How To Remove Chewing Gum from Clothes

Mint gum

Getting chewing gum on, and then off, your clothes can be a tricky sticky situation. If you did not realize the chewing gum was there, and have already washed and, more importantly, dried the item of clothing, then removing the chewing gum can be even more difficult. There are several home remedies that most of us are familiar with for getting chewing gum out of hair, like vegetable oil or WD-40, but these substances can damage clothing or leave behind huge oil spots that just will not come out.  

However, before you throw that brand new shirt or your favorite old jeans away in despair, try these simple steps to remove the offending chewing gum from your clothes. 

  1. Stick the piece of clothing in the freezer until the chewing gum hardens, or rub an ice cube over the gum until it hardens. Use a butter knife to remove as much of the chewing gum as possible.
  2. Heat about a ¼ cup of vinegar in the microwave (it doesn't matter what kind of vinegar you use - grab whatever is in your cabinet, although most people say cider vinegar works best).
  3. Pour a small amount of the vinegar onto the spot, and work it into the chewing gum. Allow it to sit for a couple of minutes to loosen up the chewing gum.
  4. Using a toothbrush, in a circular motion, brush the chewing gum from the item of clothing. If working with delicate fabrics, you can use a soft washcloth instead of a toothbrush.
  5. If this does not remove the chewing gum entirely, apply a small dollop of mayonnaise to the chewing gum.
  6. Allow the mayonnaise to sit for a couple of minutes, and then repeat Step 3, again using the toothbrush to remove the chewing gum.
  7. Voila! The chewing gum is gone!
  8. Immediately wash the item of clothing to prevent stains or smells from the vinegar or eggs in the mayonnaise from setting in.

You can use either the vinegar or mayonnaise separately, which will most likely remove the chewing gum from your clothes, but usually the combination of heated vinegar and mayonnaise works best - particularly for clothes that have set-in chewing gum spots.  

So, next time you sit on chewing gum on the train, or get up from a park bench with a giant glob of it on your pants, try this method and get rid of the chewing gum - not your clothes.


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