How To Get Smeared Gum Out Of Clothes With Vinegar

Chewing gum can be a menace to the environment when it isn’t disposed of properly. Pavements get littered with sticky circles, which end up on shoes, and it can often be found on tables and chairs for the unsuspecting person to sit on. It’s no joke when your favourite item of clothing appears to be ruined with a rogue piece of gum!

So what do you do when you have smeared gum on your clothing? Can you simply toss it in the washer and hope for the best?

Don’t throw a gum stained item in the wash or even worse, put it in the dryer.

The gum will end up on several other items and could even get stuck inside your machine and then you have another cleanup job on your hands!

Since the gum won’t dissolve in the washer you must get it off before you wash it, and one way of doing so is with the help of good old vinegar.

To get smeared gum out of clothes quickly with vinegar simply heat a bowl of distilled white vinegar in the microwave, dip in an old toothbrush and then gently scrub off the chewing gum. Treat any stains left behind with a stain remover and launder as normal.

There are several other ways to get rid of gum if you don’t have vinegar to hand, which I will take you through too.

I sometimes use affiliate links. When you click these links and make a purchase, I may get a small commission. It won’t cost you anything but it helps me to run this site.

How to remove chewing gum from clothes with vinegar

Vinegar has a multitude of uses around the home, but did you know it is effective at cleaning gum? You don’t usually need to heat vinegar when you use it for cleaning, but in this case, the heated vinegar helps to soften the gum as you clean it off.

Here’s how to clean off gum with vinegar:

Things you’ll need

Directions

  1. Pick off as much of the gum as you can to start.
  2. Heat the vinegar in the microwave for 30 seconds or until it is almost boiling.
  3. Dip the toothbrush into the vinegar and rub off the gum while the vinegar is still hot.
  4. Repeat step 3 until the gum has gone.
  5. Rub any stains with the stain remover bar.
  6. Launder as normal.
YouTube video

Related reading:

Join the Newsletter
Subscribe to my list and get notified whenever I post!

Other ways to remove smeared chewing gum from clothes

How to remove chewing gum from clothes by freezing

If you are worried about chemicals damaging the fabric or you just don’t have anything suitable to hand, freezing the gum off is your answer. This method is the most commonly recommended.

  1. Put the item of clothing in a freezer bag.
  2. Seal and freeze for a couple of hours.
  3. Remove the bag from the freezer.
  4. It should now be easy to peel the chewing gum off the fabric with your fingers or a blunt knife.
  5. If any staining is left, treat it with stain remover and launder as normal.

How to remove chewing gum from clothes with an iron

If you don’t have a couple of hours to spare to freeze off the gum, an iron is your answer.

  1. Cut out a square of brown paper.
  2. Put the paper on the gum side.
  3. Iron on the other side.
  4. The gum should melt off onto the paper.
  5. Treat any stains remaining with stain remover and launder as normal.

How to remove chewing gum from clothes with alcohol

  1. Pour some rubbing alcohol onto a cloth.
  2. Rub onto the stain.
  3. When the gum starts to loosen scrape off with a blunt knife.
  4. Rub the area with a stain remover bar.
  5. Launder as normal.

How to remove chewing gum from clothes with WD40

If you have some WD40 to hand, did you know it makes a great chewing gum remover?

  1. Spray the area.
  2. Let it sit for a few minutes.
  3. Wipe clean.
  4. Rub with a stain remover bar.
  5. Launder as normal.
WD-40 Multi-Use Product, 3 OZ

Buy from Amazon

How to remove chewing gum from clothes with lemon juice

lemon on a cutting board

Lemon juice has a multitude of uses around the home and cleaning off chewing gum is one of them.

Like vinegar, lemon juice is acidic and so similarly will clean off chewing gum just as well.

  • Soak the area in lemon juice.
  • Scrape off the chewing gum with a blunt knife until the gum is removed.
  • Rub the area with a stain remover bar such as Astonish or Vanish.
  • Wash the item as normal.

Use a gum-removing product

Whilst vinegar is great at removing chewing gum, it’s pretty smelly! If you prefer not to use it, here is a product you can buy specifically for the job. It’s perfect for removing any type of stickiness including chewing gum.

Goo Gone Adhesive Remover - 8 Ounce - Surface Safe Adhesive Remover Safely Removes Stickers Labels Decals Residue Tape Chewing Gum Grease Tar

Buy from Amazon

How to get gum out of clothes that went through the washer and dryer

If you didn’t notice the gum on your clothing until it has come out of the dryer then you still have some options for getting it removed completely. There will likely be two stages to the removal, the first will remove the gum and the second stage removes the residual staining.

Step 1 – Remove the gum

First off we need to get the gum off the fabric. I recommend you put the item in the freezer and you should then be able to simply pick off the gum. If you don’t have time for that you can use an iron instead as follows.

  1. Cut out a square of brown paper.
  2. Put the paper on the gum side.
  3. Iron over the other side.
  4. The gum should melt off onto the paper.

Step 2 – Remove the stain

If the gum you removed was coloured there is more than likely a stain left behind. Rub the stain with a stain remover bar such as Astonish Stain Remover Soap. Then put the item in the wash as normal.

Astonish Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning System (Stain Remover Bar)

Buy from Amazon

This article and its contents are owned by sparklingpenny.com and was first published on 15 November 2021.
Join the Newsletter
Subscribe to my list and get notified whenever I post!
Photo of author

Penny | SparklingPenny

Hi, I'm Penny. A busy mum of two boys, with the aim to enjoy life to the full.