What’s the only thing worse than getting a stain on your clothes? Getting gum stuck on them.
Back when I was in college, gum on my shirt (or anything else for that matter) meant it was destined for the garbage. But after a brief stint as a nanny—in addition to being an aunt for two active young kids—I know better now.
There’s no reason to trash your clothing because of a little gum. In most cases, just a little bit of prep time is all that’s needed to get most items looking good as new.
Removing chewing gum from clothes with the freezing method
Praised on an international scale by parents and teenagers alike, the easiest and most commonly suggested method for removing chewing gum from clothes is freezing. This can be done from the comfort of your own home and, most importantly, is fabric friendly, leaving no trace of chewing gum upon completion. Here’s our 10-step freezing method to remove chewing gum from clothes:
- Take the clothing item and place in a freezer bag, making sure that the chewing gum doesn’t stick to the bag. This method can be applied to all fabrics.
- Seal the bag correctly.
- Place the garment in your freezer.
- Leave the bag in the freezer for a minimum of two hours.
- Remove the bag from the freezer.
- Take your garment from the freezer bag and place it on a sturdy surface.
- Peel the chewing gum off the clothing as soon as possible to prevent the chewing gum from warming up and reattaching to the fabric.
- If you are unable to remove the chewing gum with your fingernails, apply a blunt knife or another blunt object as this will remove chewing gum from your clothes without damaging the fabric – as always, be careful when using potentially dangerous items and angle knives away from you.
- The chewing gum should peel off smoothly and without any force. If traces remain, hand wash the item or place in the washing machine for a final rinse.
How to remove chewing gum from clothes without freezing them
Freezing is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to removing chewing gum from clothes. There are many other options that can help you get rid of chewing gum without causing any damage to the material. Below are four suggested techniques and products that can be used. Make sure that all garments are washed after applying the following techniques, and that all products are tested on a small piece of fabric first.
Lemon juice. Lemon juice works wonders when trying to remove chewing gum from clothes, is extremely cheap, and causes no damage to fabric. All you have to do is soak the garment in lemon juice and scrape the gum off with a blunt edge. It is recommended, however, that you wash the garment as soon as possible after applying lemon juice.
Hairspray. Removing chewing gum from clothes is simple with this cheap method. Apply the hair spray directly onto the chewing gum and it will harden. Then just scrape the chewing gum off.
Vinegar. Soak the garment in hot vinegar, then brush or scrape the gum off gently with a blunt tool to avoid damaging the fabric.
Mayonnaise. Pour this household condiment onto the chewing gum and work in slowly. The gum should then peel off smoothly.
Once the chewing gum has been removed fully, it’s a good idea to wash your clothes with a detergent after treating them with these techniques. You’ll be left with fresh clothes and a smile on your face in no time.