Through the years, we have had our share of chewing gum mishaps here in the Hill House. Needless to say, this post is how to remove chewing gum from fabric. Sigh.
Yes, this is a picture of chewing gum on the curtain in the girls’ room. A certain 4-year-old gave a piece of chewing gum to a certain 2-year-old during naptime on Sunday afternoon. Obviously there was no nap taking place.
The result? A gum covered toddler and several spots of gum on the curtain.
Gum + a toddler = unhappy Mama
With a bit of trial and error, I figured out how to remove the gum from this set of sheer curtains.
Yes, sheers, which we all know is one of the most delicate fabrics ever. Sigh.
How to Remove Gum from Fabric
When removing gum, the goal is to keep it in one piece. It’s harder to remove if you tear it off of the fabric bit by bit.
First try to scrape off the gum from the fabric with just a knife.
1.) Place the fabric on a hard surface, such as a table.
2.) Using a sharp knife or razor blade scraper, gently pull up the edge of the gum.
Work slowly and methodically to pry it from the fabric.
If you’re unable to remove the gum with just a sharp knife, try the Ice Pack Method.
The Ice Pack Method for Removing Gum from Fabric
Some chewing gum is extremely sticky, which makes it quite hard to remove in one piece. In this case, you’ll need to make the gum as cold as possible.
Grab two ice packs from the freezer and place one ice pack on each side of the fabric.
So in my case, I put an ice pack on the back of the fabric and on the front of the fabric.
Wait 10 or 15 minutes for the ice pack to harden the gum.
Then, taking your sharp gum-scraping implement, attempt to pry the entire piece of gum from the fabric.
Be extremely careful not to poke a hole in the fabric! These sheers are rather delicate, so I had to take my time and not rush.
When using the ice pack trick, try to use the flattest ice pack possible. This method is quite effective if you place heavy packs against the gum and completely surround it with cold.
If you don’t have ice packs available, use flat pieces of ice to harden the gum. Both ice and ice packs work equally well, however, ice packs are easier to clean up and don’t make the fabric wet.
More Ways to Remove Gum
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I would consider these alternatives to be last resort options. The following suggestions might successfully remove the gum on the fabric, but they could potentially leave a grease stain as a result.
Implement these at your own risk!
Goo Gone is a great product at removing gum from a surface, especially that super sticky type of gum. Saturate the area of gum on the fabric and let it sit a few minutes. Make sure both sides of the fabric are saturated with the solution.
Using the same technique above, try to pry the gum from the fabric.
Once you have successfully removed the gum, wash the item as you normally would. Hang the item to dry. Make sure there is not a grease spot on the fabric before you put it in the dryer. As you know by now, heat sets stains in permanently.
Use cooking oil
It’s hard for me to even suggest using cooking oil – this should be your last ditch effort! It will leave a grease stain, without a doubt.
Rub a liberal amount of cooking oil (vegetable, canola, olive – whatever the cheapest oil is in your pantry) on top of the gum and also on the back side of the fabric.
Allow it to sit 10 minutes or so and again, try to pry up the whole piece of gum.
If you use either of the above methods and you have a resulting grease stain, try using the Blue Dawn Method for removing grease stains. Again, make sure that you hang dry the garment to ensure the stain has been removed to your liking.
It might take several trips through the wash to get rid of the greasy spot – but it can be done!
Like most stain removal, getting chewing gum out of fabric takes patience and time. Both of which are hard for most of us to come by.
Aside from these mentioned, do you have any gum removal tricks? Do have a great chewing gum story? Share in the comments below!
Taylor at Household Management 101
These are some great tips! I would say, however, that Goo Gone is not necessarily a last resort option, at least for washable clothing. It can leave a mark if you have to use it on carpet or other areas where you can’t wash it away, but I recently used it when a piece of gum got washed with clothes and melted in the dryer. It washes out with extra detergent, and an extra wash, so doesn’t seem to make permanent grease stains. (I told my story, with some pictures at the link of my name in case anyone is interested, since I know this problem happens to lots of people!)
Taylor – so good to know your experience! I appreciate you leaving the link 😉
(Sorry it took so long for your comment to show. It was sent to spam for some crazy reason. And I obviously don’t check my spam folder often enough!)
Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy
I am going to put your methods to work on the silly putty that my 3-year old managed to get on 3 articles of clothing and two carpets in two minutes flat while I was in the bathroom! Thanks for the tips, though I’m very sorry I’m finding them so practical.
Oh Silly Putty… It is officially banned at our house for similar reasons! Doesn’t it seem like all of the “bad” things happen in the 2 minutes of bathroom time?? I can relate 😉
Silly putty can also be disastrous in the hands of teenagers and toddlers together.
Oh ’tis true. Sigh.
Any tips on getting Gum out of the dryer? Many times have people washed jeans and not taken the gum out of their pockets, (I know better so it wasnt me! lol) and they wouldnt notice until the dryer smelt like Big Red. I spent hours trying to scrape gum out of my dryer :/
Nail polish remover worked great for me. After you remove the gum wipe dryer drum down with damp rag.
Easiest way is to use duct tape (also known as Gaffer Tape). Chewing gum sticks preferentially to it. Just cut off 50mm or so and press it into the gum then remove it. This can be repeated; use new tape when it no longer works. Takes only a few minutes.
Wet a dryer sheet and gum wipes right off the dryer with ease!
You just saved me big time! I tried the ice and scraping it off, refuse to use goof off on my kids sheet. The wet dryer sheet worked amazing!!
Goo Gone works very well. I just did this. Make sure to wash it well after to avoid getting it on clean clothes. Use a little dawn dish detergent. Works well & since. I let the too gone sit for awhile it came off easily.