Chewing Gum on Your Clothes? Get it Off with These Tricks!

preteen boy pull chewing gum with his hand from moth

Some may call it a disgusting habit but the truth is, the only thing disgusting about chewing gum is stepping in it, or getting it on your clothes! Not only is it pretty gross, but it’s also troublesome to get off. Removing chewing gum from fabric requires immediate attention, clever tricks, and enough time and patience to effectively get it off without damaging your clothes. Therefore, we suggest using one (or more) of the methods provided in this article to do just that! 

You can find dozens of tips and techniques on how to remove gum from clothes floating around on the internet, but we’ve handpicked the most reliable, tried and true methods so that you don’t end up wasting your time on an ineffective one. Read on to find out what they are!

Freeze the Icky, Sticky Gum!

Did you know that chewing gum is a whole lot easier to get off from clothes when frozen solid? Attempting to remove a freshly chewed piece of gum will only make a mess and spread it around the fabric. Here’s how to go about using the freezing method for best results.

1. Fold the piece of clothing with the gum facing upwards and place it into a ziplock bag. To ensure that the gum does not stick to the bag, place a small container over it and seal the bag.

2. Place it in the deep freeze for approximately 3-4 hours, or until the gum is solidified. Remember, the harder the gum is, the easier it will be to remove.

3. For the removal process, you have to work quickly before the gum starts to soften up again. Use a butter knife to gently lift the gum off the fabric; avoid scraping at it as this can damage the clothing item. 

4. If the chewing gum isn’t coming off, put it back in the freezer (in the ziplock back, with the container over it), and continue the removal process after it has had more time to harden. 

5. The final step is to apply fabric stain remover over the area and give it a few gentle rubs before throwing it in the wash. Run clothing item through a hot water cycle and the stain will come right off!

White Vinegar for a Stubborn Piece of Gum

White vinegar is used to clean multiple surfaces including stainless steel and glass; but did you know that it’s one of the most reliable ingredients to remove gum from clothes? Here’s how to use this method effectively. 

1. Heat up some undiluted white vinegar (it is more effective in removing adhesives when hot). It needn’t be boiling hot, just heated enough to a point where you can still touch it without getting burned.

2. Pour a small amount of vinegar over the gum and allow it to soak into the fabric for a minute. 

3. Dip an old toothbrush in the vinegar and scrub at the base of the gum (where the gum meets the fabric). The trick is to detach the gum from the cloth by removing the stickiness. 

4. Continue to dip and scrub at the bottom of the gum until it is lifted off the clothing item. If needed, pour some more vinegar over the chewing gum as you go along.

5. Reheat the vinegar if it cools down and repeat the process.

6. After the gum has been removed, you can proceed to machine-wash the clothing item. 

7. Vinegar has a rather unpleasant odour; therefore, you’ll need to use a good amount of detergent to get the smell off when you throw it in the wash!

Adhesive Remover for Your Sticky Situation

Have you ever used a label remover before? If you’ve never heard of one, it is basically a spray that is used to get rid of the sticky residue left by a label on new clothes, fabrics, or even furniture. It doesn’t stop there, though; you can get sticky gum off your clothes with a label remover using the following method.

1. Spray the gum and surrounding area generously; leave it to break down the stickiness for a few minutes. Remember to choose an adhesive remover specially made for fabrics as any other type may stain your clothes. 

2. After a couple of minutes have passed, sprinkle talcum powder over the gum to cover the stickiness. 

3. Dip a butterknife in the powder and gently lift the gum off the fabric. If any stickiness is exposed, sprinkle more powder over the area to get rid of it and continue the process. 

4. Pull off as much of the chewing gum as you can. Repeat steps 1,2 and 3 until you’ve successfully removed the gum. 

5. For the stain, use a stain remover or pour liquid detergent over the area and gently scrub it with an old toothbrush.

6. Rinse the fabric before machine-washing the item.

Rubbing Alcohol for Delicate Fabrics

Rubbing alcohol is basically a surgical spirit that also aids in removing adhesives. It is the best option to use on delicate materials as it is not as harsh as other cleaning agents or methods typically used to clean chewing gum from clothes. To use rubbing alcohol effectively, follow the steps below:

1. Pour a small amount of spirit onto a sponge or non-abrasive scrubber (avoid soaking it), and hold it over the chewing gum. 

2. Use a peeling technique to remove the gum (while the sponge is placed over it). 

3. (Optional) As the gum starts to leave the clothing item, use a dropper to soak the base of the gum, thus, making it easier to remove. 

4. If the gum does not come off quickly enough, give the material a few minutes to soak between attempts so that the rubbing alcohol has time to work its magic! 

5. If needed, take a butter knife or a firm spatula to gently remove any leftover chewing gum.

6. Lastly, soak the affected area with a suitable stain remover for 10 minutes before washing it with regular detergent in your washing machine.

Hair Spray for a Chewing Gum Emergency!

That’s right! Hair spray is not just needed in times of a hair crisis! In this case, the hair product works much like the ‘freezing’ method; it hardens the gum, making it easier to remove. However, to avoid getting a hair spray stain on your clothes, you will need to be very precise when following the steps below. Here’s how to go about it.

1. Firstly, you will need a thick (and big) enough cardboard to place over the clothing item with a small cutout in the middle to expose the gum. It’s not important for the whole piece of gum to come through the hole; the idea is to avoid getting hairspray on the fabric while allowing it to make contact with some part of the chewing gum. Be sure to fold the clothing item in such a way that it is sheltered by the cardboard.

2. Hold the can about a foot away from the gum and spray directly on it. Hair spray works rather quickly to harden chewing gum but we suggest giving it 30 – 60 seconds before moving on to the next step. 

3. Take a butter knife and gently remove the gum by lifting it upward. Typically it will break off piece by piece; therefore, you will most likely need to spray the gum again as you encounter sticky bits (use the cardboard when re-spraying). 

4. After you have removed the chewing gum, apply stain removal liquid to the area and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Rub the garment together to tackle the stain before putting it in the washer.

Remember, you can use more than one of these methods to remove a stubborn piece of chewing gum from your clothes; however, it’s important to act quickly to make the entire process easier.


Pleasantly surprised with these useful tips? Well, we’ve got plenty more where they came from! We’re here to help you tackle all kinds of household cleaning problems, as well as those unpleasant ones like removing gum from your clothes! Apart from cleaning tips, tricks and guides, we offer professional cleaning services for all household cleaning needs. To learn more about us and our work, please visit our services and pricing page.

Karen Saunders


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