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How to remove chewing gum from clothes

Don't let chewing gum stains burst your bubble: learn how to remove gum from clothes with our easy at-home methods.


chewing gum on yellow clothes

Key steps:

Need to get chewing gum out of clothes?  Follow these key steps: 

1.    Freezing is the best technique for sorting out gum accidents.

2.    Lemon juice, hairspray and vinegar are some useful alternative remedies. 

3.    You should be able to remove gum from pretty much any fabric.

No-one likes getting chewing gum on their clothes. It’s so sticky and sometimes feels almost impossible to remove. But, don’t worry, it’s not! In fact it’s relatively easy to remove chewing gum as long as you act fast. Here, we discuss how to remove chewing gum from clothes at home, whether that’s by freezing it or by using one of the more old-school methods.

And if you’ve got chewing gum on your carpets or other surfaces then our article on removing gum from areas in the home can help.

Once you’ve removed the chewing gum from your clothes, be sure to put the item straight in the wash with a good quality detergent like OMO. For more delicate items and fabrics, try using SKIP.

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How to remove chewing gum from clothes by freezing them

Need to know how to remove gum from clothes? Use your household freezer! This is a really simple method and it works a treat. Most importantly you can do it at home: all you need is a plastic bag and a freezer. Try these 9 steps next time you need to know how to remove bubblegum from clothes:

  1. Put the item in a freezer bag. Be sure to check that the chewing gum isn’t lying next to the bag edges otherwise it might stick.

  2. Close up the bag securely.  

  3. Put the bag in the freezer. Leave it there for at least two hours.

  4. Remove the bag from the freezer and take your garment out of the plastic bag.

  5. Place it on a firm surface.

  6. Gently peel the chewing gum off. You want to do this as soon as possible so that it doesn’t warm up and start reattaching itself to the fabric.  

  7. Having trouble getting it off with your nails? Use a blunt knife or similar object to help. Always be careful when using knives and be sure to angle them away from you. 

  8. If traces of gum remain, wash the item by hand before running it through a regular wash in your machine.

How to remove chewing gum from clothes without freezing them

If you don’t have a freezer or want to try another method of chewing gum removal then there are lots of alternatives. If need to know how to remove chappies on clothes urgently, here are some other things to try.

Just be sure to do a quick patch test first to check these solutions aren’t going to cause further problems for your fabric.

1. Lemon juice

Need to remove gum from clothes and happen to have a lemon on hand? Lemon juice is great for getting rid of chewing gum from clothes and not just because it is extremely cheap and unlikely to damage your fabric.

  • Soak the garment in lemon juice.

  • Scrape the gum off with a blunt edge. 

  • Wash immediately afterwards to remove any remaining lemon juice from your clothes.

2. Hairspray

To remove chewing gum from clothes with hairspray, follow these 3 steps:

  • Spray the hair spray directly onto the chewing gum and let it harden. 

  • Once it is firm the gum should be easy to prise off. 

  • You may need to wash your clothing in the machine to remove any final traces of gum.

3. Vinegar

White vinegar is a cleaning staple for most homes but did you know it can help remove chewing gum too?

  • Heat the vinegar to a moderate temperature - you want it to be just below the boil.

  • Apply to the chewing gum stain and brush or scrape the gum off with a blunt tool. Always be gentle to avoid damaging the fabric. 

  • Wash your clothes as normal.

4. Mayonnaise

It may be something you're more used to seeing on your dinner plate but mayonnaise can also be effective at removing gum from clothes:

  • Dab some mayo onto the chewing gum.

  • Massage into the fabric gently and slowly. The gum should then peel off very easily as a result.

  • Wash your clothes as normal.

These techniques should work on a whole range of fabrics including leather, cotton, and nylon. So if you need to know how to remove gum from jeans, your favourite white shirt, or anything in between then simply try one of the techniques above!

Originally published