It happens. You sat down somewhere before you realized someone left their gum behind, and now you’re wondering how to get gum out of clothes. You may even be wondering, “Where does gum come from?” and wishing it had never been discovered or marketed to the masses. Good news: gum removal is simple. You don’t need any kind of special gum remover. In fact, you probably have what you need in your kitchen right now!
Why is gum tricky to get out?
Chewing gum is made up of a synthetic latex mixed with softeners (oil or glycerin), sweeteners or artificial sweeteners, and flavors. It used to be made from the natural latex sap from the sapodilla tree, according to About.com’s Chemistry site, but that particular ingredient hasn’t been used with any regularity since the second World War. As the gum is being made, the base is heated to roughly 240 degrees Fahrenheit, then the additives are poured in and all the components are mixed together.
That latex base (which sometimes includes paraffin wax or beeswax) is what makes gum sticky and challenging to remove without a little manipulation (like changes in temperature).
- What You’ll Need
- Plastic bag
- Laundry detergent
- Fold the item of clothing so the gum is facing outward.
- Place the item inside a plastic bag, but make sure the gum isn’t touching the plastic.
- Put the bag with the clothing in it into the freezer and leave it there until the gum freezes. Freezing it makes it much easier to get gum out of clothes!
- Once the gum is frozen, quickly scrape it away with the side of a spoon before the gum thaws.
- If this doesn’t remove all of the gum, use your favorite laundry detergent on the area. Simply wash the spot where the gum is stuck. Rub the detergent in with your fingers or an old toothbrush to loosen the gum.
- Use the side of a spoon or a small spatula to scrape the gum away from the fabric.
- Rinse the area, then wash as usual!
3. Additional Tips & Advice
If you’d prefer not to use the above methods, another option is to heat up a small bowl of white vinegar, pour or spray it onto the gum, and scrub with an old toothbrush. Green Talk says this was the only thing that worked when the clothing had already been through the washing and drying process.
Sidetracked Sarah recommends using peanut butter to remove gum from clothes.
Always your gum removal method on a small area of the fabric. It doesn’t help to know how to get gum out of fabric if the method will damage your particular item of clothing, so always be sure to check the effects somewhere hidden first.
Try our 3 in 1 laundry detergent for your spot removal and washing option. It is available in a variety of scents and is made from naturally derived ingredients! There is even a hypoallergenic fragrance-free option.
Now that you know how to remove gum from clothes it is time to spread the word! Rest assured that these easy options work.