloth according to the care instructions provided
Read the care label on the cloth or garment so you can clean it properly. You can clean the area if there is still gum residue or stains left. Blot the stain with a clean cloth and scrub the area with a sponge dampened with soapy water. Next clean the soapy water with another wet sponge. Wash the fabric as usual, but check before drying it. If the stain has not disappeared, clean the stain first.
If the fabric has dried before the stain has gone, the stain may stick to the fabric and be more difficult to remove
Method 2 of 3: Trying Other Home Solutions on Fabric
Step 1. Soak the gum in hot vinegar or lemon juice
Boil a bowl of vinegar until hot or fill a bowl with fresh lemon juice. Dip the gum-affected part of the cloth into the hot lemon juice or vinegar. Let the gum soak there. Depending on the hardness of the gum, you may need to soak it for a few hours or overnight. After that, you should be able to scrape or brush the gum easily. Once the gum is removed, wash the cloth immediately.
Always do a test on a hidden area of the fabric before you soak it. This is to determine if the fabric is damaged if soaked in hot lemon juice or vinegar
Step 2. Use hairspray to harden the gum
If the gum cannot be frozen using ice cubes or the freezer, use hairspray. This makes the gum hard so you can remove it easily. You can also use a blunt tool to gently pick up the gum.
Make sure the hairspray doesn't damage the fabric by testing it on a hidden section of the fabric before you use it
Step 3. Use oil to soften the gum
Try rubbing cooking oil, mayonnaise, or peanut butter on chewing gum. Give a little light massage on the oil or mayonnaise smeared on the gum. This makes it easier for you to scrape it off. Wash the cloth immediately so that the oil does not stain the cloth.
Remember, it can be difficult to remove grease marks from delicate fabrics. Use oil if you know for sure that the stain on the fabric can be removed
Method 3 of 3: Remove Chewing Gum on Objects from Skin
Step 1. Remove as much gum as possible
As soon as you find the gum sticking to your skin, gently pick up the gum with as many fingers as possible. Make sure the gum doesn't spread to the surface of the skin you're cleaning.
Step 2. Remove the gum using masking tape
Take a sheet of clear tape and stick it to the gum. Press the gum so that it sticks to the tape. Pull the tape so that some parts of the gum will come off. Continue to apply new tape and lift the gum until it is all off the surface of the skin.
Depending on the adhesiveness of the tape, you may need a roll of tape to clean the gum
Step 3. Wash the area with soapy water or a cleaning product
The skin may be dirty after you remove the gum. To clean it, use a special leather cleaning product or a mixture of warm water and a mild dish soap. Wet a sponge with soapy water, then gently rub it on the skin. Do not pull or rub the skin.
You can remove any small bits of gum that's still on your skin by watering it
Step 4. Remove sticky residue using mineral turpentine
Dip a clean cloth in a small dish that has been filled with the mineral turpentine. Gently wipe the gum that sticks to the skin with the cloth. Once the gum residue is removed, wipe the area clean with a clean, dry cloth. The surface of the skin will be completely clean and any remaining gum will be removed.
- Turpentine mineral is also called white spirit or mineral spirit. Use mineral turpentine in a well-ventilated room, and do not touch wet cloth with bare hands as mineral turpentine can irritate the skin.
- Do not throw away a cloth that has been dipped in mineral turpentine. Put the cloth in a container filled with water, and take it to a hazardous waste disposal site.
Step 5. Apply conditioner on the skin
Use as directed by the manufacturer to protect the leather, or use a commercial leather conditioner. This product can moisturize the skin. This is necessary because some of the protective oil on the cloth may have been removed while you were cleaning.
- Do not heat the gum with a hair dryer (hair dryer). The gum will sink deeper into the fibers of the fabric and be more difficult to remove.
- Don't use peanut butter on leather items, as this can leave an oily residue that can damage the fabric. If you want to use peanut butter on a cloth, check to see if there are any stains on the cloth after you remove the gum.