How to Get Gum Out of Clothing in 5 Ways

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Michela Ravasio/Stocksy

Coming in contact with gum is one of the stickiest situations your clothing can get into. Whether it’s a beloved blouse or your favorite seasonal red skirt, there’s never an occasion when finding gum on your clothing doesn’t feel like a catastrophe. Luckily, removing gum can be less of an obstacle if you have the right tools on hand. Though certain fabrics are more forgiving than others, there are a handful of go-to tricks that work wonders to restore your garment.

Read on for an easy guide on removing gum from clothing.

Freeze & Remove

While sticking your damaged article of clothing in the freezer might initially feel like you’re hiding it in shame, it’s actually the first step to removing the gum from your clothing. After about an hour in the freezer, the gum should completely harden, at which point you can remove your clothing from the cold. Then, use a credit card, paint scraper, or dull knife to gently scrape off the hard gum. Alternatively, you can place an ice pack on the stain for 20 minutes to speed up the process.

The Subtler Approach

Should you find yourself handling a gum emergency on the go, there’s a convenient method of removal that can be done nearly anywhere. For this method, use a clean cube of ice to freeze the gum (this might take 10 to 20 minutes depending on the size of the stain). Then use the edge of something relatively solid and flat (a credit card is your best bet) to scrape the gum off.

Fight Fire With Fire

In this case, remove the gum with more gum. If it’s still sticky and soft to the touch, attach a second, larger piece of wet gum to the piece on your clothing. Gently pull it to remove them both together. When trying this method, be careful to only touch the old piece of gum with the new piece. Avoid any other contact with the fabric.

Get It on Tape

Believe it or not, a small strip of tape can work wonders for gum removal. While duct tape tends to work best, be sure to use this method selectively (or opt for a gentler but heavy-duty packing tape), as duct tape can damage delicate fabrics.

Heat Things Up

This is one of the best tricks for removing gum if you have an iron on hand. Place the gum stain facedown on a piece of cardboard, then set your iron to medium heat. Press the iron down firmly on the back of the garment. Be careful not to move the iron around, as this could spread the stain. As the gum heats up, it should naturally melt and transfer onto the cardboard.

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